Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “ice

Icy streets, icy pavements, minus temperature, still wanting to run…what would YOU do?

Following a wonderful long run in the cold and on icy streets (partially ice rinks actually…), Saturday went mostly to recovery and rest. This thing btw with strength training and core training: DO IT! Had a rest day on Friday and did some core & stability training. Taking no time (30min more or less) and feel so good afterwards. And the more you do it, the easiest (kind-of) it becomes… BUT what I did not realize really, is the effect while running. Until yesterday. During the 10K tempo included in the long run, done one a 1km-long bike path along the sea, with icy parts all over, but good enough for running, I DID feel that my abs were working out! The back was as well doing its fare share of the work there. Would definitely think that the run did go so well, because of those trainings. And core training can actually take no more than 10minutes (Yapp, it does). Done every morning (great to start the day), plank regular and side – 1min & 2*30sec. Done twice. Then abs with sitting and going down without having anything holding your feet (i.e. you don’t reach the floor when going down sloooowly). 2min. and finish with “Walk with the ball” on a Swiss ball (hold plank position, elbows/arms on the ball, and walk while working on your balance). 2min. Of course, you do not have to start right away with these times! Start with what is long enough for you to feel it a bit. And increase when it start to be too easy. Anyway, just saying: that is a great day to start the day! The long run I was longing to do was completed well, especially with those weather conditions. A bit annoyed by the sliding on the ice and hard-snowy-grass, which made my right hip feeling a bit. But after resting it disappeared and was gone by day-end.

Today then? No snow had fallen on the street…Yeaaaah?!?! Nope! Because the negative temperatures made the roads feeling like ice rink and pavements as well. My plan was originally to run to the city center where we have warmed-up pavements and run back&forth there. BUT after 200m on real icy pavement, I started running on the street…not much better, so headed (almost) back home when I found…TADAAAAAAA! a 200-ish meter long pavement being (almost) ice-free. So started to run back and forth there. Not much of a fun landscape indeed, but it did do the job! Got 9km on this back&forth track and then back home. Total 10.2km which is very satisfactory for these weather conditions (and it is more than 0km and staying on the couch, right?). Afternoon was easy with visit to IKEA (so typically Sunday-outing in Sweden…) and when arriving back home, the snow finally started to fall. Nice and quiet. Not a chance I go out again now, because I am a bit cautious knowing what is UNDER the snow (aka the icy streets from this morning). Tomorrow will be a better day.

Take care and keep on running (even if it snows…)

History repeating itself? (the sequel…)

Déjà-vu can be weird, but here seriously I would gladly skip this. Woke up this morning with stomach cramps and chose to ignore them and replace the apparently-not-working-sleep-in by a nice reading-in-the-bed time. This was without counting the back and forth to the loo during this time 😦 Yeah, no glamour in running, although this has nothing to do with running. Decided to postpone my easy run a bit. Looking at food just made me start feeling nauseous 😦 so it was with (very) empty stomach I went out for a run. Once again, snow had fallen during the night and this morning was the choice for running pretty simple: snow, slippery surfaces, snow with gravel, slush or from time to time cleared up street (or bike path)… Of course, the latter one would be my first choice, but to get one, I had to go through most of the others. Easy tempo (took actually the extra layer clothes to make it (almost) impossible to increase the pace…although the pavement and the snow/slush/whatever-could-be-there made all the work for me!). Got to turn back after 4.2km as the street along the water was not cleared up and seriously I was not equipped for a run on the snow today. Got another route on the way back… slightly uphill, with the sun in the face…Hmmmm niiiiice…? until it started to blow directly to my face and this with all the snow which was light enough to fly… Nice? don’t think so! The extra detour turned out to be a real pain and I changed route again to go back to the bike path which was runnable… All this at an easy pace and slippery under the shoes.

Now the rest of the day was extremely boring as I thought it felt much better after the run and decided…to eat 😦 Not too good idea as all went out shortly after. So no food, just drinking throughout the day (and yes, this sounds like last year prep, although one day in advance…). Down now to salted water-stuff and 2 teas in the stomach, took a bath to get a bit relaxed. Not helping the stomach, but the head maybe.

So…what’s the plan now? early bedtime is on the top of the list. This will at least help in shutting down the mind thinking that the form is not there, the energy levels are down, that the race is to soon and that the snow is my worst enemy…

Just cannot wait to be there now… Less than 4 days to go



Story of “the Head which said stop and the Body which did not follow”

Once upon a time (all fairytale starts this way, correct?), there was a runner that opened her eyes and well-rested wondered who on earth could have set her alarm clock to 4:45am. Brain alert (already!), she recalled she did this the evening before and even faster thinking this time, the brain recalled this was intervals on the morning menu for the day.

The runner left her warm and cosy bed, fixed her hair quickly, traded off her pj for her running gear (which she often (if not always…) prepared the evening before planned morning runs), set her music ear-plugs, bonnet, started the watch and left the building quietly. Nice in the air, a bit fresh though, she had decided to wear long tights and regular long sleeves and wind-jacket despite the temperature indicating 2ºC only. It was nice and refreshing as said earlier.

Her first few steps were careful, multiple stars-lights illuminating the pavement. But after those prudent minutes, she felt relieved and got into a nice easy pace for warming up. Met the delivery truck as well as some poor dogs-owners needing to get out for their lovely animal. By km2 the road was no longer dry and the small star-lights on the pavement meant this time icy parts. The runner decided to reduce the lengths of her steps…just to be on the safe side. Still it was fine to run. km3 she paused for some stretches, setting her favorite music and then it was time to unleash the legs for a serie of long intervals.

Already at the start of the first interval it was a bit slippery, but the runner was careful to run on the gravel and where the few bikes had already passed. The last 3-500m were however too slippery and she opted for running on the ground beside the bike path (this choice was not optimal nevertheless as it mean running on wet mud…). And the first interval was completed. Easy jog then, but more and more, the runner noticed that the bike road was in reality a ice-ring in disguise. Fast thinking she moved herself towards the car-road. There it felt better. Well, the Head did not find it smart at all. Ice is ice, and this is dangerous (especially without adapted shoes on). But the body did not want to listen. She turned back to get a little downhill with an easy jogg, crossed carefully an icy roundabout and then happily saw a bus coming into the street she had chosen. Happy why? because the bus would pass just ahead of her as many other buses must have done earlier this morning, i.e. the road was fine to run on…at least on this side!

And off she went, this second interval started greatly and even though she had to jump on the pavement because nasty car-drivers coming from behind were flashing their lights, she still could keep a nice pace as she wanted… until it arrived. THE ICE-RING! in the middle of the road…here it was. No need to say that this was not without a bit of fear she crossed this ice-ring…RUNNING! Once again, the Head was shaking and not happy, but really the rest of the body would not mind. Just continuing to run but really carefully she took a few seconds at a crossroad to evaluate the situation: right? not possible too icy and back on the bike path. Straightforward? same same. Left then? and running up the hill? well all was better alternative than turning back! So uphill it was and thanks for the gravel on the bike path, she was able to keep up the running until the end of this interval as well. A bit of rest after that and a bit of evaluation again before the third interval.

No change this time: careful running downhill on the car path, then turning and turning and more turning… yes, the runner was not entirely happy as all those turns as well as the downhill and the ice-risk was killing her pace. She felt she could push way more, but the legs this time did not want to push more as being very conscious (!) of the risk it would be if any icy part would pop-up unannounced… This third interval was not satisfactory…Well, in a way it was as it remained in the range expected, but way slower than the two first (yes, but considering the risk of falling…bla bla bla… the discussion and argument between Head and Body was getting along!). Reaching soon the stretching place, the runner knew she was having now a better place to run with better grip. A bit false insurance here as it had probably become slightly colder since she had passed earlier and the road was actually slippery there…as well!

No pain no gain… the final interval had to be completed. Down the road which has warmth under (perfect for running!) and after a few sec of breathing, she did her best for the last 300m. And finally a short rewarding cool down back home…

Still night when she opened the door, time to get rid of the running gear, get a hot shower to remove the warm-warm-warm chilli gel on the legs and…6:50am – time to start with the morning pancakes 🙂


Perfect to start a day, ok – not for the icy and dangerous part. It felt quite easy to do those intervals despite the early hour. Got energy for the rest of the day definitely…and was tired by 7pm in front of the 3rd episode of Narnja… 1hour nap and of course, not possible to sleep again until late. But this is another story…

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…).


Summary of a Worthless Week (with capital W!)

Not much writing this week but nonetheless lots of thinking! A bit of summary for a worthless week, when the hope was to get back on track (but for real!)


Easy run of 14km in the morning – nice to have the sunshine. Still feeling ache in the calves and the thighs. Aches from excessive exercises? Really? Cannot be the following of Friday’s bike tour… Not that many days after and a bit of rest in the middle… Compensated with VSA legs (*2) as well as the Advance core workout suggested by Pfitzinger (well, advanced does not feel extremely difficult to do, but let’s call it the same way as in the book…). Eccentric heel raises still done diligently…


Ouch! Unbearable calves pain… Decided to skip the heel raises but (stupidly) ran to the swimming pool (REALLY easy pace) with GET on bike. back and forth added distance to 7.5km, painful and the way back home was under heavy and steamy sun… The swim tour ended with a lazy 500m swim and a few jumps with the kids. But seriously, should have stayed in bed (or in a bath of cold water with ice cubes as it is supposed (!) to help the calves/heel pain). Not fun night…


Rest day (from running). On the bike and completed a nice 28.7km bike tour to the islands with the kiddies. Pretty easy pace, calves and thighs making themselves constantly reminded. No additional training on this day. Apart from the outing, not much fun as far from being able to run…


Rest day (from running AND biking). Yes, BORING! Done a thorough core and stability workout, but rest of the day was chilling out and walking to/from the city. Heels not liking it too much.


OMG! Already Friday?!?!? Heels feeling as normal, calves as well so went for a morning run (low pulse). Same 14km route as Monday’s (i.e. with hills….). Went pretty well, got the whole run 1 minute faster and the fastest km downhill under 4min/km (Yippie?). But the feet were hurting a bit after that, especially the second toes. Had forgotten that when running with the (2A)-shoes the second toes were getting a bit hurt while running more than 14km (don’t ask why 14km, but it was like this. 12km – OK. 13km – OK. 14km – NOK…). Tried to chill out for the feet after that, but when the run is done early morning and you have the whole day ahead of you… ended with back&forth to town on foot once more. Crazy night – drank camomile tea with orange blossom but seriously if falling asleep 2hours later is the effect… I’ll skip it next time!


Morning run of 10K (with too many hills…which is apparently not good for the … heels ! ha ha ha!). Felt fine, but at this pace, cannot really complain! Sunny, sweaty and tired afterwards. Spent 15minutes of ice cold bath for the feet. Hopefully it helps? Afternoon recovery bike tour with GET of 11.75km ending with pouring water from the skies (and as usual the rain stopped when we crossed the home door…). Calves feeling quite ok so we took a 6/7km walk in the evening to listen to the music from the outdoor concerts in the neighbourhood. Bad night (read: falling asleep difficulties, but once asleep GREAT night… until small tip-toeing feet came to wake me up for checking if it was ok to watch morning tv program…)


Late awakening – yippie? stiff in the whole body, so decided to skip the run I had planned. Breakfast with day-planning and then bike tour to IKEA with lunch break there. Then bike tour along the river until G got a flat tyre and unfortunately no possibility to repare it. So walked to the ferry, crossed the river and then run back home with the bike on the side. Bike tour ended into 25km with easy pace (and heavy headwind on the way back) and a couple of km walk after the flat tyre. Now hot bath, cold on the feet and heel raises. Heels feeling fine, calves are back to normal and thighs…well, liiiitle aching, but will see after a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is back to work, so will see how to get new routines in place.


Weekly summary: worthless week really. Had hoped for a little higher volume, probably similar pace (i.e. easy for the heels and calves/thighs), but did not turn out as planned. Counted that Berlin marathon is in less than 6 weeks and 6 days from now… Hopefully recovery will work before that…


What a little bit of love can do…

After a good day of rest on Monday, what’s better than an early morning low-pulse run in the city on a Tuesday? Early enough for meeting the street cleaners, meeting the taxis changing shifts and the early bird going to work (probably trying to avoid the newly instated tax on car driving in the city center between 6:00am and 6:00pm… 😉 ) Anyway, I put this morning a single layer of clothes and despite a little chilly feeling at first, it shortly disappear after warming up and running.

Took 20/30m after start for stopping and feeling again the pain on the top of my foot like at the end of Sunday’s long run. I untied my left shoe and made it loose a bit. Still felt a pain, but better…so kept on running then (who said “what does not kill you makes you stronger”?…). Low pulse in focus, I really did my best for keeping a good pace (i.e. not the lame and slow over 6min/km which is really killing my joy of running – no offence if you run at this pace. it is just not MY cup of tea, or rightly said, I have not find a way to ENJOY this pace EVER!…). Garmin HR Alerts set on 154 and I have to recognize that despite hearing it throughout the run, it was not really much (as for my previous try on low pulse running). So enjoyable it was. Up and down the Avenue, back and forth the long streets and finally back home after a nice run of 12.1km @5:20/km for a pulse 153. Unsure still of the sensor providing valid data, but now I am noting carefully the combination sensor + pulse band to see if any combination is good or bad…

A few toe exercises as for the past week ([15* eccentric and 15*regular] => 3 times) and prone hover with first minute “frog legs” to complete the set. Nice welcome after hot shower with pancakes on the table (mine was a “Tuesday special” with fresh blueberries and half-banana 🙂 Yummy!). All set I was for a full day at work!

Back from work was time to prepare food and it was quite fine. I had forgotten the cramps which followed the lunch time, so absorbed by the content of my work. But after dinner we went for a short walk and the cramps started again to finally force (sorry to say) but not keeping the food in the tummy. 😦 Bad evening, stomach trouble and foot pain (also the mystery might be solved if this is extensor tendonitis as suggested – thanks for the tips, S! 🙂 Got advice to massage and do some movements. The best was (according to the suggestion) to “have some massage from someone who likes me and it would disappear – a little bit of love solves everything” 🙂 Will see what I can do (or who I can find for this job!!!)

So time for bed after own massage of the foot and water drinking. Hopefully tomorrow will be better (from a training perspective!). Resting is the first alternative though… What a little bit of love can do? – I’ll keep you updated!

Would you do it eyes wide shut?

Today started early – 7:00am without alarm, so up for breakfast (the “usual”: oat-porridge + fresh blueberries, gojji and oat milk => if any suggestion for a power-breakfast like this one for needling the morning start, feel free to drop a comment!). Instead of going back to bed, sat in front of the tv and watch a very-low-brain-activity movie 😉 then went back to bed. Opened the eyes at 10:15am and up for preparing my gear. once again needed to charge my mp3 as it had died on me! Only one layer of clothe today as well (also had a t-shirt on my long sleeves, which could have been avoided…). Took as well some Dextrosol for keeping up the sugar during the long run.

Nice in the air (+1ºC!), a bit heavy legs (Yaaaaaa, despite having enjoyed both Friday’s intervals and Saturday’s hills, it DOES feel being a bit overkill to do them right before  Sunday’s long run… You can always learn, right?), but feeling fine. The first 10km were set as easy pace (5:12/km – unsure for the pulse with average 159…) but the aim was to have an EASY run. Because… right after… started 10km of intervals doing every second km fast (planned: @ 4:05-4:15) every second km slow (planned: @4:40-4:50). No need to say that THIS IS A KILLER WORKOUT! the last two km were not at all enjoyable, having to run uphill, in the forest, downhill, on ice… you name it! Anyway, did stay within the range which I am very satisfied of! Then started the tough part (!!!), 1km easy before what I mistakenly planned as 4km alternate fast slow every km instead of 2km alternate fast slow every minute… You may not know or see the difference but it is HUGE! I think the body could have fix this, but the mind just shut down, putting the legs on autopilot back home! So instead of this, I headed towards the city with an easy pace to complete my 25km long run. The whole thing was done in 2:02:56, which is very satisfactory for me 🙂 Following slavishly a program ain’t good for nobody! Follow what your body and mind are saying (OK, I do not do that all the time, but aim for it!!!).

Undeniably tired, I took the tram home for the last 2km, not wishing to blow up my training for the upcoming Semi de Paris in two weeks from now (well, actually, in two weeks I will be done!). Stiff shoulders ain’t recommended for running and definitely not to take with you for a long run! So 30 minutes after being back home and getting food and shower, I went directly for a thai massage… OH MY GOSH! This was dreadfully painful for the shoulder and the right calf (which was having a cramp feeling since this morning). WHY do people impose such things to themselves (and even thank afterwards!)… Anyway, this is what the body needed and after that real chilling out afternoon because 1) I owe myself a reward after such long runs 🙂 , 2) having tidied the entire home yesterday there was nothing left for today (poor me!), 3) planned for a surprise coffee break but seeing the snow and then the rain falling down the skies it just cut my willingness to put my nose outside the door for the rest of the day (Yes, this would not have stopped me from going out and run, but as the run was already done… I can do that!). Tried to charge a bit on carbs after the run so it ended with macaronis and chicken/garlic in white sauce (with pepper and grated cheese on the top – Yummy!).

Now back to the title: Would you do it eyes wide shut?… What are you thinking about? All what you are doing or can do the eyes closed, like sneezing, kissing, blinking, sleeping, enjoying a hit shower, praying, thinking… but have you EVER RUN with your eyes closed? This was in a discussion once with my colleagues about the ultra-runners who were able to run/sleep… Probably I am not at this level, but I have several times felt my eyes closing and my legs continuing to run. Independently of the route taken, new one or usual old ones. This morning it turned 0ut that my fastest km was done with several eyes closed parts… Does it helps? for concentration? Was I tired? Bored? Thinking? On “runner’s high”?… I let you on this note and think about it for next time you feel that you have a kind-of black-out part in your run and cannot recall how you got from A to B that fast…

And btw, just noticed before today’s run that my Gel Sky Speed 2 have a little hole in the net on the left side… Really time to find a replacement! Cheerio!

Do you like my curves?

Yesterday was a big day as I finally change the batteries for the three Garmin HR sensors. So today was the first test: will my curves look good? 😉 So after work I change into my two layers of clothes and went out. Fortunately the weather was kind (just under zero) and the roads fine (well I would eat that one around km7 when I met an little slope with ice AAAAALLLLL the way up!).

Started with 3km warmup, all fine, pulse looked good and body was ok. Stopped a couple of minutes then and waited for the first bike to pass by for starting my first interval. Felt a bit heavy for the first 500m but afterwards fine. A quick check at the watch as it was not pipping (i.e. indicating that I was outside the pace range I set: 4:10-4:30) and noticed I was at a steady 4:27/km. All good so continued. Arrived at the rest part, I decided to jog (correct, Staffan?) for 3min and then started again for the second interval. this one: WOW! What a top form! Really great feeling until I noticed I calculated incorrectly and would have to run up/down a little slope close to a bridge. BEST PART OF THE INTERVAL! It gave such a punch to the run, incredible. Finished in 4:20, which was 4sec/km faster than the first one. Little and light jog for resting aaaaaaaaaand off I went again the other way around. So much fun to meet again the same guy with his dog, pass by the runner I met while running the other way around, scaring the old lady with her white dog (again!)… It was slightly tougher than the previous one and definitely not as fun as the second one, even though faster. Then rest but this time with walking easy. Wanted to finish strong. The final interval was way more difficult than expected, had to fight a few times with my brain telling my legs to stop moving (yes, I talk to myself from time to time! probably or mainly when it start to feel painful!). Anyway, when I checked my watch knowing there was approx. 1km left and saw that my pace was at 4:20 I tried to push to the max I could and ended really tired but so happy! And then 3min rest on place and light run back home.

Today’s workout ended as follow: 18.77km – 1:31:56 (4:53/km)

3km warmup
interval 1  13:14 (4:25)
interval 2 13:03 (4:21)
interval 3 12:59 (4:19)
interval 4 12:55 (4:18)
2.1km cool down

each interval 3K
rest between each interval 3min

Followed by thorough stretching and toe exercises. Skipped the prone hover (!!!) as I did it this morning. Now I feel really happy and soooo tired that I will get some well-deserved rest. And btw my bum/thigh feels quite well…

Below you can see my “curves”… Looking like the battery change was working for this one… Keeping my finger crossed! According to Garmin: training effect = 5!

Pace curve

Pace curve

HR curve

HR curve

Some like it slow…

Too tired for any running yesterday did not make the night bad, on the contrary. Not much sleep, but the little was good! Probably the core training yesterday did it works! Woke up 3:45am this morning (no alarm!) – the thing is that I let a window slightly open to get some air and during the night it IS pretty cold, but ensure the good air inside! and better sleep! Closed my eyes again and open them then at 4:38am just 2 minutes before my pre-alarm started. So easy up, gear on and out I went.

Not too cold (+2ºC – realfeel -7/6ºC!), night with stars, icy on the roads… the plan was, well, there were several! First wished/aimed to run an hour, no pressure on pace or anything / Second was to keep the pace low (> 5:15/km) to ensure it would be an EASY run. Third was after following with attention a forum thread about “low pulse training” to go for it (i.e. training workout with low pulse).

Difficult to make up my mind – early it was! so did a mix of all. 12K distance is done generally in an hour or so, so for today aimed for 12K > 1hour. I do not know my max pulse and the standard calculations are pretty crazy numbers so set on my watch an HR Alert between 140bpm and 153 bpm. No clue really what it corresponds to for me, but seemed ok. All my runs are generally above this and my race are above 160/170. So to get a low pulse training at 60-70% of maxpulse (which once again I do not know), these values seemed fair.

No need to say that my watch was constantly pipping! Sooo annoying. Too high, then too low… Anyway, nice run with good breathing (4/5!), more than “talk-tempo”, I could have had my laptop with me and work while running… THAT easy was the run! Did some stretching after 2.6km (the usual + bum/thigh). stopped once for some pic and twice for checking whether my pulse was really THAT low! (and it was!) Ended in 12.18km in 1hr 11min (5:52min/km!!! avg pulse 141 – qualified the run as easy!).


Told you it was icy!


Slow awakening bridge from below

Unsure whether was fully enjoyable, but will give it a try. At this pace and this effort level, I could have run the double (would not I have to prepare the small ones for school and me for work!). Happy and full with energy…Time to start the day now (or more rightly said: continue it!)

Great day to you!

What about having a semi-marathon before breakfast…

Had a good night’s sleep, almost without dreams. Strange right? Planned a very early long run but seriously (!) when the alarm rings at 5:00am on a Sunday morning, you really wish you were to prepare for running a marathon race or so! Snoozed it until 7:00am when the brain started to wake up. Vitamin-C with allergy & iron complement, on with the running gear and off I went (you cannot imagine how nice it feels to right those words again!).

Wanted to run easy on TIME and not DISTANCE. Therefore aiming for a 2hours long run, easy pace (i.e. 5:10-5:30/km). After 2km stopped for some light stretching. Body felt really fine. Noticing on my watch that the pace was already too fast for what I planned. But had a great music mix in the ears (DJ Eclipse – October 2012) and reach the stretching area (see photo below 🙂 ) when one of my favourite parts of the mix. Soooo nice! So rewind a bit after the stretch and started again.

Stretching area carefully watch by Mummy hen and her little chick!

Stretching area carefully watch by Mummy hen and her little chick!

Got some nice views of the water and the bridge. Below one of the tunnels I am crossing from time to time. Seriously, the pic does not reflect the feeling it was. It looks quite spooky here, when actually the feeling was more: “Wow, nice light on the other side!”)

Scary (?) tunnel - or how to be sure there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel? ;)

Scary (?) tunnel – or how to be sure there is ALWAYS a light at the end of the tunnel? 😉

Back on the bridge, no car, nobody, only little me there… enjoying fully the view! This bridge has not been part of my route since December if recalling right, so was nice (!) to run up the stiff slope to reach it and finally get to the middle and enjoy the shy sun rising on the still sleeping city.


Over “älven” with dawn lights and ice on the water

Morning dawnlight over the bridge

Morning dawn light over the bridge

A quite boring part of run was done in construction areas and then along the river again. A bit icy from time to time, but good feeling. Once again only few people were outside, and mostly (or ONLY?) because of their dogs needing to get out I would guess! Fun to see a guy fishing ON the water at a little harbour on the route I took.


Got Him who knows how to walk on water 🙂 (or how to fish the Swedish way!)

Here was a part I had to tackle differently than usual! Climbed down on the little pontoon, which was btw REALLY slippery (but thanks to the comments of my friend A, I DO AM CAREFUL when running on wooden parts… Thinking briefly that would I ever fall here, I would probably drown and my body will be found in a couple of months when the ice has been melting… Yaaa, this crossed my thoughts a really brief half-second…)


No need to say I did not RUN there! but walked…

Then continued along the river still meeting one or two courageous runners, fighting against the cold (it seemed like!). Then reach the 10K mark of Göteborgsvarvet. Could not resist taking a pic of the sun on the roof of the houses on the other side of the water. Once again, the pic does not really translate the feeling there.


Timid sun rising above the houses

Now the body felt a bit tired, but soon seeing the sun rising will bring energy and with the perfect music in the ear, it felt just like being invincible and so powerful. The body no longer feel obeying to any command, it just RUNS. Seems like a perfect fusion mind and body working together and this is just SO great!


Aaaaand I am just melting here! Who wouldn’t?!?!?

So passing the second bridge I noted that I was at 14km, so why not completing the full GV then?!?! Up the Aveny (Hi to my former Kung-Fu instructor and Kung-Fu Sifu who was on his way to the airport), then down the Aveny, turn up on the final long run of the race route, up the little bridge (a few howls on the way 🙂 – you would probably be scared running beside me some times!) and running down back home: 21.11km in 1:41:01 (exactly my MP from Berlin this September :)) Stretching afterwards felt good, could have run longer really. A bit of food after a well-deserved HOT shower: Gainomax + cereals/dried blueberries/chocolate/oat-milk and water of course.

Now after that, chilling for the rest of the day. Lunch became rice with tomato sauce and meat balls. Will see whether having more rice in my food is as good as Staffan suggested 🙂 Awaiting now for going to a foot massage (!) which was strongly recommended to have by one of the guys I met at the massage area of the Dubai marathon. Will see how it goes…

NOTE: bum/thigh still needs the stretching recommended by Jörgen. But it does feel better. Of course not now when sitting on wooden chair for a while (!), but otherwise it really feels slightly better.

NOTE: my pulsband seems not to work properly: for this run I got an average puls of 128 (could be ok, but really, I am not THAT good!) and my Garmin watch was nice enough to calculate an energy spent of…133calories for the run… So either my body is using pure air for functioning and I reach an optimal-efficient-energy level (!) OR -which I am more likely to believe!- the calculation is completely wrong… previous run of this distance were using more likely 900-1100C…

Have a great day! Cheers!

End of a week of abstinence…

Now it is finally over! One long week without running following Dubai marathon and the body & mind can stay activating themselves again!

Nice awakening this morning, felt, that the day was starting great. Nice breakfast (toast in the oven + 2 eggs, oat milk chocolate, little chocolate piece left (!) from yesterday), sun shining outside so decided to go for a run. This time E followed on bike. Stretching like yesterday after brief km, as well as taking off one of my long sleeves sweater and my extra pair of gloves. Way to warm!


Same as yesterday, with the sun this time!


Ducks laughing loud in a frozen pool… where is the funny part???


Proof that the sun is shining some time in this freezing country…

After that, run for fun. Talked all the way, or sang (this latter one was apparently a but embarrassing according to E…) 🙂 Once again, each km slightly faster than previous one ending with last one @3:54 pace! So today’s easy run was 8.32 km @4:44/km. Grrrrrreat feeling (despite the thigh, once again, but after stretching feel much better little by little…).

Easy light lunch with spaghetti bolognaise (so nice to eat own food!) And little shooing with the small ones. Back home time for cooking again: spareribs in the oven, small potatoes oven roasted and tomatoes-carrots-apple salad. All thanks to G (little help from me only). Good food and a coke on this, last one for a while!

Healthy or what?

Healthy or what?

Simply "yummy"!

Simply “yummy”!

Drank lots of water but no enough I think as felt bit of cramp in the calves. So magnesium and water, here you come! Evening reading, listening from one ear only (way enough!) the program on TV which will decide of who to send to Eurovision Song Contest… From bad to worse… just name it! Focusing now on how my long run will look like tomorrow instead.


And… Hard core for the body!

(Could not resist having this post title 🙂 )

After the visit to the naprapath this morning, long day at work. Did some stretching as shown for the bum/thigh muscle, a couple of times during the day. Felt fine. But after a long day and when the fog starts to fall down AND it looks like icy on the roads… the motivation is definitely NOT on the top to go back home and go out and run.

Anyhow, after asking round, G accepted to follow on bike (which was good as 1) it was dark outside and 2) in case of ice and fall at least I would have someone with me!). Good run in the dark, stretch exercises after 1km warm-up (inclusive this new bum/thigh stretch) and off we went. Route run so many times and the feeling is so different each time. Finish with a last km max pace (actually idea of G to have me chasing him along the street back home…) = 4.07/km pace for this last km. All-in-all, this evening run ended in 10.5km @4.58/km pace (with every km from 3rd km faster than the previous one). Quite satisfied, exactly one week after Dubai marathon!


Back to basics: cold out there!

Quick shower (found a new soap smelling passion flower… a bit fun as it taste like you wish to eat it!) and then aimed to a nearby pub with GET to have our little celebration for my time in Dubai. My choice of food was: chicken fillet toast with sallad, dressing. Finished the oven baked potatoes of T as I was a bit more hungry (I did share a banana and a Gainomax with G after the run already!). And of course to complete 1) this nice celebration and 2) this cosy Friday evening, we ended having a nice piece of Brownie with vanilla ice cream and haribo gold-bears on the top! Movie evening, update of my training diary + blog post, nice chat with my friend, story to the monsters before they fell asleep and little me will follow shortly!


Nice pub!


He he he! Anything wrong with this picture?

Night, night! Tomorrow will bring some more things to do, hopefully after a nice sleep in first!

Final check run

Not too late in bed does not necessarily mean getting a good night’s sleep… Like last night for example. After the afternoon run, I was quite tired and could have slept directly. But to be sure to be able to sleep during the night, I kept myself awaken. Now got to bed at 10pm and probably did not fall asleep before 1am (I know that because I have checked the clock a few times!).

Anyhow, up @5:25am, light breakfast (cereals, soy milk, chocolate) and off I went. Cold outside (-4/5ºC, but real feel probably much lower!). Had a 10K with 5K@MP (4:44/km) planned. Cut the run into a 3km easy warmup, felt fine – then 5km @ avg pace 4:41 or so and then easy cool down of 2km. The 5km did not really feel as expected or wished. Probably several reasons for that: early hour, lack of good sleep just before, kind of cold (!) and left thigh still spooking around. Did get into the range I planned (4:44-4:40) but not satisfied really of the feeling of the run. My Garmin is kind enough to specify a training effect of “5” (yippie?) and the little positive thing of the run was that I used gel on my HR band and it seemed to record (finally!) my pulse correctly. Will see if this continue!

Back home, stretching (light!), then little breakfast #2 (1 egg +  3 slices bacon + water), warm shower and ready to get the small ones to school. Now time for work and try to keep myself into a good state of mind for the rest of the day (+ week!).

AND btw… Thanks P for giving me bad conscious… for the past three days have not been using my elevator and have been using the stairs up&down each time I went out… Will see how long I keep this treatment!

Dubai: 3days 23 hours 08 min.xx sec… to go

Ice skating or running?

Two days rest from running, mainly due to terrible weather and general tiredness of the body. So now it was time to get out!

GET on bikes and me running by 🙂


Not to fast especially as the roads were bit slippery. Ice skating replaced running from time to time!



Pause for hot chocolate and nutella toast (+ banana for me). Thereafter back home with the spooky ferry…


All in all, ended with 9+km, very easy pace. Really enjoyable run! Rested all afternoon after that! Hopefully body will be better tomorrow…

30 days to Dubai…