Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

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Race Report – Midnattsloppet 2016/08/20

Midnattsloppet2016

Not tired after a 10K…something wrong with me?

Planned: training-race. Not really thinking of a sub40 here, but close to 40 was in the plan

Actual: 42:29.
place: 12th women, 1st age category, 187 total.

In brief? Safe start. Way too slow kms to the 1st church. Way too slow and careful on the way down. Way too slow km to the 2nd church. Well, yap. A bit too many “way-too-slow” km in this race. But at least I was not tired at the end… My theory? 10K-races SUCK! (or maybe it is me that suck at 10K-races…or both…)

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BEFORE THE RACE

Night all ok. Woke up and waited a bit for a leg-shaking morning jog. Bought bagels for breakfast and then back home. This time the “bagel-hunt” was started later to ensure the place to actually find freshly baked bagels would be opened. Shower, breakfast. And…nothing. Just had to wait. A bit less than 12 hours! Hesitated in going back to bed, but turned into the tv on and watch the next episodes of Prison break season 2. After 2 DVDs I felt a bit tired, so a bit of walking around and then really bored. Hot bath and reading about marathon training “the French way”. Still too many hours before start… Lunch around 2:30pm – leftover from yesterday (Indian chicken with rice). Felt all fine afterwards. Still too much time to kill. More of Prison Break. And then it rained… Wonderful! 6:30pm was the time to get the BIB for the elite group, so I biked to the start and there had to wait 15 minutes as they had not received the BIB yet. Waited in a pretty empty VIP-tent. Back home, there was still so much time to kill. Discovered unfortunately that the lamps of all our bikes had been stolen. Wonderful! One thing I really did not want to think about before a race. Even a training-race 😦 Got myself ready. Fixed the hair, attached the BIB, hesitated for the shorts though. But I wanted a pocket for my home key so I chose my army blue shorts together with my club sports bra. And of course my superfast running shoes (Swifty). Hmmm… OK. One hour before start, time to get warmed up. Had drunk sport drink all day until 6:30pm. Took an Aptonia gel before leaving home. Attached a little red LED-lamp on the back of my sports bra (so people would see me in the dark…) and one on each hip (red and green). Better be seen than sorry! Started to run with the rain-poncho on. The preparations were going on, but honestly during my morning run it was just empty of everything! Got to the start. Quick pitstop in the woods. Drizzle had started and turned into rain short after.

8:25pm – 35 minutes to start and I was finished with the warmup. Additional pitstop under the rain. Jogged to the start. Group 1b & 1C started to fill in. No elite yet in 1a. Waited until 10minutes before start to get in. By then the lights had switched off and on at least twice… Wonderful! Met Tricky right before the start: Great with a warm hug as I was really freezing by then.

9:23pm – waiting as usual for the start and hearing as usual that it will be delayed by five minutes. Getting a high-five from Y Tregaro 🙂 Smiles from other runners. A hug from Maria B. OK. Music in the ears is ready. When will this stupid start be given?

9:28pm – off with the rain poncho. No more rain, but still a few minutes to start. Still freezing…

10 seconds to start… OK, don’t panic… Why are the guys from the race holding us still? Are they going to vanish in less than 10seconds?!?! I will probably not push, but the fast beasts before me will probably do…

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The RACE

PANG! Finally! Start is given. Getting a little push from a guy trying to pass me already on the right side (where there was actually NO place at all). And we are in the (close-to-complete) dark already a few meters after the start. Impossible to see where we are running and I know that this area is full with holes in the soil… Turning right and getting to jump a bit for skipping the first large water pool on the asphalt. Keeping a safe place on the right side. Letting all the fast guys of group 1a & 1b passing by. All fine. I am having an eye on the gals. Maria B has made it under 40minutes when I ran two years ago. So my “plan” is basically to shorten as much as possible the difference this time 😛 The plan is easy-fast-comfortable to km4. Hopefully close to 4min-tempo. Then probably drop of the pace to 4:20-30 or more for the next km to get to the Church and then win back this time with a superfast downhill km, then easy to the next church (and probably slow too on the way up) and then it is only 2km left 🙂 Plan sounding good in my ears at least! The first left turn is taken very carefully as the crazy guys all around are just running like…well…crazy guys! And in the dark I definitely do not want to jeopardize my feet and legs and all the rest. So easy. Maybe too easy for the first km, but ok. (definitely not feeling on “race-mode” by then). Then getting passed by a gal which has a race-tshirt. Meaning she did not start in the elite group (where all had their club outfit), which also means that she started quite behind me. Not good. Keeping an eye on her. Could not see Maria B any longer…. on the other side, it is pretty dark and everyone is having the same tshirt… Just try to find one in a million! Ok, one in ten thousand… Down towards Mariaplan. All fine. Breathing is nice and easy. Turning all around and then getting the right turn. Here it is so dark, cannot see the guy holding a flag and getting it right into my face. Wonderful! Turn right…seeing the first fast runners already on the other street a bit forward. We still have to turn left and then right to get to km2. OK. Back on good track. All looking fine. The gal is quite ahead of me, but that’s fine. I’ll pass her shortly I thought. Taking little longer steps, enjoying passing guys along the way. Getting strange looks btw when passing them. Passing Mariaplan again and the gal is slowing down. Easy passing by and then all fine up to km3. Slightly above 4min. Then up the hill and down and up again. Legs are strong and feeling good. Very tight to pass people here. My “hold right, please” do not have much effect on the guys before me. So I chose to run on the right of all of them. Had decided to take a gel by km4. Not needed, but feeling that it could help as the last “real food” was lunch at 2:30pm… Wonderful experience again…dropping my gel and swearing out loud (I did not notice it, but a child shouted to her mum: “She just said “F…”!!!”). OMG how annoying. Back on the race. I know I don’t need it, but still annoyed. Hoping that my home keys did not fall at the same time though… Reaching km4 in a decent 4:05. OK. Still good. Turning right and getting the screams of Klara’s parents 🙂 THANKS! (always tricky to recognize people in the dark!). Then further on, I actually recognize Magnus B from MIK 🙂 Smile again! And already turning right and up. Feeling fine. Probably too fine. Quick check at the watch and indeed…it IS too fine! And then turn left (already?) and straight slightly up and forward. High-five to half of the kids dressed in KEX-choklad tshirt. And turn left to a darker place (sorry…darker road 🙂 ). OK, km5 is clocked at 4:21 on my watch and it IS way slower than I planned. Halfway done, Halfway to go! The great there is that the fast guys and gals have not yet gone down the church hill 🙂 I am not THAT slow 🙂 Seeing them going down at a devil’s fast pace. Guy, guy, more guys, then a short group of gal, guy, guy…OK, by then I generally see Maria B. Feeling the uphill is going fine, i.e. too slow for being in the race. Taking it very careful as the road had no light. Did they do that on purpose? Switching off all the street lights? It is wet and slippery. Sliding a bit on leaves on the wet asphalt. Wonderful…make me fall now… Strong up to the Church. Feeling that I am reaaaally slow there. But then accelerating after turning around it. Taking the road instead of the pavement like most of the guys. And then it is just a downhill. Yooooohooo! Although the downhill is still in the dark and the “careful” side of me is definitely controlling the running down. Km6 is passed in crazy slow 4:54min. Which was NOT in the plan 😦 Definitely not happy. Could also feel that my wonderful downhill pace is not even starting as I cannot see where my feet are going. Running on the water, having to pass guys on the right and then on the left and then turn right with short stretch before another stiff downhill stretch. This one went in 3:35 a couple of days ago and it felt well-controlled…km7 is timed today slightly under 4min. What is going on?!?!? Not even having fun. Smiling right and left when hearing “nice lamps” (had forgotten that my hips are wearing my LED-lamps 🙂 ) And another right turn. Straight to the church. And there once again it felt heavy. Seeing Hanna O at the bottom of the slope. Big smile! And easy up on the top of the toes. Hearing in my head “You Shaaaall Not Stoooop”. OK, probably needing sugar soon! Making it fine to Nordostpassagen. Feeling that it went quite well actually. Passing the km8-sign, which is placed way before the “real” km8. Which is clocked in crazy slow 5min!!! REALLY?!?!? Where did this come from? Continuing without much of motivation for accelerating. Not tired, but why should I even try “kind of”. Running under the light bridges felt a bit strange (and the music was NOT adapted to sub40-pace!). Passing Plikta and now it is downhill for a while. Accelerating. Passing guys there. Feeling that I should really stop for a pitstop but that would not work really… Reaching the “sprint” area, trying to accelerate passing three guys, and then it is already km9…Good with those big light-stuff indicating the km. Less than one to go. Have more strength than it looks probably. Accelerating as much as I can. Turning right. In the dark. And a water pool… Seeing that we are not running towards Preem-station but taking almost the path of Göteborgsvarvet. (Good I trained on this one too…). Passing a few guys still. And then it is 600m left. 500m. Too dark really to run with full confidence and feeling safe from not falling. Now on the gravel. 300M to go. Gravel is awful to run on, but in the dark and after the rain, it feels even worth. Hoping really loud in my head that there is no hole in the soil until we reach the track. And finally the track! IN THE DARK?!?!? What are they thinking. Turning a sharp left and getting all what I can for this final 200m. That’s the end. Trying to get to the guy in front of me and shortening the distance but not making it before him. Seeing the clock ticking… 42:23..24..25… And yes! Making it to the finish line. Stopping the watch on 42:27. Not tired nor really happy, but training is training.

=> official time: 42:29 – place 12 (K40 – place 1)

AFTER FINISH LINE:

Stopped the watch. Hmmm… OK. What do you do when you just finish a race, see people having difficulty to breath, some sitting or laying down and you are just there…10seconds after the finish, breathing is back to normal and you feel…well,…like you have done enough warm-up? Not being cocky here. The final sprint DOES take on everyone, but a few steps and it is gone. Walking easy to get my medal, a banana, a chocolate bar and a sport drink. Meeting Maria B who made it a bit above 40minutes this time. Getting a large smile from Tricky who has completed this hilly race as probable “cooldown” after his morning marathon… A bit of chat and then it is time to get back home…running 🙂

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Weather:
15.0° Drizzle, Feels like 15.0°, 8 kph SSE wind, 94% humidity – rainy before the race, drizzle a bit during, nice in the air. No wind 🙂 Humid? Definitely!

Food: chicken+rice & mint tea + bagel w/honey +banana (@3:30am) / banana @7pm / Aptonia salted butter/caramel @8:20pm / banana+ kex cholad+water right after. Bagel w/honey + mint tea after the shower back home

during: nothing.

Gear: SOC army blue shorts, Casal Iconic black MIK sports bra, rain poncho. Shoes were exactly what they should be 🙂

Shoes: ADIDAS Adizero Adios Boost – Purple (Swifty)
=> still with a hole in the net of the right shoe…

13/ let’s make it an average 13. Effort level was not high. The first 4km were in a good strong 12 low 13. Nice and comfortable effort. Good breathing. Then 2 km up not fully high on the effort scale as I slowed down so extremely much. Felt comfortable on the way up anyway. Not easy, but comfortable. 13 -effort level is generally set to the average training. It should feel something without being too hard. You know you have been sweating, basically. Mentally it felt strong all the way, although from time to time I seriously considered that the pace was not careful enough as it was very dark. Not liking this way of running at all. Fine with the rain, fine with running late, but please make some light next time!!!

NOTE: Once again this was a hilly race…(Yeaaah…what’s wrong with me to choose this type of races, really?…). But the route is well-known. Very good training but should have absolutely gone faster that it did. Can pinpoint almost all the places where I knew I was slower than planned and actually did not do anything about it. This is a 10K, not a half-marathon or a marathon… Just getting in on the record and that was good for an evening training. Would have probably run this better if done early in the morning…

AFTER THE RACE:

Left Tricky to get his car and ran easy back home with a bottle of sport-drink in each hand. Good for the balance 🙂 Back at home, it turned into shower, little food and more of Prison break. Unable to sleep for a while. Considered a short while to go for an easy run, but ate instead a bit for having enough energy in store for the Sunday long run 🙂

NOTE: The HR band was very annoying with all this rain. It kept stopping the connection with the watch on a regular basis during the warmup. The HR during the race is well as usual. Straight to the top and then flat up there 🙂

 

NOTE: the organization of the race could be improved in lots of ways. For sure they made a huge work for changing the start/finish area due to unforeseen problems with the grass in the park where it was originally planned to wait/start/finish. But as usual, and for all the Midnattsloppet I have run, the start was once again delayed. The lights along the race were once again NOT enough. It is one thing to run on your own in the dark under the city lights, it is another one when 10.000 runners are passing the streets and you can barely see where you are going. Some places were extremely dark – close to pitch black. The cheering all around was a bit light this year, but cannot blame them due to the rain falling right before and being as well one of the night of Kulturkalaset in the city…

NOTE: once again the ranking at the end is done on net time, not gun time. 5 gals got a faster net time but arrived with a longer gun time… Hopefully there are no guy in the top 12-gal this year…(hope they are checking this…)

Still considering this (fake) tatoo on the calve saying on the left one “10Ks suck!” and on the right one “Marathon rules”…


Race Report – Midnattsloppet – 2014 – 2014/08/23

Planned: 10K as temporun – training race
Actual: 10K @42:53 🙂 – place 18 all women (11th at the finish line), 4th in age category

Not the easiest/flattest/lightest of the route…. Got the kicks and rehab done in the morning. Spend the day wandering around and rush at the end to get prepared. Porridge around 7:00pm and shower to get ready at 8:15pm… Not too great preps this time. Got to set the hair up, prepared the shoes and double-checked the watch and the chip on the shoes. All set. Ran easy to the start using the last slope and final 1.5km of the route 🙂 Fun to see people cheering already, one saying that the first runner was already passing by (he he he, I wish!). Saw the final preparations for limiting the road and noted the wind in the final street… Fortunately the rain was not there. Had been raining cats&dogs a couple of time during the day, but now it was just lightly windy. Arrived 8:45pm at the start, figured out where the start 1A was (nothing looks the same when it is dark!), got a stop to the loo and…. Started to wait. Having friends meeting at the tram stop at 9pm I decided to go and check them out. Nice to meet a talk a bit before the race. Met Lennart as well from the club and then it was already 9:08pm…Maybe should try this thing called “warm-up”… Left with all the best luck and smiles and off to the start. Met Maria B (Hälle IF) warming up. This is her who won at Kungsbacka vintermilen last year J A few accelerations in the dark, found my plastic bag cover I had hidden behind a tree and then started the wait for the start…among the coolest gang of elite runners J Felt a bit misplaced, but what the heck… I did qualify for starting there (even if I am probably and by far the slowest of the group on a 10K 😛 ). And almost 5minutes to start aaaaand the heavy rain started to fall on us like crazy. Yeaaaah! Fourth time I run this race and everytime it has been a wet start. As long as the start is not delayed this year I think… right when the speaker announces that we have a 5minutes delay for the start… Can definitely see that HE is under cover when WE are under the rain… Not many smiles from the runners around me, I can tell. Doing a bit of jumping, moving a bit, smiling to the guys around me (and yes…the “misplaced” feeling does increase then!). When hearing 10 seconds to start… REALLY?!?!? Cannot he announce a countdown like…1 minute to start…30sec… and he even shout in the speaker “TWO SECONDS TO START”…

9:35pm – Start it is! Rushing as fast I can in the dark and I just see a thundering yellow on my right and a thundering green/black on my left. And off we went. Nice that the rain had kindly stopped before the start. We run onto a close to pitch black street and then turn and up the little slope. A wave of men with fucshia tshirts just burst passed me (the tshirt colour is the chosen one for this year’s race and all runners are to wear it – apart from elite who may if they want or choose to run in their club’s colours…which I chose 🙂 White singlet, black Moremiles shorts, black arm sleeves and Adidas Adizero Adios Boost Orange. A fast-like outfit :)). Back to the race. The long first straight line is going fine, tricky to check the pace as it is dark out there. Turning up right and then right again to reach km1. Lots of beeping on the first control matt… to start hearing cursing guys all around. So I lift my eyes from my feet (don’t want to walk on something or water or whatever and fall!) and see…small white plastic hurdles ahead of us!!!! WHAT IS THIS?!?!? All are rushing on the left of those…which is a VERY wet grass and then for the final 2-3 then most are running above those “plastic tubes” on the ground…which I decide to do…forgetting that I am probably 2m smaller than most of the guys here and then I actually have to JUMP (!?!?!) above those hurdles and on the last one, my foot step on something which is under the white plastic stuff and the left ankle shouted a bit. NOT A HAPPY ME then. (and no cursing from my side, but definitely not happy)… and it is only km1!!!! Continued the run and then left and it is downhill. Nice with some cheering (WOW, people came despite the rain!!!). and at the end of the street… a giant disco bowl is hanging high in the air…and all the floor is actually turning and bouncing and I already feel sick…like sea-sick! And it is the turning right then and thanks! The street-lights are back and normal after that! Straight and easy, if the first km went sub4, the second one will be far from it. But who cares? Nice and easy to km3. Had been passed by 2 women by now (all the elites are far away now…). I got a nice rhythm and let all the guys passing by. Feels like a marathon start. All are rushing, but I know there are 42km to go… Let’s them rush… Until the brain is waking up around km3 and remember it is only 10K to run this evening. Anyhow, the light fake slope to km4 is heavier that before. Nice to have no wind and no rain though. Reaching the water-station and taking an energy drink. Dropping half on the nice guy giving it to me and then just rinsing my mouth with the rest left and spotting out the whole thing (disgusting taste!). Getting back to the run and hearing MW cheering on the side (yes, I will try to catch up with #22 and see if he (?) is cute!) and the new slope is arriving. Nice and easy, easier than during training actually. The turn to km5 is great with music and hearing someone shouting my name is even better! Twice in less of a km 😛 Passing the 5K in 21:06. D*mn…. 6seconds slower than I wished… But continuing.

The first half was easy-peasy really. Passing a bunch of guys on the way to the slope. A bit of cheering from Magnus from the club (thanks!) and then just taking 2 dextrosol at km6 more for the fun of it (?!?!?) than because it is needed. The first slope feels a bit heavy but once again, being a female in the middle of males does call for some cheering. Which I get and thanks for it! Tricky to see who is cheering because it is SO dark. Anyhow, the scary hill to the first church is soon there and still not seeing the first elites passing… Yeaaaaah! I am not THAT slow anyway 🙂 Starting then the uphill and after the first turn, I see the first male runner crazily running downhill…closely followed by the other elites…and here came the first female runner and all others after… Just continuing listening to the cheer-leaders to the way up. Yes, I know I am almost on the top and some are slowing down…which makes me accelerating a bit (kind of). Have no clue of my pace by now. Just feeling all ok – training-like. Have seen Maria B going down on my way up. So I estimate she is 1km or so ahead of me… Sounds like a sub40 to me… Passing km7 and then turning around Masthuggetskyrkan…to get stopped almost by all the guys taking water or sport-drink at the station, trickily placed JUST after a turn and in the downhill on the other side of the Church 😦 And it is to bite it a bit, headwind for a short while and time to rush down. WHY ARE YOU SLOWING DOWN GUYS?!?!? I have to cut a bit on the left side for passing guys slowing down in the downhill… Not a chance I do that. I know how fast it can be taken. Down down down and fast fast fast. Not seeing anybody really on the way down, just passing people. And turning left to the next downhill… this one we have to run it on the pavement (which I think was stupid, because the street is much less slippery-like than the pavement…but I am not the one arranging the race…). And it is just fast and faster and almost fastest 🙂 It is now less than 2km and it is going nicely fast (not race-like fast, but good enough for today). Passing Andrej who is cheering my name (thanks!) and here comes the first of my best fans G parking on his kickboard and shouting to keep the pace up and all will be good J More of my name in the same street and then the final right turn towards the soon-to-come Church slope. Hearing a functionary cheering that I took the slope quite nicely earlier the first time (i.e. on my way to the start) so I just have to do the same now! Cool to be recognized in the dark! (then I remember I have my club outfit and not a fuchsia tshirt. Difficult to hide…). And the heavy(est) part of the race starts…almost; G has made it to the start of the hill for more cheering..Can’t let him down really! So rushing a bit more (ok, I noticed that I take smaller steps AND looking at my shoes then…) and seeing E&T on the right side…OF COURSE I am making a short curve out for some high-five J And a smile (as if it is not painful…). Passing the music band (sorry, did not noticed what it was for music…to concentrated on NOT stopping and walking). Now it is only a few meters to the end of this *#%!& hill and to the almost-final street. Not too many stopping, but several slowing down here – as expected. Gosh, this is heavy with those small slopes here and there. Getting to km9 and I am just dead tired… but ONE km is left. Just have to rush with the wave of guys around me…some just waking up at this moment…I am waiting for reaching the next street and the little downhill… and accelerating. OK guys, WHY are you slowing down in the downhills?!?!? I jump on the pavement and run there passing probably a bunch of guys there and then of course I have to take the external side of the right curve but who cares… I am almost done! And it is just not long at all. I feel the legs are burning (this chili cream is just killing me! Never getting warm-feeling when I need it). And turning right and it is not much left. On the way up the final slope I just feel like flying. Noting a few guys and deciding they won’t finish before me. Just rushing through the crowd and accelerating, hearing the kind and happy cheering of the guys I am passing…I am on a cloud and I see that the clock is not yet to 43:xx…JUST.A.LITTLE.BIT.MORE….Aaaaand YES! It is finished. Pressing the watch on 42:51. SOOOOOO glad to have made it under 43. The plan was under 45 minutes for this route. Even I ran this race two years ago right under 44 minutes, the route this year was tougher. So sub45 was a good to have. So sub43 was definitely a happy ending… Same as usual after the finish line: Medal, banana, water, cheering from guys around me (fun to hear one saying “I thought I could beat you but you were to strong at the end. How are you doing that?” J and another one just hugging me for the fun of running passed him (Hmmm OK, then!)). After that, just turn back and got more water and then pressed saved on my watch and started again the clock for running back home. Easy peasy pace. Ready for running 3 times the distance already run…. Yapp, have to work on the “being-tired-at-the-end-of-a-10K-race”.

Official time: 42:53

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Weather: 12ºC, Feels like 12ºC, 8 km/h SSW wind, Humidity 88% (form Garmin). Nice in the air at start, heavy rain for 5minutes before the delayed start (just to make us wet?!?!? Is that part of the plan?), dark in the skies

Food: Grahamsporridge + banana+soymilk @7:00pm, 2 bananas + water right after the race, risotto+Italian sausage 1.5hr after
During: Dextrosol 2@km2&6 (most to wake up…) and mouth-rinsing with sport-drink
Gear: Moremiles short shorts (3), MIK white singlet, black arm sleeves. Real nice to have the arm sleeves when it rained before the start. Might have been a bit chilly otherwise. Shoes were nice and well-suiting…and fast J

Shoes: ADIDAS Adizero Adios Boost – Orange

14/ tricky again to set an effort on this one. Definitely above the normal-workout-effort, but not much more. Of course a bit higher on the way up to the church, definitely a 15 for the last Church 250m-slope, but despite the final 300/400m being fast, the effort then was not more than strong 13. Just running on adrenaline and happiness by then! J

Knee pain: 0/5 – YIPPIE! All good. The body felt all fine and ready for running. 

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NOTE: One more good training race. Better shape that in the previous 10K-race, feeling good just. Once again could the preparations be a bit better (like shower and clothing 45minutes before the start was maybe a liiiittle late for concentration or so…). Warm-up was a little better this time, but could have definitely run 3 more km for being really warm before start. Should have kept my plastic cover on before the start to skip being all wet…. Good to have skipped the music in the ears (dangerous in the dark and in a race!). Great with so many people running as it gave a lot of pull at the end and through the race (well, did not use it during the race, but definitely at the end!)

NOTE: Running in the dark is fun, but racing in the dark ain’t my favorite and far from it. Especially when raining and slippery. Really dangerous I think. Have not fallen, but the ankle slip of the km1 made me a bit scared for the rest of the run… All went fine though.

NOTE: The pre-run done yesterday was on heavy/tired legs and it might have been this during the race as well. No excuse. Just checking how the legs are lately. Probably some rest to plan within short…


Early, long, exhausting, relaxing carb-free day

Early start with a 10K in the dark, 1°C outside, with a finish at expected MP. Too much clothes on, so Berlin will definitely see me in shorts! Then run to work. Heavy days with meeting, no time to rest.  Being a carb-free, the day felt exhausting. My plan to have a calm week during the marathon is once again not working well… Back home a bit late, could have a massage which was all but relaxing… Tension in the shoulders is never fun to discover!

Got enough protein today for the rest of the week probably! Still planning what outfit to have in Sunday… Packing is on the way. Just have to throw everything in a bag and run to the airport.

Lots of thoughts right now…too many probably!

Berlin…4 days to go…more sleep now (everything that make time go quicker!)