Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “long run

Race Report – Hamburg Marathon – 2017/04/23

Hamburg 2017

Smiling until the end!

Planned: 3hr or less… Health ok, training ok, head a bit off, but it felt achievable

Actual: 3:12:21 – 87th women, 2nd Swedish female, 16th age category & 1,127 (total 15,000 runners). Weather not being clement this day, ruining my plans already from start, saw the sub3 disappearing already then. Took decision to change the plan after 17km run and continue as an easy long run. Surely disappointed, but not fully. There will be more races…

Race Results:
place (M/W) 86
place (age) 16

Total 1119 (out of 15.000)

Age/grade: 74.08% (2017 Tokyo 78.07 / 2016 Amsterdam 79.9 / Ferrara 78.2 / Dubai 73.83 / 2015 NYC 75.93 / 2015 WMAC 74,99 / 2014 Chicago 75.97 / Stockholm 76.76 / Rotterdam 78.43 / Dubai 77.74 / 2013 Berlin 75.74/Stockholm:73.1/Boston:72.19/Dubai: 72.35/2012 Berlin:68.29/SF:65.66/London:66.47/Dubai:66.6)
time total (gun) 03:12:21

time total (brutto) 03:12:28

average pace: 4:33min/km… almost distance-pace…no comment!

Official splits:

Split Time Time
(split)
Pace (min/km) km/h
5 km

00:21:26

21:26

04:18

14.00

10 km

00:43:07

21:41

04:21

13.84

15 km

01:05:10

22:04

04:25

13.60

20 km

01:29:53

24:43

04:57

12.14

Half (21.1km)

01:35:08

05:15

04:48

12.54

25 km

01:53:13

18:06

04:39

12.95

30 km

02:16:41

23:28

04:42

12.79

35 km

02:39:40

23:00

04:36

13.05

40 km

03:02:37

22:57

04:36

13.08

42.2km

03:12:21

09:45

04:27

13.52

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

M Day-6&-5

Started carb depletion slightly earlier and a bit differently. The weather being extremely windy, it did not allow for terrific workouts, the moral was pretty down and honestly, there was time to really questioned what I was doing at all.

M Day -4

Final session. 5K at expected marathon pace. Piece of cake, right? Well, scheduling this session became a bit tricky. Early morning (read: “about 5am”…) was out of question. The weather forecast the evening before showed -3/4°C and for any other session or even a similar workout but NOT in the final week, I would have gone for it. But as said earlier, the moral was not to the top. The lunch weather forecast was however promising warm 9°C, no wind and sunshine. The deal was done! Meeting all morning and then went to change. Well outside the building, only grey, light wind and poor 5°C were welcoming me. Brilliant choice of clothes with singlets, shorts, arm sleeves and calve sleeves. And sun glasses… It worked but with 3 stops during the fast part. Slightly faster than expected, feeling all fine if it wasn’t for the wind out there. Back to the office, work all afternoon. And that was it. Final session. Not really seeing the training done for the past month in that session. But ok. The positive with this day? Start with carboloading. One day earlier. And having received product from Isostar I decided to test them as well the day after. Massage in the evening. Really painful pressure point on the right hip. Yap. Not really the way you want it to be 4 days before a race…

M Day-3

Working from home this day as happened to develop an allergy after being back at the office for two days (they were renovating there…). Better be safe than sorry. At least the allergy reaction decreased and the scratching almost disappeared. Change of plans regarding the preps, turning the 8-10km easy into a real slow 5K to shake the legs more than run with them… Slightly sensitive in the foot, wearing an ankle support seemed the good approach. (Probably the “better” approach would have been to skip the run and rest…). Started Carbo-loading with the Isostar Malto-Carbo-loading I won. Lots of drinking. All fine. Did not feel the “rush of happiness” that generally comes with carbo-loading, but ok. At least the body tolerated the Isostar.

M Day-2

Travel day…Not much sleep, missed the tram, started to stress a bit, got into the bus to the airport and felt better. Check-in completed. On my way. Met lots of runners in the queue to the control and remember that London was also run this same day as Hamburg. Fell asleep before take off. Listened to music all the way. Gloomy welcoming from Hamburg with fog and 7ºC. Easy travel with train and metro and walk to the room I rented. Dropped my stuff and walked to the Expo to get my BIB. Very surprised that the Expo was only 1km from home. Got my BIB, a few pics, bought some sport drinks High5 to try it during next 2 days and headed to Decathlon. And then back home. Had eaten half-baguette with ham for breakfast and one with honey on the way to the expo. Rested 1hour. Needed more food. Found a pasta restaurant not far from home. The Penne al Forno was a HUGE portion and after eating half of it, I got the rest in a little box to get home. Short walk to Lidl for buying bread, banana, snickers, orange juice and home again. Met my host’s boyfriend and we had lots of talking about running. They are nice hosts 🙂 Then time for more work. Fixed a bit and then bed time. A bit late, but I had rested in the afternoon.
Drank second day of the Isostar Malto-Carbo-loading. As well as a couple of bottles of the High5-lemon. Feeling a bit heavy. Mostly because of the pasta though.

M Day-1

Wanted to run now. For real! Awaken early with the lights through the curtains. Change gears and took an easy 7.6km run. First to the little lake when km39 was indicated. Headwind during the 39 to 41. The little slope/incline of the km41 could be felt already today. Will be interesting to see how it would feel the day after with 41km in the legs… Could not run to the start as there was the kids’ race. Waited a bit and ran to km1 and then back to the start. And then back home. Spent the rest of the day resting, preparing my gear, drinking High 5 sport drink and preparing my bottles which I dropped at the Expo in mid-afternoon. After that, I felt ready. Quite light. Decided to have final food intake around 1-2pm and then only drink loads of sport-drink. High5 felt quite ok and the body did not reacted. Fair enough.

Bed time around 9:30pm. Could hear the neighbours partying. My hosts came back not too late but close to midnight did go to the neighbours and telling them kindly to lower voice and music as they had a marathoner trying to sleep before her race (NOTE: I got this info the day after from my hosts 🙂 Cool people!)

NOTE: counted 37 showers during the day… with sunshine in-between…and of course wind… Promising weather for the race…

M DAY!!!!

Finally!!!! All Race day start with this word!

Before the race

05:00am – Waking up early as usual. Ate breakfast of champions (chia seeds, green mix, 1 banana and High5 sport drink, orange juice, a little piece of baguette with honey). And back to bed…

5:30am – The usual happening now. Drinking High5 on regular basis every 30min or so.. To avoid the problem from Amsterdam and Tokyo with too full blaster, I stop the drinking 30min earlier than usually do.

6:30am – Time to get ready! Shower, cream, fixing the hair, warming gel on the legs and anti-chaffing cream on the top. Racing gear on (SWE hotpants and singlet, arm sleeves pink and wind gloves, a neckwarmer, my Compressport calve sleeves (a first for a marathon!) and ADIDAS Adizero Adios Boost Purple (Quicky). Got my sunglasses on the top of the head. The weather was planned to be nice but windy. So they would help for skipping “crying eyes” throughout the race… Set my mp3

Got on the top of my racing gear the 2XXL easy pants I bought at Decathlon. WAY too big, but ok. Extra jacket as well which would get thrown before the start. And that was it. One caffeine gel in the back of the bra and one gel in the back pocket with the Dextrosol. Take my little red-disgusting-juice and time to go!

7:10am – Tried to jog to the start. But having the bag in the back and those too-large pants which I feared to get chaffing problems, it did not turn as a warmup really. Stopped the watch after reaching the start area. But it took a while to get all around the Hall building to drop my stuff. Left my bag, kept on the warm pants, extra tshirt and wind-jacket. First stop at the loo. No queue. Perfect. Did not feel that the start was quite close actually. People were all around and in no hurry to neither warm up nor get to the start corrals…

8:10am – New attempt to warmup after checking where was the start…and it started raining… Yeaaaah… Got to the loo one more time… and then another time, more like a “stress-stop” than a “need-to-go-stop”. At least this blaster would NOT annoy me during the race… I thought.

8:30am – In the corral…which was pretty empty… I felt that no urgency was raised and went out for a FINAL stop at the loo closed to our corral opening. Back to the start after that.

8:45am – Hummm… The wheelchair athletes started to line-up and in my B-corral, there were still lots of place between runners. Start was given to the wheelchair, the A-corral started to fill in and the invited athletes got to their start…

8:55am – Off with the too-large pant and the extra tshirt and the wind jacket. Body warmth all-around was sufficient 🙂

8:57am-ish – Eeeeeeeeh…sorry? But what it the blue rope still doing in front of us. We want to get closer to the start. But the volunteers are not letting us move. We have to wait for the gun shot they said…. H*ll no! Several are passing under the blue rope and I am one of them. Enough stress in the body and mind for not having this rope in front of me/us!

THE RACE

First half

09:10am – BAAAAM! Yes! All starts seem to sound this way. The runners are unleashed and I am happily one of them. I am happy. My legs are running. Finally. Pressing start on my watch, although I am a bit unsure whether I did not wait too long for starting it. And with the bad surprise from Amsterdam with the watch choosing to pause itself after the start, I do check quickly after 300m whether it is still on. Yap! Race on! Trying NOT to get too excited. Got passed before km1 by one of the Swedish gals I knew would be in the lead. Nothing to do about this actually. 1Km done. 4:09 according to my watch. Fine. This stretch is nice… until the drizzle starts to join us… well…actually it feels like light rain…or more heavy rain… Before turning right after the first km mark, we are already getting cheering from the skies in shape of small or medium hailstones falling. THAT’S A FIRST! Never got a race with this! Hoped/counted that it would stop fast… But nope. Passed km2 a bit too fast in 4:04 but with the hails falling on us, accumulating on the asphalt and making it slippery… It feels out of this world! Is this really happening? Can’t we rewind a bit here? Change the weather-channel, maybe? Groars are coming out from the running crowd. And laughs. And “you must be kidding?!?!”. Yap! Not only me having this “I-want-to-get-back-to-start-and-have-a-decent-weather-I try to keep focused. Skip looking at the watch. Carefully looking -maybe too close – on the asphalt ahead of me. It is covered by a little white stuff which looks like snow. Main objective has shifted: Time does no longer matter. Just do NOT fall on this rubbish-slippery-little-white-cover. Passing km3 and still hailstones falling. I don’t want to stop. I want IT to stop! And this part until km6-ish is slightly up. Which I am well aware about. My plan is disappearing piece by piece. My wristbands do not longer mean anything. I am expecting the 3:00-guys to pass me in a minute or two. Passing km5 in 21:25. Sub3-plan kiss goodbye! Taking my first bottle. More as a moral support than because I need it. A few glups of sport-drink and hop! Cannot feel that I am tired, but this 2km-long hailstones rain has frozen my body. My muscles which I was very careful NOT to have chilled out before start (for ONCE I was well-prepared with all the extra clothing before start) are not responding as they should. My brain is not functioning positively. I want to see this stupid turn after km6 and have a downhill. The left turn arrives and then straight ahead…no downhill?!?!? Nope. Well, yes. A little one at a moment but it comes more abruptly than the progressive down slope I was expecting. I am not happy. But I run. I am far off my schedule. Lots of thoughts in the head. I don’t want to see the 3:00-guys. Not now. Not that early in the race. And suddenly they come… One carries a white balloon with 3:00 on it. And we are barely at km10. What is wrong in the picture? Haven’t they got the hailstones too? Or was it only raining on me? Yeaaaah…must be that. Getting my second bottle at the water-station. I am not thirsty. I want to go back to the start and do it all-over again. Sun is shining now. Wind on the side as expected. Wet on the asphalt. And snail-pace me is actually running. And THEN I am passed AGAIN by another 3:00-guy who actually has his white balloon in the air. He is more likely to be on-time with the expectations of the group. We are passing km13-ish. And I get a renew energy. I am keeping up with their pace for a couple of km. Passing km15 and my third bottle. They are getting a bit ahead of me. But that’s ok. Nothing is hurting in me. The body is responding properly. But my watch is indicating a way-too-slow pace. Seeing the distance with the 3:00-group increasing and my blaster ringing a bell, I have a couple of choices: continuing to purse this group and hope the blaster holds at least until the half-marathon distance or taking a stop at the first blue box I see and get along with whatever strength I found after that. The distance keep increasing and a blue box is in sight. Exactly at the right corner. Quick decision to get into it. And then time seems to stop. I count the seconds. The blaster is not the main issue. That ain’t ok. I am now over 1 minute in my count. I don’t want to get out of the blue box. It feels safe inside. And maybe nothing is happening outside. Or time has stopped there. Or… or… or… Knock knock on the door gets me out of lethargy. I have to leave. Opening the door feels like one of the biggest efforts so far today. Welcomed out by a brilliant sunshine, a wave of wind and too many runners who make me realized that time has not stopped. My watch indicate 4:26min/km as average pace after this stop. Not many choice now. Setting my mp3 plugs in the ears. Setting the proper DJ Eclipse long run music and that’s on. No more race for me today. This stop at km17 has completed the killing of both the pace and the will/determination to get under 3 hours or even close. The mind is now focusing on getting this done. Just running. A Swedish gal and a Swedish man are passing me. Linné-singlet is easy to recognize. But the gal I was expecting her to be a bit further behind me…not passing me now…even before halfway. At least they both cheer for me and I can keep my smile on my face… Passing km20 in too long time for being a race. The competitive spirit is no longer there. Has stopped functioning for a while apparently. Reaching halfway in 1:35-ish. This is a good training pace basically… Nothing more but nothing less. Realizing that I have never run that slow a first half since…. Dubai 2013…Rubbish first half…

Second half

Starting the second half is full with hope. Having had headwind or sidewind all the way now, I am looking forward to get to the 35km point and down to the end for having this refreshing helpful tailwind. Have been passed by two Swedes (well, probably more, but those two guys from IS Göta-Helsingborg looked way more fit than me. And they cheered. That was nice). My bottle of km20 had a gel on it and it helps a bit. Nothing strong all good. Counting that I have 3 bottles left to take. That’s a good and positive thoughts. Trying to catch up with a guy on a bike with a little car behind him. Seeing the red heart-shaped balloons he has, I read “30”… OMG! The 3:30-guys are ahead of me?!?!? When did THAT happened. Slow is ok, but not THAT slow! Taking a little while before I realized that it is “30” as in “don’t drive faster than 30km/h”-sign he has. Ha ha ha! Funny…NOT! (well, ok, this is funny, but my brain at this particular moment does not really register the joke). And then I have a new plan: I could ask the guy on the bike if I can sit in his little car behind and that he could bring me to the next 15km or so… yes… That sounds like a plan… until I am reaching slowly but surely the bike and passing it… Hummm… OK. Better/Faster on foot than on bike. Boost given for the next 3km 🙂 Running in this part of the city is nice. Reminds me of Rotterdam. Green trees. People outside cheering. All is working as it should. Except for my legs which are only on “distance-pace mode”. But that’s ok. Km25 and my new bottle with more cheering on it. I remove the Swedish flag and give it to a little girl on the side. Got a smile for it. So worth it! When reaching km30, new gel with yummy salted butter/caramel taste and new calculations. The small jelly squares taken every km or so between km22 and 32 do help. I think… The hailstones have fallen once or twice more, if it was not rain as well. The wind was definitely there. Don’t ask me how. It can NOT be headwind all the time on a one loop course…except here…in Hamburg! My brain gives me still a finish time of 3:15. Not bad. But honestly, not good. So a little thing in me is waking up and I feel my legs lighter and moving faster. Meeting a guy on a regular basis here. And for a stretch I get his company and that feels…Hmmm… ok. Not THE pace I want which is way faster, but the pace I changed and want for the end. Feeling even that we accelerate slightly. A bit of smiling to each other. That is nice. Steady-slow @4:36-tempo… Yap. Distance-pace. But today it is a bit (…) longer than my morning run 🙂 And we turn left at km31. Headwind bothering all of us, but I KNOW that it will be kind for us after this turn….and….and….nope! nothing. Headwind again! Or side/headwind…. WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE EXACTLY?!?! The long stretch down the lake is nice…if it was not for the wind. I can see the IF Linnea chick and the Swedish guy a bit ahead of her. I want to pass her. Slight acceleration. Nothing really. But my running-buddy cannot follow. He stops suddenly on the side of the road. Still 20m behind the gal. Nooooo! I wanted him to help me passing her. And to help me passing the Swedish guy after that. And would probably have found others to pass after that 😦 A bit sad, but not stopping. And keeping my pace. Reaching the Swedish gal and cheering a bit. And hope. She looks a bit tired. I feel on the contrary better and way better than during the first half of the race. Is that so that I now need 21km warmup before feeling fine for a marathon?!?! Km35 and my last bottle. Message on it this time: ”LAST ONE”. A bit tricky to take the gel off the bottle. And when I eventually succeed in opening it and getting gel in my mouth, the taste of cherry is…disgusting like crazy!!! Why on earth haven’t I tried this taste before during training? Thought that with a different taste it would be waking me up. And indeed it does. I have swallowed a little of the gel. Drank a bit of water. And press all the leftover of the gel in the mouth. Take water and mix the whole thing in the mouth. OMG! This is disgusting! Taste really ugly! Decided that the “placebo” effect would have to do. I spit all on the asphalt. Must look like I am spitting dark blood. Continuing my run. Have never given so many high-fives in a race. Not even in Berlin 2014… And THAT was a lot! The 12km countdown is the best ever. There is another countdown starting at “1km done, 41 to go…”, but this one is niiiice! Counting kilometers left multiplied by 5min-tempo… I know I am faster than that, but have no idea how my brain will do the calculation if asking to multiply by 4:36-tempo. Less than an hour. 10km left. Less than 50minutes. I want to get to km39. To feel that I am finally close. I am passing people now. This beautiful and windy path, with those high trees on both sides. I like it. I know km39 is soon there. I am not following the blue line any longer. I am ON it. Not a chance I will run longer than I should 😛 Seeing the lake on the left side. It feels like spring. Short hailstones rain again. Does not matter any longer. I would not care less. Km39 is there. I have 15 minutes to finish. IF I was at 5min.tempo. But I won’t allow this to happen. Passing guys and turning right. Headwind. Don’t care. Turning left. Km40 is there!!! Euuuhhh nope. Not yet. Down the street. I take out my final liquid gel. Cola-taste. I know it taste bad, but it has so much caffeine in it, that I SHOULD be able to press a bit more. Recognizing the final stretch from yesterday. Seeing km41. People are slowing down. I don’t. I push even more. No at all full power, but definitely faster. And it goes slightly up. But I know it. And it feels. But I know it. Passing one IF GÖTA guy. Feeling that I am unstoppable. THAT is the feeling I should have had from start! And a faster pace too! Getting passed by a guy with Swedish colours. Cheering from him give me an extra bright smile. I just want to pass people. Pass gals mostly to have a slightly better Turning right. Over the little bridge. Windy. Seeing the final final street. Cannot estimate the distance to the red carpet. But I know it is mine. OK…not completely JUST for me, but my brain doesn’t know that at this particular moment. Passing a Danish gal. Yeaaaah! And seeing two other gals ahead of me. Those ones won’t be there. I feel like a rocket, but really run like a fast snail in reality. OK…like an average snail, not even a fast one. But this red carpet! OMG! Feels so good! Smiling right and left. Have no music in the ear since I passed km41. Just feeling the cheering all around and that is why the finish lines are so addictive! Done!

Official time received later: 3:12:21…

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

After the finish line

Not even looking at my watch. I am under 3:15 and that is enough to be an ok-long run. Feeling a bit off in the groin right side. But others are in way worse conditions. Getting a smile from two swedes, a thanks for several guys. And that’s it. Walking to the Hall, taking a bit of sport drink, chocolate bar and a paper cup filled with small pretzels. I am done. Stomach aches keeping me away for a short while. Walking to pick up my bag. Getting a well-deserved massage. Walking home. Shower, warm clothes and feet up against the whole for 45 minutes. The rain is falling again. And stops. As so many times yesterday and today. Feeling tired, surely not happy of the time, surely not satisfied because I feel the body is not completely emptied of strength. I am fine. Rubbish race-time, but decent long-run time. That would do for today…

My very kind hosts let me stay longer than planned. So I get a good nap. Wake up at the smell of freshly done waffles. Got offered one by my host and we start chatting. They are very kind and cool to talk to. Would have gladly stayed longer. Especially as I am to be traveling back to Hamburg on Tuesday morning… But the original plan has not changed. Thanking my hosts, getting to the train and then the airport. Lots of wait and then through the control… longing for a large piece of meat with French fries…to see that only coffee shops are available after the airport controls… Settling for 2 hot chicken wraps and a half-liter Coke. I am tired. I am on my way home. I have for the first time run a marathon as training… I am happy 🙂

**********

Weather: 5°C, cloudy, Feels like 1.7°C, 16kph W wind, 81% humidity. Did not feel THAT cold at start. But surely freezing during the hailstones rain from km1 to 3 and then better under the sun and then more rain and hailstones and sun and wind all the time… Estimated average temperature would be 5-7ºC probably. My estimations anyway.

Food:
> before: chia porridge with green mix and orange juice, 1 banana, 1 piece of bread with honey, High5 sportdrink (5dl?) (5:am) Little bottle of red juice 2 hours before

> right after: banana+pretzels+2 glass of sportdrink

> 3.5 hours after: 2 waffles without eggs with sugar on. Orange juice

> During: 1 strawberry jelly right before start, High5 Lemon sport drink @km5-10-15-25, Aptonia gel (salted butter/caramel*2 and cherry-disgusting) @km20-30-35. Coffeine Powergel at km40. Strawberry jellies: 1 at km22 and 1 every km or so at km23-24-26.

Gear: ADIDAS SWE outfit (hotpants & sports bra), Casal Iconic black Sports bra MIK, arm sleeves pink, Compressport calve sleeves, neckwarmer, sunglasses, shoes all good for the job.
> extra clothes dropped before start: 2XXL Decath easy pants, old Djaz tshirt and wind-jacket.

=> Perfect outfit? Definitely! Had hesitated pretty much all the days before leaving home about what to wear. But hotpants was definitely on. For the top it was a bit tricky through. But on the race day, that was it. Perfect outfit. My alternative outfit was similar (singlet and hotpants) but black… Tricky to run with the arm sleeves but very handy to get on and off depending on the weather. Having the calve sleeves during a marathon was a first. Worked fine…although it was far from marathon-pace. Will probably skip them next time. VERY GOOD to have the extra clothes before the race, especially for the legs, and avoiding the frozen legs from Tokyo…

14/ Unfortunately, nothing high on the effort level. Not even during the “faster” parts of first km. The change of plan to get this race as training long run made the effort level close to decent long run. Would have gladly had higher effort and faster pace…

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

SUMMARY: The expectations set were aligned with the training that had been done. Had hesitated between Prag (fully booked), Düsseldorf (not too fast route) and Hamburg (a bit close to Tokyo but fast route). Hamburg was the easy/only choice. Ready to get fast. But the weather the week prior to the race was very changing and honestly on the race day, this was not the weather I can perform in. Running can be done in any weather (…ok…heavy snow and minus 15ºC or more are stopping me from running outdoors…) but for racing, that’s different. For sure others are less sensitive (like our fast Swede D.Nilsson getting to the finish line in 2:15 and qualifying for World Championships this way…. but this also means he did not have the second and third hailstones rains we – slower runners- got around 2hr 30 and later…). Yes it is disappointing. Yes I am not happy. Yes I know better than stopping at the loo. Yes yes yes… But marathon is a brutal story. To get it right, everything has to be falling into piece at the same time. A puzzle ain’t complete if one part is lost… Anyway, the wind was not on my side, the rain was not a problem but the hailstones were, the stop at the loo was necessary… Easy said: that was not THE day. But once again, happy to have completed the run in decent time for a low effort. 10 minutes slower than Tokyo… But feeling way better the days after 🙂

There will be more races…

(Buckets of thanks for the support and cheering during my preparation. A bit tricky with the tapering weeks and lots at work, but that’s the price to pay for being running athlete with a full-time job 🙂 Preparation worked as planned even though the motivation itself went up and down. The weather was not my friend this day. And I cannot help or control on this. New adventures on the way… with short and medium races in-between 🙂

Of course a huge thanks to my fellow runners Swedes and not Swedes who passed me or got passed by me, who smiled and cheered, who huged after the finish line, who heard from them after the race…. Yes, running a marathon is cool. Passing the finish lines is addictive. The way to achieve all this is a mean to this end. Whatever the “end” might look like. No training goes to waste. Special thanks to my little people at home, cheering any time, laughing sometimes at the look I have when getting back from training but always so present. You might not understand this right now, but this will come one day and you will 🙂 Loving you unconditionally!

And thanks to my German hosts for making my stay perfect in Hamburg!

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

A few “after-race thoughts”

NOTE: Body check? Did I really run a marathon? Surely it felt right after the race. Must have been walking a bit funky/funny back home. Slight pain on right hip/groin side, but all fine while walking. Tired a lot after getting back home and showered. Good with some sleep. No hip pain during the race, but on the other side I ran this one slow. During the hailstones of the start, I could feel something coming in the legs and deliberately slowed a bit for 1) not falling and 2) not increasing this “whatever-pain-it-is”. Worked fine. Same as after Tokyo, Achille’s heels did not scream at all. All quiet…

NOTE: Warmup? Impossible to count the jogging to the start as a warmup, nor the back & forth acceleration between the loos before start. Simply said: no warmup for this race. On the other side, have learned my lesson and the extra clothes (including the extra large pants) were the best I could do to keep myself warm before the race. Maybe this helped to start the way it did… Unfortunate that the 3-4km at the start were under hailstones and getting me so cold. Those km are generally used to warmup the body…

NOTE:…and then the “loo incident”. OK, this was not an incident. It was well-needed. Unsure whether it was the High5 sport drink not liked by my stomach (although I had drunk this during 2 days without problem) or the cold from the start making my stomach unhappy. Anyway, something was seriously wrong. And this stop was needed. Could not have done differently. Maybe slightly faster…but even unsure for this.

NOTE: Energy/refueling during the race? Very handy to be able to leave personal refreshment in advance. I chose to use High5 sport drink lemon even though had never used it before the 2 days before the race. Could not find Isostar and wanted to be sure to be able to rely on the sport drink served on the route (High5 lemon) in case my bottles would get missing. No problem to find the bottles which were perfectly pimped. The small motivational message were doing a great job. A problem with the last gel with cherry taste which was extremely disgusting. Should have known better than testing during the race…

NOTE: Beetroot loading? Took two small bottles days prior to the race, could be the thing that troubled my stomach? Although this was no new thing to me.

NOTE: then…gels in the sport-bra, on the back? Had 2 in the back, just in case mine would ot be available on the bottles. Worked perfectly. Slight chaffing pain after the race, but unsure how this came.

NOTE: …and no gel/dextrosol in sport bra in the front? Yihoooo! Skipping the chaffing issue this time!

NOTE: then…small jellies in the back pocket of the hotpants? Worked fine. Although it feels a bit heavy at start.

NOTE: Hamburg marathon is hereby the coldest and windiest marathon I have ever run 😛

NOTE: Post-marathon recovery on-going and working well. Trip back home on Sunday evening, 3 hours sleep before getting ready for work, flying back to Hamburg for conference on the Tuesday and then back home late on Thursday evening… Good that there was no jet-lag involved in these trips!!! Recovery of several days before a first test run 5 days after the race. No problem. Can really feel that the pace used was NOT the one that makes the body tired…

Looking forward to new adventures …soon…


So you think you’re hot?…

sweat-is-fat-cryingRecognizing this quote? Talking for itself, right? Today was time for heat acclimatization training. and doing this in a country where the rain is its first name and the cold its family name…nope, no easy task.

OK, we are in July and it might not be cold as such. Well, yes it is. Compared to other places, which are actually the ones I am aiming to run soon. So, these 18ºC that most of us probably liked today were not enough for preparing for the 26-31ºC currently recorded where I am going. Therefore some necessary reading about heat acclimatization, check with running buddies and coach on how to prepare for this. Knowing as well that it will be the first race of the year… Morning started with getting dressed as for a running workout, already with extra clothes: a singlet! With 18ºC outside, sport bra and shorts are way enough. But nope, today it was a singlet, and on the top of it a long sleeves sweater and a rain jacket. For the legs, shorts and rain trousers. OMG! Was already sweating after 2,5km to the physiotherapist. Got a nice cycling under the rain (read: heavy rain) to get to our club cabin and waited a bit to meet club-buddies. Got a bonnet on my head as well, and off we went. 12km of this. No need to say that the sweat was definitively out! Off with all those layers and 41 minutes sauna after that. Yapp! After this type of preps, I will probably be ready to run in the desert without any effort! The plan is to have 2-3 runs a week with extra layers of clothes to adapt to the heat. Arriving one week ahead of the event should also complete the trick. Just have to ensure the hydration is working well.

Any tips for racing under hot weather conditions? Feel free to share 🙂

So yes, this thing about “sweat is fat crying”… Not too sure. Still have a butt and little extra on the thighs. As it should be 🙂 And yes, the rain in July IS killing me!

Run Happy! (and sweaty :-P)

you_think_you__re_so_hot_by_wawawiwadesign-d4w58s5

 


30K @3 or “a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do”…

Day to check this foot. Not too late in bed yesterday. Ensure had eaten enough carb (took extra sweets, just in case 🙂 ). Final check to the weather before switching off the light: great! 5ºC and rain on the menu. Have seen worse! WHen the clock rang at 3:20am – yes, you read correctly -, the brain was clear and peaceful, but a bit unsure why I needed to wake up at this time, especially when hearing the rain pouring down outside. But once again, the little warrior in me (there must be one, really, to justify going up at this time of the night for going out for a long run!) move that body and got it dressed. And it was time to start running…under the rain…and no men… 😛

Had thought running close to home just in case the foot or another part of the body would be complaining. But apparently the brain had better ideas. Headed towards the water and got a nice run along the harbours. Of course the rain was out to play. Of course there was headwind or sidewind. But shortly I felt a nice little tailwind and just.enjoyed. Got to this nice little 1km track in the wood, but apparently nobody is supposed to run there at 5:25am…because there was no light at all. And running in pitch black in the woods ain’t on my program 🙂 So headed back home on this lovely wet asphalt instead. Just so extremely nice to be out and run. Surely a little chilly when the rain hit the bare skin on the thighs and when the wind is making it even worse. But at the end, this little morning long run turned into 30km no more no less and I still had time to shower, eat a little snack and prepare breakfast for the kids before laying down on the mat with the legs up and resting for 35 minutes 🙂 Timing IS everything! And after this little morning escapade, and the well-deserved rest, I did some little rolling on the foamroller for the hamstrings. Nice actually 🙂 The left foot felt a bit while running, but all-in-all, it worked out quite wel.

Then it was time for work. Meetings on meetings, crazy hungry at 9:30am (ate my rice and 2 avocados) and then already lunch (sushi). And more meetings in the afternoon. The walking back home on heels shoes felt really long and slow. The dinner of tagliatelle with smoked salmon was a blessing 🙂 Took 2 portions! Now tea and easy evening watching a movie. And it is only 6:40pm… Want to go to bed…now…

Enough for one day!

 


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

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

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

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


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…


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…

 

 

 

 

 

 


The days I…. (summary of a week without laptop)

(week 140714-200714) Running is easy…just jumping into running gear, lacing your shoes and hitting the road…But what a life when one’s laptop is suddenly hibernating and not wanting to wake up… Almost (?!) as painful as a knee not functioning as it should, right?…

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The day I rested… As usual, started the week with a Monday. After four days running, it was high time for some rest. Being a bit late (and/our lazy?) on Sunday, no strength workout was done. Therefore it was time for it. And as usual, it took 30 minutes and felt so good afterwards…WHY is it so tricky to even start this workout?!?! Then core challenge still continuing… Having spent the whole day planning for an outing, bike tour it became. Two easy stops (one for water and one for early light dinner). All bikes worked perfectly and of course we had the company of Mr Headwind… Great workout with GET on a rest day. No need to add that the whole crew was pretty tired at the end of the day!

The day I’ve been cracked… Late up on Monday evening, but ready to run in this Tuesday morning, as at 10:00am, it was time for naprapath check. Easy pace run under the sun, knee quite ok but right hamstring making itself reminded…, stretch and nothing more. Felt a bit heavy, but having skipped the massage after this weekend long run, it was expected to have a stiff and slow body. At the naprapath, time for some cracking 😦 Back, neck, even had a painful massage on the front of the leg (where I am SURE there is NO muscle, just skin…aka therefore the burning pain, right?…), the knot in the top of the left calf… Well, yes, … once again, no dance on roses. (btw: dancing in roses IS painful, not that I tried, but sure if it!). Rest of the day pretty easy with some walking to get the legs moving… Skipped the knee rehab as was a bit tired. And rest day from core challenge as well. OK-day.

The day I closed my eyes, burn myself and could hardly walk… Well-rested on this Wednesday morning, time for intervals. Surely still annoyed because my laptop shows clear brain damaged…it was just to change and get ready for hitting the pavement. Decided to have my heavy training shoes instead of the fast light ones. So that my Achilles heels would not complain before and after (during? Nope, they never shout then). Easy warm up, including eccentric heel raises and stretch. First long interval went fine although too fast start. A short rest and then half the distance, slightly faster. Gosh, I hate this head wind that comes when you really don’t want it… (ok, you probably never want to have head wind…). Short rest and then second long interval, which turned into a painful distance length. Stopped after a few hundreds due to a pain on the front of the left knee cap. Nothing like before on the outside. Massaged a bit, did a few moves and then felt ok to run – although took it easy(er). The final km-interval went however pretty nice and fast…Well, a little thing just… I happened to close my eyes at a moment (!…don’t ask why I do that!) and crossed to the other side of the bike path directly into the bushes of nettles. The burning feeling woke me up immediately and kept on running to the end of the interval. Fully ok pace though… Then finished with an easy cooldown back home. The knee felt all ok then. But shortly after, the pain started. Could hardly change from sitting to standing position without a huge pain on the front of the knee cap. Called the naprapath who suggested to stop doing what is starting the pain (which mean stop “walking”, changing position… and basically lay down and not move…?!?!?). Noticed after a while that the pain was disappearing a bit when walking. Got a lot of reading done on “jumper’s knee” and sounded like it suited pretty much. Unfortunately, there was no magic solution to get this gone (and I mean “for good”). Ended the day with core challenge and core&stability + rehab for hamstring. Not a good day (for running…)

The day I cut my run into two… The evening training as well as the extreme massage I did on the thigh must have helped a bit, because when I went up on Thursday morning, the knee felt better. Not fully fine unfortunately. A bit sensitive. Enough ok for testing it on a short distance run. Am so happy to be able to run slow (!), i.e. the “Swedish runner’s knee” aspect seems to have disappeared. Took an easy 6km, enjoying the sun in the face during most of the run. A bit of stretch did help, but the knee felt a liiittle throughout the run. Shower and the day went on. A bit of walking during the day made the knee feel a bit better, although not fully ok. Decided to get some running done in the evening as well as it was looking ok. Same as in the morning: short distance (took it the other way around just – having the evening sun in the face then!). And once again, the knee felt a bit, but fully ok. More like a tired knee, than a pain in the knee. Same core workout as usual. Felt all good. Not funniest day, but got some running done there.

The day I let an egg fall on my foot… Friday was rest day. Despite this, got up early for doing pancakes as G was leaving early… What to do after that then… Chillout day really, with walk in town under real hot sun. The knee did seem to like all this walking… With all the reading done about jumper’s knee, got that the muscles above the knee had to be strengthened. G’s suggestion was doing the “chair”: back along the wall, you sit as if you had a chair under your bum (but you don’t…). Could get a few minutes (with rest in-between!) but G did all of them without the rest I allowed me… Did some extra stretch as well and abs on the blue ball. Enough for a rest day! Cozy evening to celebrate E in advance and late in bed.

The day I went for a long run and smiled… Japp, .the “late in bed” never helps before a run, except for races. Did feel similar actually (or was it the gallons of tea I drank on Friday that hindered me from sleeping?). Anyhow, only a few hours of sleep and up @6am without alarm: this means “Change into running gear and let’s go”! Saturday‘s long runs are pretty different than Sundays long runs. When you are done, you still have a full day with a city still awaken and can still do stuff… Had found a way of taping the knee to support (?) the knee cap (one of the videos here – I added as well a stripe perpendicular to those shown in the video (from above the knee-through the knee cap-under the knee cap)) and this is how I started my run. First 8km went pretty easy. Stopped for a bit of warmup with heel raises and stretch and the knee was reacting well. So went along with it. Got 8km with alternating fast and slow km and then 6km back home. Got 22km at a more than decent pace and a knee which did not complain…during the running. Back home, pancakes were waiting for me 🙂 Shower, breakfast and off I went for a massage (at this time the knee was pretty sensitive and painful – or just tired?). Anyhow, I would not have been able to run to the massage place. Ask to insist on the left knee area and right hamstring…which she did…OUCH! But if this is necessary to get better, so be it! Back home and a few washing machines later… What do you do when you have trained, massage, cleaned and the clock is indicating 11:11am still… 😛 A bit of rest under the sun – legs up to rest from the long run, and light lunch and then time for a bit of walking. Needed some sun cream and went to not one, not two but THREE shops for not even finding the one I wanted. But at least I got some walking to release any tension in the legs. And what best after a long run, rest under the sun, lots of walking… but a bike tour to get the long-searched sun cream you wanted?… 🙂 On the bike, the knee felt a little sensitive in the uphil as had to stand for pedaling but otherwise, the legs were undecently fit for this day! And unfortunately, not even the large supermarket store had the sun cream I wanted. So I settled for another one (which btw can be found in the shop less than 200m from home…no comment…). Does not matter. This was a very nice way of ending the day. Light dinner and then Batman on tv (not all of it, as I was pretty tired…but still trouble sleeping with all the noise outside…).

The day I went for an easy trail run… When the sun went up, it took a while before I noticed it. Sundays are (or should be) done for sleep-in…except when the weather is expected to turn to warm/hot shortly after 10am… Running gear on, warm tea in the stomach (did not have time for ice tea yesterday… or more likely, I forgot to prepare ice tea on Saturday evening!) and on the bike for warming up an easy(er) way before terrain run. All good to get to the Garden. But when the run starts with one km UPHILL (and here we are talking STEEP uphill), you wonder if this was a good or bad idea. Anyhow, got a full 10K in the woods, loosing my way only 3 times (!) and ensuring to stay on clearly marked paths though. When a km uphill is forcing for walk and get close to 9min…THEN you are talking trail!!! And surely when the final km in the forest is so steep that you have to walk it down (yes, I know…some are so good then can jump down such slopes, but I am not one of them!), surely you are on terrain! Such a relief when reching km9 towards 10 and just unleashing those legs on light downhill was sooooo great! and not only this, but when entering the Gardens, there was still this wonderful km downhill which I used for warmup at start. It went down this time and so crazy fast, I just smiled AAAAAAAAAALL the way (and even continued to run outside the Gardens to finish my final km 🙂 ). All good then. Trail-run for the month? check! A bit of stretch and bike home afterwards. Prepared right away some ice tea and then on the mat for core workout… and strength exercises as well (were planned for Saturday, but felt like not doing it then). The body felt pretty happy after this and needed some well-deserved rest under the sun (and needed a nap as well apparently!). Skipped the plan of biking to the sea, too tired for coming back! So reading and chillout afternoon, when the temperature measured from the kitchen were above 30ºC… Not a bad day, not at all! Completed the day with some good food and a bit of celebration for E with chocolate ice-cream, chocolate brownie and chocolate hundred&thousands with crunchy cake under 🙂 Yummy! Now time for finishing this week review!

Rain, sun, hot, average temp, knee pain, sunbath and some runs as well… Finally the week ends… On the way to be better… (otherwise, all those core and strength workouts will be a good preparation for “Beach 2015″…!)

Have a great running week!

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Nice and hairy cows we meet while bicycling!


Sun, run, sun, run, a missed race and…. did I mention the sun?

The tropical climate continues (without the rainy part…). Humidity pretty high for the past two days, although less than during the week (yeaaah?!?!?). So how to get some workouts in such conditions then?

Friday was planned last work day and had either rest/swimming/other alternative/or easy jog on the program. Chose the easy jog 🙂 R.e.a.l.l.y. s.l.o.w. o.n.e… Averaged at 5:51min/km for 8km with 3km above 6min/km. Well, could have probably increase the pace, but had promised myself to NOT to do that. Heavy feet and legs at start, I stopped for a few minutes after just 500m or so for some eccentric heel raises. No need to say that the passing cars must have wondered what I was doing, facing a shop window and going up & down on one foot for a while… Not bothering me much, I can tell 🙂 When starting again the run, I caught up an older man with a heavy backpack running somewhere (…da!!!) and decided to hang along with him, thinking he could not run THAT fast. A bit surprised to get quick to 5:25 tempo, so I stopped the following and started to run on gravel in the garden. Nice, but soooooo slow….but still keeping this pace. The knee was surprisingly not making itself reminded at this pace, so why not continuing. Two rounds in the garden and off on the asphalt again towards the water….and the sun…. Got pretty warm and sweaty for the last 2km, and really had to slow down for not accelerating way more at the end and get this run out of the way…

And of course, when it is done, you wish you would have run longer… Cold shower, sun cream on, traded running gear to beach outfit and off we left. Spent the rest of day enjoying this first glimpse of vacations 🙂 Back home not too late but ALL were definitely tired. Not missing the rehab and core workout and then time for sleeping…finally…

Woke up today before the alarm rang. Saturday‘s alarm ain’t the funniest, but you got to do what you got to do, right? 😛 After still resting a bit, decided to go up for a run as nothing was planned today, but wished to skip the possible heat for running. Had in mind a 10K easy pace 5:30 or so… The left Achilles heel was quite sensitive at first and I was thankful I did eccentric heel raises for waking up those heels (I think it helps, but a bit unsure…). Took 3km before the heels stopped whining and then it just started as in a great running flow. Turned at km5 and decided to push on extra km and turn back after that (which would turn my 10K into 12K by the time I reach home). Getting to my km6-mark, it felt nice and I continued straight forward, making it the 14/15km-round. All good. Did not have any water, but was still ok. The legs had been tired and a bit heavy at first but ok by then. When reaching to km11, I changed a bit my mind and turned right instead of left, which would make my 10K-which-was-now-a-12K-which-had-turned-into-a-14/15km into an 18km… A long run is planned for Sunday so could as well take it today if the body felt like it. (OK, tomorrow’s long run is 15km, but today it felt like running longer…). Real nice feeling but a bit tired by km13, when was passed by a running couple and decided to follow them a bit close 🙂 Which killed my pace (i.e. I started to run faster than planned, but nicer for the body & mind). So extremely nice it is to have someone deciding the pace and you just hand along. Pace not too fast, not too slow… had music in the ears and it felt great. Dropped the couple 3km before home as they took a shorter way than I wanted. Reached home with a final km acceleration into a decent marathon pace of 4:23/km 🙂 I was happy (and not too sweaty…) 🙂 Even incorporated some drills during km10 (if running at a slow pace, it felt as good to do some drills at the same time…). This is the first decent long run done since Stockholm marathon

Tried to keep the energy intake to the necessary one when reaching home. Indeed, since Stockholm marathon there are a few kilos that have piled up (which is usually the case during the few weeks after a marathon) but it feels they will be hard to loose… So better check it is good & healthy food I eat 🙂 Rest of the day as just dedicated to chilling out. Lunch? New potatoes sautées in the saucepan with pork chops and garlic home made sauce. Dessert a bit after turned to be fresh fruit salad 🙂 Followed a bit on internet the 10K-race I had planned to run today: first of its kind, it was the Swedish Championship for 10K on road… Not a chance I would run as I wish I would have. So this was good to stay home… Patience and rehab and training… Chicago will come soon enough…

One and a half hour table tennis and basket ball later and it was already evening and time for dinner… Home made fajitas…Yummy! as well as fruits and tea (and a Twix while vaccuum-cleaning because I was starving!). Watching “On the other side of the Edge” while doing daily core exercises and now the battle for place 3 of the Football World Cup has started to the advantage of Holland…

Long day ahead tomorrow…and sunny probably…need some rest…

NOTE: from the knee front, it feels ok. No pain nor ache while running, which is nice and enjoyable. For sure the other parts of the body make themselves reminded (hamstrings, calves, arms…) but I would set that on the account of the lack of decent training done for the past few weeks. Feeling nice not to feel the knee 🙂


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!


Doubles, quads on fire, long and sweaty, intervals and more beach – week summary :)

(Week 20140505-20140511)

“Double-trouble” Monday: started 7:30am (or this is what the clock wished for me…) hoping to skip the heat if the morning for running. Got into my gear and by 8:13am I was on the road. Started “smartly” with running up the Castle slope (yes, 17minutes after getting out of bed…), making me remembering the race from yesterday. Front thighs a bit aching and Achilles heels not too happy. But what is a little pain during the first 200m of a 12km-run?… Nothing to stop for, right? Got downhill after this and my quads told me to stop, which I did not listen to BUT I slowed down a bit. Got to the main road and got uphill towards Vista Hermosa. Took the beach road for reaching Playa del Postiguet aaaaand forgot the rock climbing part from last year. Took me over 13 minutes for getting one km done, being careful not to fall into the water on the slippery rocks… After that another favourite: 300m run on sandy beach 😦 and got to km6 pretty sweaty but not tired. Off with the singlet and turned back home (well, I actually turned left uphill and then left again downhill…ouch ouch ouch…). Easy on the way back. Unsure how I got so many downhills on this sense… Back in Alicante, it was just to get the beach side and then uphill back home. 12km slow (let’s call it “recovery”). Shower, breakfast of cereals, kiwis, banana and pineapple (I do have to eat those fruits I won, right?) and ready for a few sunny hours at the beach. Even succeeded in reading and getting into the water (once). Back home for a work-meeting and then after taking afternoon tea with pear and bread with honey, time to change for second run of the day. Could have taken alternative training, but no bike in sight and definitely not an alternative to swim in the sea… Unsure it was smart for this run either. Quads started to yell from start and my mind seemed to enjoy being deaf to the screaming. Pretty slow pace, started with the castle again (what’s wrong with me???…) down to the beach side, Volvo Ocean Race pier (twice) and then forward with the sun in the eyes. Stop by a shop for little purchase (& yes, my 20€ bill was a bit sweaty… This is what happens when having money in your side pocket when you run…). Despite the little pre-run massage with tiger balm, the quads did not seem happy for a while. Ended the day with reading on how to recover from a downhill race and it was time for bed. Tired.

 

“My quads are on fire” Tuesday: ok, not great sleep this night either, but little better. Achilles heels not shouting when I went up (7:32am), so ok for a morning run. Skipped the singlet directly, got my calve sleeves on and HR-shorts (they “seems” to pressure a bit in the thighs). Yes, quads again… Already shouting while going down the stairs… No need to describe the yelling reached when starting to run. Took another road trying to skip downhill as much as possible (yes,… Sure!). Got around around around. Slow slow slow pace. Not much effort but would I have run slightly faster, it would have definitely make people turn for the yelling (of the quads… Can’t be just me hearing them, or?…). Got enough by km10 and just reached home. Nope, today should have been a no-brainer choice:REST!!! Which I did for several hours on the beach. Could read, got a deep in the sea (still cold) and then back home for early pasta dinner. Hoping it will be fine for tomorrow as long run is on the menu… Easy walk on the pier in the evening… Quads a bit better but fully tired otherwise…that a day at the beach could be so tiring…

“OMG-33km-under-the-sun-is-tough” Wednesday: Yapp! Might be on vacations but would not miss a long run, right? Up early to take little food (had good dinner so expected it to work fine for a long run right after going up… Took an extra banana and a power-bar JIC..), gear on, camelbak filled with 1l Powerade orange and off I left… 16°C already and sun out there… First part felt quite ok, not pushing at all and it got the pace it deserved 🙂 A bit sensitive quads, but way better than yesterday. Reached  15.5km, short stop for pics and then started an alternate km fast/slow for 10km – Wow! Good to have the camelbak – for the drinking. Bad to have the camelbak – because it is actually on the way when trying to run fast and long… Completed with 10k back to the beach in Alicante and there…off with shoes, socks, camelbak and mp3 and jumped directly into the sea 🙂 REALLY nice! After a little while, got out, back with shoes, socks, camelbak and mp3 and took an extra 3km back home 🙂 Hmmm! Nice! Could have run way longer…I think (?). After that, it is pretty standard procedure: water, fruit, shower and rested for 1.5hr with legs up. By then it was still just right after lunch so had a full and long afternoon at the beach, after late lunch at restaurant. Just to change from pasta 🙂 Back home later on, light dinner and reading in front of the castle I could see through the window. Got dark and then continued to read in my room and tried to sleep… with not much success, so more reading it was… until 3-4am when the eyes decided to close themselves…on their own! Long day really!

Long run....

Long run….

Morning on the beach...start of the long run

Morning on the beach…start of the long run

Playa San Juan - should go there...far far away...

Playa San Juan – should go there…far far away…

Playa San Juan - looking back... and still some km to do...

Playa San Juan – looking back… and still some km to do…

“Let’s-rest-today” Thursday: Even the warriors deserve some rest (I think I read this somewhere…or I made it up…). After 15 days non-stop without rest day, it was about time to take one, right? Up late (7:00am?!?!), took easy and large breakfast, before aiming towards the castle (El Castillo de Santa Barbara). Tried to walk all the small paths I could find 🙂 Would have been fun to have my Garmin and register this on a map! Skipped the stairways along the wall which sometimes felt really unsafe and pretty dangerous, but otherwise, I think I made all the paths possible. After this, it was still only 10:15am…and a full day ahead… In the family “Bored-to-death”, pick the mum! Headed to the beach, try to do some sudoku before I fell asleep under the sun. Was ok as there was clouds out there and a bit of wind…until 4pm when both disappeared and it turned into a real heat! Easy walk back home. Got a new book from my host. Skipped the use of bicycle as the Achilles felt a bit sensitive… Light dinner pasta (yes, sure…) and off to the castle to get the last rays of sun before it goes to bed. Real nice! Enough walk for today… it is after all a REST day!

On the way up to the castle...

On the way up to the castle…

...it is pretty stiff!

…it is pretty stiff!

Morning at the castle (2)

Morning at the castle (2)

Morning at the castle (1)

Morning at the castle (1)

There I was!

There I was!

from the castle

from the castle

 

Sun going down...

Sun going down…

Right and straight down from the castle

Right and straight down from the castle

View from the window...

View from the window…

“Fast-and-furious?2-please!” Friday: Final day in Spain. No sleep-in as intervals were on the menu. Started easy run until the train station and noted the GPS was not on. Ran a bit more to warm-up and then found a place for starting the 200s series. Fast and nice. Good feeling. Real sweat. And happy 🙂 Sure, some were slower than others, but overall a very satisfying series and then cool down back home. Could have probably eaten before leaving as I felt pretty tired, but cold shower and cereals breakfast made it right again. Beach for the last time this week and finished the afternoon with a visit at the Volvo Ocean Race museum (Strongly recommending it…even if you are not into sailing or boat).Hesitated a bit after getting back home, but quick shower after the beach and then final easy run under the Spanish sun…starting by one km @3:45… and pretty light legs and feet. Not sure how to explain this, but the feeling was really nice and easy, even though 1) the pace was note indicating it and 2)this was the second run of the day after tough interval-workout…Got one km on the beach @3:27 (!!!) and yes, needed to stop for breathing after this one…Easy back home and got an easy evening with pizza and then packing before sleeping… That was a nice way to finish this Spanish week!

Nice view from home...

Nice view from home…

Along the seaside

Along the seaside

Alicante own pirate-boat :)

Alicante own pirate-boat 🙂

“Back-home-&-take-it-easy” Saturday: (too) early wake up for getting the first bus. Check in going fine (was a bit worried I would have problem with carrying the trophies in hand luggage as one is pretty sharp… but it went fine). Breakfast of 2 croissants, orange juice and chocolate and then plane. Slept most of the flight and it was home already (16ºC less… but at least sunny). Spent the afternoon doing the clothes washing, food shopping and…oh, yes… resting a bit as well.

“And-it-was-already-Sunday” Sunday: Awaken by the rain on the rooftop (yeaaaah”! welcome back home…), waited a little and got my gear on for long intervals when it was still clear skies…and it started to rain again when I put my little nose outside (SO typical!). The quads felt pretty ok during the warm-up but as soon as I got to the pace expected for the 3K, a little fire started to feel in the middle of the front thighs. Not wishing to jeopardize next week race, I decided to cut the 3K planned into 2*1,5K. OK-workout I would say. Rest and chilling out during the day (which was sunny…apart from the time I was out and running…) and by 6pm, decided to take a recovery run, which felt ok, but not more. Worked late to catch up with emails and work accumulated during this week of vacation and 11.46pm…I was done…for this week…

One week to go before next race…really???


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

(Week 28042014-04052014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So was my running week! How was yours? 🙂

20140505-205305.jpg


Mr. Sun, …Please shine down on me :)

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

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

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

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


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

(week 10032014-16032014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


So You Think You Can Run?…

TGIF & TGIS are finally over… Pain fight pain, drills, cold, massage and long run… Ok, a bit more then…

After Thursday’s intervals, waking up early on Friday was on the menu, as well as getting a full 6-10km before training organised with work. NOT.A.CHANCE! The snooze function worked very well and then I had only 15 minutes to rush to the training…no easy pace really.. More warmup indoor (Yippie! This means running in shorts!). Serie of drills (and it is way tougher than doing it alone than when you have 20+ colleagues around…) and it was time for 400s intervals… Could not help it and followed the fast guys for their 2 first 400… After that took it as easy jog around the track while admiring all running along at their own pace and all fighting very well. After that, time for getting physical… 6 stations, 40 seconds each…(running in mat, lunge, steps, stability on line, jump above a bench) yeeeeaaaah! Finished with the heaviest cool down back home on icy pavement ever…
The day went fine, easy, full with meeting and work. So the evening rehab was done well and made it a double 🙂

Of course it is worth mentioning the painful massage got at lunch. Did ask to focus on the pressure points on the side of the hips as well as the hamstring. Not a chance it was planned to be nice. But the pain…the only reason for enduring this was that it would (or might?) be better afterwards…. Nope…it was not. But I knew it would be stiff the day after…(and it definitely was!)

Saturday, long run? Check! Rain? Check! No no no, rain was not in the plan. Little lazy me waited until the skies showed their better selves. Breakfast in front of boring olympic games (yep, sorry, I am more summer games than winter ones…). Gear on and started easy pace for 10km, with headwind (no need to write “of course”, because it is ALWAYS there..). A bit of stretch and turned back for a fast 5K. Tricky to push and get it right, but ok. Took it easy after that and one easy km. HR was probably reaching its max, so a bit of rest was fine. Started then with 4 km and this.was.tough…Had to stop twice but got the final half anyway completed. And then easy back home. First real long run since Dubai completed? Check! Took a magic mix (banana, 2 kiwi, 2 egg yokes, oat milk and spirulina for the green colour (:) )

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Mums magic mix for after run


Then it was time for resting. 1.5hr with the legs up on the sofa sleeping… Woke up still tired but fought for not sleeping more. Early dinner was easy turned into a neapolitan pizza with guarana juice. More chillout, rehab in front of TV and soon time for bed…

Today’s training felt really heavy and tough. Of course, it was not really easy, but did not get why it wad SO difficult to complete it…until a kind running-buddy remind me that I gave blood earlier this week. So the long run felt a bit better…especially more after I noticed I ran my 5K 6 seconds faster than my best training time done in June 2013. So yes, this was a good long run.

Hoping for a good night’s sleep and then a good Sunday to all!


Short long run, but still a long run

Waking up once again at the time that would be nice to finish on Friday 🙂 Always good to visualize, right? Easy breakfast, steadying and time for -finally- going out for a run. A long one. Well, a short long run, but still a long run. A bit of stomach cramps before leaving 😦 Felt good however to be out, despite the real annoying snow and gravel on the streets. All to make this run tricky and slow. Too many layers of clothes made it definitely not simple to run any faster, but could get 15km out anyway. So that was good. Still feeling a bit lethargic of not running, but when I do it feels good.
Not many days left, not many things to fix before leaving, …too short time left… Hoping the weather is getting better before leaving so can get a couple of runs still.

Tired tired tired…meaning bedtime now!


Hills, wind, long run and a bit of recovery

Summary of the last four days of training:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dubai…11 days to go!!!


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

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

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

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

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

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

Time for bed now… Tapering is soon starting 🙂

Dubai: 18 days to go!!!


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!


Rain, wind, tears and 36km later…

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

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

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

Friendly horses on the way up to the bridge

Start of the bridge

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Rainy view from middle of the bridge

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

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

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

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

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

Elevation for today's run

Elevation for today’s run

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tjingeling!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More next week then!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunshine through the trees

Sunshine through the trees

Curious swans

Curious swans

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

A bit of forest in an ocean of asphalt…

 


Hills, cold, rest… SUB-40…enough said! :)

(week 111104 – 171110)
Already Sunday and pitch black outside. Got time enough during today’s massage to reflect on the week that has gone.

Monday was a rest day. Actually NOT planned. But an unfortunate strike of the ferries made my work day longer than planned, missed T’s dance rehearsal 😦 and finally arrived home (after sitting in a bus and then tram) and it was barely 45 minutes left before the massage time I booked. No way I change for neither a run or core workout. Would need a shower and then have to stress to the massage. So no training. Just a massage which makes one thinking about “how comes it hurts in places I did not even know I had muscles”… Anyhow, got a deeper massage than expected, but a good way to end the day!

Tuesday started THEREFORE by a “punishment” workout. No real core session since Berlin so I took the stability workout and triple it (instead of double as usual). Yapp! lots of fun. All the series done three times were quite fine but at the end, the arms felt like marshmallows…above a fire 😉 Quick change and run in the dark. Easy 10K, smell of freshly baked bread and new change (after shower!) for work. And yes, was on site for 8:20am… Looooong working day and unfortunately now the darkness is upon us much earlier. I did decide to skip the hill workout in the morning so I could do it during day-LIGHT. Not.a.chance! Taking the bus is driving me crazy. It was overfull of people and at the centralstation, this lady pushed all of us to get a place (despite the driver saying there was an empty bus RIGHT.BEHIND…) and less than 400m after we started to roll, she talks on the phone, coughing and saying that “yes, she is not feeling good, had a rough night and has to go to work anyway…”. No need to say that I spent the rest of the trip looking to the driver (i.e. showing my back to the lady) and getting as much fresh air as possible from the little window he had opened… JUST.NOT.BEING.SICK.NOW!!! The evening trip went smoother. I had in mind to possibly run back home and do the intervals on the bridge, but once again, no good lights. Home, change and warm up to the funny hill of Göteborgsvarvet that all runners fear… 🙂 Took 200m of it, 10times. Had a pull from another runner who was running it up&down a few times as well. And after that completed the workout with a nice (?!) hilly 8km back home (yapp, I took a nice detour!). Great to have this done. Never though hillworks could be this fun! Of course have to learn not to slow down at the end even if the whole body says it. THEREFORE it is good to have a “hill-workout-running-buddy-who-runs-a-bit-faster”, because he/she would be pulling and you (well…”I”) would stop controlling the running at the end… Anyhow, the plan for next year Göteborgsvarvet might be to start with all other runners and when reaching this part of the race,…to run up&down 10 times and then continue the race 🙂 Would probably make one or two runners thinking I am nuts? … The small waves on the graph below are the up&downs and then at the end, the nice (?) hill I incorrectly run up and then run a bit on the top and instead of running down on the other side…did run down the same way I came up!

Hill works!

Hill works!

Wednesday was once again a long day at work (started early…). So when finally reached home (still ferry strike…), it was a bless to change right into running gear (and yes, they were ready since this morning so I would not loose time searching for it!). Drizzling rain, just running around was the name for this workout. 15,5km in the darkness, focus being “not run of the leaves for not falling on my bum”! Good run despite the lack of inspiration.

Thursday was simple: full rest day. Having planned a race on Saturday, I like to have this rest day before (and yes, still loaded at work). btw, would not have been able to train much anyway as it was still hurting from Tuesday’s workout (chest, back and arms… did not even know I had trained those parts!!!)

Friday had an early start and fortunately all was worked from home (well, this means more time in front of the computer!). Took a “form-check” run in the late afternoon and got a nice 8km slightly faster than 3 weeks ago before the latest 10K race. Felt nice and fine. Spent the evening however stressing out for nothing (had lots done at home, between cleaning, bed fixing, cooking, vacuum-cleaning… even though was not necessary!). Once in bed, tricky to fall asleep. A bit unsure why because if one race was definitely not to be bothering me was this one. The “plan” was easy: take it as a fast tempo run. No pressure, just running and having fun.

Saturday went as it went: sub-40! and under the rain. When meeting R, another jogg-buddy, was agreed that with this weather it would go the way it would go! Difficult to set an time objective really (yaaa, sure… he ended with a PB of 35:xx…). Anyway. Race report can be found here. After the race (yes, I REALLY missed the train twice this day…), the afternoon went pretty easy. Food-shopping, bit of cleaning, food cooking and nice company dinner and evening. Not that late though, it was enough time left to watch rubbish on tv. Bedtime was pretty late, but seriously was not tired at all until after midnight. There is something about race really! Cannot sleep before, nor after!

Sunday was planned to be easy long run day. Clock set to ring at 10:00am (yes, I do plan some sleep-in sometimes!), but the light rain woke me up around 6:30am and then it was breakfast and getting ready for running. 25km mix was planned (i.e. easy-slow parts and fast parts in-between). Still running in shorts, but for today it felt something had changed. The easy pace was not enough to keep up the warmth really and the fast bouts felt pretty tough to do. Of course they should! There was a race yesterday!!! Reaching the last “slow part” decided to skip the last fast part, but well-arrived to the “beep” from the clock, I changed my mind and decided to give it all for 500m instead of 1km. Reaching this distance, it was well less than half left ….so went along just 🙂 and yes, was pretty happy to get the fastest km ever (I think?) in 3:39! Youhou! Of course the legs were freezing cold so planned to skip the last 2km of cold down, but reaching a street where the sun was shining and there was no wind…Hmmm, so nice feeling this warmth on the frozen legs….so took a extra detour around a few blocks and ended in 23.5km which was more than satisfied (especially as I needed to shower under boiling hot water just to start feeling something on my legs…). The fun part (yes, there is always a fun part in a run!) is that I have a nice tan on my legs with the marks of the shorts and the socks!!! and no it was not “dirt” as I though at first, it is a nice sun-tan… Easy rest of the afternoon with a thai massage (almost no ache, which is good, right?) and then chilling out with little shopping in town for next week’s food supplies 🙂 yes, now I am a bit tired!

Summary of the week: too fast ending! Got one of the objectives I set for next year already cleared out. Have to think a bit more now… Easy week next week as there is a race coming. Probably no shorts this time… long tights and probably the whole winter-kit as well! And yes, planning to take it as a fat workout this time!

More thought as well: got this place for Berlin and after thorough thinking, will not take it. Will probably regret this when the race is on next year, but awaiting for other races to open and cannot commit to this one if not able to run it properly. A bit tricky…still have until tomorrow to change my mind…