“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!
“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!
“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!
“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???
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? 🙂
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!
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…
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 (:) )
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!
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!
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!!!
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!!!
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!
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:
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.
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? 🙂