Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “intervals

Meet my new “friend”…

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This bike will be my friend for a little while…

 

One week has passed since being back from Dubai and still not running.

Monday was travel-day. Leaving 3:35am for arriving after lunch at home, loosing approximately 20°C during the trip and being welcomed by snow, rain and cold. I knew I should have stayed in Dubai… Took this day as rest day.

Tuesday this week was dedicated to finding out what was wrong with me left foot. First a 40-minutes wait before getting to the doctor, regular check of the foot. Walked on the toes and then on the heels. All ok. The doc suggested as well that it could be overwork. But really? After one week doing nothing, it should feel a bit better and not worse. Because now it feels even when I walk… Got sent to take an X ray of the foot. To check whether it could be broken or a stress fracture or nothing. Walked slowly to the xray place. Took 6 minutes including the wait for my turn and I walked back home. Checked with the doc if I could/should go to the physiotherapist now or wait for the results of the xray (which are taking up to 4-5 days…). So biked to the physio Erik S. and there, got him to press on my foot, compare both feet and conclude that until we know for sure if there is or not a stress fracture, it was better to just bike or run in the pool. And avoid all foot-specific workout. Back home and more work to do.

Wednesday turned into a rest day as well. Lots at work to catch up as well as trying to figure out where I could be training as biking outdoor seemed impossible due to the weather and the next two weeks program includes bike and water-running. Cannot run in my bath-tub…

Thursday, time to raise from the ashes!!! And move that butt a bit. Long day at work and directly followed by interval workout on bike outdoor in the dark. Worked quite well actually. A bit unsure what “tempo-pace” is while biking, so took the fastest I felt I could. 3*(2-4-6 minutes). Woke up the body pretty well. Quick shower afterwards and directly to the cinema to watch an Indian movie on the court system there. (forgot to eat right after the bike, so had to buy a vanilla bun before the movie…). Good movie, but after a long working day and bike workout, I felt pretty tired and my eyes closed themselves a few times… No problem to fall asleep after that.

And finally it was Friday. Early start, work and chat with the physiotherapist Anna. When the day was complete, went to the gym closest to home to try a free session. Bike. Intervals on time. Got to drink my water bottle and lots of sweat. Stretch. And bought a gym-card, so I could bike indoor at any time of the day while my foot was not back on track.

Real slow start to the weekend. Saturday lunch arrived after a bit of tv-watching and then time for workout. Bike indoor. 3*10 minutes. Increase of pace every two minutes to reach tempo-pace. Once again, nor knowing really what to refer to, I arbitrarily decided on the rpm to have. The final two minutes of each serie went however way fatter than I thought I could handled, being at the end of the 10-minutes interval. All good. Especially when noticing there is a little fan on the top of the bike… Could be handy when biking for a while and getting sweat! Rest of the day turned into easy at home. And late in bed after movie almost watched to the end… 2.5 seconds and I was gone to Dreamland…

Final day of the week, Sunday started to early for my taste. But had to get prepared breakfast for the first one to get to the athletics competition. Took this time for getting in the mat for a core&stability workout. Not to good balance on the left foot… But not too much better on the right one either! Anyhow, took 26+minutes. Time to jump into bike-shorts and off to the gym. Good to see that “my” bike was available. Decided to go for a hill program, 60 minutes. Started the little fan on low after a couple of minutes and it was just to pedal pedal and pedal more. Lots of water drinking again, but thanks to the fan (?) did not feel really sweaty. Light stretch and back home. In shorts and bare legs. Through the streets with snow and 2°C outside. The large plate of pasta with green peas and ham felt well-deserved after this workout 🙂 Not much rest after that, as it was high time for the afternoon indoor-athletics competition. Got to find some Gatorade (which was not possible before here in this cold country…). As well as having new references for 600m (E) and 800m (G) for how fast I should be running my intervals in the near future… Challenge is on! Still snow outside. Chill out rest of the day, preparing for a fully-booked week ahead. One more week with bike and water-running workouts. Hope to get at least once to the swimming pool…and that the Xray will show something or nothing, but at least that can start taking care of this foot of mine…

Great week to you! Keep on running (or biking, or swimming, or walking…)


Over marathon-distance weekend again by average 2ºC… Would make anyone happy, right?

No chance to go up for early workout on Saturday. Later evening and seriously it was nice with a sleep-in until 8am 😛 Got a serious breakfast of 3 eggs, avocado and ham and bread. Jasmine tea on the top. 10am, sounded perfect for food feeding in order to make an afternoon run. Plenty of stuff to do and when it was time, took 1dl Gatorade blue before running and headed to the pavement. Shorts still, long sleeves and extra tshirt on the top, as well as the necessary neckwarmers, bonnet and windgloves. 2ºC out there, apparently real feel under zero, but felt quite ok. Nice warmup, dynamic stretching and off I went for a 20 minutes-long run. Felt really nice to run at this pace. Got down to MP, although it was not planned. And tried to slow down a bit (!) at the end, because I had still intervals to follow. 20 minutes @ sub3-pace? check! 🙂 Then it was time for 4*5min at 10K-pace or whatever it is. Felt like flying during the first one. Ok, one done, three to go! Second one felt a bit trickier and third one (after turning back) even more. But still within lower pace-range. Took 15 seconds extra rest before starting off the final one. And.it.worked.very.nicely.indeed! OK, a bit tired, but done is done. Headed to the mall for a little purchase. Felt like my legs were burning in the fire. had forgotten the chili cream has this effect (it feels nice and ok during the run outside in the cold and burn like h*ll when getting inside or under the shower after the run). Anyway, met a colleague who surprised commented that he thought I had bare legs…and coming a bit closer he was almost chocked (?) when seeing that I was ACTUALLY bare legs. Left the mall and headed to the tram stop. One more km to the counter 🙂 and stopped 3 stations before home, making it another nice km to the counter. OK, unnecessary, but felt nice at the end. Good run, tired, hot shower, food and cozy evening. A nice Saturday indeed!

So when Sunday showed its lights, well, I had already planned to go up before that. Yes, on a Sunday. But the clock ringing at 5am did not see any other movement from me but to reach the snooze button for a few times. The plan was to go up super early to have the chance to squizz a long run before 7:15am, where the daily activities would start. not a chance. So the day started, the sun went up, not much warmer anyway. Got to T’s show and then it was time for sushi-lunch. Well, one hour before running, it was probably not the best idea, but I felt a little hungry. Changed to running gear and seeing it was 2ºC outside, I chickened out (!) and put on my long winter underpants, and on the top my ASICS Vesta shorts. Long sleeves + short sleeves on the top as yesterday and off for this long run. Took 2km to start feeling that the long underpants felt overkill. Followed a runner from km2 to 5, at a pace way faster than I wished, but it wa nice to follow and being pulled for once. Stopped km5 for taking off shorts and long underpants and putting back the shorts only and using the underpants as extra scarf on the top of my two neckwarmers. Soooo extremely nice to run with the sun in the face, warming one really….until I turned into the shadow and I start to regret sliiiiightly the removal of the long underpants. Took 1km before getting used to the slightly cold and then headed towards the “Killers’ loop” (a bit unsure how to translate this one!). You may have one, a killers’hill, a killers’bridge, a killers’workout or whatever. This one is a loop on terrain slightly longer than 1km. Up and downs I can tell! In order to have a little change from asphalt, I found it fun to have this one run 5 times in the middle of the last few long runs. And today was one of those days as well. Took the loop clockwise (feeling it is “easier” this sense actually) and when completed 5 laps, I headed back home. OK, the 20km easy turned into 26km inclusive 5km terrain, but it was very much enjoyable. Back home, time for shower (Aaaaaaaah! forgot had had chili cream on the legs…) and food. Then Christmas tree to dress, decorations to hang and the first advent was done. A bit of work to prepare tomorrow and now it is high time to hit the pillow…

Zzzzzz Zzzzzz Zzzzzz…


Can’t you see me? I look like a freaking Christmas tree…

Ok. Silence is over. New laptop on my desk since three weeks. But time is not enough. Today happened something though. And I need to complain a bit.
Rewind: following Chicago I took a full running-free week. Body felt all good. The mind stated to complain by Saturday… As it felt all fine, especially for the calf,  then I started easy run again. Annoying few weeks with calf issue but now it looks better. Still issue to find time, but this is another story.
Back to this morning. Awaken at 2:38am by the coughing concert from E&T, could not sleep back and it felt pretty early (!!!) for a run. Waited 4:30am for light core exercises and then gear on for morning intervals. It felt chilly (8°C on my phone,  2°C on my watch…) hade decided “hard core” gear: shorts, 2 tshirts, arm and calve sleeves and neck warmer and bonnet. Felt all fine. Nothing much about the intervals but on the way back home,  I just got bumped by a car… From nowhere… and that disappear as fat as it came and hit me.  Pretty chocked. Got back home anyway and did check with the nurse what to do (basically nothing). Got to work and the carousel of meetings started again. Well back home again, prepared all for fajitas evening before heading out again. Chillier and even slippery at parts,  the run did go well.

So what about the post title? Well,  when the darkness fall into the city I chose carefully my heart so I can be seen. Fluo yello, pink,  green, blue, mix of all… Just pick and you’ll have one of my outfit. In the top of this,  LED on the skies and one on the arm. As I said I look like a freaking Christmas tree!  So how on earth could this car miss me and hit me?  Watch up, drivers. You are more dangerous than a elk crossing a motorway when you are not awaken and driving.
Surely ended fine as I apparently have no bruise. But still!

Time to rest. More running awaiting tomorrow.

Keep on running!


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!


The Seven Sweaty days of a sunny week (summary of a sweaty week…still without laptop)

(week 21072014-27072014) 7 days for creating the world and this week they became 7 days of crazy hot temperatures requiring lots of activities (or none at all!)

Kayak-stop :)

Kayak-stop 🙂

Sweaty day #1: or also called “Sweaty Monday“. Crazy enough, started the week with rehab for the knee and a sunny morning run with hillwork. Could push to 12km but by halfway (or even before…) I felt pretty thirsty. Of course no water at hand at this time of the morning. Sun sun sun already. Took it easy for the knee’s sake and it went quite well. But by the time I reached my hill location, I was really in need for whatever but hills! Stopped by a café and with the largest smile I asked kindly for water. The guys in the café left me the place (probably scared by attempt at smiling or by me smelling too bad … or both 🙂 ). Anyhow, got my water and the waiter asked me if I was to faint now or shortly… All good I answered, left my empty glass and headed to the hilly street. Got a serie of 6-7. Felt the knees were pretty light, the legs felt good (WAY better than during the 12km before, which were pretty flat and easy) and up&down with perfect music, people passing-by and not understanding what the strange person I was not only to run up&down but at this time of the day and by this weather… W.H.A.T.E.V.E.R!!! Completed the workout with the daily core challenge, extra stretch and kicks. To push the vice further (!), I did 3minutes of G’s chair as well… All for getting this knee in good shape. Rest of the day dedicated…to rest 🙂

Morning run 8AM @23ºC

Sweaty day #2: which nickname is “Sweaty Tuesday“. OK, running in the morning might not suit everyone, but with the crazy temperatures we were having, better run early. Took an early alarm to get my long interval workout done. (as well as I had a time to follow, going to the physiotherapist at 08:30am..don’t ask me why taking this early timeslot during my vacation…). Got a nice warmup and then headed toward three long intervals. Completed as wexpected although the middle one had to be cut into three. Tricky to hold the expected pace  and moreover, the feeling was to move at snail-pace-under-hot-sun… Had chosen my fast Adidas Adizero Adios boost Orange for the pace and they worked perfectly. No problem whatsoever with the heels 🙂 Pretty fast shower before jumping on my bike to get to the physiotherapist. Who confirmed that the problem was ON the knee cap. The pain felt earlier (before Stockholm marathon) was situated on the left outside of the left knee, but this has disappeared. Now it is apparently an overuse (?) of the tendon on the knee cap. Close to “Jumper’s knee”, which is better (?) to have than “Runner’s knee”. Caught when it is the beginning apparently, I have now to continue the rehab exercises already in place but on a daily basis. The best exercise being the one leg bend 😦 OK, then. Daily it is! Back home. Change to beach outfit, got a quick lunch and off to the sea after resting a bit at home. HOT outside, but at the sea it was warm and large clouds were covering conveniently the sun 🙂 All good, nice company there and on the way home, got stuck for a while under a little tunnel while heavy rain was falling down on us. Here it went my timeslot to go and buy some more tape for my knee… Got a pizza for dinner and then biked home. Tired in the evening. Prepared my stuff for the next day outing and it became pretty late then. Just more sleep needed (if those stupid seagulls could let me sleep…for ONE night…)

Morning run 5:19AM @18-20ºC

Sweaty day #3: but you may name it “Sweaty Wednesday” if you wish…also planned as rest day… Sure! Got up early to bike to the harbour and join friends for a day kayaking 🙂 Last time I did kayaking was when I was way smaller than now (!) and it ended with the head in the water and chosing wind-surfing on the lake the day after (for the record, the wind-surfing ended as bad as the wind stopped blowing when I was in the middle of the lake…meaning paddling with the arms all the way back…). Anyway, got the instructions, and hop in the kayak (ok, not really “hop” because otherwise I would have finished in the water!). Paddling paddling paddling… The secret being to paddle thinking of being Superman (not for the super powers (I wish!) but for the hand up when he flies (this means skipping hurting the wrist while paddling). Got to a nice little island where we settled down (I did not bath more than the legs… too cold for my taste), nice lunch and talk and sunshine and then time for going back home. Paddling all around the little island was real fun (especially when we went in this liiiiiittle and very narrow path, the kayak almost touching the bottom of the water and then being surrounded by beautiful landscape. Of course, this also meant some extra distance to paddle and on the way back home having to cross the sea (which felt like an ocean…) with side or head wind, lots of boats fouling around and making so much waves…. Yapp, a bit tired at the end that even thinking of being Superman with super powers was not really helping… Completed the tour with boat cleaning and then bicycling back home. Real nice day. Definitely not resting, but who cares when you are in good company and have fun! Tired in the evening and a bit anxious to see how the body would be feeling the day after (as the muscles used for paddling are not directly the same as while running, right?…)

Kayak throughout the day: 25-28ºC a bit cloudy sometimes

Sweaty day #4: Wow, thought it would finished at 3 but nope. Sweaty Thursday came up like a charm! Woke up well-rested and got in my gear for an easy 10-12km in the woods (as recommended by the physiotherapist). Drank an ice tea right before and biked to the Gardens. And there… started to run in the forest and it felt so extremely nice that I did a little game, i.e. taking all the exits on the right and go until asphalt is reached and then turn back, run to the nearest crossroad and turn right again aso. Yes, I played this little game earlier, I know. But pushing it to 25km was not directly in the plans… Lack of water was the main little problem during the run. When running on road, it is often possible to at least find a gaz station or little shop for buying or getting water. How do you do that in the woods? When the brain started to think about it, it was exploring all kinds of possible water sources… and I mean all crazy possible water sources. I saw a tree and thought could get to squizz it and have water from it. Or from the moss (think here… no rain or only a few showers since past two weeks… how do you think the moss looks like…) or from the pine cones that had fallen on the ground (YES, I KNOW! THEY ARE DRIED OUT ALREADY… I have been pointed this out a couple of times already now…)… the brain started to think on an uphill that if taking this little stone right there and throwing it right through the slope, it may deflate like a tyre, making the slope easier to climb (and NO, I did not try this). Reaching km19, was too tired to think and got to run 1.4km as two circles around trees (i.e. two laps of 700m). Felt good and crazy stupid when the brain started to tell itself that I could continue like that until the end of time… (which I did not listen to…otherwise I would not be writing here!). When reaching the Gardens again, the delicate feeling of the asphalt (yes, the tired brain is talking here) and the great music in the ears just made the legs forgetting all pain and tiredness and just flying downhill. S.O. E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y  N.I.C.E. Reaching the bottom of the hill and Gardens entrance it was 24km perfectly. Saw a sprinkler for the trees, dropped my mp3 and sunglasses and just stood there in front of the water… BEST shower EVER! Of course in such case, it raises some eyebrows, but the kind Garden caretaker just agreed with me that it was nice to shower this way after a good run 🙂 Good shower, the plan was to get back home now… but the body had received what it needed and decided to run up&down the hill one last time 🙂 25km it became (and surely the left knee was a bit tired at the end of this final km…but the whole body & mind felt just.GREAT.!). Bike home, a bit of food, shower, massage and rest under the sun. Until it was time to meet a friend in those same Gardens where we walked (!) for 5km. Good recovery indeed… which continued with biking to the sea with a friend and diving into the cooooold water (what would you not do under pressure?!?!?). But it was actually nice with this heavy sun heating up the whole landscape. Easy bike home and then good rest for the day (I mean sleeping through the night with window and door closed for skipping hearing the crazy seagulls outside…).

Morning long run @7am: started @17ºC, ended @27ºC…

Sweaty day #5: because after 4 it is 5! like after Thursday, you will with high probability reach “Sweaty Friday”… Started the day with kicks, core and rehab exercises before heading to the pavement for a recovery run. Once again, thought that the body would be dead-tired after the kayak and the long run, but nope. Felt all good. Had been taping the knee with this blue elastic tape for a few days and if just placebo effect (because the sexiness of having a blue tape on tanned knee ain’t the top, I would say…), the knee feels good about it during the running. Easy pounding the pavement, almost continued too far, but turned back after 7km and then back home. Not many up&downs, just to rest the legs. All good. Lunch and easy rest under the sun until headed to the sea on bike where – hold on to your seats… – I did SWIM in the sea. This day I had taken my flippers as promised to my friend to swim along with her. And I was thankful for this idea, because it was fun. Not much swimming, but enough for having a good feeling. Then after enjoying a heavy hot sun, we got wet by two HEAVY showers and the second one made us decide to bike home and call it the day. Easy evening after that. A good Friday (sorry… “sweaty Friday”).

Recovery run @8:42am: 23ºC at start and 26-27ºC at end…

Sweaty day #6: And the week is almost finished, you reach the weekend with the famous “Sweaty Saturday“. Seriously, in this country I would have guessed for 1 or 2 (OK, make it 3) sweaty following days, but not SIX! Anyhow, once again had a great plan of going up early for running short intervals… You got it by now…did not work out so well and get out on the pavement around 9am, when the sun was already high and hot (I wish it would have been “only” warm!!!). No warrior would let him/herself impressed by this weather, correct? 🙂 so started with an easy warm-up and by its end, was already regretting not to have taken a bottle of water. I had in my brilliant training plan to run on a track those intervals. Where there is water available. Unfortunately the tracks were closed and I got to run on the bike path (which DOES NOT have water available… well, I did not have any money with me neither for stopping at the close-by supermarkets neither… smart plan, right?). It ended that the short intervals went as they went but had to cut 7 of them into two. Not that I planned it, but felt like stopping (!) after a short while and it happened that it was falling at half-way. Anyhow, got the whole thing done and it was just to get back home and shower and started to smelt under the sun (here I mean “resting”, but seeing the temperature I even had the parasol out and fell asleep under it. Woke up with the rain falling (and here we are talking CRAZY shower rain!). Waited until the rain started to reach me for going back home…and then rested some more 🙂 Evening out in nice restaurant – nice company, nice talk, perfect end for a “Sweaty Saturday” evening!

Morning intervals @9am: 25-28ºC

Sweaty day #7: So when it was decided to make the week of 7 days, nobody thought about the facts that SEVEN sweaty days are VERY much to handle at once! So this Sweaty Sunday started with core exercises and recovery run in the forest. So nice to actually could run there because the temperature was really nice. A bit tricky with running in the woods is that the path never looks the same…especially after rain and leaves falling on it! Anyhow, got a nice and easy recovery run, enjoyed a bit the sun from time to time when leaving the comfort of the trees shadows and then bike home for…yapp! More resting! Of course some rehab for the knee and then a bit of shopping in town before easy afternoon with friend. Just relaxing for last day of vacations before working again. Nice 🙂

Recovery run @9:15am: 20ºC
So was my sweaty week completed! Got lots done, approximately same distance done on bike and on feet 🙂 And definitely lots of activities which were not planned at all…that’s what vacations are for! How was your “sweaty” running week?

Morning uphill to reach the forest/trail path...

Morning uphill to reach the forest/trail path…

 

 

 

 

 

 


Run, Sun, Sweat, Rest and a pinch of jalousy… Summary of the week

wpid-20140621_151907.jpgOne more week ending. Seriously – how can time disappear so fast sometimes all the time?!?!? Just back form vacations and it is already Monday tomorrow… Back to work after a sunny week and no possibility to run… how could this work, right? Let’s start with the pinch of jealousy… Sure it is painful to see runners all around, to have a nice weather (or rain) and not being able to get into running gear…So yes, a bit of jealousy when seeing others being able to run when I can’t. Sorry – just had to complain a bit. Now it is done. So there went the week:

Monday started in Turkey with travel back home. No need to say that when crossing the door, all went to bed but me. Time well-used for unpacking starting the laundry and a bit of work…well work which ended late in the afternoon. Noticed around lunch that it was high time for food, without having really time for cooking (read: ate fruits and drank an energy drink…). 6:15pm was time for check at the physiotherapist… Hold on… Yapp! Was smart enough to book a time DURING the soccer game I wanted to check… No worries though, could follow all from start on my mobile, then there was a tv in the waiting room, had to listen carefully to the physiotherapist and then hurry back home to sit in front of the tv 🙂 OK, the physiotherapist said that was good response from the knee, added a couple of exercises to complete the rehab and then new check in three weeks. Rest day – nothing done. Fell asleep like a stone…

Up early, little drizzling outside, running gear on and ready for a fast & short distance on Tuesday. Easy and short warm-up and off I went… but not at all as expected. Stopped several times during this rubbish 6km run. No pain really, but the head was NOT at all ready for running and not even for pushing to continue when it felt hard. Not a chance however to walk back home (had forgotten my tram card…which would have been conveniently used this morning…) so better run-cry-swear-stop-run again and all over until home. Change and directly to work… better to focus on something else, right? Evening got the first updated rehab program (added straight kicks with elastic band and lunges). The rehab program is now to be done every second day. Tired in the evening. Day 2 – gone…

Decided to go for a little “July challenge”. OK I started it on Wednesday July 2nd (so will do it until August 1st). As the running can anyway not be done more often than every second day, let’s work on this core 🙂 Daily Ekvall’s core serie for 31 days…who’s in? 🙂 At least if I cannot run, I’ll have nice abs … he he he! Evening was dedicated to alternative training with bike tour for an hour and then back home for Core&stability (2) workout and Ekvall’s core. Yapp – a bit late for all this, but feeling so good to fall on the bed and sleep right away!… Was it already Day 3?

to wake up early on Thursday morning ready for running intervals 🙂 Had just rained before I went up, so fresh and nice in the air…kind of. Got time intervals for this stupid knee to hold fast tempo. 4*5min and 3*2min. OMG, this felt really nice to run fast! (ok, not super-crazy-fast, but decent-faster than it has been lately and with a nice feeling as well). Core challenge right after (NOTE: not recommended to do planks right after a sweaty run. Tricky to hold on the elbows!) And after well deserved shower, off for long work day. Full with lots to do. Nice to get back home and change for evening with friends. Nice company and good food. Perfect end for this evening….well, there was still some rehab to do before bedtime. A bit tired, but I hold the every-second-day-rehab-program. Really tired after that! More of Day 4 ending 🙂

So Friday started with Core challenge right after getting up (not simple, but at least it is done!). Rest day was declared (read: from training). Heavy at work, nice company at lunch compensated with a bit dull food and then it was soon time to get back home… Tired like no one should be, I rested a bit and got for a thai massage. The main focus areas were simple: left side of the body from slightly above the knee, the thigh, the hip and strangely the shoulder and arm. Nothing fully painful, but far from enjoyable. If pain makes pain disappear, then shall be it! No problem to sleep, despite the short sleep earlier. Definitely needed some rest. Day 5 just disappeared…

Not too late sleep-in, the sun was high and shining on Saturday so got ready for an easy 10K run which turned into a very nice and decent-pace 12K on the hour 🙂 Really happy that the knee did not complain at whole. Nice to feel the sun and the wind on the skin. Sweaty at the end it felt great to start the day this way. Quick shower and changed for getting to Åsa where was held the 10K-race I was expecting to participate. Met club-mates who could run (happy for them). But felt ok to watch the race. Even got the surprise to see Robban on front line for start and ending nicely the race 🙂 There was a 5K as well this day and would I have known, I would have definitely register for running. But too late when I discovered that. The surprise for the day was the amount of food eaten…3 (home made) hamburgers and one sausage, drank coke and juice as well. Not all at once!!! during the day I meant 🙂 Lots of discussion and grilling in good company with club mates. Not too late home, but had still a bit to do: core challenge, rehab and core&stability for the day… Pretty crazy-tired after all this, but as usual it feels so nice when it is DONE! Day 6? already completed…

And today was Sunday. Final day of the week. I know I said the runs should be every second day, but felt fine this morning, so did some eccentric heel raises to “warm up” the heels, got the core session out of the way and changed to running gear after massaging carefully the legs with chilli warmup cream and arnica oil and off I left for a real warm and sunny run…which ended into 16km at nicer pace than yesterday-already-nice-run-pace 🙂 Lots of sweat, even got some cheering on the way, two whistlings (I put this on the “cheering” side), small kids even clapping…Yapp, this was a great run. No knee pain. I.am.happy! Just took a shower to cool down the body, got some fruits and drink and jumped on the bike for a little hour tour 🙂 SO HOT!  During the first half, it felt pretty warm on the back with the sun shining. Small stops for shopping and then turned back home…with strong headwind (and not feeling the sun at all although it felt pretty warm still.  Back home for the third shower of the day and then resting on the mat for a little while under the warm sun. 26ºC – felt nice 🙂 Rest of the day spent pretty easy and chilling out. Enjoyed very much the final of Wimbledon on tv (and it is NOT recommended to iron at the same time such a match is on tv..you may burn yourself…just warning…). A bit of food shopping and doing a quick knee check: still no pain. Now time for a relaxing bath before a good night’s sleep. Final work week ahead before vacations…

 


A day with carb can only be a good day… (or was it “a day in the sun…”?)

Someone kindly left the city taking with him the nice temperature we had so far, leaving behind a stupid wind and a cold sun…Any chance to get our last week’s weather back?…please?…

When the alarm quietly started, the brain was not really in sync. Not understanding what was happening..Snooze. Closing the eyes. Wait a sec… Must have rang got a reason… Remember then this final quality run set for today. Crazy time to do it at 5:15am, but seriously loaded with work all day, I could not fund a better time slot…ok, there was NO other time slot. Gear on, 5°C outside meaning, shorts, calve sleeves, tshirt and arm sleeves. Even took my sunglasses… Brrrrr! Coooold… But after a few 100s m it felt ok. Decided to give it a try for this stupid knee. 10K easy pace, real ready first 3 where the knee felt a little bit. After that it must have been warm enough as it felt smoother to run. Smell of freshly baked buns when passing the bakery factory…Hmmm…hungry! Turned back after 8km…should have enjoyed them more than I did because from this moment on, it wad full headwind until the end… Quick pitstop after the 10K, light stretch and off for 5 2-minutes intervals. Time intervals are not my favourite, although I started to like those 2 or 4-minutes series. Anyway, back to the run. Strong headwind, could hold easily the pace of most the bikes 🙂 they looked like it was really painful to pedal… Completed the run with a light cooldown.
Surprisingly the left knee did not protest during the intervals…at all! I understand as well why some people run their marathon at 3:41/km…it is REALLY nice pace, indeed! Could hold it for 1,1.5 minutes and it felt really great :o)
Back home, hot treatment in the knee, and banana breakfast + juice. Yoooohoo, the carbs are back!
Then it was work, lunch in nice company (ate tandoori chicken with naan bread and completed after that with an ice cream…). Three carbo loading is definitely on! Have had extra banana during the day, dried cranberries, drank sport drink and extra water. Three sport drink is only because I need an extra bottle for my water on race day… This evening I could enjoy a pizza made by G at the pizzeria he is practising 🙂 cool! Don’t know (and don’t care) if pizza is on the list for carboloading, but I had one. Have now probably taken up the grams lost during the carb depletion 😉
Completed the day with a Thai massage and asking to have a little extra press on the left knee felt like pushing a needle (those large ones) into the knee. But later on, it felt good. Back to normal soon I hope.
Cosy evening, lots of ironing to catch up with and now time for bed. Will be nice with bank holiday tomorrow and then travel the day after…
Plans already made with J for visit to Stockholm, have to check my list and pack tomorrow. Not much, most important being the shoes 🙂  All under control!

Stockholm…3 days to go…


When fast becomes faster despite blister :(

After yesterday’s warmth-training, had in mind short intervals workout at midday. Rain during the night, so why not testing a 13-14ºC, high humidity instead…

Early birds were not tired this morning neither, but I was. Snooze the alarm and skipped the cheering planned at 6:55am for the departure of a bike race. One hour later, the legs really wanted to run. So gear on and headed to the street under a nice but shy sun. Had to turn back for allergy tablets (had none for past two days and it definitely feels itchy-scratchy… No sunglasses, so my eyes were crying most of the time as well. Easy warmup, with a pretty sensitive left knee 😦 Stopped after a few 100s m and massaged a bit. Decided to continue, but IF would feel more or similar after 5km (which was the planned warmup), I would then turn back home and skip the intervals. Felt quite ok after 5km, light stretch and went along with my short 400s. I like them. The 200s are too short for me to even start running fast…they are already finished! 400s on the other side feel more adapted to my slow-start-way-of-running… Got a new PB on the distance: 1:18.1 (!) I know I know, I did run a fast one in February which was 1:18.9 (!), so really much faster, right? Anyway, this was a long serie so went for it just. The feet felt fine, a bit heavy with the shoes, but for giving me such time…I AM HAPPY! Had an interval “à la Ryan Hall” (i.e. more straight in the upper body, long steps) and one “à la Usain Bolt” (i.e. more ahead and slightly faster…Really thinking I was there to win the distance 🙂 ). Then easy cooldown back home. Followed this with light stretch and light core and light breakfast 🙂

Time passed quite fast and it was already time to get lunch ready. G grilling, I just had to start the grill and call when it was ready. Got time to go through the information for Stockholm marathon next week. Reviewing a bit the route and planning where I could have strategically (!) placed my water. Not sure really, but can definitely test a bit during this race. Lunch was then gone and I eventually lay down on the soffa for a quick nap…of 1.5hr… Got toast ready and headed to the city…pretty calm and quiet. Stopped by the pharmacy to show my wonderful toe (the one I thought had a ward-which-was-not-one-and-now-has-been-frozen-and-has-a-large-blister-on-blister-which-I-emptied-twise-already-and-yes-I-know-I-have-a-race-in-less-than-a-week). Not smart I am told (like I did not know…). Got suggested to have a regular band-aid until the race, tight around the toes and have those special band-aid during the race… the risk being that the band-aid is so tight that it takes off all the skin of the blister when I eventually want to take it off… Hmmm, what a nice choice… WHY on earth did I freeze this thing! Walked back home along the water-side and then time to prepare dinner. and then movie. and now bed.
NOTE: skipping evening run as the knee is a bit not as I would like it to be. Nothing can be improved now anyway…only can be worse (look at what I have done with my toe for example…)


Kind-of-tapering, sun, more work and a training-race under the sun – weekly update…

(Week 20140512-20140518)

Easy Monday, meaning starting up early with light core exercises, then getting to work, back2back meetings, cancelled my running-lunch plans and thought finishing the afternoon working from home. Morning went as planned, but then I got two unplanned meetings at the office, which meant no going back home. Which ALSO meant I could have run at lunch with my colleagues. Saw them leaving the building with a large smile (and me aiming to the restaurant for a nice lunch with a colleague). So lunch run was replaced by an easy afternoon recovery run. Easy pace, no pressure, just nice. A bit sensitive Achilles, which I might see as a result of wearing high heels at work… Solution for race week: wearing snickers (read:running shoes)… Finished the day with packing (light) for travelling on Tuesday.

Long Tuesday started with light core in the morning to wake up the body a bit. Still sensitive heels. Then on a rush: dropp off, fast to work, bus transport for meeting, then back to the office, meetings again, change of lunch plans due to unplanned meeting and then time to get to the train station… 1:45pm and it was lunch time (finally…). Got a sub with chicken teriyaki. OK, I guess. But would trade this for sushi next time. 3hours train-trip. Tried to work but the wifi was rubbish and it was a real pain to get things done. Got the hotel and worked some more (well, what was not done in the train…) and then went out hunting for food. Rest day today. Making me crazy! Felt should have run even just a little bit this morning. Got to an Italian restaurant and ordered pasta, with chicken, mushrooms, leeks and white sauce. Real delicious. Back to the hotel.  Took 30minutes before cramping stomach. Sooooo annoying. Reacting to the cream in the pasta, for sure. But it was SO really good. Took a long hot shower to get rid of the pain and then tired got to bed. Rest day? could have passed on this one!

So what about a “very-long Wednesday” then? Up @6:20am, got ready quick to get to breakfast and there is was already more crowded than NY central station at busy hours… Got a good breakfast, unsure what we would eat during the day. Full day of network meeting. Lovely. Will get my mind busy, getting new ideas and hopefully not thinking about “how-on-earth-I-will-be-setting-a-training-workout-in-today’s-day”… Have the privilege (?) to test-drive 2 trucks (those huge ones, 25.25m and fully load (60tons!)), as well as a city bus and a truck with trailer fully loaded on a gravel road. Pretty fun! Especially when doing it in skirt/jacket and running shoes 🙂 Got finished by 4pm, but our train was not coming before 5:32pm… Did some reading. Even considered (while waiting at the train station) changing to running gear, doing my training as fast as possible so I would not miss the train… THAT is a motivator! Train delayed. Then got pretty slow and more delay. I saw the clock ticking and thought would be way too late to train. Arrived home it was still nice in the air and light, so just had to change to running gear and headed towards a flat place for one long part and pretty fast 2minutes-serie. Not high on the motivation (Heeeeellllo…… got up early and full day work and travelling…) but the 5km disappeared pretty fast (especially when I quickly checked my watch and notice Ooooh, I will soon reached 21min, have to accelerate…which I did…which made my watch beep, …which mean “too slow” I thought….which made me run even faster….still having a beeping watch….until the bout finished and I noticed that…the beeping meant too fast…that I had run 30sec faster than the fastest range planned…OK then…will see how the 2-minutes go. And then were FAST! Felt much better doing them and completed the workout with a smile…tired, but with a smile…(probably of exhaustion…). Light core to complete the day and headed to my pillow .)

And it was sunny Thursday then. Had my high heels in my bag (JIC…) but went to work in running shoes. Not a chance I will get my Achilles feel better this week if wearing high heels all the time… The sunny weather outside felt outrageous…as this was a rest day (again? yapp!). Today was a leg resting day- Light core only 🙂 And still not much sleep (but much work done…)

TGIF! Good start of the day with light core and then getting to work. Running shoes on still. Back2back meetings until lunch time and sushi-lunch in nice colleague company. Little longer lunch – always appreciated 🙂 And it was time for the final meetings of the day before heading back home. By then the clouds were a bit out but still sunny and a bit warm/heavy in the air. Running gear on, took an easy afternoon run, but the motivation was not there. The legs could run on their own, and they did. Achilles heels felt pretty sensitive, especially the right one 😦 no fun. Even though it disappears after a couple of km…it should just NOT be felt this way. Spent the evening preparing my gear, checking the weather and reading my summary from last year’s race… I know this route, but for tomorrow the objective was simply to get around under 1:37 (last year’s time) and if can do, under 1:30. But all would be good as this was not a top-prio race, more to be taken as final long run before Stockholm marathon. Especially considering the past three weeks with over 100km/week which is much for me…

Saturday was race-day. Got to run faster than last year by 7minutes and 4seconds. Got to test how to run without extra energy carried on me, but with a cheering squad ensuring I would get little @two places of the race. More on Göteborgsvarvet 2014 here. Good race, completed in 1:30:01…which makes it necessary (?) to register for next year’s edition and finally getting under 1:30!!! Sunny day, painful Achilles heels after the race, stomach cramps after race and restaurant celebration afterwards… Good day 🙂

To finish the week, came Sunday 🙂 Additional rest day. Up around 7:15am, too much light outside. Rested longer and then finally went up to start breakfast. This was time for G&E races right after lunch-time. Bicycled a bit, body felt fine, Achilles heels felt fine. Got to run as well to get from one point to another one and being able to follow the race… Yapp. Good rest day, finished with home-made pizza. What’s a difference as (rest) day made?….

Week summary: A bit sluggish feeling. Maybe (probably?) the results of three heavy weeks leading to this one. So certainly a good thing to have cut down on the volume this week. Now will start tapering before Stockholm marathon. Hoping that motivation is a bit higher up by then 🙂

Keep on running!


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? 🙂

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And then it was less than three days left…

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

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

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

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

Tjingeling!


From fast to faster and from lazy to lazier…

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

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

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

Until next time, have a nice run!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice trofés for 2013-running year :)

Nice cups for 2013-running year 🙂

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

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

Copenhagen…less than a week to go…woooooow!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Hitting the (wind) wall and finding the sunshine…

After Thursday’s hillwork, the backside of the left thigh has been starting to make itself reminded… like I would forget it’s there… So when waking up on Friday morning (once again BEFORE the birdies!), it was a bit unsure I would go for intervals and not easy distance as planned.

But the perspective of having interval workout on the day after spa was definitely not appealing. So on with the gear (not chickening out, having my 3/4 shorts and leg sleeves… ok, maybe not chickening out “100%” then! only 75%…). It was quite nice in the air, still dark. A bit tight on the time with all preparations for the day, so took a short warm-up and stretch before heading off for my intervals. Finishing the warm-up with accelerations between lights appeared to work very well and surprising me a bit. Generally it feels heavy and dull, but this time I could feel the accelerations… First interval was way too fast at start, but stable after 2-300m thanks to the headwind and the little slope to climb. Short pause and off to the second. Turned back after this one and continued the serie. All felt ok, and were in the tempo-range, but the final one felt pretty odd and had to stop after 1 few 100s. Not cut in breather, not tired, nothing I could point out as pain… Well, stop analysing all, started again and did what I could to get in the expected range. Took an extra easy km before arriving to my smart place for 200s. Straight line home, I thought. Piece of cake. G’s best is 35sec and my serie was to be done @ 37-39… This was WITHOUT counting with the headwind. The three first intervals went way slower than expected. With the 3rd interval STOPPED due to hitting a wall really, a wind wall… the wind was SO extremely strong that it felt that I was having my body along a brick wall and trying to move… Turned back and with little tailwind got down a bit in the pace, but still not in the range. G’s record is safe with me for a little while longer! Easy cool down back home and the Friday’s chores were to be started. This included a packing for a spa evening with friends.

Work until lunch and then off I went to meet my friends. Great to have an easy afternoon, with pool, sauna, outside jacuzzi (ok, this one was not THAT fun as it was cold outside and pretty windy…), hot pool, steam sauna and massage. Lots of chat and then time to get ready for dinner followed by disco. No need to say that the best place I could think of was my bed… but had promised a few dances, so by 1am it was time to say goodnight and head to my pillow. From tooth-brushing to deep sleep, must have taken really short time…

Up with the sun in my face, it was time to get ready for breakfast. And what a breakfast. Took toast with ham and sausages, tomato, cucumber, paprika, omelette and bacon. After that, orange juice and green tea and then 4 pancakes with nutella and maple syrup…Hungry? this was an understatement… Headed back home and rested a little before changing to running gear for a recovery run. Sun outside? Once again, not a chance to chicken out for the 4th time this week. ADIDAS Supernova blue/black on, Stockholm tshirt and wind jacket and of course sun glasses, all ready for an easy 10km recovery run. Noticing a higher pace for the first km, I expected to slow down right after. But no, the legs felt like running faster and I let them do their thing. By km6, stopped for drills and then the legs felt even lighter. So extended my run to 12km and then back home. A bit concerned though with the “cramp”/ache feeling in the backside of the left thigh (middle). But this could be resulting from 1) hillwork or 2) interval workout from Friday. Not planning for analyzing anything here. It was then a very relaxed evening, starting with marinated chicken wings in the oven with rosties and little green/red salad. And then followed by popcorn in front of tv for GET and rehab for myself. Have done the rehab only twice this week… Have to be more consistent again… Then the day is now getting to its end. Eyes are tired and wished to close themselves…

More sleep to do and until next time, run run run!


Final rehearsal…

After a couple of snooze on the alarm… did GO out of bed for morning run (and the workout still started 5:35am…). Had a look at the temperature: Nice! +3ºC (compared to last year when my morning run was done at -6ºC…). Still chickening out and got on my long tights (regretted it after 3km warmup…) but the long sleeves and wind jacket were correct clothing 🙂 Easy warmup, nice in the legs, a bit frozen (as  when leaving a warm bed into a cold outdoor within short time…). Light stretch and change of music. Short time interval to test the shape. First one was great exactly the way I wanted. A bit annoyed though to have it already good because it often means the other won’t be as good. Second interval got a fast start and by half way felt the legs slowing down (not that I wish it, THEY did that). The rest was good to catch back the breathing. Always interesting (I think) to see that it takes only a short short time to get back to regular breathing despite the end of the interval being like you seem close to spit flames. Anyway the third intervals did not go well, had it all controlled at first and too much control is NOT good. Had to fight to get the highest range for the interval, but feeling was not there. Decided to take 30sec longer for rest and give it all in the last one. Well, start was fast and nice but by half way the legs started to slow down and the head did not mind much… THANKS to a scooter-guy passing by and cheering for me (Yapp, there are this type of cheering even at 6am !), strength came back and finish was really strong (and yes, it does work as well to think “you run to your max and beyond for the last 15sec and this is what will make you go under xx:xx (xx:xx being your time objective)… It does work, try it. Visualize that you have the clock ticking and you see it just turned 16sec from your goal and all what it takes for you to reach your goal is to give all what you’ve got…for 15sec…). Final interval within the range? Check! Easy run back discovering on my mp3 a trance-mix from 2011 and it was nice to end with it. Got my DS Sky Speed on and they felt nice, but surprisingly felt a bit tired… Just they can hold until Sunday and it would have been a great life for them!

Directly stretching after the run, taking protein drink mix with green stuff and a banana and off of to the rehab… Tricky to do that after interval workout, but it always feels so good to have it DONE!. Then the day went on, work, work and more work. No sunshine today, but drizzle all afternoon. Good choice to have run this morning, huh? After last meeting, did go to have a final thai massage. Not as tough as last week, but she did work a lot on the shoulders (when I would have like to have more on the hips and thighs-sides). But after it, gosh, it was necessary to get this work on the shoulders. Ended a little more work and now will start selecting my running gear for Sunday.

Now to the point: should or should not do a carb loading? Not thinking at all before a marathon, this is on the “TO DO” list. But for half-marathon? nnnnnjajanejnasdajsnd. Undecided. SO to make everyone happy (head and body, I mean), let’s keep it as it is before a regular long run. Nothing to be changed. Just a bit more carb on Saturday early evening and that will do the trick, right?

Time to close the laptop now and be a bit asocial as usual (read: “as usual before a race…”). Still enough night to get rested enough before Sunday 🙂

Paris… 4 days to go (REALLY?!?!?!?)

 


Third time’s a charm :)

Have you ever thought about sleeping with your gear on? so at least in the morning it gives some precious minutes to stay in bed…

Salute to Morning runs 🙂

Kindly borrowed from Hemingwayrun

The main effort this morning was to roll out of the bed… NO FUN at all! But once again, when this part is done, is left to jump into the gear and head towards the pavement. Planned for an eeeeeeasy run as none was done yesterday and the afternoon was focusing on the intervals. So easy it became. 12km in a spring-smelling-refreshing morning. Brilliant start. I knew it would be a good day 🙂
As usual the day continued with work work and work. Stop for lunch (trying to boost with iron so lunch meal was 2 eggs-omelette with spinach and potatoes. and a bit of luxury with a glass of pineapple juice… Then more work and when the drizzle started, it was time for dentist appointment. Run-tram-dentist-tram-run and hop! it was just to put the feet under the table and work some more 🙂

By end of afternoon, the rain had been falling almost non stop. A bit more than drizzle a bit less than regular rain… the “annoying” type for which you never know what to wear… My long tights being both a bit humid I hesitated to have one of them on for the run (I was going to be wet anyway…), but they felt a bit tight, to changed to 3/4 tights and compression socks. Regular wind jacket worked real well. Took a long(er) warmup (than expected) and THEN it happened for the third time in less than a week… NEW PB…on 400s this time! By 5 seconds, since start of January 🙂 Of course the rest of the first serie felt fine… but not the two other series. Acceptable time, but not more. BUT WHO CARES?!?! Third time’s a charm, right?

Rehab seems to workout well for the HH so just getting along with it. I did know that it was going to be a good day… I might not be always right, but most of the time, I am 🙂

Well back home, chicken tacos were already on the way and it was tricky not to close the eyes and let the head fall asleep in the middle of the dinner plate. Now it is time…

Got two interesting mails today: Rotterdam marathon indicating they have not received the confirmation email for Dubai time (sent on January 30th…) and Semi de Paris remembering all runners that it was only (!) 12 days before the race…

Time for bed – and more rest…Still not liking it, but might find it necessary to get flying legs at the end of the day 🙂


History repeating itself?

Now it starts to feel real…not! Up for core and stability workout, looked through the window noticing the white cover on the roofs…again! Good long workout, have to find new workout music as the three I find were used all this morning (and were not too motivating I think). Quick shower, quick breakfast (porridge and mix fruits) and it was time for first meeting of the day. Work work and work and it wad lunch time.

Was expecting that the snow would have disappeared, but no. On with the gear for a long intervals run. 0°C was definitely a bit chilly. Motivation for running? Well, it must have been there somewhere as I was really freezing when going out and still push the start button of my Garmin within 20 seconds of hitting the pavement. Probably because otherwise I would have transformed into an ice cube! First km  of warmup felt a bit easy and slow, but were not. Short pause for stretch and off to stay the first long interval. Drizzling snow in the face with head wind, still keeping the smile on my lips as I would have it in the back in the way home… Slippery bike path, especially the white paint indicating the separation between bike side and pedestrian side. So had to be quick at changing lines. This first interval went fine but the main effort was to keep a paced and not go faster than this. Short pause, walking slowly under the snow falling and start for a shorter interval. Similar pace for half the distance? Should not be difficult right? Well it was tricky to get up to speed but half way the legs felt light and nice, and even gave an acceleration. Ended with easy cool down. And btw after turning back, the wind did similar manoeuvre…so I had it in the face once more 😦

Really enjoyable workout. Similar workout wad done before Dubai last year, under same weather and kind of similar feeling (I think…). But after that it was time for more work until it was time to stop working 🙂
Change of clothes for an evening at the restaurant with friends and my Galette 🙂 Pretty tired now so time for bed. Rest day tomorrow…


9 days to go and snow on the tracks…

Countdown has started of course… It starts already when you get your mind set to the participation to a race and then it becomes a silent countdown until you have paid the registration fee… It remains silent for a while until you start efficiently the training dedicated to this particular race (can be a year or a few months or even a few days). Like for your birthday: you wait for it ALL year long, then it arrives and the day after (also called “non-birthday day”) you start counting down (364 days to go,…363 days to go…) 🙂 Now there is something special to change for 3 to 2 digits while counting down, but the change from 2 digits to 1 digit is making the whole thing SO much more real! No chance to change anything in the training, all is already done. Make the most of the days left without overdoing things (you can most likely create a mess, rather than improve at this stage). Do not change anything in your way of eating (well, might be an idea not to eat the same portions as earlier if you are tapering down and getting 30-40% less exercises… because the expected extra weight that you may take anyway during the taper, should not be related to unnecessary food you eat because you are used to (says she who barely count the calories, nor check really the amount of food arriving in her plates…).

So countdown? check!

And there is this “never say never” or “what was it I told you” or “history is repeating itself”… The winter has been extremely mild (apart from a couple of freezing days, a few snow days…when was it again?, and windywindywindyrainy days). But NOW it came. Already right before bedtime, I noted the light light white cover on the roof of the houses through my windows. Just hoping it would not last and that this morning it would be gone… SURE! This morning was covered with a “cotton-cover” on the roofs, streets and cars… Exactly what I did not want: Checking my diary from last year… SAME THING HAPPENED! Exactly 9 days before Dubai, a light snow cover had fallen on the city. The difference is that today was interval-day (last year I had an easy distance run, mainly due to the still slightly pain in the calf). So after a really good night’s sleep, I started early to work so I could take a break for a strength session. Core & stability for close to an hour and enjoying it…That is why I should do that more often!!! Then more work after a well-deserved mix-fruit smoothie. Took the lunch break for my interval run. Started a bit annoying with noticing the pavement was pretty slippery, so back home, get the anti-slip for the shoes, set them up and then…took approx.50m to noticed that the streets (outside mine) were free of snow. Dropped my anti-slip at the video store and started an easy jog. Thought I would check the roads and see where I could do my intervals. Took a little detour and it was feeling fine (although some parts of the bike path to be used would mean to run between two traffic lights and try to get it well-synced to get the green light…). Decided to get to the docks and hoped for not having slippery surface there. A few accelerations during the last 500m and a little stretching. No bike to pull me for the first interval so I took a bus instead (but this is way tougher too follow! 🙂 ). Series of 200s are quite fun to do (OK, I can recall not saying that after the first time I did that on track, as it took a couple of days to get the muscle soreness on the thighs to disappear… But now it is fine :). Nice feeling for most of them, a couple of intervals a bit tough (giving heavier breathing at the end). Have reflected that despite having some with a higher effort, it is still not at max pace it was done. But really satisfied of those series, and ended with a (little-too-fast) 1.5km as I had been a bit optimistic when estimating the time the run would take. Quick shower, banana+soygurt and tea before starting with the first meeting of the afternoon. Had then a 30minutes until the next meeting so took a regular portion of ravioli with green asparagus (Yummy!) and then it was time to continue to work…late.

Now to summarize today, it has been pretty well for training and this, despite the weather outside. Hope this remains “running weather” until next week so I will not have to pull myself to the gym and do the final runs on treadmil… Have eaten pretty normally, but felt so extremely hungry all day long… Had added extra fruits, nuts and even a ham-toast… but still very hungry. Now had a camomile infusion and it feels my eyes are closing themselves…

Dubai…9 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!!!


Stop trusting your ears and listen to your eyes instead…

Tricky night. In bed around 10:30pm, took a while to finally fall asleep but then the rain woke me up…thought it must be around 3-push and if though it would be as good to go up…but no, the clock indicated 11:27pm… Disappointment! Back to sleep (easier said than done…) and then it was really time to go up…4:35am…10 minutes earlier than the clock. Still ok. Took half an hour to get ready and kind-of waking up. Had my new cool army blue tights on as well as compression socks for the still light sore calves. Massage pre-run with warmup chilli cream and rain jacket on before flying away 🙂
Soooo nice it was to run at a normal pace again. Tried not to be too excited about it though… Pretty easy pace under the city lights, light and refreshing wind. Great. If only I would have listened to my eyes and skipped the rain jacket…Too much rain had fallen during the night, impairing my ears (and judgement for clothes).

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Did my rehab exercises after this early morning run and then enough time for breakfast (enjoyed 2 croissants and warm chocolate oat milk…yummy) and be at the office by 8 🙂

Lunch of veal with double portion of potato puree, drank a few tea mugs as usual and then it wad time to get back home again.
A bit tired it was as good to get directly out for intervals otherwise they would never be done… Dressed lighter than this morning and of course, got some rain at the end of the warm up and first two intervals. But ok. More drizzle, right 🙂 Have never done that many reps of 400s, not too easy, but really enjoyable (yes, it was enjoyable!). Cool down went in the streets around home to get a round figure 😉
Shower, protein drink and just had to wait for fish en papillotes and after cosy storytelling, it is now time for bed. Will be sleeping good I think!


Earth, wind and water week (still 120+km)

(Week 231213-291213)
Some may call it Xmas week as well…

After a quick heavy weekend, time for an easy Monday with low pulse running. Got longer than expected but that is all ok, right, as long as you are having fun 😉 This was a nice start for the week. Had to format my mp3 and reload all my music. But to my surprise the sound was locked to a maximum (and of course this was discovered DURING the run…). Anyway, this run was qualify as “extremely easy” on the effort scale. Good for the next day…

Tuesday was without program as well. Wanted to get some speed under my feet so decided to copy a workout done 5 weeks before Berlin, aka time intervals (3*(4-3-2-1)). Started with an easy warmup but by km2 the head wind was already quite strong. Nothing to fear though, in normal circumstances… By km3 it was so strong that I use my “lazy card” and decided NOT to run my intervals facing the wind. Waited 9 minutes for a bus to bring me 15km from home. Done drills while waiting (as well as stretching and singing and a bit of dancing 🙂 ). 20 minutes later I was running a short bout before getting ready for my intervals. Did not bother changing the pace for the intervals since Berlin training… but a bit of improvement has been noticed since and with some tail wind helping… those intervals were gold. First serie went fine, 10sec on avg faster than the fastest expected, but easy and good feeling. The second serie was slightly tougher, the 3minutes- interval being as usual the toughest. After completing the second serie I wondered whether to continue with the third serie or to skip it and run easy back home (well, being 10km away from home it would have been a long cool down…). Started the last serie, voluntarily slower (or “more controlled”). The 4minutes was ok, but the 3minutes was real tough (still got it slightly faster than in serie 1). The last 2minutes got a real push and for the last 1minute, OF COURSE (!) the wind has stopped blowing and I got to run it to the fastest I could and was really satisfied after that (OK, it took 2 minutes to get my breathe back and the tears out of my eyes, but for a 3:16 pace I think it was more than worth it!). Still far from home, got a nice and easy 7.6km back home. Almost got up to 20km for this interval workout. Not bad, not bad at all 🙂 Rested during the day and then took and easy 7km recovery run in the evening…just nice!

And so it was Wednesday and its morning easy recovery run as well (low pulse). Up to 10K and that felt like enough. Wanted to rest the legs a bit. So took the day off on Thursday, with easy core workout only and legs work. That was just nice.

Well, the tricky with rest days is that the day right after the legs (and probably whole body) often feels pretty heavy. So when having to do a 10K tempo on Friday, I felt like I had to choose right the timing. Started in the morning with easy 3km, stretching a few drills, but when normally it would have been sufficient to start a 10K, this time it felt still heavy. So went along 3more km and little extra stretch and decided to go for it. A bit unsure I could reach the expected tempo pace, but what was set in my head was that all pace faster than the first 6K would be acceptable 🙂 No disappointment, got a nice 10K with light wind and drizzle in 42minutes and then a bit far from home (once more…) got to continue running and completed this morning-run-before-breakfast in 23.23km 🙂 (I know, I like nice numbers!). Very happy to have done this, the rest of the day was easy and chill-out and finished with an easy evening recovery run. All good for slightly heavy stomach (eating 2 hours before a run is definitely the limit to follow!).

Saturday arrived really fast with its long run. Started it with extremely heavy legs (more correctly “thighs”). By km3 wished I have not gone out and run and ready to turn back… but continued at this slow and easy pace. By km10 my mind which was surprisingly full with plenty of thoughts changed its focus and then it started to get “easier-kind-of”. By km16 the legs were happy and the head fully awaken (finally!). So when reaching home after 25km I was surprised and very satisfied (for the time spent out). And what better than completing such  a day with a massage, right? Well, when the massage includes a thorough massage of the bum and thigh muscle, which might sounds fun and actually is NOT! Pain is an understatement for this! It however always takes so short time when the pain is there that it is definitely worth it! Spent the evening laying on the right side to avoid having some weight on the left side (the painful one…)

Still aching on Sunday morning when getting up and ready for an easy recovery run. Cut the run into 3 parts of 4km, with thorough stretch session after part 1 and then a drill session after part 2. Sunday was as usual pretty easy after that and this completed a very full week of running (with over 120km for second week this year and in a row…). This week also noted the monthly volume passing over 400km for the first time this year as well 🙂 Unsure how this worked because I cannot recall I was that much out running…

So yes, feet on earth, wind in the hair and water pouring from the skies (ok, this week was more drizzling than pouring…) – great week and one more to go before tapering down. December is soon reaching to its end and the year as well… Countdown will start soon!


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 🙂

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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…).

Tjingeling!