Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “lunch

When the countdown reaches the one-figure number of days left…. THEN it is for real!

Today, the countdown has reached M Day-8… Yapp, the countdown that starts so many days, weeks, months before is now down to this little figure… Aaaaaaaaaahhh! What should be done now. Since Thursday the left foot has not been cooperating too well. Got a rest day on Friday as planned and an easy run on Saturday. But when getting my butt out on Sunday… took a few 20-40m to feel the foot was not too well, and 2-400m to decide that I would not jeopardize my foot for a training 2 weeks before a race. So back home and run cancelled. Probably the first time EVER (?) that I cancel a run after a few hundreds. Rested on Sunday and Monday was “copy/paste” from Sunday (although I went to work and got to bed indecently late). Did massage this stupid foot every evening and slept with a nice scent of tiger balm in the bedroom. Tuesday morning felt ok, almost the foot that I forgot I had! Did massage it with tiger balm before going to work and thought afterwards that I would probably not be the best colleague to sit beside during the morning training as my foot was having this strong liniment scent 🙂 Nobody complained (or nobody dared to complain…). Anyhow, Tuesday ended with a 21km bike tour in the dark and the crazy cold. Could hardly feel my fingertops and my toes after 4km… and it was still 4ºC outside… Hot shower, more massage and bed time. Did my light core exercises in the morning btw and this is always those 10minutes bringing all the strength required for the day 🙂 Great!

Today Wednesday started late(r) than planned. Got to rush the preparation of breakfast and headed to work pretty fast. Until it was lunch time and there I happily (and anxiously?) changed into running gear. Hit the pavement with a bit mixed feelings and started to run. The left foot felt like running on the FULL under foot, when the right one behaved as usual. Got to km3 with the heavy feeling of running “blue whale-style” (if blue whales could run, they would do it this way…). Really heavy feeling and thought I was way off in the slow-motion paces. But nope. sub5 and continuing the rest of the run this way. The left foot made itself reminded from time to time, but nothing terrible or harmful. When stopping the run, it felt…nothing. So yes, maybe the shoes can impact a bit. Definitely possible to run the race next week at this pace, but that would mean being 50 minutes slower than my plan… would be a good long run under the sun…not fully satisfactory though. Anyhow, it will go the way it will go. No need to make plans at the moment as the foot is not fine and far from optimal. Not even running on endorphins would help at this point. Will see then…

Time for more tea before resting and bed time (already gasping…)

8 days to go 🙂 


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!

 


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…


Chicago 2014 – M Day – less than 10 hours to go…

Back a few hours: Flight left 9:40pm, landed well. The issue was that there was a fire 2weeks ago in Chicago and the air traffic control still have problem because of that… Landed late, got on the train and one hour later was arriving in the nightly city. Took not long to get to the apartment but there, the doorman could not get to contact my host and I almost fell asleep on the couch in the entrance. Midnight and I had finally reached home, got a shower and was in my bed. Counted until 1 and ZzzzzZzzz…

Up early, felt quite rested. But seriously? 5:am and pitstop already? Back to bed for a bit longer and 7:30am direction shower (cooooold and then a little less coooold). Got ready for breakfast but having arrived late home, I did not have neither oat nor soymilk. Not chancing on cow milk, the breakfast became: green mix with water and a banana. Left home to walk to the Hilton hotel for taking the bus to the expo. Nice and sunny in the air, hoping it will remain the same for tomorrow. Boston marathon feeling in the bus full with runners 🙂 Met Tricky at the entrance of the expo. Picked up my BIB at #1 desk out of 50 🙂 Cool with a 3-digits BIB number. Then easy around the expo. Getting new sunglasses (one pair similar to my current one which has fallen once and have annoying marks and one pair… for being cool 🙂 ). Then hot soy chocolate and pain au chocolat before heading home.

Best view to start the day...

Best view to start the day…

right?

right?

Boston-marathon feeling - taking the bus to the expo

Boston-marathon feeling – taking the bus to the expo

Pick up area #1 :)

Pick up area #1 🙂

Smile smile and more smile

Smile smile and more smile

 

Suuuuure!

Suuuuure!

Met my hosts and chatted a bit before leaving for a final easy run. Took the subway to Chinatown and ran the last 2km on Michigan Avenue. Easy up the avenue, running carefully on the sidewalk. Good to see how it looks like for tomorrow. Then turning right to the crowded little bridge towards the last 600m and then seeing the finish line. Good to know! Ran along the park to the start and seeing where my start corral would be. Right behind the elite field 🙂 Cool! Then headed home through Adams street. This is where the halfway mark will be tomorrow. Nice to do some recognition 🙂 Then back home and shower. Before going out to hunt for food.

The dotted blue line :) More smile!

The dotted blue line 🙂 More smile!

Aaaand so close to the finish line

Aaaand so close to the finish line

REALLY close!

REALLY close!

and this is the start.

and this is the start.

More blue line

More blue line

Missed where Little Italy was (!), so aimed for the Vapiano I saw while running. Yapp… Not remembering it was that close to Millenuim park (meaning walking 2.5km to get there…). Finally arriving, getting my linguine bolognese + extra bread with olive oil on it 🙂 3:32pm. TWO hours late on my planning. But the food was good.

LInguine blolognes + bread and olive oil - good carbolunch

LInguine blolognes + bread and olive oil – good carbolunch

Then back home would be 2km right (as I would not go through searching after Little Italy..:)…but nope again! Got to the wrong direction and when seeing the TRUMP building coming closer and closer, I knew something was wrong. Yap. Got to turn around, find a Starbucks for updating my map and noticed I was way off track. So turn and turned and turned again and finally got to Adams street again (the same one I ran a few hours before) and almost tears in the eyes, got back home. Now, took a tea and got my legs up (finally!) and took some rest. Slept 1.5hr, well-deserved and then up again. If I would sleep now, I would be up all night… Took the time needed for preparing my gear, packing my bag and re-checking the route for tomorrow. Finally got wifi as well with my kind hostess’s husband making a hotspot on his iphone so I could use it for getting to the outside world 🙂 Had a last check on the route on youtube and then it was already 10pm and time for bed.

Race outfit ready for tomorrow

Race outfit ready for tomorrow

10:23pm – time for one final gear check and heading to the pillow. Tomorrow it will be for real…

NOTE: Today was a bit odd because had to make so many pitstops to the loo and did not feel like drinking much more than normal for a day before marathon. But probably should have eaten more carbs to have this fluid remaining in the body. To be noted for next time…and hopefully won’t have any similar “problem” tomorrow while running…

NOTE2: Weather-like it felt quite nice today and hoping that tomorrow will have a similar weather. No rain nor wind. That would be brilliant! But whatever weather it is, I will be happy, because I will be running 🙂


Two weeks in one post…HOW will this work?… (still no laptop-week…)

OK, has been a bit quiet here, but seriously. Having no laptop does not make life easier. So let’s try to make a quick summary of all the good and bad things that happened during these last two weeks.

Week 04082014-10082014…

Back to vacations 🙂 Quite nice and enjoyable. Monday got its share of training with double run – easy morning recovery run (from the heavy long run the day before) and then in the evening I joined the Urban Tribes for a “Pace” workout. Easy warmup, 4km @5min/km and then back home. Probably should have skipped one of the runs…or both of them. Was pretty tired already in the morning and by bedtime it was tricky to get contact with me…SO tired I was! (not that much the head, but the whole body was out of energy really).

Therefore it was a well-deserved rest (Tues)day which followed. Check for the knee at the physiotherapist. All looking fine (well, at least not worse than before)., Rehab to continue every day or every second day (being stubborn and well-decided to get this knee back into place, I chose the first option…). Nothing but resting for this day, including a thai massage which was far from enjoyable, but afterwards it felt the body really needed this.

Wednesday arrived and it was time for intervals. Actually a bit odd-feeling as generally interval-day is Tuesday and/or Thursday. But other plans for those two days so as good to turn this Wednesday into what it was not! Fast 5min and then extra fast 1min – not that I am used to this! Really stable series and a crazy fast minute as well: Really pleased with the session…which made me exhausted to the bones…for the rest of the day! Took a lot of extra strength to even go for a walk in the afternoon and try to enjoy the little sun… late in bed…

…which made going up on Thursday even more difficult. THIS is the challenge of those days. You have a fixed time to follow and have to arrange the rest of the day all around it. Sounds like a military bootcamp, but nope. A nice outing in the islands to meet with friends and hopefully the sun as well. How to make this work with the training programme? The 5 o’clock ring signal did not last long… and the snooze button got tired as well… until the brain decided to call it the day and told the body to get ready for core and rehab. That would do for the day. Then breakfast, bicycling to the ferry. Quite snack waiting for the ferry (and noting duly… that I forgot to eat my own breakfast… great! one of those days….). And then we spent a nice day under the sun, with bath in the sea (not me), bicycling, checking the island viewpoints with a very accommodating host & kids 🙂 The tricky part to get back home (i.e. ferry and bike home) went actually pretty well…but all were dead tired when opening the home door and it was pretty much time for bed (even if early and on vacation…). A nice day on Earth!

Which made the Friday not starting too early. And nothing was working really for getting out and running. The “running is easy…only to jump into your shoes and hit the pavement” was definitely not the way it worked on Friday. Did my rehab and then nicely prepared myself to the second interval workout of the week. But something did not want me to start this workout. While waiting for my Garmin to find the satellites I was doing some eccentric heel raises and checking the workout on the watch…Surpriiiiiiiiise! NOT THERE. Back home and starting up the computer again, took forever so decided to enter the workout manually. All good. Back to the street waiting for the satellites and then the mp3 music died in my ears… Brilliant! back home for charging the battery enough for the workout. Prepared the lunch in the meantime and then time to go….reaching the street and noticing I forgot my water bottle…REAAAAAALLLLLY?!?!?!? OK, it was by then noon when I was planning to run at 10 o’clock… No need to say that the weather did not make me a favor… It had become way warmer/sunnier that I had thought. On the top of it I even felt hungry as I had eaten early for the workout of…TEN O’CLOCK! The energy levels were definitely not on the top. Still did warmup and stretched before a crazy workout. This was now time intervals and if the first serie went fine, I always think that it is anyway slow because the body need to acclimate to the training. The second serie went not too good and the lack of water + the heavy sun did not help really. I thought I’ll redeemed myself with the final serie… Third serie was even more rubbish than the second one…Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh! Time for final serie, this will be fine…all will be fine… Starting with a 3min interval slow like ….well, slow! NOOOOOOOO!!! this is NOT the way intervals work. Started the second interval of the final serie and this thing called “DIG DEEP, YOU STILL HAVE STRENGTH HIDDEN SOMEWHERE”, well, it just happened. By half of the interval the watch had been shouting enough to remind me how slow I was and this made me not too happy so, being the last one of its kind, as good to get all out for this interval…which actually worked!!! Second best interval among all four series…Time for the final one and this one was a hammered one! Tears afterwards and definitely feeling like laying down blank in the middle of the bike path (which I did not do as it was not really safe there…). Pretty emptied of strength after that. You know those slugs crossing the road sloooooooowly when it is raining…Yapp! this was me after the workout and for the rest of the day. (and here you have to take the slowest and laziest slug….).

Yaaaahhh… by now you might have guessed something was ongoing… Saturday started early, heavy and not too good. The scratching throat I had a few days earlier had disappeared (with all the gallons of tea+honey I drank?… no wonder it disappeared!). But little stubborn me still did her rehab and headed out for a recovery run. Easy-easy-easy until I reached km6 where the legs did not want to carry me much faster than the slow pace I already had and being 2km from home I did not want to take the tram (this is the emergency trick to take the tram…when there is an emergency, an accident or whatever…not when the LEGS don’t want to carry me any longer…). So stubbornly continued the workout (if can still be called this way…) with a power-walk for 2km. Even this felt slow. And being without tshirt was not helping (you are getting warm when running, but the pace of my power-walk was so slow it felt it was chilly out there). Back home, hot tea, hot shower, and ended under hot cover with fever for the rest of the day after GET had left. Yeaaaaah! perfect way of starting the weekend and ending one’s vacations…SICK! By bedtime it felt a little better, but feeling quite off anyway…

So it was with surprise that Sunday started with sun shining and enough strength for a 30km trail long run under the sun. Yes, I DID feel tired afterwards, but nicely tired. Directly to thai massage w/M after and then food food and more food. Felt I could eat for 5 persons after this long run. Nice indeed not to feel sick anymore and a much better way to end the week…

=> so was the week that preceded this one…

Week 11082014-17082014…

Back to work (for real this time…). As usually for a Monday (?), should be easy or rest. Took another chance at testing a Run Pace workout with the 5min-group. Was late for the workout so “my” warmup to the meeting point was more like an interval run…to see that we were three arrived and nobody else. Then a little easier run and the drills, before starting the run pace. First km was as usual slightly faster than planned, but ok. Second km was with a little slope and I chose to pass my group a little (because I am kind-of rubbish when running slow uphill…) and then another runner caught up with me and we ran at a faster pace than planned definitely. Got to the turning point and turned (!) and then the pace just kept on accelerating to finally end the final km at interval-pace. NOT GOOD! this was a recovery run for me… But so much fun 🙂 easy back home. Good start for the week.

SO to make things right, Tuesday started with an easy recovery run (a real one this time!). 8km – easy peasy pace before work. All good (and yes, it ALWAYS feels good when reaching the office and knowing you have already sweat more than what most of your colleagues will during a full day at work 😉 ) Quick pause mid-morning for knee rehab. End of workday and feeling pretty sluggish and not really tired, but needed some air for the brain to function correctly… So off I went. There is a race on Saturday next week (Midnight Run) and I decided to take the route but the other way around. Easy and nicely. Took aaaaaaall the slopes and the downs and seriously it felt really nice afterwards to have done this second run (even for the hilly parts!). Good sleep afterwards!

Wednesday was rest day. Nothing special. Working. A bit tired. But fine.

Then went up early on Thursday and seriously had to refrain myself for not going out running because I had planned to join the Run Tough workout after work. So rehab and core before work and then when finally completed the day, changed for running. Easy warmup to the meeting point, a bit of chatting and THEN… I understood what the word “TOUGH” meant for the workout… Got to do 5*600m followed by 4*300m at a specific pace. We were divided in different groups and I had the joy (!) to be alone in mine and had the instructor for just me. My personal pacesetter. Great! She was really cool to encourage and push and act as wind-shield when needed. After the 2 first 600s she noticed that I generally go all in at first and then slow down and then accelerate again. So she paced me so to start slow(er) and accelerate progressively (OK, it was NOT easy and I need practice!). Anyhow, this was a great workout, and surely my program was indicating more reps, but this was good enough for the day! Back home, second part of the knee rehab and bed. All good!

How would a Friday be without a bit or (early) running? Up early (unsure why, because I felt so nicely rested in the morning I thought I overslept!), light core exercises and off to do the Midnight Run route again, but the right way this time 🙂 Took the bike to close to the start as warm up, run the distance and then back home by bike. All nice and easy. 7:15am – 13km already done, just shower and light breakfast before work and that did the trick! Nice and easy day at work before the weekend started.

Surely the weekend is supposed (?) to be  for resting, but for runners there is often this long run-thing to place as good as possible somehow for not disturbing the peace of the rest of the people around you :). Saturday started with a long time-interval workout. CRAZY! Never did this workout (3*10min) but it was actually FUN (yaaaaah, ok, I recognize it…running might be enjoyable…from time to time 😛 ) What made this workout crazy is that the final interval was the fastest and with a pace comparable to fast 1km-intervals. Of course I am not the kind of “steady pace all the way” runner… so I started snail-slow-pace for accelerating and ending at 3:47-pace (which is the fastest pace I have had for 10min ever (I think). So surely nice workout. But why stopping the fun there? Sweat running all over the face when reaching home, quick stretch, quick shower, change of gear and biked to meeting point for training with IFK Göteborg Athletism club. Well, I joined for their warmup and took it as my cooldown. Pretty nice to see what a decent warmup should be… SO after that, bike home and rest (for real!). Easy afternoon, decided from out of the blue to do my knee rehab and then it was time for preparing dinner for friend company. And so Saturday had disappeared already! Almost faster as an interval…

Unfortunately the rain woke me up on Sunday morning. My plan A to run in the woods had been changed the day before to plan B run half the distance on asphalt and half the distance on a 1K-trail track. Then sms made my plan B to almost change back to plan A but the rain made me back off and choose plan C – full distance on asphalt BUT at steady pace (Yes, I can work on the parts that are identified as not really my strengths…). Having read a part in Szalkai’s book that for a 3:00-marathon the long run should be at 4:40min/km pace (talkable pace), there was NOT A CHANCE I would do that. I nicely chose to aim for a steady 5:00min/km-pace. Spent my morning watching the final men marathon of the European championship in Zürich. THIS is what I call inspiration. Having a guy running away from the group from km8 and dominating the race until km30/35 (?) and then quitting due to cramp/stomach…and having a race for the first place not really clear until the final 5km arrived. Marathon is just that: it REALLY starts after km30… Anyhow, happily inspired I left to my long run with my NEW SHOES! Yapp, Christmas in August. Two new pairs of volume-shoes had landed on Friday to my home. My choice went to ASICS GT-2000 2. Simply because the tighter model (GT-2000 (2A)) was not available anywhere and after checking the other model, I noted not too much difference. Probably not the best to take a new pair of shoes for a long run, but still. It has to start somewhere, right? So…how did the run go? well, 20km as planned, although at a pace of 4:42min/km… Unsure how it went as the first kms were close to 5min/km and it felt nice to keep it this way. The new music mix in the ears made all change really. I noted myself singing loudly “I will neeeeeeeever love again” during something like probably 10min or so, before the brain actually started to analyse what the sound coming out of my mouth was actually meaning!!!! So it can happen when running! And THEN arrive the crazy wonderful part that DJ Eclipse ALWAYS has in his mix, those parts that bring you so high you feel like flying…. And indeed I reached at this moment a downhill and once again the brain registered after a while that I was singing vocalises on a pretty high tons and that actually (!) sounded nice…and yes, I was as well running downhill with my arms imitating an aeroplane… No shame, No glory 🙂 SO much fun actually. Took 2-300m after this slope for being in a nice tailwind road and decided to skip the tshirt and that was even nicer to run. No need to say that the 5min/km plan was no longer in place. Ended anyway the run and spent as usual a bit of time resting with legs up and took an easy afternoon to finish this weekend. Resting indoors, because the rain Gods decided to turn the skies into showers during this day (apart from the time I was out apparently!).

 

That was it. Almost updated on all that happened training-wise for the past two weeks. Hopefully a laptop is on its way…

Keep on running!


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

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

Kayak-stop :)

Kayak-stop 🙂

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

Morning run 8AM @23ºC

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

Morning run 5:19AM @18-20ºC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning intervals @9am: 25-28ºC

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

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

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

Morning uphill to reach the forest/trail path…

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 🙂


Pain, pills, scream and tears – a regular week under the sunshine…

(Week summary 20140609-20140615) – Sunshine was probably the only positive part of this week’s training…

Following the thought that the knee could have an inflammation, I did start an anti-inflammatory pill “treatment” on Sunday. Monday I took one tablet pretty early in the morning (as it makes me sooooo exhaustedly-tired, better take it early and avoid falling asleep at the office…). Decide for doing easy core before work, just to remind the body that there would be some running at lunch. Early work – and then it was finally lunch-time. Picked up my running colleagues and settled for an easy back&forth to the bridge. Felt pretty naked without my Garmin on my arm (had forgotten it at home in the morning), and decided to follow the slowest of my colleagues… Which was not THAT slow. Let them run up to the bridge while I ran back&forth on flat road until they came back. Did some stretch while waiting as well. And hang along when they were back. THEN the knee started to feel. Pretty diffuse ache-feeling. Probably would have hurt/ache more if it was not for the anti-inflammatory tablet (which also probably started to stop having an action on the inflammation by this time…). Stretch afterwards. Not really fun afternoon with “ache-feeling in the knee”. Pretty tired in the evening, anti-inflammatory pill before bed and lots to think about…

But when I woke up it was Tuesday 🙂 Decided for reason this time and did light core and stretch and went for a rest day. Much at work so it would have actually been nice to run afterwards… Restaurant outing to skip the cooking for dinner. Greek 🙂 Yummy! Easy evening with little walk and then bedtime. Anti-inflammatory tablet morning and evening.

Although when there is an early bedtime, this often means early wake up. Wednesday 3:30am birds singing and sun already shining. Changed to bike outfit and went for an early bike tour. Nothing fancy, 23km on the hour. Then light core and stretch. Nothing much happening. Anti-inflammatory tablet in the morning only. Reason being that I would go to the physiotherapist the day after and I did not want to arrive with no pain/ache in the knee… Got to bed by 7:45pm and did not see the clock turning to 8pm…

Thursday – Way too early up (!)… what do you do then…if you cannot run, want to skip the bike, and definitely not feel for doing core training… Anyhow, the knee felt a little or not at all. But the body was pretty stiff of not doing anything really. Got to meet the physiotherapist at lunch break. Took not long for having his view on my knee: “Runner’s knee – Swedish style” (aka “löparknä”). I write “Swedish style”, because “löparknä” seems not to be exactly “runner’s knee”. And indeed when I read about it, it does not fit fully. Whatever it may be called, I got 3 exercises to do (leg pull with elastic, side plank with leg&arm lift and one leg bend with little book under the heel). On the top of that, was added stretch exercises…and not 10-15sec like I usually do after running… THREE (3) TIMES 60-90SEC!!! each knee. 2 positions… We are talking 12minutes stretch (without counting the time to change the knee position, the change of knee and the re-adjustment of the pillow under the knee otherwise it would kill it…). Yapp, what you wouldn’t do to get better… Fortunately (for me) the first time I did this rehab serie was today – Thursday – first day of the World Cup, which made the stretching way less boring that it is actually (and yes, it was boring to stretch!). A bit disappointed match as well, so in bed after the first half… Back to the rehab plan: to do everyday once of twice a day. Stretch can be done extensively apparently throughout the day (like I have nothing else to do, right?…). Run can be done but only short and if it does not get worse afterwards (or under). Check in two weeks. In the meantime, no plan for races in June/July/August – apart from small short races that would be nice to have in training mode… BUT to get better, as I say, one should do what is necessary to be done! The main races are in September/October – so not a chance I am NOT rehabing until then!

TGIF! Went out for an early morning run and seriously… changing for 5km ain’t really fun. and the pace was pretty dull as well…and the body felt sluggish and heavy…and and and… Yapp! Lots to complain about, if it was not for the beautiful sunshine and lack of STRONG wind during this run. Started to feel the ache in the knee after a few 100s but it seemed to release after 5km (therefore I pushed the run to 6km… and yes it was pretty tempting to go for extra 500m…or why not a couple more km to get to 10km…which I did not do…). Pretty early at the office for meeting with Sweden and then Japan (when I closed my day pretty late the day before to work with the US…). Much to do, lunch that went too fast and did not help to get all the thoughts out of the head as a good run would do, and back to work. Done the knee rehab and the stretch AND I added a torture moment in the rehab (which I adequately call “torture with coca cola bottle”). Having no foamroller at home, got suggested to use a 2L coca cola bottle…for massaging the ITB (side of the thigh aaaaaaall the way to close to the knee). Was planning for 5min easypeasy and seriously started to scream after 10seconds… Could get through TWO (2) long minutes with loads of screaming (and a bit of swearing probably). NOT A CHANCE I AM HOLDING 3 MORE MINUTES!!! then I changed to the right leg and it took a full minute before it started to get a bit painful. But definitely feel the difference between left and right! Quick shower and got myself on the soffa for the match…and fell asleep before 15minutes had passed. Awaken during the second half and then to bed. No problem at all to fall asleep deeply again there… Heavy week and no training = pretty tired!

As a result, Saturday got me up early (!) and I took the chance for getting out in my running gear. The knee had been “feeling” since Thursday (i.e. from the day I started the rehab) and did not disappeared at all since then. Always a bit diffuse feeling/ache in the knee. I did stretch several time at the office on Friday (standing in front of my desk… not looking strange at all with me pulling me knee to my butt and getting it this way for 45sec a couple of times throughout the day…). Did some stretch during this morning run (laying on wet grass, asch!) – quite ok, but once again, we are talking about 6.5km… ;( Breakfast after that and some biking to release the legs and knees. In the afternoon, I got to my rehab program once more. Nothing strange about the exercises, but seriously feeling tired in the legs to do them… Is that because it is 2 weeks after Stockholm marathon and I did not really run since then? nor done any activity? The torture with coca cola bottle went sliiiiightly better, with less screaming, but then replaced by tears (and cursing…) for THREE (3) long minutes! (Yoooohooo! 1 more minute than the day before!). Pizza for dinner and movie to relax and fall asleep.

Sunday always arrives so freakishly quick in the week! Early up (I think this was the theme of this week “early up”…) and as I am not allowed to do long runs (nor medium runs btw), I jumped on my bike for a long workout-type. Not really motivated, did not take time for even having breakfast before leaving. Just biking around and hoping for getting 44km (doubling Wednesday workout distance). It turns out that I am pretty good at estimating the distance but on foot and limited to 36km… Because despite taking a long detour, it turned into being short on km when I was heading home. So had to take a little extra round to get to 41km…noticing that this was pretty much the pace that marathon world-record and fast guys are running on…on their own feet…and me on my bike… I tried not to cry 🙂 Hesitated with starting right away with the rehab, but was unsure if the legs would like it. So took a bit of time to prepare smoothie with nectarine and banana and croissants 🙂 before getting rolling on my coca cola bottle. 3min ea leg. Almost no screaming, a few tears and a crazy fan encouraging throughout this painful rehab (indeed I did not want to kill the enthusiasm when I thought “Saying “Come on – 2min 45sec left – you can do it” is NOT really encouraging…!). After the torture, came the rehab and it went “ok”. The balance exercise on one leg feels better, but the side plank with arm&leg lift is NOT fun nor easy to do… Spent the rest of the day chilling out and then massage-time (have noted that the top of the bum-muscle was pretty aching since a few days, which corresponds to the start of the rehab. So better to have someone else pushing there to release the pain as it is real impossible to do it yourself). And once again massage does not mean relaxing, nice, or whatever you may think. This is purely painful! Discovered knots in the middle of the back, in the neck…and this was the “nice” part. The thighs, calves and hips were not to play with. But once again, if pain is necessary to get rid of the pain, then so be it! Biked back home, knee still fine. Early dinner and then just in time to get ready and see France starting soon to play in Brazil.

All-in-all, a very sunny and warm week – all done for running…which unfortunately was not on the program this week. Hoping the torture massage, the stretch to the extreme, the lengthy rehab exercises and the way-too-short-allowed-runs will soon turn into regular weeks of training. But once again, better have this now and getting ready when summer arrive, than having it continuing and standing on a starting line this autumn with a malfunctioning knee…

Keep on running!

 

 

 


Recovery, recovery…Aaaaaand more recovery…

Week of rest and recovery ain’t often very exciting to talk about. Just like last week. Travel for work was suiting perfect with a week of after-marathon recovery.

Tuesday started early and finished late. The body felt all ok and the knee even allow for wearing high heels. No swimming as planned as 1) the swimming pool at the hotel was close to the breakfast room and tables (I mean REALLY close) and 2) the pool was only opened in afternoon and late evening when I would rather have gone up early for a swim.

Wednesday was a bit better for start, did a light core exercises and little rehab. Nothing much really, but it felt nice to actually do something. Day spent at work went fine, rainy weather and changed my high heels to running shoes in the evening before going out. Went all fine…until we left the restaurant and had to walk downhill to the hotel. The pain in the left knee was excruciating when walking this way. I tried walking uphill and it worked without problem. When reaching flat surface then it was better. Meaning? the left knee is NOT happy. Tricky night with ache in the knee coming back&forth.

Thursday felt a bit better in the knee, but still this day was filled with little aches now and then. OK, the high heels could/should have been skipped, but they were not. Evening was nice to change to jeans and running snickers! Good night sleep aaaaand…

…it was Friday already. Up early to get my first flight home. 25 minutes for changing in Paris and then home…without my suitcase. More rest during the day (read: doing nothing…). A bit of bicycling in the evening and it was it.

Saturday had arrived and got some bike done again, but no real workout. The knee was still aching a little now and then, so decided to skip doing more training. Spent the afternoon under the sun with the monsters and then a very nice evening at friends. Delicious Indian food had been prepared and served 🙂 Not too late home, it became late though when getting to bed.

Sunday got the sun up way too early. Decided to test the knee and went for an easy run. 3km warmup on asphalt to reach a running track. There I decided to go for 25 laps (or 10,000m). 4K clockwise, water – stretch, 4K against the clock, water – stretch, 2K clockwise, water-stretch and then 3km back home. The knee did not like at all this outing. And it was well-noted. No swollen knee when reaching home and it felt all ok to walk afterwards. However the kicks done in the afternoon felt pretty hurting 😦 Decided then to go for anti-inflammatory tablet in the evening and see whether it helped. Got tired pretty quick from it… but the knee felt as “normal”.

So was the end of the after-Stockholm marathon recovery week. Nothing really fancy nor fun nor exciting from a training perspective. Only a boring reminder that the knee was not fine. Have to check this and get it solved. More later…


My kingdom for carbs… and my blister back!

Too short night… Real tired/exhausted when those  *%&&&&#!? birds woke me up at 4:44am… 4:44am!!! Not good when it is at the start of week prior to the race. Calculated wrong as well the timer for the washing machine and it made a lot of noise one hour way too early… No need to say, the day started…too early! Yapp! Need a bit more than that to cut my motivation… Light breakfast (no carb) added an egg and half avocado for doing an omelet. OK-yummy. Early leaving for work for a full day again. Meetings back2back, fortunately some finishing a few minutes in advance so I could gab some tea or eat my eggs. Lunch arrived already – meat, egg, avocado, salad… Just missing some COLOUR in all this! Finished meeting 20 minutes earlier in the afternoon, which allowed to get back home quicker, get more tea and then finish the meetings day from home. Time for dinner – nope, still not looking forward to it! Second half of avocado, eggs, tunafish and grated cheese and salad… OK-yummy… still missing some COLOUR here as well! Decided to test the knee a bit.

Gear on, light massage with chilli cream and off under the sun going down. Got company so to ensure I would NOT run too fast. The knee is definitely not as usual and not liking the run at this slow pace. Did try some accelerations and it felt actually a bit better/lighter, and this despite the headwind. got a light 5km and back home, through the shop to buy some sport drink. Then light core and hot shower on the knee, followed by ice-treatment. Update of training diary and now my eyes are JUST closing themselves….

and yes, I would exchange my royal kingdom for carbs (a-n-y-t-i-m-e!) and having my blister back…instead of this knee-cap fooling around 😦 Yes the blister is still there, but seriously, I would rather run with this fully open, than with a knee potentially hurt. Time for bed…someone needs some beauty sleep 🙂


What about a hot lunch run under Sahara-like sun…

Friday.15k.easy.just had to figure out when to do it: very early morning run, run over lunch, run right after leaving work or run later during the evening. Chose the first alternative, just to see if could handle the heat for 15km…

Started the day with light core workout. Felt so good I extended the “Walking with the ball” to 2 minutes and a smile! Then hurried to first and early morning meeting. Drank half a bottle of sport drink while working and by lunch-time, it felt it was time to get those legs and feet out under the sun 🙂

[extract from training diary]
Started 20minutes later than planned, so still had time enough for the run up to max.1h30 (but this would mean as well running to the first afternoon meeting without showering or eating…not too appealing maybe…)
First 2km felt pretty warm – no, HOT. No wind, no air really to breath nicely. Nothing compared to Alicante warmth, this was really dry warmth. Reached the bottom of the bridge and regretted not to have a bottle of water with me. Even thought about turning back. But was already at the top of the bridge. Down to the Opera it felt better, but running along the water was not as “refreshing” as expected. Still very dry. Got lots of cheering at the Stena Line dock from teenagers awaiting for the class bus (thanks! that helped! 🙂 ) Then continued along the water.
Stopped @km7.5 for ca.2 minutes for asking for water in a lunch restaurant. 2 full glass which went down real fast despite being ice cold. A few more cheering 🙂 The outfit might help a bit!
Felt much better after that and took the little slope singing (and a little kid looked pretty puzzled at me, having his dad explaining “SHE” must be training for something 🙂 ). Almost got bicycled over on the way down by a very fast bicycle (and without engine this one). Then took 2more km to become heavy again. Having no tram card and no money (real smart…), the only way was to finish the run. Nice around Röda Sten with a bit of headwind, still nice to have some wind! Running up the bridge was a plague: considered 3 times to start walking, but remembering that the challenge next Saturday will be NOT to walk at all (compared to last year) – slow-run as a snail rather than walking-fast. This is the plan. Reaching the km5 of GV corresponded to my km10, which made me very happy. 5km left.
Tried to catch up with two guys on the bridge but real tough and still hot. The way down felt good, then along the water again. Not much wind, but a little was good enough. Second little bridge over, closing the gap with the two guys without really accelerating (or?). The final km was a bit odd with all the people taking their lunch-break relaxing on the pier and me arriving sweaty like crazy and running the final part with headwind (of course…).

Way too fast run. But at least I know I can hold this pace for longer would the weather be similar in Stockholm. Just have to remember to drink…

This was a brilliant idea (seems like…) to have this run done. The only thing was I are 2 bananas and a gainomax right after and started to work. Planned to get home early and eat, but turned out differently… Home by 5pm crazy hungry, went food-shopping and then time for dinner: double portion of pasta bolognese and ice cream with warm homemade chocolate sauce… Yapp, already carbo loading 😉
Feeling sooooo ready to run a marathon tomorrow…

Now of course the stomach is cramping a bit: too much core training? Too much running with minimal outfit? Too cold shower after run? Too much food this evening? … Too many questions! Willow on TV and then sleeping time. If I can’t run fast next Saturday, I’ll try to look good and rested at least !

Ciao! And keep on running….

Stockholm: 8.days.left….


When the legs say they are stiff and the mind says “so what?”…

Birds out, too early, snooze…

Probably can be looking like any other day, but today the legs were not willing to cooperate. They just did not want to leave the bed. WAY too early… the mind kept saying “so what”, and eventually after lots of snooze, the legs responded and hop! I was up. Quickly drinking my green mix, light morning core and doing a few chores before leaving early for work. Sun already shining and promise: it was singing this morning!!! Had planned to skip the lunch run for a morning run and already the plans were no longer fine. Work work work. Good sessions. Good mood. No lunch-date so headed to get sushi under the sun, and why not, let’s be crazy…got an ice-cream as well. Had “survived” the morning with 2 bananas as I noticed I had forgotten my breakfast at home 😦 Afternoon in meeting, with water-drinking, banana and apple (and a few tea cups and chocolate cups as well…). Late enough, having sent last mail of the day (I thought…), headed back home. Still pretty warm and sunny. That would do.

Change into running gear. Quick drink of juice and then on the road again (he he he…). Took a street to get the sun in the back first and then along the docks. Nice and warm in the air. Did not regret to have the minimum gear on me! Yes it does make people look, but who cares. Meeting a dad from my club, biking back home. We chatted a bit (him biking and me running (@4:30 I noted after getting back home….)) and then he left after giving his best of luck for Stockholm marathon. Cheering from the fishermen close to the fish auction and then straight along the water. Nice and fast(er than planned). But ok. Turned back after 6km and hoped for having tailwind then… SPOT ON! YOU GUESSED RIGHT! the wind just followed me…headwind and sidewind… 😦 After this distance, took a few minutes rest, kindly got water from the pizzeria close to “my” hill and then got started. Did not remember if it was 8 or 10 reps, so headed towards 10 (just in case…). Noted at the top of the first hill that my watch was not on (typical!!!!), so ultimately at the end, I did 11 (ELEVEN) hills… Got nice flow with the legs, but the feet were a bit heavy with those shoes (?). Got lots of cheering: from the hairdresser after reps 1-2-3. from a guy walking down at rep 5 asking if I was at rep 10 already… from the scooter guy I let pass (!) before rep 7. From the girl with the dog walking slowly up after rep 8. From the cops (!) buying sushi right before rep 10. Great hill! and then a little turn around the block for getting a niceandround 14km. Light stretch and home.

Not too hungry then, took a protein drink and shower. Then evening chores, sending THE last work email of the day and it is now 9:10pm and I am CRAZY tired, so will hit the pillow shortly. Tomorrow is rest day (actually this particular day should be declared rest day and off day every year… which is why -until it happens for real- I take it off anyway…). Massage booked already for starting the day… Will be soooo nice, body really craving for it since the race on Saturday.

Now we reached the LAST 2-digits number for the days left before Stockholm marathon… Yoooohoooo!


And then it was 6:39am…

A long day always start early and ends late, correct?

When the alarm showed 4:55am, I seriously questioned WHO had set this, and what day we were, and why it was already so light outside… snooze… Took 2 minutes to realize I was awaken anyway so as good to go up and get ready. Gear change, hesitated which shoes to take, opted for older GT-2000 (pink laces). A bit tricky as they have been fixed on the inside of the right heel, and the “feeling” is not optimal. But would do for today. Easy out, music on, had rained during the night so not too warm and still fresh in the air. Body felt fine. Pretty soon felt it probably was faster than “easy” but did not bother to care. Just getting this round done. Nice with running the bridge the other way around, felt a little tired, but seeing the control point for “congestion tax” were still sleeping (i.e. before 6:00am…) so did a little acceleration…just for the fun. Felt than my watch was beeping slightly before my “km-marks”, but all-in-all it would be fine. Crossed the motorway bridge (no crazy car this morning) and then took a little larger at the roundabout to avoid the large waterpool in the road I usually take. And then it was just straight back home. Just listening to the music. Passed the “control-point” again… still sleeping! Pretty early run then 🙂 Checked my watch at a moment as I thought I had to find 2 extra km to get a nice 12km-morning-tour, but right when checking the watch beeped 11km 🙂 Cool! Just 1km to find! Final 500m were a delight with acceleration all the way 😉

Back home, light stretch, started to boil my breakfast eggs while lying on the mat for light core workout. Then shower, breakfast, hanging the laundry, fixing the dishes and getting myself ready for work…

And then it was 6:39am…

OK, maybe a bit early to get cracking’… A bit of work from home and then headed to the office. Chose to continue the “snickers week” because it feels the Achilles pretty like it. Rushed to an aquarium meeting room where I spent the whole morning with two interruptions between meetings to refill my tea mug… Lots done. Good! Time for lunch in nice company. Had eaten a couple of bananas during the morning so was surprised to even be hungry. Ferry back home and more work to do. When the working was finally getting to its end, got to buy my green mix and linseed-oil (disgusting…) and back home. More to do (i.e. what was not done after 6:39am…) and then time to head to the mat for first session of core&stability. This is just killing me. It is NOT difficult, it does NOT hurt… but STILL it is always late I am doing this. And it does NOT EVEN take longer than 40minutes tops… Yapp, motivation must be there! Better going up early and doing it so it.is.done!

Now it starts to get a bit tired and a long day ahead tomorrow before rest day from everything 🙂

Stockholm marathon…11 days left (…Hmmm….when did it turn into a 2-digits number of day left?!?!?!)


Tapering week 1 – Day 1 (or a lunch recovery run going way faster than planned, core feels good and lots of work…)

And it was Monday again. Who said time was linear? It is actually going round round round…nothing else!
Started easy after a good night’s sleep with easy core training before breakfast. Choose to continue the “taking-care-of-my-ankles-and-heels” by wearing my blue/green BGS to and at work. Yes, I feel much shorter (ok, I AM shorter!) but if it is needed to have healthy Achilles until Stockholm marathon, so be it. Did have high heels shoes in my bag…just in case 😉
Spend morning in meetings and at lunch headed to another floor to get a colleague for lunch run. And I did not get one, but TWO to follow 🙂 We finally became a group of a few, decided to take an easy 8km to the bridge as most of us had been running the half marathon on Saturday and that was sounding like the smartest thing to do. Did not get the “easy” pace I wanted (and deserved…), but running @ 4:36min/km and talking all along should be listed as a good training 🙂 light stretch when at halfway, little run uphill to the bridge and light run back to work. Quick shower, more chat as I was not the only one changing in the ladies changing room and back to my seat. 2eggs and juice while working. Waited a but for eating a shrimp-wrap (he he he, say this very fast several times “shrimp-wrap” 😛  ) and more meetings.
Left the office later than usual and got home where got chores done and headed to the mat for rehab exercises. Did not get them done since week 18… but it felt ok. Long phone chat with a friend, update of training diary and time for bed…already.
Has been raining a lot this evening. Expecting to be a but chilly when I go out tomorrow morning…

Lots to do and think of this week… Have to make a masterplan for training..even though it is the first week of tapering…more thinking to do… But today the body felt well rested. Would have taken gladly a massage, but plan to do that on Thursday…Day-off 🙂 The mind seems like starting to get into a bubble before race… Pretty strange, feels like going slow motion sometimes…

Stockholm marathon…Less than two weeks from now…


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

(Week 20140512-20140518)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep on running!


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

(Week 28042014-04052014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So was my running week! How was yours? 🙂

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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!


Those recovery runs that you should t…a….k…e s…l….ooooo….wwww…ZzzzzzZzzzzz

So FINALLY Friday! Short week but long and early. So once again TGIF!

Tricky knee yesterday that felt a bit “itchy/scratchy” above the knee cap. No pain really, but it is there. so yes. Annoying enough! Once again (this is the week really!), woke up way too early. This time it was the rain…I think….3ºC @3am 🙂 Remained in bed and hit the mat for rehab just when the clock turned 6am 🙂 And  once again it feels SO great to have it done! Took a little longer than usual, but still. Before the rehab I took my green mix with…2 avocados, 1 banana, soy milk and chocolate 🙂 Y…u….m….m…y… (kind of!). It becomes a bit thick when having several ingredients, but did not want to add more soy milk for avoiding drinking 0.5l liquid stuff in the morning!! Rehab done, shower and hop, direction the office. Felt nice in the air, the sun was up already shining (but not warming yet…). Got a good 1.5hour of quietness in the open space for working before having back2back meetings until lunch. Wow! I do not like that. This is because it requires to have taken loads of notes and then after lunch (i.e. several hours AFTER the meetings) to be able to summarize and list the actions to be done (and hopefully do some of them or of other meetings from previous days…).

Anyway, got to travel over the river for lunch today 🙂 Chinese/Thai/Japanese buffet – Swedish style 🙂 Got sushi (probably the portion I generally eat for lunch), THEN I had some of what I would qualify as Thai food, but this was a Chinese restaurant. Took twice 🙂 And then vanilla ice-cream with chocolate topping for dessert (I skipped the tea for sake of time 😉 ). And of course nice company and French discussions 🙂 Back home then for more work and reading and preparation for next week. I like this: preparing on the Friday what has to be done first thing Monday morning 🙂 By then, I had felt pretty tired and stiff-kind of (expected while eating!). Eyes have been crying during a couple of nights now and on the way back home they were itchy. When final work was completed and laptop closed, decided for some running. But a bit of resting before was more than welcome…. therefore it was done some vacuum-cleaning in the house before changing to running gear.

In order to check if the left knee was fine, did a light massage with chilli cream (calves, heels, knees), had my calve sleeves as well. Hesitated to hit the pavement in shorts and sport bra… Friday evening is after-work in most restaurant… SO had singlet on the top (which was taken off after a few km…not a chance I continue running to warm…with a singlet!). Passed the preparation of a strange race which will be held tomorrow “Tough Viking” (map). This is an extreme obstacle course…starting with a first “activity” called “Pain”…reaching activity 9 called “barbed wire” and 11 “Fire”…”Monkey bar”…”ice tank” (which surprisingly is NOT right after the “fire” activity…)… Will be fun to check tomorrow… Back to the run: SLOWEST pace ever was planned and… closely got it throughout the run. Felt like everything was going in slow motion. Noticed by km6 that I had been able to READ the ads along the route… which is quite fine… but what I noted was that I had time to read them SEVERAL TIMES before passing them!!!! Generally I barely read or pass them. Today I felt it went so slow that I was S.P.E.L.L.I.N.G the words almost… Really strange feeling actually (and it was faster than walking, but I never noted this thing while walking). The left knee felt ok, but itchy/scratchy still 😦 By km5, the chilli cream started to have effect…not on the knee as I hoped for… but on the ankles and Achilles heels… Imagine running with fire feeling JUST at this little place… It does not hurt…it is just so *%&!? HOT! Got to stop singing when the music was inviting to it…because it was increasing the pace….Got to stop clapping the hands when the music was inviting to it…because it was increasing the pace… Got to stop smiling to the (too) few people around when they were smiling…because it was increasing the pace… (OMG! What one should not do to have a slooooow pace….). So yes, today the main effort was to NOT make any effort at all…

This was a very nice weather for running 16-18ºC, no wind, perfect. Would have once again continued to run for a while if it was not for the intervals I hope being able to run tomorrow. But if the knee if not fair enough, then it will be easy distance (read: “boring-slow”).

Back home, it was time for a bit of stretch. Talk with neighbours. Call to friend for meeting tomorrow. And then (when the body has got time to get pretty cold after the run 😦 ), hit the mat again for core & stability #1. This felt tougher than normal. Left hamstring stretching a bit more than usual (i.e. more than the past few weeks). But the knee felt fine…

And now it is time for little cosy evening in front of vampire movie and herbal tea 🙂 Yes I am tired….maybe sleep in for tomorrow morning…until…let’s say…6:58am?… 🙂


This pace that the mind won’t comprehend…

Bad night, long work day and recovery run… time for bed soon !

Started the day WAY too early: the alarm rang @4:55am!!! not.a.chance. The snooze button was way to tempting and the pillow got my preference. (yes, it IS ok to snooze the alarm sometimes!) Then it was already 7:20am… without noticing it! Quick up, got ready and on with my blue/green Brooks Green Silence for work (and yes, it IS ok to have running shoes with a suit on the way to work so you can change to high heels when reaching the office!). Then work work work. Got a bit late for lunch so picked up Indian Tandoori chicken and got a nice colleague taking me company during my lunch. Cool to learn about boat training, safety regulations and risk handling course. Wish I could apply to these courses 🙂 OK, back to running, might have been a bit too late for going out, but traded directly my costume for my ADIDAS Supernova shorts and singlet and out and running. The sun was still showing itself a bit, 16ºC and light wind. Felt nice and easy, but had planned a  SLOOOOOOOOOOOOW recovery workout, so it had to be a SLOOOOOOOOOOOOW recovery workout 🙂 The first 3 km went way too fast, but felt easy. So stopped a little, calm the pulse to the maximum and headed forward again…one calm km and then the music changed… giving wings to my feet and seriously making me doubt about having run a race a week ago… Got a nice fastfast km and then slowed down and got back to the plan. At this point I had enough time to think about pace. This fast km was about 4:02min, which means slightly slower (!) than my first half in Rotterdam marathon…COMPLETELY INCONCEIVABLE… How on earth can this pace be held during 21.1km when today it felt like 1km was WAY over the distance I should have run with this pace. To add 20km to it (sorry, 20.1km) is real hard to even comprehend. And this happens for most of the races. How can the mind and body achieve a certain pace during race when it is barely achievable during intervals or short tempo runs during training?… Yes, I know the “train low, race high”… but still… What makes the mind stopping (because it is well the mind deciding there) the body to run faster & longer during training when it can go further all boundaries during races…

Anyway, turned back after 6m and got a nice headwind (at first) and then not much stronger but definitely annoying headwind. Even danced a bit around km10+… but then my left knee started to complain and I cut the run short to 11km. Happy enough as it was a bit longer than planned, but not fully due to the pain felt. Of course the pain stopped immediately after the run and nothing felt when walking… Back home it was not much in the fridge and did not feel much hunger so I turned 2 eggs, 1 pear, little flour and oat milk into a pancake and topped it with half-honey and half-nutella… Japp, this was delicious and just what was needed then 🙂 And water 🙂 OK, the latter part sounds like a punishment, but it was refreshing…

A bit more work, chores to fix for the evening and now late rehab and core to go. I know… should not do that right before bedtime… but hope to have a sleep-in until 7am tomorrow morning 😉

Aaaaaand for ending the day right, have registered (finally…) to Stockholm marathon. Hoping for nice weather and this time to handle the second lap way better than last year (OK, it cannot be taken worse than last year…). So exciting to have race ahead…and training until then. Got a suggested trail marathon for end of June from a colleague…Hmmmm, sounds tempting…if it was not the day after a race I am although thinking about participating… Have to rest body and mind a bit more. So this week will also be relaxed…

Rehab and core workout…here I come!


Any sunny day has a potential to be a running day, right?

Week 1 after marathon…should be able to run a little now, right?

Woke up WAY too early for a day off, but the sun was out and the birds seemed to enjoy it… No no no…6:03am WAS too early (especially after late in bed after two movies…). Turned  and turned and turned in bed until started quietly light rehab program. Once completed (felt good to have it done!), light breakfast of cereals as I was planning to train (!) a bit later in the morning. Walked a bit with the bike and GET and then hit the road on the bike. 7km later (more than easy pace, sunny sunny sunny and as usual (?) lost my way when turning in small streets and finally find my way to the trail loop I had been recommended to run for a while. OK, I did run it once (or twice?), but it was after having run there (12km) and by then I was not REALLY in greatest shape for doing more than one lap… This time, I.was.prepared! OK, maybe not the smartest workout one week after a marathon, but at the time I reached the trail and parked my bike to a bench, I was sold 🙂 Changed from bike shorts to running shorts. Sun shining through the trees, birds (there as well!) and insects noises, light light wind in the leaves… Brilliant! Dropped my bag with water on the side and marked the start on the gravel. Ran the first lap without music in the ears, planning to continue this way actually for the more laps I would do. (A bit unsure by then how many laps had been suggested by my friend, but 9 laps @1,150m would be close enough 10K and would be good!). First lap felt fine, a bit too fast maybe, but ok. And then it was just to continue and run,…round….round…round…and round again… and yes, I did have music in my ears by lap #2, because it just drives me close to crazy to turn roundroundround… Got the final lap fastest of all @5:01min/km (which was WAY faster than the others…which were already faster than what I “should” (?) have run). And yes, it became 10laps, because my Garmin indicated kindly 1,000m (slightly more/less) when passing my start-mark… Not a chance I would have gotten close to 10K with 9 laps…Have to mention that to my friend who runs it… Have had a little annoying part since this morning though. My calves have been really sensitive, like aching. So when leaving home I had my calves sleeves on and it felt the little pressure was kind-of helping. Took them off after the running though. Drank so fast a little sport drink bottle and half a water bottle and it was time to get back home. Tried to take the shortest way, but this became the “windiest” way too.

Well at home, shower, lunch and pretty short after was laying under the sun, trying to comprehend the Cardiovascular/Anaerobic Model, but seriously, 3 pages and the sun and I closed my eyes… probably the sun 😉 So nice to rest for a couple of hours and then have a even easier relaxing evening… All to get prepared for getting back to work tomorrow.

Recovery week seems to have been going well. Maybe the run from yesterday started the ache in the calves, but unsure. Will have it carefully followed up in the next day. Rest better than getting more harm, right?

Until next time, have fun running!


Recovery 1, 2, 3… How does it work?

(week 20140414-20140420)

Quiet and calm, training-free (almost), and rest… and sunshine… This could summarize the week after Rotterdam marathon 🙂

Monday started pretty early. Actually, it felt like Sunday never stopped really. After packing all my stuff , tried to get to bed. Well, got to bed, but sleep did not come. Saw the hours passing and after 1:30am, cannot remember if I saw more, but when the clock rang @6am, it felt like I had just jumped into bed… Decided to go for a quick shower and skip breakfast. Packed the final stuff, ensure all was emptied and left the room. Walked in a fresh-air-Rotterdam towards the train station. Felt quite fine. Until I could not see my train, but only the one afterwards. Bought my tickets, skipped the chocolate at Starbucks (I was looking forward to it though…) and aimed for the platform… to see that the train coming was the Thalys and yes, it was going to Amsterdam Shiphol, but not with my ticket… Just had to wait 25 more minutes…which gave me time enough to get my hot chocolate 🙂 Rushing into the train and got lucky to have a seat for the 25minutes to the airport. There, everything went smoothly: checked in, dropped the bag and then just have to wait at my gate (Oh, yes…I also ate a sausage roll 🙂 Just loving this when I come to the Netherlands!). Flight went fine and easy, had two seats for myself. Kept on drinking to be sure will be well-hydrated. Then it went fast: landed, bag pickup, bus, tram and home…. and 30minutes later was sitting in my first afternoon meeting for work 🙂 Thanks to G I got sushi for lunch though 🙂 The body felt pretty fine. A bit stiff of course, but would guess that the lack of sleep and the travel were not helping after Sunday’s marathon. The head was however somewhere a bit high… Did I really run a marathon yesterday? The medal says so, so it must be true. After a serie of meetings, it was time to close the laptop for a day of rest 🙂 – First day of recovery? Check!

A light sleep-in on Tuesday and it became a quiet relax day. No work… No running… and still able to fill in the time of the day! With a looooong thai massage @9am…Good way to start the day! 🙂 The body was feeling actually pretty nice by then. No real ache, apart from when stretching the front of the thighs. Pressure points did not wake up any pain more than light ache. Chilling out all day, walking a bit as well. – Second day of recovery? Check!

Too early start for a Wednesday, but the day was expected to be long. Breakfast and then work. Meetings back2back until lunch. Lunch with G and then headed for afternoon long meeting. Body feeling quite fine, a bit stiff (a wild guess would be it came from the massage the day before…). Felt a bit dizzy a few times during the day, despite eating quite well… Have to check this. During afternoon meeting, had to stand up as my left thigh felt asleep a bit… Still no training and started to get…well, a bit bored. The day was long and headed to bed quite early, unable to keep the eyes opened… Good the long weekend was starting then! – Third day of recovery? Check!

OK, now it was Thursday. After a good night’s sleep, woke up a bit early but was not too motivated for going up and doing my rehab. So skipped it. Probably not too good (last rehab was exactly a week ago…). Lots of walking today, boat visit and more walking under the drizzling rain on the way back… Would have been sooo nice to be running instead of walking… Noticed I had been eating similarly to the past week (i.e. extra carbs and regular of large portions…) and without doing any exercises whatsoever… Great! 😦 Feeling a bit ready for more than recovery now… – Fourth day of recovery?!?!?! Check!

F.I.N.A.L.L.Y… Friday… back with a bit of training… ok, still no running, but serious core&stability and rehab workout. Felt soooo nice to actually train! But took it easy and did not change anything in the routine. Will probably update the workouts next week though. Got a nice power-walking under the rain with GET and that was it for today. Well, ended the day with a rehab routine. Not much, but could not sleep, so as good to use the time, right? – Fifth day of recovery/rest?!?!?! Check!

Saturday was starting with great sunshine and light core workout. Felt that the stomach was strong but the “walking on the ball with plank position” felt pretty tough… Indeed, I had set the time to 2minutes (=120seconds) instead of the 80seconds I was doing earlier (which were already pretty tough…). Time for a walk with GET and climb of the stairs towards the redoubt…192 🙂 and running the first 120 stairs… Right after lunch, bag packed with water and cookies and bike on! Dropped T for egg hunts while GE and myself headed for a nice bike tour under the sun. Body felt fine. Real easy pace, no pain. Stopped after 11km for cookies and water 🙂 and headed back home again. Headwind throughout the bike tour (of course?…). He he he, had even a friend noticing we biked for almost a half-marathon under 1hr 18… Would be a nice time for a running half-marathon, wouldn’t it? 😉 Easy evening with double-movie… Yapp! Late in bed and really tired!

And so it was Sunday again…Really? Has a whole week passed without (almost) noticing it?… Quick rehab and light core. Muscle of the stomach felt a bit less aching that before, but still there. Sun shining outside? You bet!Easy morning walk under the nice sun (already warm in the air), running up the stairs to the redoubt again (actually twice as we did not agree on the numbers of stairs… = > so make it 192*2…). Started preparing lasagnes and then headed out for a run under the sun. Felt so incredibly light to run. Took 3km before taking off the singlet. Nice side-wind and astonishing sun in the skies. Make it a 13km under the hour 🙂 Then it was just to shower and rest under the sun for a few hours. Got a little walk for playing table tennis with ET and then back home for resting (this sudden sun DOES make one tired!). Dinner was turned into sushi close to the redoubt (but this time we skipped the stairs and walked up the street which has a 10% inclination instead…), enjoying the still warm rays of the sun. Well back home, just had to brown pancakes to make the day complete 🙂

Week of recovery? DONE!

 

NOTE: this was quite nice to have this recovery week falling during a vacation week… Hopefully the “no running”-imposed days are helping for recovery (but definitely not against boredom…)

NOTE: Now it is set: Chicago will be the final marathon of the season 🙂 Looking forward to it really!!!

 


The thin line between quitting and going on…

Rest day and final week, counting the days is no longer enough…hours and minutes will definitely be added to the list… This will occupy my head 🙂

The week started actually yesterday. Up and resisting to the call of the pavement (there must be something called like that, right?). Monday is always a new day and after easy breakfast, time for work. Decided to opt for the working from home alternative, hoping for keeping myself away from any potential sneezing or alike. When 11:30am rang, got ready for warming up before picking up colleagues at the ferry stop. Got time for some stretching as well. My plan was a 10K @marathon pace on flat surface, which would be from the ferry + 5km away (with headwind) and then turn back on the same path (with – hopefully – tail wind). My fellow runners wished to run over the bridge back to the office and my first thought was no way. Not a bridge when I try to run at MP… and my second thought was similar to the first one and the third thought like the second… So no bridge. Agreed we’ll run towards the bridge and separate. First km went under 4min/km. Too fast for me, but good for my colleague’s warm-up 🙂 After that a bit calmer pace and within the expected MP-range. By the time we reached the bridge, I felt so nicely pulled that I decided to follow over the bridge… No need to say that climbing the bridge was killing my feet/legs, but seeing my colleague running so easily and relax, I just bite my lips and followed. Reaching almost the start of the bridge (at the top of the slope), was the first moment I though of turning back and running down and straight back home… Mind strong? not really. Did not want to jeopardize Sunday’s race for a run over the bridge… By the time I made up my mind…I was in the fog in the middle of bridge, having a large smile asking me if it was fine. Of course it was fine… we were at the middle of the bridge and from there onwards it was downhill, flat and -hopefully- tailwind. Good feeling downhill but the flat part was no fun. I really needed the ferry to arrive and give me a chance to race it 🙂 Once again, having a smiling face pulling me forward was my help. And then it was only 1.2km left. Just the feeling that it is almost finished makes all the eventual pain disappear (Ok, it does not disappear, but there is extra strength pushing the body forward definitely). Reaching the final 200m…AND head-wind of course. Once more, feeling of dropping the run…but seriously? with all the effort put in it? not a chance! And it was 10K completed. Easy run back home, quick hot shower and light lunch in front of the computer.

When the day arrived to its end, it was time for school visit and restaurant outing for celebration. A bit too much food maybe, but good. Only tricky part which I thought only afterwards was the butter in the meal… more later… Then back home and cake. Realised I did not do any rehab, so got on the floor and hop! A bit later and it was done. But once again, those planks which make your posture so nice while running… Sometimes they feel soooo long and actually they are not. The final 5seconds are the longest seconds of all. While doing a serie of 7 planks of 65sec each, some were easy but others were just like…”not-a-chance-I-will-ever-do-that-again”… and the worse in all this..is that they are coming back every second day and the mind always forget how it went the previous time. What is it that the mind do to make the difference between “time to quit” and “come on, give it a little bit more”? This thin line that could be called motivation or stupidity, boldness or effort…. Whatever you may call it, it is there. this is this little voice in the head telling at km7 of a 10K training run that it is better of stopping, the pace is too fast, the legs are too tired… but the other little voice telling that actually this pace is way slower than the past race…so you know you can do it… Yaaaa, don’t tell me you never talked to yourself? 🙂

Tuesday arrived and it was time for a rest day. Actually I wanted really to run, but the heavy rain outside cut my motivation. Well, getting out of bed was done so as good to get some work done. Took a short break for core exercises (10min is all it takes!) and feeling the fire in the stomach after this session is the best reward…I think? Work day, keeping a look at the water drinking and the carb-eating. A bit left before Sunday so no rush for eating more carbs than usual. Completed the day with the second rehab program. Once again, when it is started you wonder why you have waited so long before starting…

Have to start preparing my running stuff for Sunday, but not sure yet what to pack. Will probably be a heavy suitcase to have alternative outfits 🙂 A bit of rest now…as it will probably be impossible to sleep in a few days…

Training in the wind? check! Training in the rain? check! Running in new shoes so they won’t hurt? check! Am I missing something?…

 


Sun, rain and terrain race :)

(summary half-week 020414-060414)
Time passes so extremely fast some times, it sounds crazy 8and pretty cliché), but this is sooo true! Already a new week!

Wednesday started pretty late so skipped the run and rehab for the morning and headed to work for a morning of meetings. Some were cancelled and replaced by others, keeping the head busy. By lunch time, the legs wanted out! And a bit of fresh air was nothing the mind would refuse! Change of gear, sun glasses on and off I went. The plan (isn’t there always a plan?…) was running over two bridges, making it a nice 15km. Started 39min later than planned (so much talking to do), so when I started it felt I would need to cut the run short. Starting with one bridge I could run 10K and come back to work with the ferry. But starting with the other bridge it could be only 5K until I reach the ferry on the other side… Not much to get enough fresh air… Second option was chosen (he he he, this makes the run total definitely up to 15K as there is no chance to cross over apart from the other bridge (or the paying ferry…)). Started the run nice and easy, light and happy. Sun shining, nothing to complain about (ok, maybe the light headwind…). By the time the first bridge was reached, the pace was easily 45sec/km faster than planned. But feeling’s fine, so let’s continue. There is still time for getting tired… Reached the 5K/ferry stop, all good, headwind, just 10K left ! Climbing the second bridge went so fine I was really surprise. Not loosing much of my original pace, I kept on as after the bridge… it is downhill or straight straight straight and flat!. Met the ferry at the first stop and chased it once more. Almost lost at the first stop (the closest one)… To my defence, this is a place where the headwind is starting to show itself…again! But then, got an extra kick for the last km and got to win this one again 🙂 Nice nice nice!. 15K in 1:06. All good… Well, should have been slow lunch run. But feeling was fine and seriously not feeling tired much. Quick shower, little food and back to work. Until evening where it was time for rehab again.

Thursday was turned into a full rest day. No training, lots of work, easy and cosy evening (with rehab in front of the tv). Beautiful sunshine outside all day. A day for running…

Friday was off from work due to outside commitments. Spending a morning at the dentist ain’t the funniest way to start a Friday but it went fine. Chose to head for an easy lunch run under the sun after that for my lunch pause. Real nice and light feeling once more. Planned to skip anything that looks like a hill, but started my run with three followings ups&downs and then slight upwards slope and flat and hill. Yapp, you do not always do what you plan to do… Reaching the top of the hill, was really happy and enjoying when noticing a car driving at my level and apparently the driver talking to me. Off with the music to hear that I was running very well and that my running step looked very good 🙂 Nice with expert feedback during the run 🙂 Extra little boost and completed the final 5K on a little cloud. 15K @1:07. Stable apparently, but really had to slow down for resting. This is after all tapering week and the plan was distance and no quality run… Back home and easy afternoon, completed by rehab 🙂

And then it was Saturday and the sun was not too much here. A bit of sleep-in and off the bed directly into the running gear for a really easy recovery run. No pressure, just running. No pace checking, just looking at low pulse and even stopped for doing drills 🙂 Rest of the day was a bit dull (well, the plans for outings fell apart with the grey skies and drizzling rain…). By the evening I decided to aim for an additional run. This time more because it was raining and it was a while ago (I think…) I ran under the rain. Better be used to it if it ever rains next weekend! Real easy additional recovery run under drizzle…. Hmmm, so nice. Even the headwind was light and (almost) enjoyable. All good for today. Rehab at the end and bedtime a bit too late…

because Sunday was starting early (kind-of). It was Terrain Club race. 3 levels, 3 distances (1, 2 and 4km). Changed so to run with the youngest ones the 1km, planning to have this as my warmup. This was without counting that terrain is NOT flat! Two hills on the race… but at this pace it was fine. T arrived 3rd and happy. (I know, T did not want to run at all, but as good to do it when you are there…!) I changed to my shorts and other running gear before the younger ones prepared themselves for the second race. Not a chance I follow them… I would have been ded tired for my own race! Looking at the kids running and fighting for completing the run was really inspiring. G even dropped a shoe 6-700m before the end (i.e. before the two hills to run) and still went along and won the race, followed shortly by E 🙂 Great! Warmed up a bit more, and it was our race to start. Four laps, too fast start, but constant pace after that. Got the 4,1km completed in 18:30 and got 1st place women and 3rd place all. 30sec (?) after the winner and 2sec after the second one… Have to work on the “mountain goat”-style when running uphill… Quick shower, change, got all a little trophy, eaten grilled sausage or burgers and time to head home. Real easy rest of the day as I was a bit tired. Got to do my rehab with E’s help and encouragements and then we ended the day with more clothes folding and finishing a movie. Late in bed…again…

The week was planned to be tapering towards Rotterdam, distance and easy runs only, and few. Turned into a bit faster than planned, but when the legs wants to run…should you stop them? really? Lots of rehab, which I think is making itself really worth the time spent. The hamstring (left side) has not been complaining for a while, or only for liiiiitle cloudy feeling, not more. Have added a little core exercises from Mikael Ekvall into my daily routine as well. He is the Swedish runner who turned the Copenhagen half-marathon world championship into a new Swedish record for the distance 🙂 So if he suggest some core exercises, that could be worth listening to 😉 – OK, those exercises were already in my routine of either rehab or core&stability. but putting them into a daily routine (taking max 9minutes) is really simple and easy. And yes, it feels in the stomach (and looks good too!).

Bed time – new week ahead and this is the final week…


Recovery, easy and cold…

Back home after a long train trip…definitely still on a cloud, three days spent in a more than easy way…

Sunday was set for recovery… up with the sun (ok, little after, but way too early anyway), had to change the clock in all “non-automatic” clocks at home and then … time for some bike. Chose an easy route, without many up&downs (let’s be honest, it was pretty flat!) and sun shining and no wind… took 27km to decide that it was enough for today. Listened in the meantime to 2 podcasts from Runners Connect. Started with “How to reach your potential while balancing work, family and everything life throws at you: An interview with Nate Pennington” and then continued with “Is Focusing on Race Goals Holding You Back? Why your first priority should be improving your ability to train. An In-depth Interview with Greg McMillan“. Both gave quite good insights and food for thoughts. Nothing’s easy in life, better get used to it! After back home, took a green mix with fruits and then went for a looooong thai massage. Surprisingly no as painful as I would have expected for a day-after-race. Then not much for the rest of the day apart from little restaurant celebration with GET (my nice result and E’s soccer tournament). Time for bed after that? Unfortunately the mind was not at rest and it took long hours before hitting the pillow.

Monday was not planned to be an early morning (well, it was at first, but nothing in the body felt like going up and it took lots of snooze before deciding to leave the bed…by then it required fast preparation to get on time for work…). All good during the day, full with meetings and it was a real pleasure to jump into running outfit when arriving home. Drop-off at the dance and then took off for a bridge run. Easy planned and easy executed…OK I had to have a bit of fun as well. I met a ferry at a specific station, 2 stations away from the one I planned to take. Approx. 2.5km by foot… Game on! The ferry left the station and I left by foot. Not seeing it coming after a while, I thought it was the other line going to the other side. But reaching the intermediate station, I was a little after the ferry, that left when I arrived. Not a chance I would let it win though! I pushed a bit (ok, way too much for being after a race), having the final km at a very indecent pace and arrived with a smile (and no more breathe!) just when the ferry arrived at the station. Large smile, telling them they were pretty fast. The girl opening the gate looked at me a bit puzzled and asked whether I was the one they met two stations before… 😉 After that, stretch on the ferry and run back home. Final stretching and directly putting my feet under the table for enjoying spaghetti with green peas and ham 🙂 Yummy! Late evening once more after that. Not much sleep…

And we arrived to Tuesday… not much sleep is an understatement. When the clock rang at 5:00am, I seriously wanted to swear and wondered who was stupid enough to set it that early… no need to answer on this one… took 5 minutes to go up and had to change my gear plans as the thermometer was showing…-2ºC!!! Brrrrr…coooold. Already up, so as good to leave for a run. A bit stiff in the legs (!), it went fine running and would have continued longer if it was not for …oooh, yes… had to prepare breakfast before going to work! Good morning meetings, followed by sunny sushi lunch in very nice company and chilling out under the sun a bit before getting an ice cream and heading back to work. Long afternoon in meetings and then time to get back home. Had been exhausted all afternoon… no wonder why! Got to help for the dinner preparation: steamed potatoes with dill and gravlax. More tired after the dishes and clothes folding and I still had to search for flights and accommodations for Rotterdam… I know, I am a bit late for this one… awaiting answer for an apartment there. Hope to have an answer tomorrow and it will be booked!

Real easy days after the race. Still difficult to realize I ran this fantastic race on Saturday, if it was not for the medal I have been wearing around my neck since this day… Check the website of Stockholm marathon as would like to register for the Swedish Championship… 60 days to go! Nothing…nothing at all… How will this work out…..

For now, focus on Rotterdam and its world-record-fast route 🙂 11 days to go!!!