Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “bridge

Race Report – Göteborgsvarvet 2016/05/21

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Happy finisher

Planned: sub90. Hopefully closer to 87, more likely 88. Training-race.

Actual: 1:29:44 – PB on this route 🙂 17 seconds faster than last time. A fall at start, a well-executed first 5km, a slow mara-pace following 5km and a little “bored” rest of the race. Kept on the plan for not arriving last at Swedish Championships though…

Adequate weather conditions with sunshine and a bit of (annoying) wind. Not really pushing throughout the race, a bit unsure why. But so it was. Kept on hoping for a sub90 and dropped the hope around km18 and got it back when seeing km20-mark indicating 1:25:07. And made it under the bar! Happy!…and ready for the second half…

Place: 26 Swedish half-marathon Championships, 78 – all women 🙂 / 10 age category / 1467 all runners 🙂

Splits (official – Swedish championships place)

Split Time of day Time Diff Min/km Km/h Place
5km 13:20:53 00:20:53 20:53 04:11 14.36 29
10km 13:41:44 00:41:43 20:50 04:11 14.39 28
15km 14:03:13 01:03:12 21:29 04:18 13.96 26
20km 14:25:08 01:25:07 21:55 04:23 13.69 26
Finish 14:29:45 01:29:44 04:37 04:13 14.26 26

Totals

Swedish Championships 26
Place 78
Place (age) 10
Place (total) 1467
Time total 01:29:44
Average pace 04.15 min/km

 

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BEFORE THE RACE

Awaken at 6:30am. No longer tired. Waited a little bit before jumping into running gear and head out for a very short and slow jog for waking up the legs. Quick stop for buying 2 bottles of Powerade and then home again. Nothing special really to be done. Felt like preparing for a long run. Breakfast taken at 8:45am – chia seeds, soy milk, banana and honey on the top, glass of orange juice and a tea. And then…wait…and more wait… at least for long run or early-start races I would have eaten my breakfast in the middle of the night and got back to bed. Spent time watching tv instead. And checking 20 times or so whether my race gear were ready or not… Outfit for today will be ADIDAS Supernova Blue line shorts, Casall Iconic black sports bra MIK, calve sleeves Compressports, sunglasses and on the feet, the superfast ADIDAS Adizero Adios Boost – Purple (Quicky). Their first race 🙂

11:15am – time to get ready. On with the gear. Pin the BIB on the sports bra. Final kiss before leaving and hop to the street. Met Henrik S not long from home. He preferred to walk to the start so I started to jog easily to the start. Not many people out there compared to 2 years ago (where the weather was very sunny already and hot). Today it was fair and nice. Humidity could be felt almost. Cloud cover was not helping. Reaching the start and checking the IK Jogg-meeting point. Quick chat with Peter-Jogg and then the tent for meeting colleagues. As the grass was wet, the shoes and socks got humid as well. Good to have 2 extra pairs…just in case… Chat with Henrik S finally arrived. Large smile from Patrik B getting ready as well.

12:30pm – off with the extra clothes and time for final pitstop and short warmup. The woods around the tents were not much of empty places… Did a quick back and forth jog and then headed towards the start area. Lots of people there. Checking out the gals running with yellow BIB and a Swedish flag (i.e. they were to run the Swedish Half-marathon Championships with me). Ran with my Powerade bottle and little leftover in it. Back and forth and back and forth. Not much place to warm-up really. Tried a few accelerations, but not very successful. Felt a bit lost with all the people around actually.

12:45pm – start getting ready to the start line. Drank the rest of the Powerade. Ate a sugar stuff Isostar. Noticing that lots of runners are already very quiet….when others are talking about their weekend like the race ahead is a walk-in-the-park-like…

12:55pm – “Back one more meter” says the official for the third time. Not many want to go back. Have lost my spot on the second line when a tall Swede set himself right before me…and his two buddies arrived and pressed themselves right close to him…So much for the chivalry-manners… 😛

12:58pm – more pressure from all around. Counting down. Cannot really hear anything any longer. Just staring at the guy with a gun and barely hearing the countdown…

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THE RACE

1:00pm – BAM! The start is given. The feeling of being wild horses leaving finally the corral is definitely there. No pushing but having this human wave transporting you. Pressing the start button on my watch. Starting to run. And out of nowhere I see two male runners falling already on my right. Cannot see much of it before realizing that two small elite-women have also fallen badly in front of me. I can jump above one but that would have meant setting my foot on the second one who was right before me. Loosing my balance. Feeling the pressure of the wave moving forward. Falling and seriously fearing for my life for a short while. Bam! On the hard asphalt. Got back on my feet thanks to runners behind me (thanks whoever helped me there). Seeing Lona on my right on her way to fall. Seriously?!?!? What is happening. Everything went so fast and so slow at the same time. I check my watch and I am already on my feet. 70 meters done… Being passed by a brilliant smile and cheering from MIK Christopher. Tried to smile. Nothing is making sense in my head. Feeling tears coming close to the eyes. But strangely I am already turning left. Should I really run this? Feeling that a bad start cannot really make a good race. Well, a bad start cannot make anything good. Seeing Karin S from IF Kville ahead of me. Then a few elite gals from Stockholm. And we are at the first right turn. I am actually running. No tear made its way to the eyes. Good. Still having very confused thoughts during the first km. Cannot really understand where I am, just that my feet are running. My plan was to take it easy up to the exit of Slottskogen at 4:10-tempo. Thereafter if I could reach the bottom of the bridge around km4 at average pace of 4:06, that would be great. Then a slow up the bridge and then catch up progressively to an easy 4:06 by the foot of the second bridge. Well-thought plan for reaching the arrival under 90 minutes and close to 87. But I am now running up to Plikta. Passed by a light-and-fast-feet Lona. Smart move of her to pass on the extreme left. Passed by MIK-Jon. Nice smile again. OK, I am (almost) back on track. Running down to km2 goes like on rail. Counting down already: 19km to go… Passed by IF Linnea Staffan S somewhere there. So nice once again with a cheering and a kind smile. Sälsdammsbacken has started already. For once I decided to run on the right side….as everybody seems to believe there are faster than light and always push and press on the left side. And indeed…the right side is pretty nice to run. Apart from the guys distributing Kex choklad and really killing my rhythm. A bit slower than planned to reach the top, but feeling that it disappeared quite fast anyway. Downhill now. Passing the penguins with average pace 4:11. All according to plan. Apart from the original fall at the start… And now it is just down. Almost fell on the right turn to the street as a giant runner just pass me on the left and not-so-kindly set himself RIGHT in front of me…while turning. OK, I get a sorry and be careful. But I was NOT really in the mood for thanking him! Straight line now. Just rolling down. Feeling a bit warm. The head needs a bit of cooling as the mind is still a bit confused by the fall and not really focused. Mariaplan. All fine. Feeling warm, but ok. Reaching close to km4 and MIK-Magnus is here for cheering. Yoooohoooo! I think I might have smiled! Taking 2 dextrosol here. Not sure they are needed though. Checking the pace on my watch and it is indicating a nice and steady 4:06. Hmmmm… ok. Nice! Pressing “lap” at 4.3km in order to check who is the faster on this distance: G or me (as he has started running Cityvarvet – 4.3km – at 1pm as well). Glass of water taken and thrown on the head. Forgetting to get some in the mouth. The first up to km5 feels fine. Then a little tougher as it becomes steeper. But soon is the bridge. Km5 is passed slightly under 21 minutes. All according to plan. Now the bridge. We are about 4-5 gals running up…and I am the last one of them. But that feels ok. Looking on the right and seeing the other bridge…far away…just want to be THERE…NOW! Reaching the top of the bridge and passing 2 gals. On the downhill it feels good. I accelerate as planned. Not crazily fast, but enough to be sub4. Turn right and then straight line. THERE IT STARTED. The slowing down. Cannot understand it always happen during Göteborgsvarvet. I reach the water-station. Quick mouth-rinsing with sport drink and water on the head. Turning left and straight to Eriksberg. Yiiiippi! I saw the km7-mark (I always miss it…). Wow! 4:2x-pace has been reached now. I know that the satellites are a bit odd on this part with the buildings, but I should absolutely not be THAT slow. And no Per M to be seen for cheering and pushing me further. Feel extremely lonely there. The group of gals are ahead of me. Passing the banana station. Not even funny. Turning right and reaching the shadow of the parallel street. Slight up and crazily slow. Trying to keep up with the few gals that have caught up with me. I don’t like this. Trying to find positive thoughts. Intervals ran with Christer B and MIK-Christopher T. THAT was fun. Ok, turning right already and back to the sunny side. And the concrete water-side. Passing the sculpture and running on the straight line of Sannegården feels fine. I know I am slow. Not even sure I am at marathon-pace (although the watch tells this to me). “Come on Girl” is one of the cheering that helps the most at this moment. And hearing my name. Turning and seeing a brilliant smile from Markus R from work. Nice! Cannot really let the gal ahead of me running alone, right? Accelerating a little bit and soon reaching the 10km-mark. Under 42minutes. OK, but way slower than planned. I should be closer to 40 than to 42 I thought. Turning right and getting to the cobblestones. First half is done! At last! Only one half left to go!

Passing along Ericsson. Quite empty this year. Running a little behind the gal with pink sports-bra. Trying to keep up. No. Not trying. I AM keeping up. The wind we are having on this side of the bridge is killing me. Not the strongest. But enough to bother. WHO said we would have tailwind here?!?!? More running and missing the km11 and km12-signs (unsure there were any). 2 dextrosol for keeping me awaken. Dry in the mouth. But it feels ok. Passing another gal and the pink sport-bra one is now behind me. Reaching SVT-house and it feels too warm for being ok. Need to chill out. Where is the water station? Passing it actually as there was a bit of crowd there. Aaaaaand I got passed by the light-and-fast gal with pink sport bra. Again… Average pace has dropped to 4:14 by now. Completely off the plan of reaching the second bridge in 4:06…which I know is possible as I have done it in other half-marathons. Sub90 starts to feel a bit of an utopia by now. So I take precious seconds for passing under the arch for a photo and some high-fives. And back to the bridge. 😦 If only it could become flatter by the time all the runners ahead of me have run on it. That would be great. Have lost the gal with pink sports-bra. Not ahead of me. And when I thought I would start walking a bit, I hear my name. Turning left and seeing the large smile of Christer B. So kind to give cheering on his way up. Hopefully I answered something nice back as well. Looking at his way up, I just want his legs! They are just light and fast and eat probably bridges for breakfast every morning! All good. I calculate that if he makes it in 1:27 I would be above 90minutes. But the way he runs makes me think that the fastest plan is on its way! Happy! Caught up by the gal with pink sport-bra on the top of the bridge. Noticing now that she has music in her ears. I WANT MUSIC IN MY EARS TOO! I know it helps crazily much! Running down and around the foot of the bridge. Passing the first tables of water and getting one paper mug and all on the head again. There she comes again. Passes me and will never let me pass her again. Running slow now. Well, don’t finding the motivation to run faster as sub90 is soon out of reach. So it felt as good to just “finish” and keep some strengths for more run later in the day or the day after. The weird thing is that there are strengths left. I just don’t want to use them. Looking right and left. Reaching Kopparmera and seeing the large smile from Sandrine B. Yooooohooo! Nice again. More motivation. Sub90 ain’t lost until I said so (well, or until I drop the pace even more…). The way up to Poseidon statue feels fine. I am running on the side or close to another IF Linnea chick. She makes it looks easy and light with a poney-tail and long hair moving from left to right all the time. Seeing Lona on her way down and soon turning. Got passed by Henrik S and more cheering. Focus on the way up. Hearing my name once more. Unsure who but I turn and smile and wave. Now the turning point is almost there. Catching a large smile in the crowd and one more cheering in Jay P 🙂 Wow! That IS cool to have so many cheering on the way up. One glass of water taken. Two sponges taken and the way down is now reached. 4.3km to go. Nothing. G has run that earlier. And my cheering-squad should be waiting at the planned spot for me to pass within 1:15/18. Cannot let them down really. Once again feeling that Vasagatan is the most boring place on Earth for running, but knowing they are waiting after it give some strengths. Skipping the water. Just want to see them. Taking off the neckwarmer from my hair and throwing it to them. So nice with their warm smiles. Now it is time to run a bit faster. Forget the sub4 as it was planned. Just get to the end. Not too much above 90minutes. That should work. Final stretch before the bridge. Cheering from Solvikingen Stefan 🙂 And the bridge. Which I take…on the top of the toes! And it works. I knew I was not running out of strengths. Far from it. And down to km20. Seeing the clock indicating 1:25:xx right when I pass it. This tired brain of mine is calculating quickly that running the last 1.1km in 5min would give right on 90minutes. I can better than that. Seeing the IF Linnea poney-tail gal probably seeing the same clock as she is accelerating as well. Passing people there. Always feel so good. Now Villa Belparc. And hearing not much from the crowd. Just focused on finishing this. Little slope at the end. 500m to go. Reaching the gravel part. 300M to go. Don’t know how I got into the stadium, but I am in it. Quick check on the watch and I should make it. Seeing Solviking Hanna passing me in her final sprint. I am fine with pushing slightly to get under 90 minutes. By 16 seconds. Mission accomplished!

Official time: 1:29:44

 

AFTER THE FINISH LINE

Got water sprayed on my face. Meeting Henrik S. More smiles from IF Linnéa group. Hugs to Lona and Stefan. Congratulating to great times. Walking slowly to the end. Got hug from Christian L from jogg. More smiling! Off with the stupid scrath-band with the chip. Which once again got me a nice burn mark on the ankle. Starting to feel again the pain from the fall at the start of the race. It was gone during the first 5km and felt a bit in the downhill from the first bridge…and remains throughout the race. Nothing stopping the running. But annoying enough to wonder what is going one. Getting my medal. Grabbing a banana and chocolate cookie. Glass of sport drink. Chat with Henrik S to get back to the tent. Crossing over the human wave. At the tent, meeting a large smile from Patrik B who ran in indecently 1:14 (!!!). My cheering squad has also reached the tent. Perfect. Off with the wet clothes. On with dry ones. A short massage. A hot-dog. And walk back home.

Weather: 12.8°, Feels like 12.8°, 14 kph S wind, 82% humidity – probably 12/13ºC at start. But at the arrival it felt much warmer. 15/16º? Windy on Hisingen side. Humidity? Definitely!

Food: chia seeds+soy milk+banana+orange juice+tea @9-ish/
water/powerade: 2dl every 30min (alternate)
During: 2dextrosol @km4 and 12
Right after: banana, 1 full glass of ISOstar. In the tent: 1 hot dog. Later dinner: chicken legs & curry potatoes in oven

=> should have drunk more water after the race

Gear: ADIDAS Supernova Blue line shorts, Casall Iconic black sports bra MIK, calve sleeves Compressports, super fast ADIDAS Adizero Adios boost Purple (Quicky).

15/ Effort-wise, it did not feel sky-high. Falling at start made the first 5-600m feeling like being in a parallel world with plenty of foolish people running away from something… Just hanging along! Up to the bridge was moderate effort, and then it just felt like drifting and reaching a nice steady marathon pace. Tough up the second bridge was probably to 16, but then down afterwards was all fine. For sure the climbing of the second bridge was not easy, but at the pace I was having, there was no real effort done. No pushing for going faster. Not really tired at the end. Not even by the sprint in the stadium (a bit unsure I even sprinted there… According to the watch the final stretch in the stadium was fast 🙂 ). Quite OK-race. Really disappointed that it did not go faster, but considering the bad start, it might have impacted on the rest of the race. No excuse here. Just trying to figure out how the first half of most of my latest marathons are always faster than this stupid race… OK. Sub90. Mission accomplished. Could definitely not say I pushed hard on this one. No need to run this race any more!

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A few “after-race thoughts”

 

NOTE: Still have to get this done sub90 on training. Any volunteer? 🙂

NOTE: weather conditions were not optimal, but not too bad. Should have stopped throwing water on my head after km10 as when reaching Aveny and km17/18 my shorts were heavy wet and that was not comfortable to run in!

NOTE: Official results… Hmmm… Placed 93 (total women) after the race. After a check at the results, found out at least 15 results which were run by a guy instead of a woman. Dropping my place to 78. Surely nice, but hey! Stop doing this. That ain’t fun. Run under your own name or change with a guy. OR do not run that fast and get in the Top 100. This means disqualification right away.

NOTE: Official results… Hmmm(2)… got into the categor D55 (women 55). Hey! Changing age the day after the race does not make me THAT old (yet)… Changed the day after (as the age category was apparently incorrect for many)

NOTE: a good training-race. Enjoying fully the sub90 of my own as well as the other fabulous subs from friends 🙂

NOTE: warmup? Felt quite ok actually. The jogg to the start and the few back&forth and accelerations were ok. For starting at a decent and almost race-pace.

NOTE: drinking & energy during the race? Well the drinking was inexistent. Mouth-rinsing worked better. Dextrosol were a bit overcourse actually. Could have run without.

NOTE: falling at the start was not a great experience. Have to work on this (i.e. not the falling, but the starting with crazy adrenaline/testosterone filled runners…).


Race Report – New York Marathon – 2015/11/01

After Finish Line

 

Planned: complete the course, have a body in one piece and happy at the end and throughout the run, heading for 90min first half and see how it goes to the end… (Ok, close to 3hrs would also be nice to have…)

Actual 3:06:10 🙂 4th Swedish female to cross the finish line, 86th place total women, 11th age category and 1194 out of 50,235 runners… A good 10K, a stable long middle with company and a wonderfully crazy last 2.2 miles. Not to forget neither a mega-cramp in the right calf after the finish line… Pretty satisfied with the outcomes of the race in the city that never sleeps! And not too bad for a 15th marathon!
Race Results:
place (M/W) 86
place (ag) 11
age/grade: 75,93% (2015 WMAC 74,99% / 2014 Chicago 75.97 / 2014 Stockholm 76.76 / Rotterdam 78.43 / 2014 Dubai 77.74 / 2013 Berlin 75.74/Stockholm:73.1/Boston:72.19/Dubai: 72.35/2012 Berlin:68.29/SF:65.66/London:66.47/Dubai:66.6)
time total (netto) 03:06:10
time total (brutto) 03:06:10
average pace: 4:25min/km

Official splits:

Split Net time (difference)
5K 21:23:00 (21:23)
10K 43:02:00 (21:39)
15K 01:04:46 (21:44)
20K 01:26:36 (21:50)
Half mara 01:31:28
25K 01:49:12 (22:36)
30K 02:11:16 (22:04)
35K 02:33:42 (22:26)
40K 02:56:37 (22:55)
Marathon 03:06:10 (09:33)

 

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M Day-1

Days prior to the race went quite easy and smooth. Travelled on Friday, picked up my BIB, stayed up so indecently late and slept great. Saturday arrived and up at 5am, waited till 7:30am to get through the door and head towards Central Park. Did a recognition run on the final stretch of the race in the park (from a bit before mile 24 to the finish line). Pretty chilly. Took pic. Back home and rest. Met Tricky and Patrik for lasagne & water party and then more rest at home. Fixed my singlet with my name on it and started to count the hours and minutes left to the start… In bed around 8:45pm, sleeping probably around 10pm. All fine…and excited!

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Before the race
Awaken 1:45am… without alarm. Stared at the clock to see it moving to 2:00am and then back to 1:00am (NY was changing to winter time this weekend…how convenient to have a great race the day after!) but nothing happened. Checked the clock in the kitchen and it indicated 3:xxam. Time change had happened. Back to half-sleeping. Up then at 4:10am – drink a glass of Gatorade, shower, fix the hair, on with the race gear as well as extra layers of clothes and got a text from Christer as he had had an issue with his watch… Left the apartment at 5am, counting on good 8-9minutes to the subway station and it took…1:30minute… not even running… Met a few runners in the subway, including two Swedes. Waited and took the next subway when Christer met me at the station. A bit of chat.

5:50am – chia porridge done with Gatorade (!) eaten in the subway.

6:10am – water + off the tube at Wall st station and start walking towards… Ooooh thanks, this way. I was expecting a wave of runners and to follow them to the ferry, but nope. Feeling like in Chicago, darkness in the skies slightly disappearing, people coming from one street after another and joining the flow towards Staten Island Whitehall terminal. I had the 6:15 ferry and Christer the 6:30. No issue to get into the hall, move discreetly towards the doors and then happily hearing the “time to open the door”-message and feel the human wave heading to the ferry. All set then!

Sitting on the left side of the ferry, quiet and nice. Most runners look like they have been sleeping outside, wearing plastic bags, pyjamas or other interesting outfit.

6:40am – Gatorade. Definitely needing to go to the loo, but skipping it at the terminal, despite the recommendation of Christer. Nope, I want to get in the bus and to the start. Long queue to the bus and what are the odds…meeting Staffan D from jog a few people ahead of us in the line. We get in the same bus 🙂 He looks good and smiling. All fine then. Not like me, who is really regretting the last decision to have skipped the porta potty outside the ferry hall. Really needy then. Happily getting out of this bus after a ride than was…hummmm…50 minutes long, right?!?!? Nope, probably way shorter, but the first thing I want to do is find a queue to the loo. Too much drinking! Checking of the runners by the police went smoothly. Arriving in the villages, first queue aaaaaand..much nicer and I can be social and smiling again 🙂 Heading with Christer to the Green Village. Seeing a bridge in front of us and asking whether this was the one we were starting on. Positive answer from Christer. Really? But I thought it would be way more inclined as per all scary descriptions I read. It felt actually pretty good to have seen it, passed under it and then be in the Green village. Nothing scary at all. That will do!

7:50am – final drink. Meeting of all runners, Tricky. Who is in the same corral as Christer. I let them have their breakfast. We take a few pic. My two layers of clothes are very warm. Good to have taken old garden pillows for sitting. I love asphalt for running, but sitting on it ain’t that comfortable. Massage of the legs with chilly cream. It ain’t cold for running, but not that fun to just sit. But was definitely expecting WAY colder weather. Attaching my paceband around my wrist. Feeling good. Smiling 🙂

8:25am (kind of) – Then seriously, when the speaker indicates for the 5th time that the corrals are opened, I just want one thing: go there and wait. Tricky and Christer are looking pretty cool and calm, when I feel that the blood inside is just starting boiling… They kindly follow my hasty pace to the corral. Passing lots of runners sitting on the grass there. Final hugs and good luck aaaaand I get into my bubble A (sorry, meaning “corral A”). Quick check and once again, it feels that I am completely misplaced, seeing only male runners of the fast kind. Walking towards the front. One more visit to the loo. Off with the training gear – first layer. Pretty cold actually. And sitting on the asphalt is not helping (had thrown the pillows before the corral entry). Seeing at last a couple of chicks coming. Once again, they LOOK so d*mn fast alreay. Even when they stand freezing! Got a “Nice nails” from a Swedish runner 🙂

9:10am – Hearing the departure of the wheelchairs runners. Seeing the local competition runners passing in front of us and heading towards the start. Off with the additional easy pants. Cool with a nice outfit, but hotpants ain’t feeling that hot in this morning weather.

09:20am – Hearing the start of the elite women. Thinking that it would be great with a giant screen and see them 🙂

9:30am (or so) – finally we are allowed to get out of our corral. Walking carefully on the grass and throwing my final jacket to the last charity station. Should have kept it longer of have a plastic bag on me. Jogging lightly to the start (I think…just following all other runners towards…the underbridge)

9:45am – OMG! This is it. The bridge is there on the right side. Meeting an older man who is running his 36th NY marathon…respect! Listening to a gal completely excited talking about how every single part of the course should be taken, that she ran 2 years ago the race of her life here and count on renewing it this year. Another fancy pic and smile. And then…I notice that the start line is…right there! 3 meters or less in front of me. Really? Take some anti-chaffing cream from a guy so my thighs won’t be burning (eventually…). Putting my two final gels in my sport bra. Not practical, but there is no other place. Did not want to tape on me…

9:47am – checking once more my Garmin (which had been charging all night and still showed nasty 3 out of 4 on the battery…and the race has not started yet…). Listening to the announcement of the elite men participating. Coool! Wait…where are they? Ooooh on the top floor. OK. Listening to NY mayor making his speech. He wants us to make some noise or he won’t start the race. He explaint the rules “I’ll stay “ready”, you’ll hear a big noise, and you start at this big noise. But I won’t start this race until you make some noise…”. Runners have been warming up back and forth under the bridge. Could be an alternative, but I want to keep my spot. I have anyway 24miles to warm up… Clothes are thrown away a bit everywhere now.

9:50am – Is he still talking? We are all packed as 30 in one square meter by now! The police cars on the bridge have not moved. They should move now. Why aren’t they moving? Someone! Tell them to move! It feels great. It feels cold. No, warm. Feels ready. No, I need a few more months. Smiles are fading and all the racing masks are on (and yapp, that looks a bit scary sometimes).

Aaaaaaand…

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THE RACE
First Half

09:51am – Hear the “Ready?”, but seriously not the “noise-indicating-the-start”. But all runners are now moving. Hoping this won’t count as a fake start!!! How do you re-start a marathon race with 50,000 runners?!?!? Police cars have moved finally. And the race is on. As usual, everybody seems to pass me after start. Don’t care, there is lots of place on this bridge. LET.THEM.GO is what I hear during the first minutes of running. And this will come again on a regular basis. Perfect motivator! Looking on the left a bit, grey skies, but ok to run. This is the toughest part. I had divided the route into four main challenges: the first bridge (Verrazano…I never remember the name), Queensboro bridge, the little Bronx bridge and stretch to Central Park entry. The armband I have indicate I should pass the first mile in 7:40. Faster than that and it is going to be paying the price later in the course. It feels good and the brain is still awaken. Cannot figure out what pace in min/km it should be but assume that around 5-tempo should be acceptable (and correct). Passing the first mile slightly faster than expected (around 7:14?) which is stupidly too fast. But the first km is set about 5min-tempo, so I continue. Aiming for 90minutes by the first halfway mark. Yeaahhh. Let’s go for this. Then the legs feels it is starting to go down a bit. Hold on…where is the bridge exactly? The scary elevation that is described everywhere? Where.is.it?!?! A bit annoyed but concerned as well, I reach the end of the bridge and down the slope, without really having RUN the bridge. I was expecting a Golden Gate bridge uphill, a Västerbro inclination, a Heartbreak hill slope…all being ready to kill legs and motivation from the start…disappointed actually… And it is now light again. We pass under the Blue (and orange?) wave who ran on the top bridge. Arm sleeves are flying there… I keep mine. Have run with my neckwarmer on the nose throughout the “bridge” as it felt a bit cold for breathing. Out there, the light and the pace makes it nicer to breathe. Oooops…stop thinking here it is downhill but can see the runners running a slope towards mile 2. Focus focus and focus… OK, strategy will be to keep the extra clothes (neckwarmer, arm sleeves and gloves) until km10…or 5. Just don’t get cold. Passing the second km under 4min-tempo. Hummm… is that correct? Checking my armband and while passing mile 2, I am a minute ahead of schedule. Either this means I feel good and the form is great and it will end brilliantly OR it means I am too euphoric, have burnt unnecessarily energy in those two stupid first miles and I will pay the price later on. I choose to listen to the first alternative. Good good good, just running. Don’t feel much then. Don’t think much neither. The legs are in command. A bit warm with the arm sleeves. And the left one is falling a bit. Have to lift it several times. Hearing km4 on my watch and checking my yellow/blue armband and I am right on track. 30sec ahead of schedule. All fine. Changing my final gels from front to my back, still in the sport bra, but at least in the back they are not moving (and I should avoid burn marks…). We turn left then, empty street and see the other blue and orange wave runners in front of us. Turn right and we are now after mile 3 I guess (could not see it) and we are now all on the same path. Cool. There is a long stretch then after that. Still keeping my 30sec advance when passing the clock at km5. Good good. Still feeling good. No water at the first station. Run run run. Not much really sticks out there. I follow the blue line. Really want to high-five, but this would mean loosing on those 30sec and I seriously will need then at a moment or another. Or if someone could just come and high-five to me here. At the blue line. No? nobody? (surely I should have taken some sugar before start. The thoughts are flying around a bit too early!). Have thrown my gloves already around km5. Too warm. Of course a bit of wind arrive then and give me some chill… The neckwarmer feels too warm as well. Off with it and it flies away a km later. A bit of high-five as well (you cannot just do ONE, and if you drop the blue line for the outskirt and high-five session, it is as good to do a good session of high-fives!). Already in the first turn towards mile 3 I have heard my name. And a couple of “go on Sweden, looking good”. Brilliant to have the name on the singlet! Taking water at mile 4 & 5. Not much in the mugs L run run and more run. Under an railway (?) bridge around mile 4 (I think) – déjà-vu feeling from Berlin 🙂 Mile 6 and it is time for Gatorade. Not enough. Should have taken 3 mugs probably… Running along. Got passed by the guys of 3:00. Really? So early in the race? I could hold them for half the race in Stockholm the first year and up to km30 the second year… But remember that the pace teams are running even pace, and not “pace-adapted-to-the-NY-route”. OK, let them go then. LET.THEM.GO…No need to shout. I am good on my schedule and still having some time ahead of schedule. 40sec head at km10. Good. Still good. This long stretch up to km15 was easy but slightly uphill says my memory from reading Henrik’s advice. Should be having cruising marathon pace here. Hummm… ok. Probably ok I guess. A bit above, a bit under. Should do a good average. Have thrown my arm sleeves by now. A real experience to take those off without breaking my pace armbands and after race poncho wristband on the right arm and then…taking off the watch, taking of the arm sleeve, in in the sport bra, put back the watch, take off the arm sleeves, fold them into a ball and wait for throwing them and not hurt anybody… Mile 6 – time for first gel – antioxidant pomme verte. Not the taste my mouth appreciate, but get it down and happily take a water mug at mile 7. Not needed as the gel is liquid, but it is more for rinsing the mouth… Hmmm ok then, where is this Queensboro bridge? Not going fast enough. But the clocks indicate still that I have 30sec advance compared to 90min-to halfway-pace. A bit blurry memory of the way to 25K. It feels I am on rails and just run run and run. There are those two blond gals with long pony-tails running in front of me. Their hair is just jumping all over. And they run funnily easy and light. One is even telling something to her friend and then…she turn back for looking…back again…and back again…and finally she slows down and stop by a guy on my right for chatting a bit. Not polite to listen to other conversations, but cannot help it. They are apparently both from the same village or community in Australia (?). And when the chat is finished, she hurries back and easy to her friend. Jumping light and easy forward J Another gel taken at km12. With a little water this time J Focusing on a large building ahead of us. Was it this one that we had to look for in Boston indicating that we were soon finishing? Really? Please, make it being the same building. Getting closer and closer, does not help…especially not when passing by it and then…just continuing the run… Next clue to the end? Please? Someone? Km15 the left knee is screaming a little. Not enough for being concerned or stop. But enough to raise a little defcon light in the brain. After this, the strategy is changed slightly. Caught up by a gal who seems to have a good stride and pace, I decide to hang on with her. This was the tactic during WMAC-marathon: first 5K of the loop to be run alone, second 5K of the loop to find someone to hang with to catch up some pace. Now I have done 1,5 loop and it is high-time to find someone to run with me until km20 🙂 Trying to get water at almost every mile-water station, but miss one at mile11. The gal I run with turns to me and hold her mug “you want water?”. So extremely kind! “No thanks” I hear myself answering. And she throw the mug. Stupid move from me. Should have definitely grab this mug! A few turns right and left. Going very smooth. Nothing special. I kept myself close to the blue line again and to the gal. She is good to follow. My brain is just set on cruise control and the legs follow her steps. Either on the right or on the left. Taking Gatorade at mile 12. I read the names of the streets, but the only ones I recall from the route is “1st avenue” and “5th avenue”…and those ones I know are at the end… But the reading is occupying the mind. Sub90 for halfway is not longer in reach. And then we pass mile 13…already? But where is the halfway…Over there? On the way UP to this stupid little bridge-without-name? Who did that? Nobody mentioned that the halfway point was on the way up! Can see runners walking UP to the time mat. Not a chance I am doing this. I.am.going.to.run.this.d*amn.bridge. Clock on it shows 1:31:xx. OK then. 1min or so late compared to 3:00-race. Well, hold on…I should actually have passed here around 1:30:22 according to my red/white mile wristband. Exactly one minute late. Not the end of the world. If only there was not this stupid slope up this stupid-bridge-without-a-name…

The second half

Because everything until this point has been a warmup. Now the race start. Half a marathon to go J Talking to the gal, telling “One half done, one half to go”. Got a smile tainted with ache back. Let’s continue. Down the bridge (a bit hard bridge, which I stupidly took on the top of the toes. Just to see how it felt…yeaahhhh if that work during training, that could be also fun during race..right?). Quick check on my red/white band to see whether I should take a gel at mile 14…and yes…I should…the only problem is that I have only ONE gel left in the back pocket of my hotpants and not two as my armband planning indicate… What happened?!?! Oooooh I apparently mixed mile and km and took the second gel at km12 instead of mile 12. And of course no Gatorade inbetween to compensate. Let’s be crazy 😛 Gel it is at mile 14 then. Back pocket empty. Hoping that my Metrocard and the 20$ bill are still there… Now I feel light and free….smiling and enjoying. Talking a few words from time to time with my running-buddy. But mostly quiet. What’s next?… Oooooh thank you, man! Queensboro bridge ahead. Cannot see it, BUT a very kind man indicates at the water station of mile 15 (?) “this is the last one before Queensboro bridge, ramp up now, don’t slow down, few more turns and you are there”. Thankful, but at the same time not. This is my second challenge of the race (well, probably the third one as I have added the stupid-little-bridge-without-name of halfway on my black list…). OK, let’s keep calm. Easy peasy. Cannot be THAT tough. Tuuuuuuurning left and here we go. Nice Chicago feeling again. Apart from the fact that here the wind is blowing crazily from the side. What is the tactic again for such wind? With the gal running with me, we kind-of try to protect each other, but it ain’t working so well. I feel I am dropping in pace. I look at the clock at mid-bridge or so. No idea how fast (or more likely slow) I am. Focusing on the wind. My running buddy is stronger than me here and increase the pace (or she just maintain it, while I am dropping mine…). Swedish guy passing by. Again. Have seen him a couple of time since the start. I pass him, he passes us, I pass him again…aso. OK, this time he passes us. This bridge is killing me. Literally. Boring. Want it to stop. Should have checked before how long it was. Probably 15km long…it seems like it! Focus focus focus. D*mn cross wind. Stop this right now. IT.AIN’T.FUNNY! On the other side, every runner seem to struggle here as well. At least I am not alone in this. Not much of a comfort thought, but for this moment the mind is satisfied. Kind of. And then the noise starts. Can see that we catch up and this is the downhill and the –finally!- end of this bridge. I catch up with some runners that passed me on the uphill of the bridge (not THAT much of uphill, but of “I-cannot-really-see-that-it-is-going-up” kind of elevation… those killer ones…either you hate them, either…well, you just hate them!). My running buddy is now 30-40m ahead and turns before me. Mile 16 and turn left. Almost falling on a runner stopping abruptly due to apparently a very painful cramp. Little noise indeed and this is so cool to hear there “Less than half-way left”, “go Sweden go”. Even give some smile there. One more turn left…and.this.is.it…FIRST AVENUE… Yooooohoooo! First street name I can remember! Crazy crowd all around. A bit boring that the avenue is SO large that the spectators are pretty far from us (I mean…”from the blue line”). Have caught up with my running friend. Getting some greetings from a few Swedes (which I assume are here for Staffan as they have a sign with his name…). Cooool! Mega cool! Really. It just feels like it is almost finish. I count the streets in my head. 63rd st. 64th st. 65th st…. OK…how many were they ultimately? 1,000? I cannot even see the END of this bloody avenue! It is going straight until we probably fall on this end of the Earth (if it was flat). Wow! I need sugar!!! OK, start to calculate that in Central park we have approximately 4km left. And now we have reached…huuuuummmmm 26km, meaning the “upp to 1st Avenue + Bronx + down 5th Avenue” would be… Hummmmm 12km!!! NOTHING! Let’s make it 6K to the Bronx and 6K back, shall we? Telling my running friend that we are 12km from Central Park as we are taking a detour via the Bronx 😛 She smiles 🙂 Leeeeet’s do this. She is just great, following the blue line, where every runner (or most of them) is keeping the left side of 1st Avenue, we look like two lost chicks running in the middle of nowhere…the blue line is.just.for.us! Ok…now the 1st Avenue should be finished. There really cannot be 1,000 street to the end… the Bronx should be seen, right? How? Where? Have been thinking almost all the 1st Avenue about it being downhill…where? Where was is actually starting going downhill. Someone have been mistakenly telling that and everybody believed it. I WANT a downhill. A real one. Km 29 is past… this is the end…I can feel it…Remembering having run there in 2012 with Tricky and Patrik when we were denied the start of NY marathon due to the storm. I hear the music singing just for me ….”Want you to make me feel…Like I’m the only girl in the wooooorld… Like I’m the only one that you’ll ever looooove….Ooooonly girl in the wooorld”… Woooow so crazy nice. And yes. This requires some singing. Got a strange look from a gal passing me, don’t care. This song was just.for.me! km30…sooooooon…and sooooo happy to see this bridge-without-name-but-it-does-not-matter-because-it-is-the-last-one. Sooooo Happy to be there. A Swedish chick is running ahead of us. Cannot really recognize her, but does not matter. She’ll get some cheering. Passing her and that is Lona 🙂 We’ll have to stop meeting this way. Copenhagen, Stockholm half-mara and other races… “How’s it doing?” “good and you” “fine, you look good” “Yeaaaah…won’t be sub3 today, right?” “no, but we have only 12km left!” and off on the bridge. I like this bridge! Last one. (something in the mind tells me it is not correct. Because if we run above the water to go to the Bronx, we should be running above the water for getting back to Manhattan: Who cares? I am not listening to myself any longer! I am not looking at the watch any longer! I just want to get to Central Park and start the race!). Run run and more run. Cannot do anything else but counting down the number of km left to Central Park. This is the only activity that the brain authorised itself to do. On the top of not falling in the abrupt curves on this part of the course. Why on earth are they putting such turns? Isn’t it enough with 42,2km of pain? I mean “fun”?. Whatever. Getting to the final bridge (I knew there would be another final one!). Taken easily and –probably just in my head- accelerating there. It has to stop somewhere. I am happy, it is 10km to the end, 6km to Central Park and I am still smiling! Have missed several water stations during this second half, got some from my running buddy, but expect that there will be a price to pay for this as well…stupid mugs…Turn left aaaaaand Manhattan again and finally! More cheering. More applaudes. This is the stupid final stretch to mile 24… Just get along with it. Cannot see that we ARE in 5th Avenue. Just seeing streets name. 135th, 134th, 133rd… how many are they before Central Park entry? WHY did I not check this!?!? Are we getting back aaaaaaall the way down to the start of the Avenue??? Noooo, they would have told me… Run more run. I don’t understand the few turns right/left/right-whatever…we should be on the straight line of 5th Avenue. Are we taking a detour? 5km to Central Park. This is just what I needed. And it is straight forward. 1st Avenue and its so-called “downhill” is matched with 5th Avenue and its so-called “uphill”. Cannot really feel it. Adrenaline is just pumping through the veins. Not even sure there is blood there anymore. It is just to get along with all of it. “How are you” asked my running friend. “All fine. Still smiling. Well, trying to smile. And yaa?” “All fine”: Turning to look at her and she definitely look in better shape than the way I feel! Does not matter. I have not run that long to start complaining. Or was I complaining all the way? No. Only commenting. Stooooop talking in my head! Focus! We are passed by the 3:05-pacesetter with his little flag…and TWO guys hanging with him. No massive group as there usually is. “Shall we follow them?” she asked. “Nope, I won’t” is my answer. Let the testosterone win this one. We look good and we are great 🙂 OK, now we should have arrived in Central Park. Passing the last water station before the park and seeing a Swedish singlet. This is Staffan. He looks a bit in pain and walking and drinking. Come on, I try to shout. Only 2miles left. And we continue. Having skipped the running on the concrete on the roads where there were the bus stops (like it would make a difference…) but on 5th Avenue, the brain tells “Screw the asphalt, run on the concrete, this is the shortest way to the end” and the legs just follow… “Come on ladies, soon finish” and there it appears, the final turn to Central Park. THE part I know, I have run this one. I know where it hurts, I know where it hurts less, I know we are 500m to mile 24. Coooooooome on! Taking out my little sock with my two gels. Getting one at mile 24….ok…mile 24….should be there….in a minute…or two…how MANY turns was it before mile 24 exactly?!?!? And here it comes. Hearing music all around (I know there were no music there…) I take my yellow gel. My running friend stop to take water. I continue. This one is for me. 500m and you will be closer to the finish line. Downhill. You like downhill. You run carefully on downhill. You happily pass people on downhill. Caught up by my running friend. “Final stretch” I shout to her. And here comes another gal in pink on my left side. Nooooooo don’t let her pass us! Not here! Not now! Ok, it’s probably gonna hurt and that is probably end badly, but she ain’t passing me. I feel my running body is behind me now, not really hanging to the tempo (which probably is rubbishy slow, but who cares? This is MY rubbishy-slow-pace-to-the-finish-line). Km39 on the clock and I take my final red gel. Disgusting eucalyptus taste. Wake up all the senses. Downhill and Swedish cheering squad on the left. I hallucinate. I saw a guy from RW cheering there. I turn back…and nope…he actually IS here…with a bunch of other Swedes. SOOOOO proudly wearing the blue/yellow colours today. Now it is time to finish this. Passing one Swede. Yooooohoooo! Passing one guy there. Next one…and next one… The gal in pink is still coming back, I can feel her running slightly behind me. I just do not want her to pass me. Turning to the right and to what I thought the day before was the “final stretch”. Looooong street under Central Park. More “Heja Sverige”, “Come on girl, beat them all”. I am on cloud 7…or 9… have stopped counting since I entered the Park. I even take the time to make some wave with the arms. The pink girl is doing the same. We look at each other and smile. We are just SOOOOOO extremely high. 100% adrenaline. Nothing else. This guy without shoe is passing us…nooooo…not someone passing me… and turning at Columbus circle or whatever it is called. I want to run into the park…soooo badly. I want to see this 26miile sign. I want to feel the blood pounding in the veins and Gosh! This is actually SO crazily nice feeling….more shouting, more screaming on the side…spotting a Norwegian lady 60m ahead of me. Not a chance. Hearing the cheering similar to RIL from Olivier saying I am stronger than her and that there is less than 400m left. Focus focus and focus. No more sexy running (if there ever be any during the race…) just.have.to.pass.her….aaaand DONE…still 150m to the finish line. What is the time? 1:xx:xx… what does it means. So confusing with four clocks above the finish line. Mine is the outer left one and indicate 3:05:5x… too late… just run. Pass whoever you can…just do-no-stop…. And that was it. Finish line. 3:06:10. I am happy! VERY HAPPY!

Official time received later: 3:06:10 (Garmin shows 6 seconds more 🙂).

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After the finish line

Time does matter J But after crossing the finish line, it just felt like an relief from all the tensions or whatever it may have been from the race. Took a few steps, looking more like a drunk person than a runner. Or just looking like a runner that just finish a marathon… Breathing was a bit heavy, but ok. Got my medal. So nice. Just wanted to faint in the arms of whoever would agree to cath me J Remained a bit for congratulating my running buddy. Got the pink girl to congrat me as well. She could not follow the sprint I did at the end (slow sprint, but who cares really!). Got lots of smiles from guys I had apparently passed for the last mile. A bit struck I could make it this pace to the end.

THEN… when going under the clocks bridge and feel an explosion in my right calf. Not being able to walk. Got helped by a lady in red jacket. She insisted in bringing me to the medic tent. Not a chance I would sit on a wheelchair and stubbornly walked to the tent. There I got the “fast lane”. Massage of the cramped calf, ice on it. Got two small salt packages to eat (Blääää….) and Gatorade to drink. I insisted in telling them I had not drunk enough but they wanted me to know it was too much drinking making this situation. Nope. Not a chance. I was there and I know that I stupidly did not drink enough. Got an ice pack on the knee while he still massage the painful calf. Got my blood pressure taken. Twice. The doc was called as it was extremely low. “Is it that low normally?” “Well, low, yes, but not THAT low” “She is NOT going anywhere”-I heard the doc telling the helping lady in red. Cramp in the right thigh, but surely could leave with this one, if only the left calf would STOP cramping. Tried to stand and nope. Still cramping. Helped by another lady in red. More massage. A bit of shouting as well. Would rather have lay down than sitting on a chair. 30 minutes later, new blood pressure measurement. “OK, now it is low. She can be discharged”. Well, it was no longer extremely low, only low (and still lower than normal…). Ice pack on the left knee and left calf. I felt the most sexy girl in the world with the nicest and smoothest walking style EVER! Discharged and got to walk back home. Got my poncho and got out in 74th street. Just had to walk back home. Drank the recovery drink (could have had three like that!), ate the apple.

Well back home, pic with the medal 🙂 ice bath for 10 minutes, hot shower after that. Then rested with the legs and feet up against the wall during probably 45 minutes. Tired, frozen, hungry. Sms to Tricky & Patrik as well as Christer for meeting up. Met a runny friend of my tenant (he had run in 5+hrs and was looking good still and happy). My two “NY-2012-did-not-happen” buddies joined me to a celebrating dinner. 15th marathon – worth to celebrate! (no champagne, we keep that for sub3 :-P) Back home, eating a bit more gummy bear, and time for bed.

WHAT.A.DAY.in the city that never sleeps!!!

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Weather: 15ºC, Feels like 15ºC, 26 km/h SW wind, Humidity 67% – Perfect at start, windy in the middle, perfect at the end. No complaining. Great weather for running!

Food:
> before: chia porridge with banana, with Gatorade (5:50am)

> right after: apple+Gatorade+recovery drink

> 2.5 hours after: Veal + potatoes + spinach + 2 coke

> During: overstims gel @mile 9 & km12, mile 14 and yellow+red @mile 24 (at the water stations). Gatorade at mile 6 and thereafter I lost the control when I took some L. Water : now and then, but definitely not enough

Gear: SWE outfit (hotpants & singlet), sunglasses, arm sleeves black, SOC windgloves, neckwarmer blue, shoes were just brilliant. LOOOOOVING them! Comfortable, light, easy to run in, just forgetting having them on!

=> perfect outfit for today and the weather. Still issues as 1) backpocket sewed worked fine, but not easy to take in/out at this pace and 2) burn mark on the stomach/lower back due to some seam of the hotpants. I thought this was fixed. Might run WITHOUT hotpants next time 😛

14/ Definitely effort on this one, but comparing to most of the marathons this had not raised to a 15. Some parts were “tougher” than others, but the change of strategy at km15 made the whole race way more as a fast long run than a race. Can hardly set a 15-effort on the final 2.2 miles. Impossible to measure the effort there as the adrenaline or whatever it was was so extremely high that it felt effortless. The mind had only this much focus on the finish line that the body just had to follow.

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SUMMARY: Brilliant day. Nice race. Well-completed. A bit annoyed with the calf issue and not able to explain it as I can hardly remember when was the last time I had a cramp during training and never during race (yes, feeling that a cramp is coming, sure. But no cramp). The route was not easy, but not as tough as most would describe it. Even tempo and effort throughout the race is definitely not the way to go. That was good to try this. Having the armband with pace in min/mile and min/km were very helpful. First race I consider running only checking the mile marks. But changed at the last minute. Good to have changed strategy at km15 and definitely a huge plus to have had a running buddy almost throughout the race. Not explaining the 7min run at km15. Did it really take SEVEN minutes to run the Queensboro bridge? Because in that case, this is definitely THERE some time was lost! Great support from the crowd, having the name on the singlet was definitely a winner (and made me feel like one 🙂 ) Running in the Swedish outfit was also a winning combination. Not just because there were a lot of Swedes on the race and in the crowd, but for all others cheering that could just cheer for Sweden. Happy with the body holding so well throughout the race (this was definitely a “mind-do-all-the-work” race, as there were parts where the body would have gladly rested or slowed down a bit, but that the mind did not let happen). Not too satisfied neither with the drinking. Real stupid to screw the whole plan by not drinking sufficiently. Not liking the mugs and will never do.

All the sweat and any possible annoyance during those 42.2km are SO forgotten when reaching the final stretch to the finish line. Addicted to those finish lines? Definitely!

 

(Lots of thanks for support and cheering during the preparation weeks. A bit tricky with sick children at home during final week as well as extra pressure at work, but stress just disappeared when switching off the laptop and packing all the stuff for travelling. Deception from not running in 2012 is still there, but now NY is ticked off the list. Great race to run. My heart still goes for London and Chicago however. Many thanks as well for the encouragements and the cheering before and after the race. Sub3 ain’t all in life. Finishing is so much that it can hardly be described. Have to be experienced. Thanks for all the Swedes out there cheering along the course, for all other people shouting as well. Special thanks for my running buddy without who I believe the race would have ended differently 🙂 Thanks to my little ones and their understanding of “food experimentation before the race” (and yes, “carbs rules!”), carb depletion for longer than usual made a difference, more to try 🙂 And of course a huge thanks for the hugs and cheering from my Swedish running friends that shared this race (as well as before and after race). Back to the cold Sweden and its grey skies. A bit of rest and already planning for new adventures… THANKS!

Finish Line

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A few “after-race thoughts”

NOTE: Body was all fine throughout the race. The left knee “felt” a bit after 15km, but I could have ignored it probably. Issue with the calf is either linked to the lack of water/liquid drinking during the race OR the running on concrete (really?) or both or neither of them. Any suggestion?

NOTE: warmup? Not even in my wildest dream. Sitting and freezing for a while before this huge race ain’t the best. I could have chosen to warm up with strides like some did under the bridge, right before the start. Well-noted. The body had anyway 24 miles to warmup and it definitely delivered at the end!

NOTE: Energy/refuelling during the race? All was so nicely planned. Had it written on my wristband. And THEN did not follow at all. Tactic to refine definitely. But otherwise the gels were well accepted (thanks Oliver A for the tips :-)) and the final two at the end of the race are real energy-booster! Skipped the dextrosol during km21-32 as usually do. Worked fine, but should have been replaced by Gatorade drinking.

NOTE: Beetroot loading? Hmmm…tested this time with pills. Taken from Sunday before the race up to race day. Not feeling a single difference. Endurance is there. Just have to work on the speed now and this is not gonna help. More intervals to the people! 🙂

NOTE: gels in the sport-bra, on the back? WORKING! Definitely not the easiest, but it is fine to carry, cannot be felt, not moving around, no burn mark. All fine!

NOTE: gels in the back pocket of the hotpants? To be refined. But it worked.

NOTE: NY marathon? Definitely fun enough to be recommended! Although once again, this is an experience for life but Chicago and London are greater than this. Yes yes…they are. 🙂

NOTE: the last one… Had heard so much about the feeling when the start is given and hearing “New York New York” from Sinatra in the loudspeakers… well, I must have been off at the start, because I did not hear.a.thing… Just the mayor, his joke, the start shot and then the pounding of feet on the bridge asphalt.

 


The stars, the soon-to-disappear Moon, the nightly skies, the sun rise…and me

4 hours of sleep ain’t optimal…I know… But at least had lots done before going to bed (late) and going up (too) early. The clock was supposed to wake me up at 6:30am, but the mind woke up slightly before 5am. And nope…was not well-rested. But definitely not possible to fall asleep again.

What was on the menu for today? 13km easy. Not a chance I do that with the form I felt. Will do one of the 8-10km morning runs instead…if I make it to 8km I thought. 7ºC outside, freezing just thinking of it, I opted for long tights and wind shield again. And on the top… a bonnet! Skipped the gloves though. Out, it felt chilly but nice. Off I went and the legs did not turn right as usual but left. OK, then. And what else? Not the harbours? nope. Took the dark alley instead. Good to have bikes now and then. Don’t feel too lonely. Easy peasy pace, reached the bridge without really noticing how and hop! I was the 54th bike (?) to pass over the bridge. Turn back and headed to the city. So nice to be on the bridge when the sun is showing itself shy and bright. OK, the body felt quite fine now. The 8km will be done but if heading home, I will cut the run to 9km and this does not “sound” good. So a little detour would be nice. Took the 14 to 19th km of Göteborgsvarvet and the legs seriously did not want to stop then. Felt really nice, but the stomach started to tell it was hungry (not often happening during a run btw). So turned back instead of pushing the run to 15km+ and nicely aimed back home. 13km. Job is done. Shared with an almost disappeared moon, only a few stars and the nice sun rise.

Quick breakfast, long warm shower and off to work. Good to have had a very painful massage yesterday (I start suspecting he does that on purpose!). The body feels good today. Will see if the 8-10km morning run can be turned into a 8-10km afternoon run instead 😉

Keep on running and great day to you! 🙂


Two weeks in one post…HOW will this work?… (still no laptop-week…)

OK, has been a bit quiet here, but seriously. Having no laptop does not make life easier. So let’s try to make a quick summary of all the good and bad things that happened during these last two weeks.

Week 04082014-10082014…

Back to vacations 🙂 Quite nice and enjoyable. Monday got its share of training with double run – easy morning recovery run (from the heavy long run the day before) and then in the evening I joined the Urban Tribes for a “Pace” workout. Easy warmup, 4km @5min/km and then back home. Probably should have skipped one of the runs…or both of them. Was pretty tired already in the morning and by bedtime it was tricky to get contact with me…SO tired I was! (not that much the head, but the whole body was out of energy really).

Therefore it was a well-deserved rest (Tues)day which followed. Check for the knee at the physiotherapist. All looking fine (well, at least not worse than before)., Rehab to continue every day or every second day (being stubborn and well-decided to get this knee back into place, I chose the first option…). Nothing but resting for this day, including a thai massage which was far from enjoyable, but afterwards it felt the body really needed this.

Wednesday arrived and it was time for intervals. Actually a bit odd-feeling as generally interval-day is Tuesday and/or Thursday. But other plans for those two days so as good to turn this Wednesday into what it was not! Fast 5min and then extra fast 1min – not that I am used to this! Really stable series and a crazy fast minute as well: Really pleased with the session…which made me exhausted to the bones…for the rest of the day! Took a lot of extra strength to even go for a walk in the afternoon and try to enjoy the little sun… late in bed…

…which made going up on Thursday even more difficult. THIS is the challenge of those days. You have a fixed time to follow and have to arrange the rest of the day all around it. Sounds like a military bootcamp, but nope. A nice outing in the islands to meet with friends and hopefully the sun as well. How to make this work with the training programme? The 5 o’clock ring signal did not last long… and the snooze button got tired as well… until the brain decided to call it the day and told the body to get ready for core and rehab. That would do for the day. Then breakfast, bicycling to the ferry. Quite snack waiting for the ferry (and noting duly… that I forgot to eat my own breakfast… great! one of those days….). And then we spent a nice day under the sun, with bath in the sea (not me), bicycling, checking the island viewpoints with a very accommodating host & kids 🙂 The tricky part to get back home (i.e. ferry and bike home) went actually pretty well…but all were dead tired when opening the home door and it was pretty much time for bed (even if early and on vacation…). A nice day on Earth!

Which made the Friday not starting too early. And nothing was working really for getting out and running. The “running is easy…only to jump into your shoes and hit the pavement” was definitely not the way it worked on Friday. Did my rehab and then nicely prepared myself to the second interval workout of the week. But something did not want me to start this workout. While waiting for my Garmin to find the satellites I was doing some eccentric heel raises and checking the workout on the watch…Surpriiiiiiiiise! NOT THERE. Back home and starting up the computer again, took forever so decided to enter the workout manually. All good. Back to the street waiting for the satellites and then the mp3 music died in my ears… Brilliant! back home for charging the battery enough for the workout. Prepared the lunch in the meantime and then time to go….reaching the street and noticing I forgot my water bottle…REAAAAAALLLLLY?!?!?!? OK, it was by then noon when I was planning to run at 10 o’clock… No need to say that the weather did not make me a favor… It had become way warmer/sunnier that I had thought. On the top of it I even felt hungry as I had eaten early for the workout of…TEN O’CLOCK! The energy levels were definitely not on the top. Still did warmup and stretched before a crazy workout. This was now time intervals and if the first serie went fine, I always think that it is anyway slow because the body need to acclimate to the training. The second serie went not too good and the lack of water + the heavy sun did not help really. I thought I’ll redeemed myself with the final serie… Third serie was even more rubbish than the second one…Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh! Time for final serie, this will be fine…all will be fine… Starting with a 3min interval slow like ….well, slow! NOOOOOOOO!!! this is NOT the way intervals work. Started the second interval of the final serie and this thing called “DIG DEEP, YOU STILL HAVE STRENGTH HIDDEN SOMEWHERE”, well, it just happened. By half of the interval the watch had been shouting enough to remind me how slow I was and this made me not too happy so, being the last one of its kind, as good to get all out for this interval…which actually worked!!! Second best interval among all four series…Time for the final one and this one was a hammered one! Tears afterwards and definitely feeling like laying down blank in the middle of the bike path (which I did not do as it was not really safe there…). Pretty emptied of strength after that. You know those slugs crossing the road sloooooooowly when it is raining…Yapp! this was me after the workout and for the rest of the day. (and here you have to take the slowest and laziest slug….).

Yaaaahhh… by now you might have guessed something was ongoing… Saturday started early, heavy and not too good. The scratching throat I had a few days earlier had disappeared (with all the gallons of tea+honey I drank?… no wonder it disappeared!). But little stubborn me still did her rehab and headed out for a recovery run. Easy-easy-easy until I reached km6 where the legs did not want to carry me much faster than the slow pace I already had and being 2km from home I did not want to take the tram (this is the emergency trick to take the tram…when there is an emergency, an accident or whatever…not when the LEGS don’t want to carry me any longer…). So stubbornly continued the workout (if can still be called this way…) with a power-walk for 2km. Even this felt slow. And being without tshirt was not helping (you are getting warm when running, but the pace of my power-walk was so slow it felt it was chilly out there). Back home, hot tea, hot shower, and ended under hot cover with fever for the rest of the day after GET had left. Yeaaaaah! perfect way of starting the weekend and ending one’s vacations…SICK! By bedtime it felt a little better, but feeling quite off anyway…

So it was with surprise that Sunday started with sun shining and enough strength for a 30km trail long run under the sun. Yes, I DID feel tired afterwards, but nicely tired. Directly to thai massage w/M after and then food food and more food. Felt I could eat for 5 persons after this long run. Nice indeed not to feel sick anymore and a much better way to end the week…

=> so was the week that preceded this one…

Week 11082014-17082014…

Back to work (for real this time…). As usually for a Monday (?), should be easy or rest. Took another chance at testing a Run Pace workout with the 5min-group. Was late for the workout so “my” warmup to the meeting point was more like an interval run…to see that we were three arrived and nobody else. Then a little easier run and the drills, before starting the run pace. First km was as usual slightly faster than planned, but ok. Second km was with a little slope and I chose to pass my group a little (because I am kind-of rubbish when running slow uphill…) and then another runner caught up with me and we ran at a faster pace than planned definitely. Got to the turning point and turned (!) and then the pace just kept on accelerating to finally end the final km at interval-pace. NOT GOOD! this was a recovery run for me… But so much fun 🙂 easy back home. Good start for the week.

SO to make things right, Tuesday started with an easy recovery run (a real one this time!). 8km – easy peasy pace before work. All good (and yes, it ALWAYS feels good when reaching the office and knowing you have already sweat more than what most of your colleagues will during a full day at work 😉 ) Quick pause mid-morning for knee rehab. End of workday and feeling pretty sluggish and not really tired, but needed some air for the brain to function correctly… So off I went. There is a race on Saturday next week (Midnight Run) and I decided to take the route but the other way around. Easy and nicely. Took aaaaaaall the slopes and the downs and seriously it felt really nice afterwards to have done this second run (even for the hilly parts!). Good sleep afterwards!

Wednesday was rest day. Nothing special. Working. A bit tired. But fine.

Then went up early on Thursday and seriously had to refrain myself for not going out running because I had planned to join the Run Tough workout after work. So rehab and core before work and then when finally completed the day, changed for running. Easy warmup to the meeting point, a bit of chatting and THEN… I understood what the word “TOUGH” meant for the workout… Got to do 5*600m followed by 4*300m at a specific pace. We were divided in different groups and I had the joy (!) to be alone in mine and had the instructor for just me. My personal pacesetter. Great! She was really cool to encourage and push and act as wind-shield when needed. After the 2 first 600s she noticed that I generally go all in at first and then slow down and then accelerate again. So she paced me so to start slow(er) and accelerate progressively (OK, it was NOT easy and I need practice!). Anyhow, this was a great workout, and surely my program was indicating more reps, but this was good enough for the day! Back home, second part of the knee rehab and bed. All good!

How would a Friday be without a bit or (early) running? Up early (unsure why, because I felt so nicely rested in the morning I thought I overslept!), light core exercises and off to do the Midnight Run route again, but the right way this time 🙂 Took the bike to close to the start as warm up, run the distance and then back home by bike. All nice and easy. 7:15am – 13km already done, just shower and light breakfast before work and that did the trick! Nice and easy day at work before the weekend started.

Surely the weekend is supposed (?) to be  for resting, but for runners there is often this long run-thing to place as good as possible somehow for not disturbing the peace of the rest of the people around you :). Saturday started with a long time-interval workout. CRAZY! Never did this workout (3*10min) but it was actually FUN (yaaaaah, ok, I recognize it…running might be enjoyable…from time to time 😛 ) What made this workout crazy is that the final interval was the fastest and with a pace comparable to fast 1km-intervals. Of course I am not the kind of “steady pace all the way” runner… so I started snail-slow-pace for accelerating and ending at 3:47-pace (which is the fastest pace I have had for 10min ever (I think). So surely nice workout. But why stopping the fun there? Sweat running all over the face when reaching home, quick stretch, quick shower, change of gear and biked to meeting point for training with IFK Göteborg Athletism club. Well, I joined for their warmup and took it as my cooldown. Pretty nice to see what a decent warmup should be… SO after that, bike home and rest (for real!). Easy afternoon, decided from out of the blue to do my knee rehab and then it was time for preparing dinner for friend company. And so Saturday had disappeared already! Almost faster as an interval…

Unfortunately the rain woke me up on Sunday morning. My plan A to run in the woods had been changed the day before to plan B run half the distance on asphalt and half the distance on a 1K-trail track. Then sms made my plan B to almost change back to plan A but the rain made me back off and choose plan C – full distance on asphalt BUT at steady pace (Yes, I can work on the parts that are identified as not really my strengths…). Having read a part in Szalkai’s book that for a 3:00-marathon the long run should be at 4:40min/km pace (talkable pace), there was NOT A CHANCE I would do that. I nicely chose to aim for a steady 5:00min/km-pace. Spent my morning watching the final men marathon of the European championship in Zürich. THIS is what I call inspiration. Having a guy running away from the group from km8 and dominating the race until km30/35 (?) and then quitting due to cramp/stomach…and having a race for the first place not really clear until the final 5km arrived. Marathon is just that: it REALLY starts after km30… Anyhow, happily inspired I left to my long run with my NEW SHOES! Yapp, Christmas in August. Two new pairs of volume-shoes had landed on Friday to my home. My choice went to ASICS GT-2000 2. Simply because the tighter model (GT-2000 (2A)) was not available anywhere and after checking the other model, I noted not too much difference. Probably not the best to take a new pair of shoes for a long run, but still. It has to start somewhere, right? So…how did the run go? well, 20km as planned, although at a pace of 4:42min/km… Unsure how it went as the first kms were close to 5min/km and it felt nice to keep it this way. The new music mix in the ears made all change really. I noted myself singing loudly “I will neeeeeeeever love again” during something like probably 10min or so, before the brain actually started to analyse what the sound coming out of my mouth was actually meaning!!!! So it can happen when running! And THEN arrive the crazy wonderful part that DJ Eclipse ALWAYS has in his mix, those parts that bring you so high you feel like flying…. And indeed I reached at this moment a downhill and once again the brain registered after a while that I was singing vocalises on a pretty high tons and that actually (!) sounded nice…and yes, I was as well running downhill with my arms imitating an aeroplane… No shame, No glory 🙂 SO much fun actually. Took 2-300m after this slope for being in a nice tailwind road and decided to skip the tshirt and that was even nicer to run. No need to say that the 5min/km plan was no longer in place. Ended anyway the run and spent as usual a bit of time resting with legs up and took an easy afternoon to finish this weekend. Resting indoors, because the rain Gods decided to turn the skies into showers during this day (apart from the time I was out apparently!).

 

That was it. Almost updated on all that happened training-wise for the past two weeks. Hopefully a laptop is on its way…

Keep on running!


Race Report – Stockholm Marathon 2014/05/31

Planned: original plan was “sub3 would be nice” or at least faster than Stockholm 2013 AND no walking… Revised plan after last Friday and week with knee pain became: complete the race if possible, all good if slightly faster than 2013, quit the race if the knee is showing signs of incredible pain…

Actual:…3:02:38… New PB on this route by 7 min 43 sec since last year edition… 30th women and 18th in Swedish championships !!!! So great the knee held so long until 36/37km and then made itself reminded… But enough said: great race and with such pre-race conditions, could not be more satisfied!

Race Results:

place (M/W) 30
place (ag) 26
age/grade: 76.76% (2014 Rotterdam 78.43 / Dubai 77.74 / 2013 Berlin 75.74/Stockholm:73.1/Boston:72.19/Dubai: 72.35/2012 Berlin:68.29/SF:65.66/London:66.47/Dubai:66.6)
time total (netto) 03:02:38
time total (brutto) 03:02:38
average pace: 4:20min/km

Official splits:

Split Net time (difference)
5K 20:45:00 20:45:00
10K 41:52:00 21:07:00
15K 01:02:59 21:07:00
20K 01:24:02 21:03:00
Half mara 01:28:37
25K 01:45:14 21:12:00
30K 02:06:57 21:43:00
35K 02:28:49 21:52:00
40K 02:52:01 23:12:00
Marathon 03:02:38

 

18th place in Swedish Championships (2 place improvement since 2013) not bad, right ? 🙂

 

********************

M Day-1

Little reminder. Travel to Stockholm. Meeting my friend to pickup my bib. Got a nice evening run and could test the knee for a fast pace km. Felt ok enough to start the race. Not much quality sleep, but that’s often the case before a race…

Before the race

Awaken around 4-ish… Dreamt my clock showing 7:37am and my Garmin 8:47am. Hearing from my friend that was ok because GPS was not working from the room I had. Not understanding anything apart that I was pretty late for dropping my bottles and would never make it and and… Woke up and saw the time was 4:xx am, all quiet and all under control 😉 More sleep and then up for shower and getting ready. Only fixing the hair as I was planning an easy “wake-up-the-legs” run when arriving at the stadium.

07:00am – Decided to change my original food plan and take my breakfast at home instead of carrying it to the race. Half portion oat porridge with mashed banana and soy milk + Powerade blue. All good. Never ever drunk sport drink for breakfast before… Checking again my bottles and filling in the ones for water + sticking the gels on them.

07:20am – Got company to the train station and off I went. Slightly falling asleep in the train and re-thinking the race. Showing my bib for the controller and then we were already at the end station. Had drunk as usual alternate water/sportdrink from 8:00am and then ate a banana as well. Walked slowly to the clock tower of the stadium. Not many people around. Some runners on the way to pick up their bib. The start area not yet set… Almost disappointing. Do they know people will run today?

On the train to the race...

On the train to the race…

08:30am – meeting with HR and dropping my bottles after taping my little French flags on them 🙂 Headed to the locker room and on with running gear. We took an easy 3km run. The knee felt more than yesterday but once again, good enough for starting. Running on terrain yesterday was certainly kinder for the knee than this morning asphalt. Back at the Stadium and the wait started.

Me, my bottles and my flags :)

Me, my bottles and my flags 🙂

Pace-setters balloons...

Pace-setters balloons…

The finish line (from the other side...)

The finish line (from the other side…)

The little boxes to be placed at the water stations

The little boxes to be placed at the water stations

09:25am – meeting ladies in the changing room. One I met last year. Pretty quiet. Laid down and listened to music. Not much else to do. Stopped drinking at 10:00am.

10:25am – still unsure weather outside. Going out a couple of time to decide what to wear. Singlet and shorts for sure (I don’t have anything else anyway!). Arm sleeves? Sunglasses?

10:45am – more women come to change in the elite room. Some look very focused and other very stressed 🙂 Really cool to share the room with the elite women from Kenya. They look so tiny and fit and cool and focused 🙂 Writing my splits on my hand – surely not thinking of reaching any of them, but a bit of pep can help…

my dreaming splits

my dreaming splits

11:00am – massaging the knee with chilly cream. Will probably not help as I suspect it is nothing muscular (but what do I know really?…) but at least it helps the head 🙂 More resting and getting my racing gear. Lots of back&forth to the loo in the corridor (in our locker room, there is no hand tag 😦 ). Meeting Isabella Andersson in flashy pink bonnet/top and black tights. Wishing good luck for the race and getting it back 🙂 Cool 🙂

11:20am – bored now. Arm sleeves on, left to the start, tried to warm-up a bit on the arrival street but the left knee is not fully cooperating. Taking two rounds on the track. Change slightly the plans and definitely would take it easy and controlled the first half (still thinking it will hold at least that long) & then happens what happens. Heading to the start and it is pretty bright outside. Hesitate a bit and run back to the locker room to take my sunglasses. Meeting Tove there and got extra pepp from her smiles 🙂

11:45am – no stress, getting to the start after chatting a bit with a volunteer helping and wanting to send us another way for the start. Convincing him (?) the start group A should go straight and passing him without waiting for an answer. Starting drizzle and then a bit more. Meeting Helena (fast chick who ran Göteborgsvarvet in 1:24…), Lotta from IF Linnea (sprang half marathon in Copenhagen with me), meeting Marie and Emma before start, hug to Caroline as she is a bit stressed.

11:50am – Raining a bit now. Start group B waiting under the rain when most of the group A is protecting themselves from the rain. Getting out for a few back&forth strides, sunglasses on the top of my head…(I know, not looking that smart now…). Knee feeling ok for starting. Good luck to the right, good luck to the left…Even lifting the hands when it is only few minutes left to start (what-am-I-thinking-about?!?!?)

11:58am – already? No more music. I find myself on the front row (!!!) surrounded by a little fast runner and two fast Swedish chicks… Way out of my league! But no time for moving back. Hands on the Garmin… 20sec to go… 10sec to go…

The race

12:00pm – PANG! Start is given. Pretty nice to have this place and once again it felt great to avoid the pushing from half-marathons races (could you note this, gentlemen? No pushing!). Getting a nice run to the first left turn, passed of course by many, but I don’t care. Not thinking of the knee. Catching up with Tove slightly before km1. Too fast already: 4:06. But ok, it is the first km. I have 41km to go and slow down to have the knee happy (I really feel relaxed at this pace). Passed by Johan P (finishing in 2:46, place 88…btw…) before km1, appreciating really he took time to chat with me and encourage me 🙂 then hanging along behind Tove. Passing km2 after the little slope, all good. Still too fast, but not crazy fast as Rotterdam 🙂 Reaching the water-side and getting a giant in red outfit between Tove and me. Recognising Staffan D (finishing in 2:50, place 142… btw…), cool he chats with Tove…and turn to me and presenting him 🙂 Real cool! Looking really relaxed in his shoes. I let them chat a bit, but think it is pretty fun to have people chatting at 4:06 pace in a marathon 🙂 Getting my first sport-drink bottle at km3.8 from a kind guy who run by my side and give me the bottle. What a service! Hope it is like that all the way. Can drink at my pace. All good. Hearing cheering around. Fun. Reaching km5 and the sun is out. Definitely planning to skip my arm sleeves when I see my runner friends on the side. Km5 passed a little under 21 minutes. All fine. Still a bit faster than planned, but body feels ok (and the knee does not feel at all…). The 3:00-pacesetter is right beside me at this part. Under Slussen did not hear my watch loosing satellites as last year… Did I run that fast?… But km6-sign is no longer in sync with the Garmin. Pressing lap on the watch to be able to follow km-pace instead of whole distance pace. I like this part on Södra Mälarstrand. Not many people but it is nice to run there. Getting a water mug from a girl at km7. Perfect catch. Perfect hold. Almost perfect drinking. Good. Turning left to the bridge and I hear the speaker talking about the 3:00-flag… Going up to this bridge is a little painful but ok. First third taken fast, second third a bit more controlled and last part controlling definitely and especially the downhill. All good. Reaching km9.x and getting my sport drink from the table. Not many bottles but good to have a flag on mine 🙂 Easier to spot. Once again, drinking good and had passed the 3:00 group. Fine! Passing the 10K-mark a bit slower (41:xx) but still fully decent time. The long stretch to km12 is pretty boring as I remembered from last year. Trying to get some speed but it feels the wind is there as well. Still some guys around, so can follow and get some wind-shields 🙂

Turning left, up the bridge, down in the tunnel and turning left up to the train station. Taking two mugs of water but sipping more than drinking there. Continuing my little trip towards the stadium. Have started to count down the km… since km1… and it helps. Long slightly up stretch towards km14 where I have a kind little girl spotting me and giving me my sport drink. She made me so happy and she/her friends cheer as well 🙂

Chatting with two French guys before km15, asking them to prepare a cold coca cola for me at the finish line 🙂 They are fun and will hang along until km30/32, then I’ll loose them. Back to km15, can no longer read my time splits on my hand, and cannot trust my watch neither… As long as the 3:00-group is not passing me, that is all good 🙂 Tricky to get to km16, seeing the Stadium….. and turning right towards km17 where I catch my sport-drink from a nice teenager running beside me. Still having Tove in sight. Getting passed and passing back a Finnish woman and decide she would be good to follow (as long as the knee continue to cooperate).

Turning to the “country side” part of the second lap. Better feeling than last year. Have taken off my arm sleeves since km18 and have then in my sport bra. Looks like I have push-ups 🙂 Seeing two guys on bike and thinking it must be HR and GLE… but they are way before half-mara sign as they had planned… Trying to wave…Noticing tattoos on HR arms which I did not notice in the morning when we run… and on his legs as well. He waves, I wave back… I want to drop my arm sleeves to them… They stop… aaaaaaaaand those guys are not my runner-friends!!! (Therefore the “I cannot remember the tatoos on the arms” part is making sense now!). Skipping looking at them and continuing. French guys are there again. A bit of chat. Seeing a clock… 1:24:xx… WHAT?!?! Am I completely nuts and out of sync? I said I would take it easy and reach half way with a new PB?!?!? Until I settle down and see it is the 20km-mark… Good, I think… NOoooo, not good… I have to accelerate now to reach halfway in the time planned!!!! Remembering that the 3:00-guys caught up with me at this place last year. Cannot hear them and don’t dare looking behind me…. Getting a large smile from Gabriel after this, proposing me a gel. But I am good. I however throw my arm sleeves in his face (sorry…) and after this cheering I reach halfway. 1:28:xx. Good. Like for the original plan (before the knee got annoying…). Feeling good, cheering from the French guys again.

The second half

…and turning right, passing a little woman (don’t know how she got ahead of me…). Grabbing my bottle with water and gel. A bit tricky to handle both, but working anyway. Sooooo nice once again to be able to drink the “correct” amount of water with the gel! Around km22, chatting with Pierre-Andre (PA) again. Still aiming for sub3. I like his pace and run nicely (finishing in 3:03:46…btw… Well done!). His friend is funny. He runs very light and relaxed, turning and looking back, I even spotted him running backwards at this part (!!!) and running BACK (!) apparently searching for other runner friends. Just enlightening my day!

This long part was a huge black hole from last year. I know why; nothing is happening there!!! Km22 is straight/flat with industry area (?) on the left and woods on the right. Then I think I missed km23, turning left and right within the wood again. Feels nice with this refreshing cover from the sun. Km24 I get my sport drink in a way I cannot recall. Starting to get a bit tired. Have tripped twice on my left knee. But got more ache in the ankle than the knee (yeeeeah???). Trying to get a little longer. No shame with stopping, this race is not worth getting me a trouble knee for lifetime… Caught up by the Finnish woman (finishing in 3:02:01…btw…), chatting a bit under the tree cover. She is heading for sub3. I am hanging along I says (but seriously wondering what I am doing here with the knee in this shape and talking about sub3…Probably starting to get high not just on adrenaline but with all the energy-stuff I have taken…).

Missing again (!) the little bridge that we apparently pass around km24/25. Guessing the time splits on my hand… estimating quickly that whatever time I make at km25… the race will start anyway in 5km from now 😉 Reaching back to the people, seeing Tove’s hair a bit ahead 🙂 Cool, give me strength (not that I would ever catch up, but knowing she is more stable than me on her splits is good for my mindset!). Little up and then down. Passing Gröna Lund (correct?), getting my water bottle with gel at km27 (sooooo welcoming the nice guy catching up with me for this). I don’t like this part. The ground is uneven, with tram railways.. No longer focusing on my run but on not falling down. No tripping, no tripping… Throwing a bit of my water in the head… Nice. I have skipped the showers until now, only getting my hands under, but from now on, the whole little-me get under every shower of the race! Back to the water-side. More people cheering. Here was where I met Staffan in the first lap. Good! Not much left to the end I think.

Reaching km29 and once again seeing a guy shouting to the Sport-drink table “253 arriving, catch her before she misses it” 🙂 VERY appreciated! The drinking plan goes fine. Stomach is fine. Mind is fine. A bit cramping now and then since km4 on the lower part of the right calf, the left hamstring and front legs… Never stopped to stretch though. Waving to people after throwing my bottle. Hearing my name in the speaker… Soon to km30. AND HERE HE WAS… Runner friend from Göteborg unable to run but still here to cheer. Got the largest smile ever, string high-five and an energy boost that could have gotten me to the moon (if it was not for this stupid knee). Thanks for the cheering, Patrik! Continuing. Once again, real cool to be a woman as not many are there and the “go girl” are only for me here 😉 Have heard the speaker indicating a “flag-guy” was in the way… Ok, still fine under 3:00 and soon at km30. Quick shower, HR & Gabriel are at the planned spot (a bit further than I planned, but all good 🙂 ). Getting water and this felt nice with this extra spot. Being passed by the 3:00 guy right at km30 mat. OK, I follow you then. A chick in pink shorts is passing me here and this is my other alternative to follow. Right under Slussen I spot a black singlet with my club written on it (Majornas IK)… True! Emil is here as well! Cheering and hoping we could hang together, but I so want to get behind the 3:00-guy… After the little tunnel, I lost Emil. Ok. Quick check. Crazy knee? Check! Painful? Not quite! Tired? Of course..I have run 30km at a race pace for sub3….!!!! All good then!

Back to Södra Mälarstrand. Chatting a bit with the 3:00-guy. Looking good he said. Thhhaaaaannnkkkss! As there is a pack around him, and I don’t plan to run faster, I get good backs to act as wind shields… Working brilliantly… until we reach km32 for taking my sport drink. Here they have place an extra table for warm stock… right before the sport drink table. Finding myself in a sticky wave of men wanting to reach this first table, walking, slowing down… Missing my bottle…running BACK to grab it (and definitely swearing loud at all those guys who cannot behave when I need to take my bottle)… THERE I lost my 3:00-guy he is a bit ahead and will not be able to catch up ever.

Reaching the foot of the bridge “yes, there are French in the race, raise your hands”… Up with the hands… If I cannot make sub3, I can still have fun and behave like a clown, right?!? The little slope to the bridge is painful, not due to tiredness, but the knee ain’t liking it. Thought to walk would help, but three slower steps prove me wrong. Feeling like the knee gonna explode in billions pieces if I continue this way. So run up the little slope on top of the toes (yapp, crazy painful but better than slowing down).

Must have been biting my lips throughout this second time on the bridge. First third is kind-of ok. Still seeing the 3:00-guy and actually still thinking I can take him back after the bridge… Second third is real tough. I hit my thighs for keeping up the pace. Thinking of stopping a short short while at the “ice power”-spot, but don’t. By this time, the second 3:00-pacesetter is passing me. Ok, not a chance I can get passed those two. Cannot really see the third part, already in the down slope. No I am not happy. Getting cheering from a kind guy calling me “Majorna”, realizing afterwards that my club name is also on the back of my singlet (Oooooh, that’s why so many cheered this way I realized then). He got me a smile 🙂 aaaaaand I am (almost) happy again.

Running down, turning right, catching my water+gel, thinking it is highly unnecessary to take it…it will anyway take ages before I reach the stadium… Seeing the friendly face of Markus N there (thanks for the smile and yelling my name! Gosh, this felt so nice for a short while…). Same feeling as last year on this second lap on Norra Mälarstrand: bored, tired, sad, trouble breathing correctly. I am sooooo close to stop and walk, but 1) I said I would NOT walk this year and 2) just thinking of the pain I felt in the knee when I slowed down before the bridge make me having a pinch of extra strength for NOT stopping! Cheered by a guy in my right, nice, kind, want to die right here, why is it so long…until I notice I am running with Superman (ok, not the REAL Superman, this one is a runner with a Superman tshirt. But at this time in the race, I don’t care. He’ll be Superman for me!). Got a little kid cheering loud for him and even telling his mum(?) to “look! Superman has a girlfriend!”. This type of comment is SO refreshing. Ok, I’ll continue a bit more then. Passing km35, not even caring to check the time on the clock. Thinking only 7km left, less than an hour… (would mean very slow km, but the growing pain in the knee made my mind thinking this sounded right). Reached the Garmin stand, with half warm coca cola (tasted delicious last year…) and coffee. Not a coffee drinker myself, but consider taking one in case it would get me high and unable to feel the pain. I skipped this idea as I thought it could also upset my stomach. And not a chance I would finish 7km with upset stomach + bad knee.

Got passed by a chick right after the Garmin stand. Don’t care. She looks running good, therefore she deserves passing me. Over the bridge (the sequel), in the tunnel (the sequel) and turning towards the train station. Cheering from HR & Gabriel. (Sorry if I said something rude then, but did not feel like chatting..).

Getting two mugs of water, dropping half of one, hardly drinking anything and when throwing the rest on my head both mugs are empty… Yeeeaaah, what a wonderful day 😦

Heavy up along the train station. Limping with the left leg, wet in the back with my singlet having suck so much water… Not a chance I win the contest of the sexiest footstep of the race!!!! Passing actually a few guys… Not even making me smile. Don’t dare to bend the knee “fully”, unsure if I will be able to stretch it again. Like I thought before the race: if the pain comes after km37, not a chance I stop the race. Stupid? Check! Non sense? Check! Whatever…. Grabbing 5-6 Dextrosol at km39. Trying to get an extra kick for the end. The mouth had difficulties to chew and no water in sight!!!! Turning right and remembering that there is a water station at km40. Stretch towards km40… Got passed by Marie in red. She looks fine. Good. She deserves it. Drinking one half mug and it feels better. The heart is no longer there… Hold on! TWO KM LEFT! Stop whining. Bite those lips of yours. And just finish. Limping slightly faster. Seeing the Stadium. This year I am prepared and I KNOW this is still not the end. Counting down. Straight line. Passing guys. Turning right. Final stretch before for final 250m. Skipping the little water-pool before the entrance of the stadium (I noticed it this morning while warming up…) A.N.D. This is the stadium. Missing the smile I got last year from Ulf at this particular spot, but I am already on the track. It is warm. It is sunny. And it is the end…(ok, it is soon the end). Not at all strong like other races due to my knee, I still can dig extra strength for accelerating. Passing two guys. Gosh, this feels good! And the final stretch. 3:02:xx… Yoohoooo! Can be under 3:03… No, Mister-on-my-left, you-shall-not-paaaaaaasss! Giving it all for those last 40/50m.. And it.is.done!!! 3:02:xx with a knee expected to break before halfway… Not too bad, not too bad….

Official time received later: 3:02:38.

Little me, Tove and Mikaela

Little me, Tove and Mikaela

My Garmin in sync with the official clock (almost!)

My Garmin in sync with the official clock (almost!)

Happy me-in the corner :)

Happy me-in the corner 🙂

My lovely medal

My lovely medal

************************

After the finishing line

Unlike me, I aim to the side and want SO MUCH to lay down and not going up before late in the evening… Trying to catch my breathe again. Nope, not working. As expected, when starting to walk again the left knee is no longer playing along. “Limping-K” shall be my name from now on! Getting my medal, scaring probably the girl giving it to me with my heavy breathing (at this point of time, I feel like I am breathing like a cow… A tired one… Not even knowing where this comparison comes from). Getting to the little elite tent (sooo tempted to stop by the medic tent, but not wanting to be kept for whatever they surely find is wrong with me now…). Getting my goodie bag, have to sit, breathing too heavy and feeling dizzy. Tears so close to come out. The nice guy from the tent is getting in his knee to cut my chip attached on my shoe (good because I could not lift my leg to the table!). Seeing Tove chatting a bit away. Now it is “fine”, can “walk”. Stopping Isabella Andersson and congratulating her for the race and the win. Got a smile back and congrats as well. Limping nicely to the locker room. There have the faster ladies landed 🙂 Smiling Tove (finishing 2:58:21…btw…), Mikaela Kemppi (finishing 2:49:34…!!!btw), and other fast ones. Smiling here and there. Knee is in pain. Getting a pic with two fast chicks and a single one 🙂

After the race

Shower, self-massage on the knee (like it would help…), bye to Tove and see you next year :), walking to the ÖIP to get my finisher tshirt. Having strength enough to joke about the runners before me walking soooo slowly down the stairs. Getting my tshirt, size small (S for “Snygg” – “Pretty” in Swedish… Told you I was in a great mood, despite the knee!).

Meeting HR, catching Tricky for a hug and then stomach started to get upset, cramping-like. Getting under a tree so could lay down with feet up. Other fellow-runners joined us and time for some SMS and chat.

Well-deserved chocolate cake and hot chocolate (after race of course!)

Well-deserved chocolate cake and hot chocolate (after race of course!)

When feeling better, left the place, saying goodbye and headed to a coffee place to get chocolate cake with whipped cream and hot chocolate with whipped cream. I know, the cream would probably upset my stomach (which it did…), but at this moment it sounded like the best idea ever. Chat and then time to head back home. Train trip goes smoothly. Got met by J on the way, so nice with a welcome halfway home. Then a bit of rest with feet up on the bed, eating delicious grilled ribs with French fries, carrots and parsnip (and nice wine 🙂 ). Then a hot sauna where the knee felt a bit better and then chillout rest of the evening until late.

WHAT.A.DAY!

***************

Weather: drizzling/rain at start, sunny and nice from km3 onwards. A bit cloudy around halfway. Windy from time to time.

Food:
> before: breakfast (oat porridge, banana, soy milk) + powerade @7:00am/ usual drinking a alternate 8-10, banana at 8am.
> during: sport-drink @3.8, 9.x, 14, 17, 24, 32 – gel: 21.1, 27, 34.x – water at the water station – 5-6 (!) dextrosol @km39
> right after: maxim protein drink, banana. 1hr later – chocolate cake+warm chocolate
> 19:00pm-ish: nice dinner 🙂

Gear: Moremiles short shorts (2), MIK singlet, arm sleeves, blue sunglasses. Shoes? What to say, but WOW so fast! Perfect race shoes!
> Outfit was exactly what should be. Could have skipped the arm sleeves at start maybe, but would have also worked to have them the whole run

Shoes – ADIDAS AdiZero Adios Boost – purple

17/ good effort level throughout the race. Seriously reaching 18/19 during last 2-3km, but unsure I pushed frankly neither there. Probably a good 15-16 for most of the race, slightly increasing after km22/23

Pain level: ok to nothing during most of the race. 18-19 during the last km

***************

SUMMARY: Brilliant! Not prioritized race for the year, with real drop of motivation after getting back from Alicante, got it back after Göteborgsvarvet and it never left. Felt like smiling and on a cloud for 2 weeks before this race. SO unlike the two previous marathons of this year. All felt good until this stupid thing with the knee. Could make it work anyway, which please me very much. Preparations went well, although the half marathon 2 weeks before got more like a fast training long run than a race really. But the carb depletion (I know I know, never fun) but this time it did actually feel “better” or “easier” than usual, then the carboloading part went smoothly. Did change slightly with more drinking maybe. Good pre-race lunch, good company, support message before the race…seriously? I.AM.HAPPY!

Support from the crowd is different in every race, making some parts of the run becoming a face-2-face with yourself sometimes, but this is what the long runs are for, right? To train you to be alone in a race where you actually share the pavement with several thousands crazy people like you J Apart from the mindset which was up&running correctly until km35/36 and the knee started to take commando, the body felt fine.

First half done well-controlled (reminds me the first half of Berlin 2013), like planned. Real surprised that the knee was not complaining earlier (or was it the mind choosing to ignore the pain?). Felt stable (in a way), having Tove ahead as reference point (for a while…) and then after the second run on the bridge, just hanging along and having for objective to pass guys before the finish line 🙂

Third best marathon-time on a crazy knee – feels nice!

Distribution of thank-you notes here; for the support, the training, the chat, the listening, the laughs… all you guys will find yourself in this list. Once again, boundaries were pushed this day, no PB, but the way the body and mind could handle the race was just great! THANKS!

 

Chocolates to enjoy after a marathon, right? :)

Chocolates to enjoy after a marathon, right? 🙂

***********************

A few “after-race thoughts”

NOTE: was it really smart to run on a knee not fully fine? Probably not. Would it have been the half-marathon before, I would have probably chosen to skip the race. Why running the longest distance then? Well, I thought it was fine if taken carefully and listening to the body.

NOTE: The usual question about warmup… Took it pretty carefully while running the few hundreds along the stadium and even more careful on the track. Definitely not necessary, but I think felt good to have done it.

NOTE: Energy/refuelling during the race? GREAT! Had the possibility to drop my bottles where I wanted at the water-stations and it worked great. Was a bit unsure at first, but the mix sport-drink, water, and gel work well. Regarding the final kick @km39 with the extra Dextrosol… won’t be doing this next time. Have to find another “kick” J

NOTE: Right after the race, I thought I would be fine and not needing/wanting to run it again. Day after, the thought is gone, and definitely looking forward to get on the starting line next year and skipping the limping of the 5 last km (and definitely not letting the 3:00-flag guy passing me this time…!)

 


What about a hot lunch run under Sahara-like sun…

Friday.15k.easy.just had to figure out when to do it: very early morning run, run over lunch, run right after leaving work or run later during the evening. Chose the first alternative, just to see if could handle the heat for 15km…

Started the day with light core workout. Felt so good I extended the “Walking with the ball” to 2 minutes and a smile! Then hurried to first and early morning meeting. Drank half a bottle of sport drink while working and by lunch-time, it felt it was time to get those legs and feet out under the sun 🙂

[extract from training diary]
Started 20minutes later than planned, so still had time enough for the run up to max.1h30 (but this would mean as well running to the first afternoon meeting without showering or eating…not too appealing maybe…)
First 2km felt pretty warm – no, HOT. No wind, no air really to breath nicely. Nothing compared to Alicante warmth, this was really dry warmth. Reached the bottom of the bridge and regretted not to have a bottle of water with me. Even thought about turning back. But was already at the top of the bridge. Down to the Opera it felt better, but running along the water was not as “refreshing” as expected. Still very dry. Got lots of cheering at the Stena Line dock from teenagers awaiting for the class bus (thanks! that helped! 🙂 ) Then continued along the water.
Stopped @km7.5 for ca.2 minutes for asking for water in a lunch restaurant. 2 full glass which went down real fast despite being ice cold. A few more cheering 🙂 The outfit might help a bit!
Felt much better after that and took the little slope singing (and a little kid looked pretty puzzled at me, having his dad explaining “SHE” must be training for something 🙂 ). Almost got bicycled over on the way down by a very fast bicycle (and without engine this one). Then took 2more km to become heavy again. Having no tram card and no money (real smart…), the only way was to finish the run. Nice around Röda Sten with a bit of headwind, still nice to have some wind! Running up the bridge was a plague: considered 3 times to start walking, but remembering that the challenge next Saturday will be NOT to walk at all (compared to last year) – slow-run as a snail rather than walking-fast. This is the plan. Reaching the km5 of GV corresponded to my km10, which made me very happy. 5km left.
Tried to catch up with two guys on the bridge but real tough and still hot. The way down felt good, then along the water again. Not much wind, but a little was good enough. Second little bridge over, closing the gap with the two guys without really accelerating (or?). The final km was a bit odd with all the people taking their lunch-break relaxing on the pier and me arriving sweaty like crazy and running the final part with headwind (of course…).

Way too fast run. But at least I know I can hold this pace for longer would the weather be similar in Stockholm. Just have to remember to drink…

This was a brilliant idea (seems like…) to have this run done. The only thing was I are 2 bananas and a gainomax right after and started to work. Planned to get home early and eat, but turned out differently… Home by 5pm crazy hungry, went food-shopping and then time for dinner: double portion of pasta bolognese and ice cream with warm homemade chocolate sauce… Yapp, already carbo loading 😉
Feeling sooooo ready to run a marathon tomorrow…

Now of course the stomach is cramping a bit: too much core training? Too much running with minimal outfit? Too cold shower after run? Too much food this evening? … Too many questions! Willow on TV and then sleeping time. If I can’t run fast next Saturday, I’ll try to look good and rested at least !

Ciao! And keep on running….

Stockholm: 8.days.left….


Race Report – Göteborgsvarvet 2014/05/17

Planned: Faster than 2013 (1:37…) and if feeling fine, would be nice with sub90 (which was the objective from last year’s race…). Training-race.

Actual: official finish time 1 – 1:29:47 // official finish time 2 – 1:30:01 (on my Garmin: 1:30:02).
SO: either PB on this route by 7min18sec OR 7min 4sec faster than last year’s race… Yapp! 14seconds miss for all starting in the Elite corral… I take the second finish time (even though I would have pushed harder if I would have known…). Weather conditions: warm to hot, Motivation level: low before start, a little higher when the start gun shot, ok throughout the race (well: “ok level for a fast training workout”). Results are fine, especially regarding new PB for the race and the overall preparations (being last weekend of heavy training before marathon tapering)

Splits (official)

Official splits

Official splits

Totals
Place               48 (40 – guntime)
Place (total)  1244
Time total      01:30:01
Average pace 04.16 min/km

**********************************************************
Eyes opened first at 2:33am. Way too early to start getting ready! Too much water-drinking the evening before…Birds still asleep. Took probably one more hour to fall asleep again. Up with the birds this time before the alarm rang at 7:45am. Pretty lazy start for the day. Changed to running gear for a little morning jog. Sure, I don’t change for a short run, BUT for today it felt ok. Stopped shortly for buying croissants (not for me though…) and then ran more-than-easy 2km with croissants in one hand. Not too easy to run… Shower, got ready with race gear and set the hair…and it was not even 9:00am… Time for light breakfast (green mix with red & apple juice, allergy tablet, toast with blueberry jam + jasmin tea/honey). Looked again at the race report/times from last year and see where it became tough then. Hydration well-organized with 2dl water or Powerade blue every 30min.

Planned outfit

Planned outfit

Hoping for one of those splits...

Hoping for one of those splits…

And then it was 11:15am and time to drop T at her friend. Reviewed a final and 56th time where G&E would be during the race and off we left. Walk easy, check mobile numbers and easy jog with bag on the back to the start. Headed directly to IK-Jogg meeting point for final pep-talk and cheering and then to the start tent for meeting colleagues. Walked on muddy/wet grass making my ASICS and race-socks completely wet. Great start 😦 Good with the sun, changed socks and to racing shoes. Met Lars L directly when arriving 🙂 Then French colleagues, Swedish colleagues and a bit of chat around. Got to chat with Jimmy&co and got some pep from it (thanks!)

Nice to see lots of energy, when mine was definitely not on the top. Race outfit had been checked and approved at home and it was well-chosen: Moremiles short shorts, club white singlet lifted in sport-bra, ADIDAS Adizero Adios Boost purple and blue sunglasses. If not going fast, at least I would look cool 🙂 A couple of pics before race and then started a rubbish-kind-of warm-up (tricky with crowded place for running and accelerations were far from effective if you included the necessary zigzagging between people running or crossing the road…).

12:47am – Warm-up completed. Got a final glups of Powerade, for the thirst. Met Johan P before start and then it was time to get ready towards the little yellow line for Elite-start. Impossible to get the first line as for the giants already positioned there… and THEN little before start time arrive the international elite…. Wooooow! THAT is SO definitely COOL! They are looking so composed and focus, even if smiling some do give some “hi there”. Spotted a short elite woman who succeeds to push herself on the front row…Coool! Surrounded by giants, it feels a bit lost. Had seen a few Swedish elite women and will see if can hang along with them a liiiitle while before they disappear 🙂

12:59pm – Definitely not ready to start. Garmin is ready though. 30sec to start is announced. Final jokes from Swede Elite-guys (how can they still joke now?!?!?!). 10sec…

1:00pm – PANG! Once again not realizing really what I am doing, pressing start on my watch at the same time (as this is gun-time counting for Elite start), passing the start-mat like in trance which continue for a while. Fireworks in the skies are really loud and follow us for a short while. Little up goes fine and then down. Passing the little elite-woman who stopped already to fixed her shoe laces (no worries, she passes me pretty soon after…). Quick check on the watch and yes, 3:44 IS too fast, but seriously if it is the way it should be, then be it! I’ll be tired anyway within short time… Passing first km in 3:55. OK 12seconds faster than last year, but at least I am trained for this pace this year 🙂 Continuing on the wave, but still like not really being there. Passing the water-control and grabbing a water for dropping my hands in it. And km2 is reached already. Slightly slower, but still 12sec faster than last year. Recommendations of taking it easy for the first km in Slottskogen are NOT easy to follow when being in this start group. By km2, Johan P and Olivier A have passed me with a good luck smile. Getting a few cheering during the climbing of Sälsdammsbacken (which IS pretty long… should definitely not train only on the first 200m for next year!). But still reaching the top and then it is downhill and continuing to be carried by the human wave and the cheerings from both side of the road. Not many women passing by by then, which is fine. Got a cheering from Lars W from MIK around km3 (Nice to hear my name so early 🙂 ). Feeling is ok, but not more. I know it is too fast, but I have a meeting with G&E at km11 between 40 and 43minutes after start. So better hold this tempo until then! Got to chat with Andreas S before he disappeared 🙂 And more cheering by David P in Majorna/Mariaplan. There is is REALLY crowded on both sides. THANKS! And then it is just to run down to water station of km4. Taking 2 mugs of water: little drinking and already showering my legs. There are drizzling-showers throughout the route, but it is annoying to go through them when having sunglasses… Getting the uphill to the bridge at ok-tempo. Not fast but fine and good-enough for today’s plan. Passing km5 a little above 20min, (20:26 I noted on the results) and this is 1 minute faster than last year. And good to go for a 1:28-tempo. But I know it is too fast for this route and for my daily-form.

Following close the back of a gal with blue Runacademy-singlet, almost got passed by another gal on the bridge, but on the way down towards km6 both of them disappear. Almost slowing down in the downhill from the bridge (sorry, H, I changed this shortly after noticing it!), passing a few there and turning towards the water station. Remembering last year awful place here. Taking a sport drink for mouth-rinsing and drink a couple of glups of water. Turning towards Eriksberg, seeing for the FIRST time the sign “km7” (never noticed it in previous races, nor km8…) and thinking of Per M cheering for me last year (still unsure if I would have completed the race last year if it was not for this particular cheering at this point of the race). I know he started a little after me. Thinking of what he said, taking the race as a training run and completing it. And yes, that actually it would have been nice to have him here today for a bit of both cheering and pulling… Until I here my name and a well-known voice. Turning my head and here he is! (and no, I have not started yet with the hallucinations…). SOOOO nice to hear a friendly voice and chat for a while. Sweaty both of us, but I.AM.HAPPY! Letting Per M moving along and after a while my focus on his back is stopping. Once again, nice to be woman and in the start as we are not that many. When a cheer comes for “come on girl”, I know it is for me 🙂 Not bothering too much to check the pace now. Getting to the shadow street. Noticing we are running in the middle of the road. Were we doing it last year? I thought we ran on the pavement then. Passing the water-station and then turning right to the little windy street. “Look, mum, she has only 3 numbers this one” is cheering a little girl on this road 🙂 Back to the side of the water and the sun. Straight line along the harbour, trying to get the crowd to cheer by lifting my hands and yes, it does help! Not to run faster, but to be more present. Hearing my feet pounding on the pavement as well. Turn right and it is just a little more to km10. Passing the 10K a bit over 41min (41:17). Which mean I am still ok to reach the meeting-point at the ferry station.

Running on the small street stones, remembering the cheering from AL last year at this point. Nothing this year as he is running as well. But “memory-cheering” work as well (especially when you get tired…) 🙂 Turn right and seeing a little hand outside the line of people and getting closed and the red hood-jacket and here they are! My best cheering-squad ever! Getting the cheering and my little bottle of yellow Powerade at the same time. You can do it I hear and then turning left. Have drank the Powerade quick, but the baby-bottles were not real smart to drink from at this pace. Being passed by a guy in nice short underwear (don’t know if that helps to look at other’s butt, but sometimes in races with these temperatures, you don’t bother really 🙂 ). After passing km11, it started to get boring and a bit heavy. As usual, lack of people all around is not helping keeping the mood up. Passed a couple of guys before reaching SVT-house, where a bit more people were cheering. But not as loud as would have been good! Boring run towards the second bridge…Boring how? Well, THAT much that I take the little outside curve to go through a photo-place instead of the inside curve as I usually do. (must be there I lost some seconds ;)…among others places!). Starting the way towards the bridge, not really motivated to accelerate as I usually do at this place during training. The body is fine, but the mind has got enough…since…a….while! Quick check at the watch to see that it indicates 5:02min/km…WHAT?!?!? OK, this is out-of-question! Can do better than that. Starting to run on the top of the toes and it feels so much lighter. Even catch up several places this way. Feeling good now! Even noticed the km14-sign somewhere… Reaching the top of the bridge and it is just to run down. Good flow. Getting a guy shouting to us “Come on almost finish” (First thought being “Thanks for the cheering” and quick second thought being “Sure, can see this is not you running” and the first thought coming back (thanks!)). Turn around the foot of the bridge, getting to the water-station which I ignore by far staying on the left side. Not a chance I am loosing more time. I’ll get water later I thought.

Km15 is passed and turning towards the Avenyn. Now it is heavy (or has it been heavy all the way?). Don’t even bothering checking my watch anymore. 1:27 was no longer on the possible finish time since a while and I kissed 1:28-goodbye probably already after km11… So just to keep it real and fine and finish in less than 1:37 was good enough for a training-race (best time on training for this route has been so far 1:41 on a Sunday morning and empty stomach. No sweat). The long street feels so extremely hot, and I know it is because I must be dehydrated or close to it. Bad call to skip the water-station @km15. Passing cheering crowd on both side and starting to hallucinate (?) again. Feels like running in slow motion, seeing this little girl I recall being friend to T and thinking I have to remember to call them after the race…when the mind quickly realise that this is not an hallucination, she is there! I say her name and hear back her mum cheering crazily at me 🙂 Yoooohoo! Have to be a little more straight in my running! And smile 🙂 And here is Pia on the left side…So cool to have here here and cheering! OK, they did their part of the job, so I just have to keep up the crazy slow pace I am having now to reach km18+ for the next cheering-squad station 🙂 Feeling fine (not good, just “fine”). The running up towards “Poseidon statue” is not that fun. Would have like more cheering from the crowd (which is actually thicker than usual I felt). Having a gal almost passing me on the way up, but I try to keep her pace for NOT letting her pass (yes, I know…there are still lots of km left for her to pass me…and I know it). Seeing on the other side of the road the women that started at the same time as me, quickly calculating that they would arrive probably 3-6minutes before me 🙂 Good for them. They look good. Seeing Espen R on the way down, cheering as loud as I can but he looks pretty focused (maybe I should be too…). Turning around the statue after grabbing a cup of water (directly on the legs…missed the drinking…), skipped the sponges, aaaaand it is now time for running downhill. Really? Is it downhill now? Not really feeling it, but seeing that I am passing a few blocks on the way (which is always nice). Turning left towards Vasagatan, which is terribly boring to run at any time of the year due to the traffic all-around. Now it would have been great to have cheering there as well (I will probably email the organization of the race for indicating which spots are to be filled with cheering squads for next year…). OK, now it is just a straight line to km18 and water-station (which I ignore nicely) aiming towards the turn left to ÖverHusargatan. Looking as far as I can and here they are, ready to give me a little bottle of blue Powerade and loads of smile and encouragements. Cannot let them down, well! I like this street, I can get up to speed slightly. More cheering for the crowd (hoping there are no gal behind me, because I doubt being able to increase the pace much more). Reaching the first little tunnel and getting some cheering from the guys on the side (thanks!) and then continuing upwards towards the bridge. Thanks for the people sitting there and indicating it is not far from the finish line, just have to bite a bit more! Taking the bridge up on the top of the toe, pretty calm and focused, passing a few blocks and the bridge is passed and it is the shadow of the trees now. Km20 time-mat is reached!

1:24:xx on the clock there…quick calculation. I must be able to finish within less than 5minutes now. Starting a little accelerations under the trees and then turning left to the pavement and accelerating even more. Getting to pass some more guys who seem pretty tired. Waking up even more at the howling of Eva F (THANKS!) and it is time to take the last strengths on this little stupid slope they placed before the arrival. And it is done. Passing more blocks. Entering the stadium and trying to read the clock. 1:29:…29…30…31… “Now this is the final runners who have the chance to be under the magic limit of 1hr30 who entered the stadium – yelled the speaker – cheer for them”… Getting max gear towards the finish line and DONE! Pressing my watch on 1:30:02 and the speaker saying (after I passed the finish line) that now the magic 1:30 has been passed. YES! I did it under 1:30…

After the finish line is crossed, getting water from the kind people all around. Feeling fine. Is it already finished? Meeting Oliver (finished in 1:17…and yes, he found the route a bit tough too :), walking around. Meeting Per M again (did it in 1:27:xx…I knew I should have followed him closer…). Off with my right shoe to take off the chip. Walking slowly towards the exit. Got thanked by a guy who tall me I had a nice running step and that was easy to follow. Great! Could have passed me and helped I thought and said 🙂 He did finished right before me. Dropping the chip and getting out of the stadium. 2 mugs of water, 1 of energy drink, one banana and then meeting Jimmy J again. He did it easy and nice in 1:22:xx… and Robban A right above 1:23. Have lots of people to pull me next year! Meeting Gabriel L E from Jogg (nice to have a real person behind a name and posts… 😉 ). Walking a bit with Jimmy and saying goodbye. Heading towards company-tent for massage. Meeting Lars again (unfortunately DNF, but understand it was the better decision for today). Then water (2 mugs) and blueberry-soup (2 mugs) and an apple. When I am done with the massage, my cheering squad has arrived. Quick pic “after race”. Changed of gear, waited a little to see some colleagues starting and then having changed shoes, heading back home with really easy jog.

Smile after-race :)

Smile after-race 🙂

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Weather: 16ºC, Feels like 16ºC, 11 km/h W wind, Humidity 63% – Pretty sure it was warmer than 16ºC. Not the same warmth as in Spain last week and humidity was definitely not feeling that high). Warm? Definitely. Not like last year though.

Food: Green mix+red&apple juice+banana+tea+nutella toast @9-ish/
water/gatorade: 2dl every 30min (alternate)
During: 0.5/6dl powerade km11&18+
Right after: banana, kex chocolate, 1 full glass of ISOstar, 2 full glasses of water . In the tent: 2 mugs of water + 2mugs of blueberry soup + apple. Chausson aux pommes during easy jogg home. Later dinner: meat+French fries and large coke (+ice cream during evening walk)
Gear: Moremiles short shorts (2), SOC sport-bra on elastic, MIK white singlet (lifted under the sport-bra) – sFast running ADIDAS Adizero Adios boost purple. Fast shoes, no doubt. A little sensitive Achilles at start but nothing afterwards. Good to feel light during the uphills!

17/ A good 17 on the effort level. Mostly the mind trying to keep up with the body however. Final kms were not that high of a 17 though a strong 14 would be definitely it. Good race, tough but not to the extreme (especially compared to last year’s race). Would definitely run Rotterdam marathon twice than doubling Göteborgsvarvet-race… 🙂

NOTE: After-thought => Route ain’t easy. Weather conditions quite ok. A bit warm but not too much. Drinking: rubbish. Noted a loss of 2.5kg before/after race (and this includes the drinking during the race and right after before reaching home…). Have to check this drinking, because I thought I did fine during the race.
Official results: passing the finish line at place 40 (women), final rank 49th (as there were gals running a bit faster than me in other groups and having a net time faster) AND an improvement of 7min+ compared to last year. PB was not the plan at all, (it can’t be all the time!). Great from a training perspective. A bit of rest now!

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After the race, got an easy jog home, which went pretty easy as I had serious cramp in the tummy. Shower, rest with legs up during 30minutes and then walk to near-by restaurant to enjoy a nice dinner. Sensitive Achilles heels felt better by the time to get to bed, which felt quite nice.

Great day: Best of it being having a cheering squad moving around, unexpected cheering along the route, chat (!) with running buddies during the race and of course the before/after meeting with running buddies. Sun shining? For sure! Good training for starting the tapering before Stockholm marathon in two weeks!

 

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A few “after-race thoughts”

NOTE: training-race sounds quite tricky and they are. Not pushing too much, giving the possibility to test things, to have a pace faster than a fast-training pace… and still be in a run with thousands of other runners 🙂

NOTE: Quads? felt fine during the race. A bit sensitive during the cool down jog.

NOTE: Achilles heels? Fine during the race but sensitive before the race after later after resting at home. Quite ok in the evening

NOTE: Warmup? Rubbish to non-existent. Still a problem and today I actually had the possibility to warm-up as starting in the first corral. Unsure what to do though. Have to continue working on it.

NOTE: Extra energy during the race? Tested to have just a little energy-drink at km11 and 18.5. First one went all down, and I think it did good. The second one went half out / half in. Not sure it was necessary. Probably water would have been just good enough.

NOTE: sun-cream during sunny races is a must. Felt I missed some parts in the back of both arms and was pretty warm there. Fortunately no sunburn.

NOTE: Had thought being done with this particular race. Although not being under 1:30, does make it boring 🙂 So surely planning for participating to next year race, 5 minutes faster…Should be feasible 🙂

 


Easy, easy, more easy, sun and more sun and two trophies – late weekly update :)

(Week 28042014-04052014)

Monday started not early enough, straight to work and meetings back2back until lunch time. Went fast to the doc for a quick blood-check and shortly after ran easy to pick up my colleagues for an easy lunch run. Sunny, good and stable pace, talking all the way, straight line to the bridge then to the ferry and back the same way. Nice speedwork during the last 2km (thanks, C!) and it was time for going back to work. Felt pretty tired in the afternoon when it was time to dentist appointment and remember then…3hours after arriving from lunch run…that I had only a Gainomax (protein drink) in the stomach since the run…and had only a light breakfast. Rush to 7-eleven, got a hot-dog, a brownie and a mango-lemon drink. All disappeared pretty fast in my tummy and 15 minutes later it felt better. Back home and more work, tiredness was still there and stayed until the evening and straight to bed…way too late… Good day for running, but this tiredness is starting to get really boring…

Thought to start Tuesday on the right foot (or the left one, … or one after the other… 🙂 ), got only the mind and body to agree for a quick core workout before work. Which was already good, right? My Achilles heels had felt pretty sensitive since a few days, so unsure it was a good idea anyway to go running in the morning. But then after a full day at work, it did not feel much better… decided anyway to get into my running gear for a little round under the sun. Decided for low pulse and set the watch to beep @150bpm. Quite nice and sunny in the air, but not warm and hot. Got 12km out of a tired body and sensitive Achilles…. The good news? nothing actually. Both knees felt a bit aching at the start (lack of warm-up?) and the front of both thighs were not much better (this I know it was from the Monday’s run at a pace faster than planned…). SO when it was time to get on the mat for core & stability workout, neither mind nor body was feeling like it. Reluctant? definitely an understatement! But got it done, including the ball bridges, ball pikes and all the exercises that make the body remember WHY training core regularly is key… Late in bed…soooo exhausted…. but satisfied of having squizzed both a run and a core&stability workout in this day!

All this would lead to Wednesday and the planned fast session. Once again, nothing felt right to go out and run in the morning. Achilles heels pretty sensitive, long day at work… Having 2 brownies in the tummy 1 hour before the run must have made the trick though… Got ready for the tempo run, massaged my knees with tiger balm (if the head thinks it helps, then it must be helping!) and off to go under the sun. Easy warm-up (already fast and not understanding really how it got that fast. and then refrain to speed on the 10minutes fast, trying to keep within the expected range, which worked fine…thanks to the headwind… Then time for long intervals at fast pace, which went faster than expected and that was nice to run 🙂 Especially the final one with headwind, where I got a 1K-pace on a 2K 🙂 and easy back home. The sun is such a help when running 🙂 Feeling as well that the legs might be feeling a bit less from Rotterdam marathon. Surely the heels are not too well, but good enough for running 🙂 This was enough for today and that was a good day! Especially as it meant last day before some time off 🙂

Thursday was May 1st and bank holiday. Therefore (?) the body felt good enough for a morning run. Got an easy-peasy-low-pulse run in a freezing city under the sun (yes, find the error in this sentence…). Regretted 100 times probably not to have taken my wind-gloves. The sun was not warming AT ALL! So running slow was not helping at all EITHER! Pretty happy to get back home, drink a bit and on the mat for core & stability workout. Not because it may warm up the body, but because it was on today’s planned workout. Once again, went fine and wondered why on earth am I postponing this type of workout… Then the day passed quite nice and coldly. Even got out with my winter jacket on (!) under the sun (!). Lots of walking and a bit of sunbathing (but seriously…it WAS cold!). After sleeping a bit under the sun, time had passed and decided for getting to the second run of the day. Easy one as well. Don’t want to make neither my knees nor my heels unhappy, right? Went nice and easy…although faster than in the morning. The slowest km were around the middle of the run, when I had to slow down/walk passing by dogs owners who did not look like they were going to hold their dogs closer to them just because I was coming by… But this run felt pretty well and ended with a bit aching heels. Spent movie time massaging my Achilles heels and went to bed with patch on both heels…like it may help…

So woke up (too) early (for a Friday off), with a heel patch stuck on my thigh… as I thought: “like it may help…”. But they actually felt a bit better, or almost normal. So in my running gear, temperature announced… -1ºC!!! so took calve sleeves, Boston shorts, tshirts, arm sleeves and wind gloves… Took 4km before getting pretty warm and took off the arm sleeves. Slow pace and low pulse was the planned. Nice and easy, back home and 14km later 🙂 Smoothie with diverse frozen fruits (have a problem – apparently – with my freezer…so trying to empty it smoothly…) and changed to shorts and tshirt+fleece top…to start walking to the library before lunch… FREEZING COLD outside! Sunny? checked! Warmth? what do you mean?… Endured it anyway the biting cold to the library, got one our of two books we wanted and then walked to the Chinese restaurant form last Friday 🙂 GREAT! Lots of food eaten there, I can tell you: sushi, rice, noddle, fried prawns & octopus, chicken, beef… OMG! this is a carboloading for an Ultra-marathon-like! And ending with double ice-cream with chocolate topping 🙂 Took time, but worth it! Decided unanimously after that to get back home and change to long pants before heading to the library. Which was done. Walking and walking…probably up to 6-8km back and forth, quite good recovery activity after this morning’s run! The afternoon was spent pretty slow, fixing at home, preparing for travelling and then it was already the evening. Final check on the clothes in my suitcase (do I really need something else than running outfit?…yes I do!), sun cream, book to read and then it was time for bed…11:30pm…too late, really!

6:30am Saturday – up and got ready for getting to the airport. Final check -again- on what is following, skipping my Adidas as it is good enough to have two pairs of running shoes for one week away… Breakfast at Subway, dropped my tea in the waiting room for the bus and off to the airport. Arriving pretty early (it was this with 3hr wait OR later bus and 40minutes wait-BUT the risk of arriving late…). Well inside had to wait for the plane… Bought a book JIC as well as a sudoku. While waiting, ate my small sandwich with ham. The flight went pretty well (slept probably from right after take-off until they start preserving the food and then awaken again 30minutes before landing). Nice in the air, waited 40minutes for the luggages and bus to the city Center of Alicante. My room was in an apartment pretty close to the bus stop and the castle. Great! Met the host, got the keys and dropped my stuff. Clothes change and off to the supermarket. Bought food for a week and after reaching home, changed for an easy 10km. Had forgotten how tricky it is to run in town… Great way to inhale exhausts gases… Finished with back&forth on the Volvo Ocean Race pier, with the sun still high and warm. Then back home, shower and pasta bolognese… Portion being probably great for a mara carbo load but having eaten only little during the trip, it felt ok. Time in bed? 11:30pm. Race planned the day after…

And it was now Sunday! Up @1am then 3 am then 4:30am then 5:15 am and finally 6:23 and 6:30am… Quick shower, finish packing my bag, preparing lunch sandwich for after race and off to the tram. Exactly on time 🙂 Already 20°C outside… Did not need my wind jacket (in my bag… Maybe for after race?). 7:13am + 70 minutes later arriving in Benidorm. Ready for “III Subida a la cruz de Benidorm“?…
Race report here… First place for the race (women) and first place in my category (veteran A). Nice afternoon at the beach afterwards and it was already the evening…

So was my running week! How was yours? 🙂

20140505-205305.jpg


Mr. Sun, …Please shine down on me :)

Sun, intervals, rest, more sun, long run and more rest…what a nice weekend to complete this week!

Saturday started quite fine, sleep in until 8am (despite the sun shining already outside and the birds singing… stayed in bed way longer than usual!), got cracking with rehab and then the sun being high and warm, decided to try the intervals that were set for the day. Skipped the singlet and headed with minimal outfit (and yes, it was way enough!). Easy warm-up, passing by the crazy Tough Viking race on its way to start and then took some moment for easy stretch and accelerations. Change of music and off I went. Intervals felt pretty ok, not much more (ok, the last one went fast, with headwind and seriously tired afterwards but SO worth it!). The legs felt ok. Had massage the knees with tiger balm before the run, JIC. And they worked perfectly. Got all intervals within the expected range, but two were pretty heavy on the way back. And after that easy jogg home. Indeed heavy…when coming back home I recognize that my breakfast had been quasi-inexistent… So, for sure, the intervals were good. And yes, it is still week 1 after marathon (strangely the week right after the race is often called week 0…). SO yes, ok to have heavy legs said L. Then it was just time for lunch. Lazy-me took raviolis and eaten them under the sun… where I spent the rest of the afternoon (carefully creaming with sun protection and drinking water). Tried to do some reading (Noakes) but fell asleep several times… Yapp, really heavy book! And then it was early evening and time for final outing to get the last rays of sun. Ate a chicken fajitas as well (and felt SOOOO heavy afterwards…but what would you do (or not do) when you plan a long run the day after?!?!?…). Evening in front of vampires movies eating ice-cream with chocolate topping (and remember to check what chocolate you use when doing your own chocolate sauce…I had chilli chocolate and it.was.hot!!!).

Had planned to go up early today (Sunday) to avoid doing my long run under the expected heavy sun. But 6am??? nope. Got up for a bit of drinking and then back to bed and sleep-in for a little longer. 8am I hit the pavement, decided to run the first 15km of Göteborgsvarvet and then run back home. All this at real easy pace and low pulse. But once on the way, it was really too nice, so continued towards km17 and then had to run back down the long street…why not running back home towards km18… and when reaching it…it is sooooo close to the end of the race…. juuuuust 3km…. so, sure, why not. All the run was done carefully with low pulse and slow pace. But when reaching the final 2km, not a chance the legs would complete this run without a bit of speed! Got the final 2km at a very nice and fast pace and reached the side of the Stadium…happy…and thirsty… Unfortunately, the water had been cut and I had to turn back and run real easy back home…turning my 15K into a 25K… But sooo worth it! Fun to have a workout titled “Half-marathon + before breakfast” 😛 Shower, protein drink and then massage. Niiiice! No pain whatsoever. Of course there is always some places more sensitive than others, but no pain. To celebrate this, I ordered some take away and got a nice piece of meat, nice French fries, special salad and bearnaise sauce…and a coke. Yes, it IS ok to eat what you like, even though it may not look healthy… As long as you do live healthy and so on… Lunch done, so more reading to do 😉 Sun cream on, water bottles in the fridge, ready to read with my vanilla ice-cream that melted under the sun faster than I could eat it… Nice rest for the afternoon and nice tan as well 🙂 Perfect preparation! Of course, when the sun is hiding itself, there are all the chores left to be done, but that is ok. Soon time for bed as tv is offering only rubbish to watch… Tomorrow is the start of a short week again!

Sun sun and more sun… should be this way like…everyday!


Why does the transparent coat dry slower than the green one?…

Up early enough on Wednesday (sleep in until 06:30am…), could fit a core&stability session right before starting work. Always feeling lame before starting, but so great afterwards. Had the rehab exercises in it and it feels good to have this done so early before anyone else even start thinking about breakfast 😉

Long work day, sunny but not THAT warm outside, when the clock showed 4pm, I started to be pretty tired… Tried all the tricks for keeping the mind alert and the body awaken (like working harder, then when finished, clothe folding, eating dinner (@5:30pm…), even watching tv…but nothing worked…. By 6:30pm I was already in bed sleeping…and no, I did not wake up later on before midnight….

but @3:30am this morning (Thursday), I felt fresh and well-rested… but it was still dark…and early! so had to wait…until 5am and then it was boring to wait longer. Hop in the running gear and time to run. Checking the temperature…2ºC! really? definitely long sleeves, wind jacket, half-thigh shorts and calves sleeves. All good! Real nice in the air actually (after the first chilly feeling!). Ran ran ran and hope for being on the top of the hill to see the sun going up (according to accuweather, it would go up @5:32am…). Short pit stop at gas station and this killed my schedule! Arrived liiitle too late and the sun had gone up already. But what a sight! SOOOOO delightful (and no photo…). And off I went back home. Easy nice morning run. Got ready, quick breakfast and off too work early to get all done. So nice weather I could see through the window from the office. By lunch time the sun had gone up and was warm on the face…making me regretting a bit to have run in the morning (cosy) instead of lunch (warm)… But done is done and no regret actually for the morning run! When leaving the office, the sun was still high and warm, so planned for a second easy outing. While arrived at home… it was too easy to just drop the working outfit and jumped into running gear…and sitting in front of the tv… NOPE! did not stay long. Took a mars and a little bag of gummy bear (yes, one can eat this before a run!) and off I went. As I had an unplanned rest day yesterday, where hillwork was planned, I wished to have a little hilly route today. So headed towards the big bridge and back and forth and got back home, nicely tired, 12km more in the legs 🙂 Quick core-workout and then shower, banana+orange juice and a little work on the computer. Now I am nicely tired still, but could easily go out for a run again (OK, I am not mad…the MIND thinks this is possible/feasible, but the BODY would probably say stop pretty fast 😉 )

Time for bed and beauty sleep!

 

 

(What about the transparent and green coats?… he he he! I was painting my toenails on Monday evening as I had planned to have open shoes on Tuesday (and having 2 nails of blue colour might not be that fashionable…) so painted them in dark green and same for the fingernails. Done under the sun, so thought it would dry fast. But just in case I added a transparent coat on the top… HUGE MISTAKE! in the morning my fingernails showed diverse patterns of all kind and not the ones I wanted to have. SO all off in the evening and once again, green coat on. No transparent this time. Surprise this morning to see that… the colour was nice and without pattern 😉 So conclusion: transparent coat dries slower than green coat. WHY? )


The thin line between quitting and going on…

Rest day and final week, counting the days is no longer enough…hours and minutes will definitely be added to the list… This will occupy my head 🙂

The week started actually yesterday. Up and resisting to the call of the pavement (there must be something called like that, right?). Monday is always a new day and after easy breakfast, time for work. Decided to opt for the working from home alternative, hoping for keeping myself away from any potential sneezing or alike. When 11:30am rang, got ready for warming up before picking up colleagues at the ferry stop. Got time for some stretching as well. My plan was a 10K @marathon pace on flat surface, which would be from the ferry + 5km away (with headwind) and then turn back on the same path (with – hopefully – tail wind). My fellow runners wished to run over the bridge back to the office and my first thought was no way. Not a bridge when I try to run at MP… and my second thought was similar to the first one and the third thought like the second… So no bridge. Agreed we’ll run towards the bridge and separate. First km went under 4min/km. Too fast for me, but good for my colleague’s warm-up 🙂 After that a bit calmer pace and within the expected MP-range. By the time we reached the bridge, I felt so nicely pulled that I decided to follow over the bridge… No need to say that climbing the bridge was killing my feet/legs, but seeing my colleague running so easily and relax, I just bite my lips and followed. Reaching almost the start of the bridge (at the top of the slope), was the first moment I though of turning back and running down and straight back home… Mind strong? not really. Did not want to jeopardize Sunday’s race for a run over the bridge… By the time I made up my mind…I was in the fog in the middle of bridge, having a large smile asking me if it was fine. Of course it was fine… we were at the middle of the bridge and from there onwards it was downhill, flat and -hopefully- tailwind. Good feeling downhill but the flat part was no fun. I really needed the ferry to arrive and give me a chance to race it 🙂 Once again, having a smiling face pulling me forward was my help. And then it was only 1.2km left. Just the feeling that it is almost finished makes all the eventual pain disappear (Ok, it does not disappear, but there is extra strength pushing the body forward definitely). Reaching the final 200m…AND head-wind of course. Once more, feeling of dropping the run…but seriously? with all the effort put in it? not a chance! And it was 10K completed. Easy run back home, quick hot shower and light lunch in front of the computer.

When the day arrived to its end, it was time for school visit and restaurant outing for celebration. A bit too much food maybe, but good. Only tricky part which I thought only afterwards was the butter in the meal… more later… Then back home and cake. Realised I did not do any rehab, so got on the floor and hop! A bit later and it was done. But once again, those planks which make your posture so nice while running… Sometimes they feel soooo long and actually they are not. The final 5seconds are the longest seconds of all. While doing a serie of 7 planks of 65sec each, some were easy but others were just like…”not-a-chance-I-will-ever-do-that-again”… and the worse in all this..is that they are coming back every second day and the mind always forget how it went the previous time. What is it that the mind do to make the difference between “time to quit” and “come on, give it a little bit more”? This thin line that could be called motivation or stupidity, boldness or effort…. Whatever you may call it, it is there. this is this little voice in the head telling at km7 of a 10K training run that it is better of stopping, the pace is too fast, the legs are too tired… but the other little voice telling that actually this pace is way slower than the past race…so you know you can do it… Yaaaa, don’t tell me you never talked to yourself? 🙂

Tuesday arrived and it was time for a rest day. Actually I wanted really to run, but the heavy rain outside cut my motivation. Well, getting out of bed was done so as good to get some work done. Took a short break for core exercises (10min is all it takes!) and feeling the fire in the stomach after this session is the best reward…I think? Work day, keeping a look at the water drinking and the carb-eating. A bit left before Sunday so no rush for eating more carbs than usual. Completed the day with the second rehab program. Once again, when it is started you wonder why you have waited so long before starting…

Have to start preparing my running stuff for Sunday, but not sure yet what to pack. Will probably be a heavy suitcase to have alternative outfits 🙂 A bit of rest now…as it will probably be impossible to sleep in a few days…

Training in the wind? check! Training in the rain? check! Running in new shoes so they won’t hurt? check! Am I missing something?…

 


Sun, rain and terrain race :)

(summary half-week 020414-060414)
Time passes so extremely fast some times, it sounds crazy 8and pretty cliché), but this is sooo true! Already a new week!

Wednesday started pretty late so skipped the run and rehab for the morning and headed to work for a morning of meetings. Some were cancelled and replaced by others, keeping the head busy. By lunch time, the legs wanted out! And a bit of fresh air was nothing the mind would refuse! Change of gear, sun glasses on and off I went. The plan (isn’t there always a plan?…) was running over two bridges, making it a nice 15km. Started 39min later than planned (so much talking to do), so when I started it felt I would need to cut the run short. Starting with one bridge I could run 10K and come back to work with the ferry. But starting with the other bridge it could be only 5K until I reach the ferry on the other side… Not much to get enough fresh air… Second option was chosen (he he he, this makes the run total definitely up to 15K as there is no chance to cross over apart from the other bridge (or the paying ferry…)). Started the run nice and easy, light and happy. Sun shining, nothing to complain about (ok, maybe the light headwind…). By the time the first bridge was reached, the pace was easily 45sec/km faster than planned. But feeling’s fine, so let’s continue. There is still time for getting tired… Reached the 5K/ferry stop, all good, headwind, just 10K left ! Climbing the second bridge went so fine I was really surprise. Not loosing much of my original pace, I kept on as after the bridge… it is downhill or straight straight straight and flat!. Met the ferry at the first stop and chased it once more. Almost lost at the first stop (the closest one)… To my defence, this is a place where the headwind is starting to show itself…again! But then, got an extra kick for the last km and got to win this one again 🙂 Nice nice nice!. 15K in 1:06. All good… Well, should have been slow lunch run. But feeling was fine and seriously not feeling tired much. Quick shower, little food and back to work. Until evening where it was time for rehab again.

Thursday was turned into a full rest day. No training, lots of work, easy and cosy evening (with rehab in front of the tv). Beautiful sunshine outside all day. A day for running…

Friday was off from work due to outside commitments. Spending a morning at the dentist ain’t the funniest way to start a Friday but it went fine. Chose to head for an easy lunch run under the sun after that for my lunch pause. Real nice and light feeling once more. Planned to skip anything that looks like a hill, but started my run with three followings ups&downs and then slight upwards slope and flat and hill. Yapp, you do not always do what you plan to do… Reaching the top of the hill, was really happy and enjoying when noticing a car driving at my level and apparently the driver talking to me. Off with the music to hear that I was running very well and that my running step looked very good 🙂 Nice with expert feedback during the run 🙂 Extra little boost and completed the final 5K on a little cloud. 15K @1:07. Stable apparently, but really had to slow down for resting. This is after all tapering week and the plan was distance and no quality run… Back home and easy afternoon, completed by rehab 🙂

And then it was Saturday and the sun was not too much here. A bit of sleep-in and off the bed directly into the running gear for a really easy recovery run. No pressure, just running. No pace checking, just looking at low pulse and even stopped for doing drills 🙂 Rest of the day was a bit dull (well, the plans for outings fell apart with the grey skies and drizzling rain…). By the evening I decided to aim for an additional run. This time more because it was raining and it was a while ago (I think…) I ran under the rain. Better be used to it if it ever rains next weekend! Real easy additional recovery run under drizzle…. Hmmm, so nice. Even the headwind was light and (almost) enjoyable. All good for today. Rehab at the end and bedtime a bit too late…

because Sunday was starting early (kind-of). It was Terrain Club race. 3 levels, 3 distances (1, 2 and 4km). Changed so to run with the youngest ones the 1km, planning to have this as my warmup. This was without counting that terrain is NOT flat! Two hills on the race… but at this pace it was fine. T arrived 3rd and happy. (I know, T did not want to run at all, but as good to do it when you are there…!) I changed to my shorts and other running gear before the younger ones prepared themselves for the second race. Not a chance I follow them… I would have been ded tired for my own race! Looking at the kids running and fighting for completing the run was really inspiring. G even dropped a shoe 6-700m before the end (i.e. before the two hills to run) and still went along and won the race, followed shortly by E 🙂 Great! Warmed up a bit more, and it was our race to start. Four laps, too fast start, but constant pace after that. Got the 4,1km completed in 18:30 and got 1st place women and 3rd place all. 30sec (?) after the winner and 2sec after the second one… Have to work on the “mountain goat”-style when running uphill… Quick shower, change, got all a little trophy, eaten grilled sausage or burgers and time to head home. Real easy rest of the day as I was a bit tired. Got to do my rehab with E’s help and encouragements and then we ended the day with more clothes folding and finishing a movie. Late in bed…again…

The week was planned to be tapering towards Rotterdam, distance and easy runs only, and few. Turned into a bit faster than planned, but when the legs wants to run…should you stop them? really? Lots of rehab, which I think is making itself really worth the time spent. The hamstring (left side) has not been complaining for a while, or only for liiiiitle cloudy feeling, not more. Have added a little core exercises from Mikael Ekvall into my daily routine as well. He is the Swedish runner who turned the Copenhagen half-marathon world championship into a new Swedish record for the distance 🙂 So if he suggest some core exercises, that could be worth listening to 😉 – OK, those exercises were already in my routine of either rehab or core&stability. but putting them into a daily routine (taking max 9minutes) is really simple and easy. And yes, it feels in the stomach (and looks good too!).

Bed time – new week ahead and this is the final week…


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?….


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

(week 10032014-16032014)

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…


Chickening out vs bold: 3-0

Quite fine with getting up early this morning, but seriously doubting of my motivation…so better off changing the alarm to 1.5 hour later… the only annoying is that I was awaken anyway then…but not running and @5am, it is pretty limited what you can do. Up then later on, got a nice dark energy magic mix with strawberries and kiwis and then ready for work. Long morning meeting and it was nice to get back home, take 2dl sport drink and in running gear for a nice tour. Once again, choosing long tights instead of shorts and regretting it by the moment I set my foot on the pavement. THIRD TIME IN A ROW! Sure it would have looked pretty bold out to be in short shorts and long socks with wind jacket, bonnet and wind gloves, but seriously? It would have been worth it. I am sure I am dropping in weight for each workout this way as it feels running in a sweat suit…Would rather be bare legs and getting the wind to refresh the body. Anyway, the first steps felt pretty strange as the legs had a life on their own. Really! The upper body seemed to be left behind and I had to focus way beyond normal (!) to have them better coordinated! First km was faster than ever (for a training round) and was expecting to start tasting blood after that and being cut in my breathing, but no…. it just continued. Good to have headwind (for once), but it slowed down only a little bit. Short stretch by km 4 and then attached the bridge. THIS would certainly cut the fun for the legs, I thought… but no. Not at all. Got to the top on the toes and even noticed myself smiling and singing by the time I reached the middle! Fast fast downhill and then the long stretch with headwind (I thought it was always tailwind on this side…). Almost arrived at the ferry dock…when the ferry arrived! So got myself started to a 4-500m sprint aaaaaand got the ferry to the other side (Yipppi!). Then easy back home (and yes, the “easy” was still 30/40seconds/km faster than what I should have done and effort-wise it was not high at all). Got myself ready for the hills by dropping my jacket and bonnet to the pizzeria near-by. And off I flew (and yes, this street CAN have headwind as well!). The 8*60m hills turned into 10 of them as I love it so much 😉 and ended with an easy run back home.

Stopped by the shoe store to try the ASICS Noosa, but 1) they have a crazy colourful look, 2) they feel more like GT-2000 than Sky Speed 2 and 3) did I say it? they have a crazy colourful look! Will think about it.

Back home, quick lunch (oven toast and nutella/banana/chocolate toast) and back to work. Ended the afternoon with a visit to the physio-therapist. Quick confirmation that this is a problem with the high hamstring. Have to book a time for next week and continue in the meanwhile the rehab exercises.

SO: good day for running indeed. A little ache in the thigh/bum muscle (left side), but setting this on the hill workout. Hopefully a good night’s sleep will release this for the best. Now time for bed!


…and some still do it in the dark, over a bridge…twice…

What a nice long night of sleep can do on the body is underrated. Woke up before the birds (he he he!) and quietly changed to my running gear for an easy early morning recovery run. Still dark outside, but my guess is that it won’t take long before the light starts to show up in those early 5am-runs… Already turned right instead of the planned left, then aimed to the bridge instead of to the harbours and started the bridge with nice easy pace and fit legs. The temperature felt pretty nice despite being on the bridge. 19 bikes had been passing the bridge when I ran the first time. Over the little bridge and down and back on the other side. Liiitle heavy start on this side, but reached the top after running on the top of the toes, so…heavy is good! The watch beeped on the top and it was just to run down easy-peasy. Passing under the bridge, starting easily to run up…considering whether to cut it for today and run back home oooooooorrrr…. continuing the bridge (of course, by the time my reasoning was finished, I had crossed half the bridge already…). By then there was 23 bikes that had passed the bridge… same procedure as before (I really like this bridge and doing it twice is double-fun!). Then it was time to cut the fun a bit and run back home. Still controlled pace liiiitle acceleration at the end (cannot help it…the legs do decide sometime!). Still quiet, time to get those pancakes done as promised yesterday. Added black sesame seeds in it and it looked really fun.

5 pancakes and a tea later, it was time to get ready for work 🙂 Meeting meeting and meeting and then back home. Quick lunch (had red meat to ensure my little red cells are building up correctly 😉 and then moooooore meetings. Suggestion of the day: “back-to-back” training does have a certain appeal and indeed can be good AND fun to do. BUT “back-to-back” meetings are leaving you and your brain in a very high level of tiredness so you have to ensure to have the window opened to get fresh air in!

Completing the day with the second half of the core&stability workout (yes, the dreadful “core” part… not really dreadful, but when done after a whole day work, ball pikes are NOT that appealing… are they ever any appeal, btw?…

Still a bit of evening left for cosy reading and chilling out. Early morning tomorrow too…Yippiiii…

 

NOTE: tested my new blue leg sleeves today…under a long tights. OK, maybe not optimal, but it felt quite fine. Have been washing them and they look pretty smaller now. Good my calves aren’t too big, but I think they won’t last long. From Monday running with the black ones, it felt quite fine on Tuesday. Although the run was not that much more than a recovery one. Will see to have one pair during the quality run later this week or during the long run…more to say…


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 🙂


Hills, wind, long run and a bit of recovery

Summary of the last four days of training:

Thursday: Up with the birds (well, actually and probably BEFORE them) as it was time for double runs and honestly did not have much time available during daylight (or day at all) so the first run started 5am. Easy one, just running and completed it with hillwork (i.e. up&down 10 times with the encouragements of an early awaken lady smoking at her window…). 14K later it was time to get the fastest shower ever, prepare for b-day breakfast, celebrate and then start with the first meeting with Japan @8am… The whole day passed pretty fast with the latest meeting postponed to Friday, which left me an hour to start for the second round. As my mp3 ear-plugs died on me in the morning (and when this happens after 2km it ain’t fun and motivating to continue…even though you do continue!), I took another route for the distance run, short stop to purchase new ear-plugs, on with the music and off I continue the run on the bridge (back & forth and then on the straight line along the harbour. Nice in the air, but by km10 a bit of cramp and tiredness (did not stop me from turning back after a little hill to take it once more the other way around and get to my hillwork as in the morning). Same hill, still in the dark, but this time I had to take into account the cars going up&down (and not really liking I was running in the middle of the road) and as well the huge trucks repairing the road on the top of the hill. I had dropped my jacket at home after the distance and had only my long sleeves but still working really well. Light legs, just flying up, real nice feeling. When ticking the end of the 10th up, it started to drop small snow flakes from the skies and when I aimed for home it started to rain and then heavily rain. Did not matter, I was just happy to have completed those runs and this special day. Had to take into account the calves still a bit sored, but with the compression socks, it felt that it was helping. Another good part of the day (there were plenty of nice parts!) was to have finally ordered new running shorts and to have gotten two new pairs of shoes which hopefully will arrive soon. Same as the ones bought in August which have accumulated together almost 2,000km already… Ended the day with celebrating G in an Indian restaurant (where I secretly hoped I would handle the food nicely… might not be wise to try new restaurant, food… a few weeks before a race.)

Friday: Early morning once more, for this recovery run. Took it really easy. Had planned a 10K and then turned right aiming for a 12K. Stopped by A’s home, knocked at the kitchen window and said hi and continue my run (although on another route than turning back). So it ended with a 15K at real easy pace, which was ok. The day passed, sushi @lunch and then cosy evening, which would hopefully make me rested for the long run of the following day.

Saturday: Once again, when the clock ring and it shows 3:30am, the brain has to think a bit about what it is supposed to happen now. Felt quite rested, got my early breakfast (regular oat-porridge, super berries mix and oat-milk) and aimed to bed for some rest. Got up a bit later, allowed myself a 30-minutes waking-up part to get myself ready, checking my gels and water in my camelbak, opting for my wind-jacket despite the risks of possible rain or snow and deciding for a possible route to get this long run done. Music on, took really easy first km, necessary pitstop after 5km and then arrived on the long harbour road. Strangely the lights on the side of the road where switching off themselves when I just arrived and pass them…Pretty spooky, when you have the sea on one side and some houses still asleep on the other side. Anyhow, short stop to decide once more what to do for this first fast bout. Decided for headwind 1K then turn back and continue the bout – hoping for tailwind… Did not however plan for the road being almost pitch black, with knee-high lights showing the road only to the 30cm around the lights and when getting to the houses area, the lights there were not functioning, which made me complete this first km in a really annoying pitch black road…even more annoying was that I had to turn back after 1km and take this road again…The only “fun” (!) part was the houses lights with movement detectors which were turning on when passing them (but no light enough on the road unfortunately). Of course the tailwind never appear, had to fight to get down to the pace I wished to have and when reached, the bout was almost finished… A new pitstop and off for an easy km and a new pitstop (strategy of eating/drinking has been pretty tricky this last month, so hoping that it will work as usual in Dubai…). Started my second fast bout with headwind…WHAT? you said headwind? on this road it is supposed to be tailwind… Pretty frustrated not to reach the fast pace expected, having to stop 2 times because the wind was too strong to run (and stubbornly I refused to turn 180ºC and benefit from a tailwind for this fast part). So ended pretty annoyed and got to calm down and tried to re-focus when starting the final fast part. Not a chance… Headwind (where does it come from really? Must be waiting for me somewhere…) and then lack of focus, made this bout once again pretty difficult mind-wise. Yes, the pace was there, but focus on the distance, the run, the pace… nothing was working correctly. Good for completing the run was that after a slow part (and another pitstop) the fun part of the run arrived with alternate fast/slow. Seeing the pace I got for those parts, the legs were definitely showing they did not work as they could have in the 26 first km… Anyhow, when completing the series fast/slow and the 2km after that, I was 2km short on my log run…so I took an extra round to get up to 32km. When loading my run, I noted that I had missed to set 5km fast in the workout and had only 3km fast… Anyhow, was extremely frustrated of the run as would have expected to run a bit better. Fortunately the fast/slow series at the end kept my mood up 🙂 Rest of the day was chilling out as generally after long runs, a bit of shopping and a movie from the sofa. Nice sleep after that! Calves were now all fine but the left hamstring made itself reminded again 😦

Sunday: last day of the week…started with a sleep-in until…7am 🙂 Easy start, drop-off at soccer practice and took my recovery run as planned. Although my mp3 refused to start, I had to run with just the wind in my ears, the tip-tap of my shoes on the pavement and my so-loud thoughts in my head… All good (except my heart rate showing so extremely high values again despite the pretty slow pace… and yes, there is something wrong with the monitor! not me…). Took the days easy after that with home-cooking of goulash soup with G, an hour walk in the cold w/ET and then dinner of lasagne topped with waffle and chocolate ice-cream for dessert… Nothing better for completing a Sunday, right?

Summary of the week: quite some km still, and 3 days of nice quality workout. Now it is really time to start tapering down (volume not intensity). The body is feeling quite fine (although without this hamstring spooking around it would be great, or this stomach cramping during the long run). The mind itself has to keep its focus and not letting itself distracted now. Not many days left, but still too many for thinking of plenty of other things…

A bit of rest now, cannot wait to fly in a little more than a week and just be there…

Dubai…11 days to go!!!


Long Run + Recovery Runs = Ultramarathon over the weekend :D

And this was Sunday evening already… Seems like it was last week’s Sunday was yesterday. Some weeks pass so extremely fast you cannot see they have even been there…

Saturday started pretty early (3:45am to be exact) with an alarm clock remind me to go up and take my breakfast before my long run. Would have gone out directly, but really… 3:45am?… so breakfast with oat-porridge, blueberries, banana and goji berries and oat-milk and back to bed 🙂 Of course it is never easy to fall asleep again, this time was no exception…and when you are so deep back in your sleep again…of course it is time to go up again. Took a long 30 minutes (!) to get ready, double-check the workout on my watch, filling in my camelbak and ensuring I would have my gels. Skipped the LED on the shoes and had them on the front and back of the camelbak instead. Running with 1.5l water does make one feel like a camel… Took easy 8km warm-up and during this time realized the route I planned would give me a headwind on the fast parts of the long run… Asch, as long as it is not like two weeks ago…can be handled then! Got into the fast intervals part and seriously, starting with strong headwind when you try to reach a fast pace ain’t fun. So for the 4 last reps, I did them back and forth instead… Pretty smart, Uh? Well, did not count on the side wind coming from the water through the crossing streets… Almost all my plans for having tailwind on the fast parts and headwind on the slow parts fell into pieces, having now side wind on both parts 😦 Took a necessary pit-stop before ending the serie and then off over the bridge on slow pace… and slow it was! Had to stop at a moment as I could not even move forward due to the strong headwind… Then it was time for a fast bout again. So the choice was : 1) slight downhill slope with light/medium headwind OR 2) take the tram to the final station and get the slight uphill slope with no/little tailwind… Checking the tram which would need 22minutes to even come to this station… No choice at all then! 22 minutes was what this bout should take! So surely with light head wind the fast bout was completed (with a brief stop right at the end as the tram I was supposed to take was crossing my street…). Easy pace close to boring and then time for another fast part (Yippie! says the head – A bit tired, you know say the legs…). Of course once again got headwind on the first half and this wind is always disappearing when it is time to have it pushing me in the back… Real easy part again and time for the fun part of the run (there always should be some!) with speed-work. OK, the legs were not too fresh any more, but for some fun, there is always some strength left! And finally the last 2km of the long run… Too close to the race week for pushing more on those two so decided to take the tram home when getting to a tram-station. Of course (so many of course this day!) the 2km were completed between two stops and by reaching the next stop it was missing 600m to get up to 39km… Easy walk to the bakery for morning croissants, walk home under the rain (had promised not to run after the long run…) and rest for the day after that. Could not directly handle a cold bath for recovery of the legs, but got a hot/super cold shower on the legs instead (and that was way enough!). Rest with legs up for a while and chill out for the afternoon ahead. Started with the lights of the city and the darkness of the skies, noticing the light out after 18km and finishing with cloudy skies and light rain… A bit of sunshine would have been good! This was a very good last run and looking back at how the prep for Dubai went last year during the month of January, it is more than happy I went to bed this day 🙂

Sunday‘s sleep in until 7am (!) was a treat 😉 Later breakfast and then in the gear for a recovery run w/G, his pace. Really slow pace it was especially after 4km when he started to get really tired. Got some walking parts and even did some drills for a km. But all in all a great recovery run at a slowslowslow pace…Dropped him home to get T. Was a bit scared (!) when the first 500m got at a pace of 5:35/km or so… but endurance was not on the menu this day 🙂 second bout was 300m and then easy jog home. This was way enough for one day and for me it was the slowest ever recovery run. Once again, this was promised to do it slow… Reaching the evening the legs really felt like running again, so took on my gear again and got myself under a drizzling night sky for a second recovery run. Way more boring than in the morning when the sun was shining and the company was great. This time the legs would have like to go way faster, but the mind did the extreme effort to stop this. Had to stop half way to empty my stomach as my dinner did not want to stay there. Too much or heavy, too close to the run probably. After that, felt a bit lighter and got a little faster end, but still really slow. Rehab exercises done in front of evening movie and it was time to get to bed (again…).

Summary of the weekend: 57+km which would qualify for an Ultramarathon, right? 🙂 A bit tired mainly in the head after the runs, the body felt really fine. Apparently Friday tough massage did have some results (so far) as the left hamstring did not hurt, and only made itself reminded by a blurry feeling which is not existing on the right side. All ok, I would say.

Summary of the week: New weekly volume record with 130+km. New year looks like starting well so far. Let’s hope it does continue this way.

Time for bed now… Tapering is soon starting 🙂

Dubai: 18 days to go!!!


Rain, wind, tears and 36km later…

Time for weekly long run. Started with an early breakfast 6:30am (on a Saturday…on vacations…no comment!): oat-porridge with banana and mango, with almond-milk (just trying this one for first time). Then back in bed for a while. Up 2hours later, still raining and choice of gear was easy: 6-7ºC, rain, no wind (on my balcony…). 3/4 tights, compression shorts, long sleeves and rain jacket. Perfect. Had charged both mp3 and watch over the night, so all set. Prepared 1.5l water in my camelbak and took 3 vitargo gels. All set.

Started with easy pace 20km. Not too simple with heavy rain from everywhere as well as wind (as I am not running on my balcony-which is wind-free…). Got over a first bridge, all ok, although had to stop on the other side due to heavy headwind stopping me from even moving forward. Continue same way and then ran a long-lonely-boring-flat bike path to one of the IKEA close to the city. Right, why taking car or bus to get there, when you can run?… have to remember that next time 🙂 Took a gel around km9, a bit too much water drinking throughout the run so several pit stops required… After reaching IKEA had 10K left before the next block. Planned to run straight forward until reaching km18 and then turning back. Fearing  a bit (already) the way back as I could feel I had some tailwind (or side wind) which mean I would have strong headwind on the way back. After a few km, change of plan and aimed towards A bridge. Of course I could see the high bridge above the landscape, but never taken it and never thought would… until I carefully ran closer to it and then turned left and right and noticed I started to run uphill… Yapp, this was THE bridge. Got to run across the bridge, fighting against the strong right side wind making it real difficult to run. Forgot to take a pic from far before I reached it so see below:

Angeredsbro under the sun (i.e. not at all like today!!!)

Friendly horses on the way up to the bridge

Start of the bridge

image

Rainy view from middle of the bridge

The bridge is about 1km long and end into a tunnel (lost of satellite :(). Thought it would be easy after that but it became ALL but not flat. Ended the first block happy anyway as it was already good work done.

The second block was 10K tempo, which was revised a bit slower considering the intervals from yesterday…Of course (!) this part was the most hilly of the whole run and had strong to super-strong headwind from the start and throughout the 10K. Tears out several time (although not easy to get them out of the eyes with such wind coming to your face…). The mental part of the run was the toughest part. Really easy to just quit. But no. After reaching 18km it was already “half-way, just half left”. By the end of the fast 10K it became “already 30K done, only 6K left…” Even got some strengths from somewhere to pace up during the last 900m of the second block. But definitely not happy. The time out was the most important for today. Not the pace really.

Third block was an easy 3K and even this one was tricky with strong headwind AGAIN (or still…). Had a few stops like during the 10K as the wind was so strong it was not possible to run or move forward 😦

Fourth block consisted on 2km high pace, but after 200m had to stop and change street as the wind did not let me to even run!!! Got to push a bit to get this part completed and then it was just 1km home. Not a single extra added to this run…

Longest run since Berlin and definitely the second toughest for 2013 (the toughest one was mid-January, but there it was body pain, when today it was mental strength which had to be secured). See the elevation recorded by my Garmin… The first little bump on the chart is the “tough” second bridge of Göteborgsvarvet… All taken into consideration, it is not that difficult to take on when seeing the other part of the run (the one with the higher-larger bumps, where the fast block were unfortunately set… bad calculation here!!!) But done is done and pretty satisfied to have completed it. Back home, took banana+blueberry soygurt right after passing the door. Then shower and resting the legs up for a short while and then food food food (and water!). Lots of resting before getting out for dinner.

Elevation for today's run

Elevation for today’s run

This particular workout was focusing on the time being on the road, even though there was blocks with higher pace. But was not expecting to be such a challenge for the mind. While during the first 14km of boring flat road it was calculating stupidly (!) all the combination in the multiplication table to get to 36… as well as trying to compare to races like Berlin or Dubai (which are flat flat flat), it was REAL tough to remain sane during the part after that (from the bridge and beyond). So much internal fight and convincing. Cannot recall tears during a training apart really really rarely of joy having finishing a workout. Once or twice of pain. But physical pain. Here it was all in the head. Never been so happy to see the building from SKF and the tram that could bring me home. But by this time the head had also recovered and calculated that it meant I was no longer far from home and THEREFORE could as well continue running… I really like distance around 36-38km, because they are special. Longer than a regular long run but shorter than a marathon…just teasing-distance I would qualify them. Juuuuust a little bit more and would be a marathon distance. But nope, not this time!

SO…for today it was a great challenge and a completed one. Today is arriving to its end and tomorrow will bring new things…Looking forward to it… Do you?

and btw today is winter solstice…meaning that the days will become lighter from tomorrow onwards (well, the nights will remain dark out there, but the summer will arrive pretty soon, right? 🙂


Icy-rainy-bridgy-intervally-backy-mixy-shorts week :)

(Week 091213-151213)
Can you feel the stress all around at work, school and home? Or should this be called “Xmas feeling’s in the air”? Great week for training if disregarding this “stress-Xmas-feeling-whatever-you-choose-to-call-it”!

Monday started with a late-early-morning run on ice. Real careful on the pavement especially after the Sunday snowy/rainy weather. Most of the snow had disappeared (Yippie!) but replaced by some icy parts which were not that “Yippie”. Could get a 10K out of it anyway before starting work, and that was way enough and satisfactory for this first day of the week! The knees felt a bit tired and achy, the thigh/bum muscle has started to make itself reminded AGAIN.. Hope this just stop one day just!

The week continued with a heavy Tuesday. Early morning run was not to count on. Was so extremely tired that I took my gear to work and hoped for some time to get out and see the light (not the sun as it is no longer appearing here apparently…). Which I did. Quick after the last long morning meeting, run downstairs to change, off I went with music in the ears, direction the bridge. Said to myself that would 5K beep before I start the bridge, I would turn back to the office… Of course (!) it beeped 5K when reaching the middle of the bridge. Took 30sec breather and continued to the other side, ran under and took the other side of the bridge back to the office. Easy in the mind, fresh in the legs, when seeing the runner close to the finish point running a bit fast, I could not hold the legs and got up to speed 🙂 Nice bridgy lunch run. Quick shower, wrap in front of the computer and off to first afternoon meeting! When ready to close up for the day, new change of gear, all I could throw in my liiiitle backpack went in and off I ran home (ovber the same lunch bridge…). 18km this day – happy to be home and enjoy my little monsters (who were asking directly when I cross the front door, whether I just arrived from work OR if I was on my way out for a run… do you hear the complain somewhere?…).

Good night’s sleep meant early wake up on Wednesday and off I left quietly. Unsure which workout to choose however. Had either intervals 1000m or hill workout. First one got the preference (even though I questioned myself throughout the workout!!!). Surely 5am ain’t the most optimal time for doing such runs, but it is either then or none at all… What would you choose?!?!? Got a nice workout and full with energy for the day. No real plan for more run this day, but had to pickup E at his rehearsal, so why not a transport jog…and over the bridge…making it 6km instead of 2… 🙂 Real nice feeling, progressive acceleration (even when running back & forth on the bridge), which ended with a 500m racing behind a taxi and making this final bout REAL fast 🙂 Pretty cold however after the pickup so needed a super hot shower to stop myself from shivering…

Thursday ended being a rest day. Started again the rehab for my thigh/bum muscle (or hamstring I guess it is called). Hopefully it will help to get rid of this for good. It feels pretty stiff and stretch is not helping…

TGIF! Yes of course! and it is 13th as well… so what is better to start the day than an early hill interval workout?!?!? In the dark, nice and easy, really enjoyable workout. Have to work a bit on the last 50-60m which are WAY too controlled (i.e. I kind-of slow down during this part). And back home in a spooky road with fog and really little lightning… No more running for this day, but a nice and cosy evening instead.

Sleep-in (for once!) on Saturday morning until …8.30am (!) Off to the bakery to get fresh croissants and pains au chocolat (read: make it 6,5km easy-fast-pace run to pick up croissants instead of walking easily the 1.2km to the bakery…) ALL is good for doing a run 😉 Lots of walking in town during the day to find some Xmas stuff and then late afternoon was time for a second easy run, planned 10K and turned into 15K in the dark and silence of the city. Real nice ending of the day with a movie and the start of MIB on tv… before we all fell real tired and went to bed!

So when the clock ran @7am on Sunday, and the rain was pouring down, it was very unlikely to be of any appeal to get me out of bed for a long run. Did some calculations, schedules and plans on how to arrange who is going to which activity and when and for how long and ultimately got the best (ok, most optimal) time slot for my long run. Started therefore the day with waffles and had in mind to have this as my prep meal for the long run later in the afternoon. Time to get ready and changed last minute from 3/4 shorts to short shorts… It was after all 8ºC outside. Long compression socks and camelbak with energy drink… ALL SET! Started with an easy 10K with 2 bridges, then followed by a tempo 5K, real nice and good feeling there. Easy part before alternative pacing parts and finally easy back home. Nice long run of 33.33km in 2:31 for a pace of 4:33/km (I actually tried to get as many “3” on the screen of my watch!!!) 🙂 Got a real rush during the run and happy to complete it with 3 small hand full M&M’s mix and then a kebab pizza with 1/2 fanta. And yes, this was also topped with an ice cream… Nothing is better than the reward after such a run!!!

Now the summary of the week is complete and I am very tired (well the mind is up and functioning but the legs and especially the hamstring is REALLY not happy). So time for some bedtime reading before starting a new week. Lots of planning to do still. The year is not yet finished…

(and yes, my laptop is starting to show real signs of “needed-retirement”, so hope for Santa to bring me a new one which is not sounding like an original steam engine and that is not sleeping when i am typing (or is it that my fingers are so fast typing on the keyboard that the machine cannot follow… Those weekly summaries are quite nice to do some reflections afterwards,. but seriously take longer time to write. So will see how to do for the next postings…).

Tjingeling!


Hills, speed work, tempo, vegetarian and long run…

(Week 251113-011213)
Here it came and here it went. First of two heavy weeks already completed 🙂

Well-deserved rest day was only the title of Monday. Lots of work to do and therefore it was only late in the evening that there was time for core workout. A bit late for my taste and this type of session, but at least it is done. JM6W6P – week 1… Unsure how often this is supposed to be done, but the aim is here to get some variations in core training.

Tuesday started well with a nice easy pace run, completed by fast short hills. Not too tired on the way back home and eager (?) to try a nearby hill, I took two extra rounds on this stiffer hill (and will definitely have this one as reference for next run!). Hill workout can actually be fun…

Wednesday turned out to become a rest day from training due to heavy workload (early-birdie start and late late finish)… A run would have suited well at lunch if not for a telco and rush to second half of the workshop… Standing all day with high heels boots is probably not the first recommendation for keeping one’s heels safe, but these were suiting the outfit 🙂

Therefore Thursday got to have some pace really. Started to feel pretty heavy and having a speed session (time-based, not distance-based) was the best that could happen to lift up this day! Time-based intervals are and remain a real challenge… Soooo easy to just rush at start and notice that yes the distance be greater, but the time ain’t passing faster…

And so it was Friday already… Had planned a two-bridges run for lunch, but got a nice company kindly suggesting a job-lunch…tricky to refuse when asked with a smile! So, work all day it became. As soon as back home, it turned into the fastest gear change ever and off I went. Did not do the 2-bridge run though as it would have killed my finish pace 😉 but placing a 41min 10K in the middle of a 16km was nice-2-have! Enjoyed the lights of the city, the drizzling rain on the bridge and 3km sub4 to start the fast pace 10K. Good to have move this bum to get some training… It is so easy and tempting to just come back home, get to the sofa and just stay there… TGIF!!!!

Saturday was not even close to have me out of bed early. Would have been stressful to get on time for the dance show of T. Therefore: early start, breakfast for the monsters, transport to the first show (we had tickets for the second one), breakfast in town while waiting, show, Chinese lunch (not recommended). Then waited 3 hours before moving my soon-reaching-a-coma-state body and off for a long run. First 30km since Berlin. Felt nice, liberating, comfie, cosy and dark… Got out for 2hr2in (I like round figures!) and finished the day with cozy tv-watching. The long run incorporated some speed work and this was once again some exercise my legs were out after 🙂

No need to say that Sunday was a bit heavy at start (well, late in bed but woke up at 7am, so ready for a recovery run within the hour!). Pretty heavy thighs and real strong headwind making it almost impossible to run sometimes. But as it said: recovery run! Completed the run with some hover and pancakes 🙂 rest of day preparing for business trip and cheering at the athletics training. As H would write: IIFS!!!

Challenge of the week: vegetarian from top to toes… Got started on Monday and completed a full long week with vegetarian food at every meal of the day. Guarantee I missed my meat-meal… Felt tired , although the workload was hereby thus week so maybe it was a combination then. Not convinced at all this is something good for me. But done is done! Tomorrow is back to normal.

Surprisingly got little less mileage this week than during last week of recovery… Still keeping up the pace and time now for some sleep due to pretty early start tomorrow morning… Had to review next week’s program as will probably have to run on dread mill for a few days… 😦

More next week then!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunshine through the trees

Sunshine through the trees

Curious swans

Curious swans

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

A bit of forest in an ocean of asphalt…

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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