Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “snow

To rest or not to rest? THAT is the question…

Since Sunday, got a conscience check: to rest or not to rest. That was well enough to take two day of rest for noticing whether this stupid left foot would let it go (or not). Gave it a try yesterday (Tuesday) with taped foot, and it worked fine. Easy 10km ended with a good feeling. So nice that I actually could spend the rest of the day walking as normal 🙂 Not bad right? And filled with this enthusiasm, I even made my own day with a long workout for core & stability. Yes, it does help for the running (and not just to set nice patterns on the stomach 🙂 ). Too late in bed, but satisfied as there had been no snow falling as it was forecasted…

Saying this quick because this morning, there was a light white cover waiting for me on the streets when I headed for an early morning run 😦 Not too fun as it was slippery. And wet and cold (in the water pools…). But otherwise, it felt nice to run. Once again, taped foot, but so what. If this is what it takes for the next 15 days… so be it. Rest of day working (i.e. sitting most of the time in meetings), so the foot did not complained too much. Had a talk with the naprapath that checked my knee, hip, foot and he said that taping was fine and that if all felt OK tomorrow, I could give it a try for the running plans I have. After this one, then we would see how it goes. Probably needing a bit more rest. With so short time left before the race, the only thing that can happen is to screw up the training if not taking it easy and intelligently running.

So yes, the question remain: to rest or not to rest? Suggestions?

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

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

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

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

Snow, Rain…I do NOT welcome Thee…

Long day today and worth having a few minutes to write about it…

Late start (I guess?) with hitting the road @5:30am (yaaah, the clock rang from 4:55am…). Had planned to run in my “fashion victim outfit” (read: winter underwear + short shorts on the top), but seeing that it was a little rain falling, I skipped the idea and took regular long tights and the rain jacket. Good GREAT choice! Because the drizzling rain from when I crossed the door turned into a light rain after a few 100m. Was too focused on putting one foot before the other at this time. By km3 my fingers were officially cold AND I was REALLY annoyed by the rain that decided to fall RIGHT into my eyes (of_course_!). Headwind on the top of it (of_course_!) AND turned into snow flakes after a while (of_???? course!!!). So recap: rain, wind, snow… yes you got it: slush after km4 was everywhere. And my wind gloves were no longer protecting against anything (originally this is against the wind (therefore they are cold “wind-gloves”), but with rain and snow, they aren’t of much help…). Took really easy, had planned a 6min tempo and turned out into a 5:30-tempo. All good for a real-easy-recovery-run. By km10 I had discussed with myself (I do that sometimes while running…) and agreed that I would get to the hills and see how it felt before starting the serie. OF COURSE it felt good (ok, not the fingers, because by then I could already not feel most of them and had difficulty to stretch and change the music… I am not talking about the tricky part of pushing the buttons lap and start on my Garmin…). 10 times up&down until the red door 🙂 nice flying feeling which was just tainted at the end by the fact I could no longer FEEL I had fingers. So skipped the 1-2km planned for cooldown and took the direct way home (without passing by START…). Had to bite my gloves off my hands, pull my home key out of my inside pockets, (here I am not proud of what will follow…) took off my shoes in a really bad way (but seriously…fingers – shoes – fingers – shoes… OK, I choose fingers!), DIRECTLY to the bathroom under….HOT WATER (yes, for you who have done that before you understand the terrible and stupid mistake… for you who have NOT tested this, I strongly advise NOT to do it!) Turned out to burn even more (and therefore the tears, the shouting and really not thinking straight… Then it was the shower part (have you tried EVER to take off your clothes with frozen fingers?…). Took ca. 10minutes to stop yelling (by this time it was mostly in my head the yelling!) and then a few more minutes to get back to (almost) normal. WHAT A GREAT WAY TO START A DAY!!! Quick breakfast and headed to the office (of course it started to rain after 500m but this time the mascara stayed a bit better…)

Long day at work, especially three meetings in the same room with bad ventilation. So when getting back to my place, took a banana and an apple and really did not feel like running AT ALL. Well back home, took only a short time before jumping into my running gear and deciding to go for my interval workout (which was planned for yesterday, but could not do it as taking into consideration the blood giving…). Heavy legs during the warm-up (yeaaaah, good start…), the final accelerations felt like worse than ever (they always do, but today was even worse). A bit of stretching aaaaaand off I started. Too fast as usual, and then too heavy and then slowing down. The second interval is worth talking about: was pulled (!) by a skater during a bit more than half and passed him after that, making my fastest km since this autumn by 4 seconds… Of course (there are lots of “of course today”…so much logic in this world…) the following km felt heavy and slow BUT the one after that… became my fastest km ever since… a few minutes before… which made me happy. By now I had no choice (?) but turning back and run the 4 last intervals back home. 3 heavy intervals and then…taaaaadaaaaa… (took 10sec extra of rest…) and got to the EVER fastest km by 2 sec (since a few minutes before). So yes, it was a real tough session, was expecting tough and got some! So nice average for the run BUT not satisfied really because it was SO difficult to have a steady pace throughout the intervals. It is indeed easy to start fast, slow down and then increase back to fast at the end. This does not make it as a good interval (in my mind), but probably a fast one. Would be good to have a running buddy able to keep me from doing that during those “short” long intervals. A bit surprise with this outcome as well, due to the blood giving yesterday (and yes, I do think a bit that it was not too smart to do this run so close to the bloodgiving, but was soooo longing after running a bit faster than the (necessary) recovery runs I have had the past two weeks…

Summary of the day: 2 runs, hills, intervals, rehab and nicely tired. Just have to aim for the bed now and all will be solved by the time I wake up.

(and yes, I was SO glad that I did not have the same weather this evening because it would definitely not have ended that well…)

Week 0 or time to fix this pain in the butt…


Summary week 20140129-20140202

Wednesday felt miserable. Snow everywhere, back to work starting to sink in (well, it did since Monday, but Wednesday if half-way through the week, right?…). Remained on “Rest” mode as a bit unsure what to do really. The snow ain’t my enemy but ain’t my friend either… Fully enjoyed (almost?) my massage at lunch time. Good to have a short break from early work start and planned to be late work. Back and shoulders were all good. Coming to the lower right side, bum and thigh felt fine as well (of course, there are pressure points which are generating nice pain, but overall felt fine). The calf was a bit sensitive, but considering I recently ran a marathon… you got the picture!). On the left side however, it started fine for of course getting to the trigger points which are PAINFUL (and here I mean PURE pain). Side of the thigh and hip felt similar (yeaaaaay! 😦 ). We checked the right adductor as well and the recommendation was to massage and do pressure from time to time. Evening spent checking a school as well and then bedtime to catch up on some sleep (apparently the sun tan makes me look tired…).

So I started Thursday well rested and with a short real easy recovery run in the freshly fallen snow/slush/icy parts. Of course it was enjoyable to be moving those legs, but really? did I run a sub3-marathon less than a week ago when I can barely move forward in a decent pace in all this slush all around?!?!? And nope, I did not make any effort to increase the pace because 1) it is NEVER fun to run in snow/slush and 2) my anti-slip under my shoes felt like not keeping in place correctly so I had to attach them back a couple of time until km9 when I got bored, took them off and ran on half-slippery pavements (BUT at least the legs felt like normal again!). Pretty easy pace, tried to keep HR under 75% of max (and not knowing my max pulse, I can set the “75% of max” to whatever I want 🙂 good to be back on track, I thought. No pain, little sensitive calf, but could be whatever. I decided as well to call for help to the French community here and got suggested to meet C, French physiotherapist who could meet me right the same day. This was brilliant, because I could not get time to any physiotherapist I called before that. The verdict was pretty simple: “Why did you wait to come and being checked?..:” (…whatever…). He checked the bone structure stuff, nothing was misplaced (which is a good sign, right?) meaning this was all muscle-related (which is a less good sign, right?). His diagnos was as follow: – chronic tendinitis ischial tuberosity (left side) – this is my “thigh/bum muscle pain that has been coming on and off for a year or so, tendinitis adductor (front – right side) – this is the strange pain that popped up twice since Dubai and tendinitis level of insertion of quadriceps (right side) – a bit unsure here, but there was definitely some pain… Well, the good news is that despite having a chronic tendinitis, he suggested it could not be too “advanced” as I could run and it was going on and off. Despite this, it was high-time to fix it. Serie of suggestions: rest (!), MTP, voltaren (!), voltaren pack w/plastic film overnight (!), shockwave, stretch, ice, golfball massage 😦 Regarding the Voltaren part, I felt already I would not do it after having had this not recommended. Amplified by S telling it was a big “no no” for those tendons. For the “rest”-part, of course it may be better with some rest, but having had some rest during the past year and not noticing any difference nor improvement, this will be on the list but like “as usual”. Deep tissue massage and stretch definitely on the list. Golf ball massage is not my favourite, but if I have to go through this to get rid of this pain, so be it! Shockwave therapy has not been proved being good nor bad for the (high) hamstring tendinitis (HHT), so I will wait before this. SO, ended with a session including back manipulation, extreme stretches and recommendation for more rest. Which I am taking seriously because if there is a moment this year I can settle for some rest, this is this week 0.

Friday felt like too early starting with early meeting, and then cancelled meeting, replaced by another meeting, lunch with nice company and more meetings in the afternoon. TGIF! The day ended with more snow and seriously (I am very serious in this post…) I am pretty fed up with this weather… Easy-cosy evening and more rest.

Saturday was under the “rest” sign. Yes, it burns every inch of the body not to go out for a run (I even could consider using what A called the “hamster-mill”… yes, sounds desperate, and I might feel this way!). Took non-inflammatory tablet in the morning and took cold treatment as well. Despite the lot of walking, it felt … nothing! The left hamstring was exactly in the same shape and the right one. By mid-afternoon I felt pretty tired so took a hot bath, more ice treatment afterwards and 1,5hour of sleep later… did feel like more sleep would be great to have! Long talk to get some thoughts out of my mind, get some suggestion on running and overall having a long nice discussion… Cooking then and watching tv before bedtime. Rest day… I think I might have reach my limit here…

Up with the birds (which are probably in warm Africa now, but still wake up early…), I aimed for an easy run on Sunday morning. After having spent Friday evening in front of cosy movie and surfing on all what google can provide about hamstring tendinitis and how to solve this,… I decided to settle for flat route. Nice in the air, I was a bit sceptical about the twinkle little stars on the pavement…ICE! so carefully run back and forth and yes, running along the water is NOT a good idea, when icing is in progress. Spent the rest of the day at G&E indoor athletics competition so when reaching home late afternoon, I needed to shake a bit my legs and ran a double run (same as this morning – slightly faster but without really doing it on purpose). This evening was however way more icy on the pavement and had to be extremely careful with my running (or almost walking…). Anyhow, just finished now all the clothes folding, preparing for tomorrow’s breakfast and time for joining Morpheus has arrived.

Full rest week… time to get this pain in the rear disappear for good really! Have settled for taking another easy recovery week (week 1) which anyway was planned to have a minimal mileage of running. But will see how the legs and body feel. Alternative training like indoor bike is almost as boring as dreadmill-running… But if it is the cost to pay to get this butt right… Will start with a rest Monday and deep tissue massage again. Sounds nice and enjoyable, but I promise that it will be far from it. Once again, price to pay for getting it fix, I am happy to do it.


Snow, work and food…

Back to reality…

When the snowflakes are falling slowly like in a fairytale that is when you start realizing that it is nice with some snow. But then 5 minutes later, you remember that today is office day and that you have to walk to the ferry on slippery street and then same in the evening.

Wore proudly my medal all day long (yes, I do that after every marathon, and I think it is ALL ok). Mindset back to work pretty fast as the marathon-bubble had disappeared. Thoughts regarding the next race already popping up in the head as have read some posts and articles about both the next race and the next next race.

Food is the tricky part – always eating regular portion for a hungry person who is running on a regular basis, the post marathon can sometimes bring days without any wish for food (no worries! I eat anyway, because I would faint otherwise!) or others with craving like today…for a pizza! Lunch boring from the restaurant in our building, followed by “Galette des Rois” (Kings cake) with colleagues and then out with a colleague in an Italian restaurant, where I ate… a pizza! and a chocolate cake with berries and ice cream afterwards. A bit full tummy now, but this tasted really good.

Today the body starts to show signs of running-will. No running abstinence as such, but when you wait (on purpose) to the last minute before a meeting for printing a document and HAVE to run the 10-20m back&forth to pick up your print… there is something that your body is trying to tell you! High heels running rocks in the office! No real fun however to have the snow outside because it ain’t the safest weather for running outdoor. Will definitely have my anti-slip on my shoes for my first outing. In the meantime, doing power-walk at decent pace will be working fine for recovery activity.

More sleep to take now. Long day tomorrow.

(and yes, have a few times wondered why I came back home, leaving sunny Dubai for snowy Sweden…anyone?…)

Dubai – Recovery Day 3

Then the 3rd day she shall travel back home… Plane to Frankfurt? Did not feel it taking off. Had already closed my eyes. The man and his wife took two seats letting one between me and them. So their two small ones could sleep. By the time I open my eyes, serving sandwich (good I ate extra before leaving!). Watch a movie called “Now you see me”, and recommend it. Quite cool. Then it was only me and the wife left sleeping on the 4 seats and after halfway, i was alone so could try to lay down on 3 seats then. But way less comfortable than on the way down to Dubai. My last thought before falling into deep sleep was that I could feel fine enough after the race to wait 4 days before a massage, but that 5 hours flight would probably require an osteopath session to solve all the aches and pains this flight would create! Arriving at Frankfurt, as usual B.O.R.I.N.G. Nothing opened almost (and for what it is, it does not really matter!). Finding my gate and taking 2 free hot chocolate and surf a little. Got to read there should be new additions of fast runners in my club, which sounds really cool. Running alone I like, but no surprise that training from time to time with others is giving some pep to the training.

Frankfurt-home? same procedure as earlier: did not see the plane taking off, barely heard the breakfast serving and woke up when we landed. Snow-covered landscape was NOT what I wished to see on the arrival. Luggage, bus, tram and finally home. 30 minutes later – laptop on and ready for work.

By the end of the day, there had been way more snow falling and it was a very white-christmasy-feeling outside (ok, now I said it so the snow can go away!). The body had felt fine today as well apart from a walk on good tempo done mid-afternoon where the inside front of the hip made itself reminded and this was no fun. Almost stopped at the doc to be checked (but then it disappeared). Had a phone call from HR and discuss this. Will see how it goes and if not better or popping up again, then will be visiting the doc.

Late evening, several washing machines later and it was time for bed. Return to reality? check!

Carbloading, run, work and travel…

(noticing I am having trouble with my posts not being published lately…despite pushing the button… Corrected now…)

Ok, where were we? Yap, bedtime not too early, after going round round round at home, having 20 ongoing things to do and really not tired at all. Took probably 2 hours after midnight before I feel asleep. But this morning it was ok. A bit of rewinding here…

Yesterday evening, I printed all the necessary papers for the trip and the rave and of course checked the website of the marathon. They announced the participation of a nice group of fast female runners a few days ago (sub2:25) and it sounded quite cool…until I read yesterday the elite women field… 25 super flying ladies will be on the starting line on Friday. Don’t know of they ever had so many fast women at once (and here we are talking sub2:30-fast…) And one is a Swede making her marathon debut… So goodbye my dream of keeping my 2nd place in the Swedish women there 😥  Change of plans then… Let’s keep a nice “finish the race”-objective and everything under training time is fine 🙂

So, wake up time was completely not in sync as the other previous days  (i.e. opening the eyes at a time of potential arrival at the finish line). Today it was 06:00am, when waking up (and nope, there is no plan for crushing the world record on Friday!!! At least not for me 🙂 Weather check before aiming to the door for a final run at home. -6°C, real feel -11°C…sure, that had been said before… 2 layers on however…which were not extra stuff to wear. It took 3-4 km to be able to feel my fingertips again… Rest of the body was fine. Took a round tour and finish by the French basket to order dough for my French cake I promised at work. Then back home. Extremely careful run as it was still a but slippery and slush all over. But got the body and mind in a better mood.
Well-arrived at home, time for work. Finalizing all ongoing stuff so that you won’t have to think of it for a while is actually an art in itself. Leaving to Dubai without laptop feels like travelling naked almost… Good smartphones were invented then!
By lunch time the only food accepted by the tummy was a banana and a glass of apple juice. Still ok, loading with carbs, correct? Keeping it to liquid carbs when possible to ensure hydration (unsure I know what I an taking about, but it sounds like making sense…).
By noon all was set, emailed, packaged and got even time for extra check on my backpack with all the necessary stuff and my suitcase certainly filled with 79% of unnecessary stuff… Final check around and off I went. Short stop at the sushi place got buying my lunch to-go and then pharmacy for medicine against bad stomach. Never used it and not intending to, but JIC… (btw. great that I read the notice as well as this medicine has lactose in it, can give dizziness, tiredness and rash on the skin… Brilliant! Will definitely not use it!!!). Got the tram and bus to the airport, check-in, luggage drop, sushi lunch and queue to get to the gate. Of course pretty early, but the mind cannot focus at all right now so better occupy it somehow. As usual, buying a RW, filling my water bottle and stupidly trying a new hand cream giving me red rash and burning feeling… All better when spraying myself with a little Kenzo 😉
Now wait wait wait until the first flight leaves… As it felt a bit ok to be hungry, decided to eat a banana and buy one of those rice porridge with jam (I choose the non-lactose one) and had a focaccia toast with turkey, tomatoes, mayo and cheese. Had most of the cheese removed though. Warmed a bit and eaten slowly. Perfect timing to get on the first plane to Munich.

From now on I start to be really asocial and annoyed with everyone sneezing, coughing, blowing their nose…you name it! Just do not want to be sick right now! Ate my rice porridge on the plane, with tea and orange juice. A bit of reading, sleeping and dreaming (of the race of course and plenty other things…which are nice usually but bothering when trying to visualize a race…).

Anyhow, just arrived in Munich and have to hurry to next plane…not. This airport is really nice and it us boring I cannot eat really. Lots if nice restaurants 🙂 Next plane soon, I will sleep then. And will arrive tomorrow morning in Dubai. Yippie!

Probably not updating here for a little while though. Will post and antedate instead. Someone is actually trying to focus here.. 🙂

Dubai… 2 days and a few hours to go (actually should have started to count the hours to the race since a while…)

Is carb depletion really necessary then?

After one day having a stomach emptying itself without even asking, and drinking “fluid replacement”-stuff, it was well rested I woke up this morning. Although a bit late, breakfast was on time (had time to work a bit before as well 🙂 ) and even had time for a shower before school meeting. As I was up and ready, decided to take my final run right away instead of waiting for lunch time (and probably bite my nails until then! – no, I am not biting my nails 🙂 ). Pretty freezing start so headed back home for getting a winter top layer. None for the legs as the tights felt way enough (and they generally get warm anyway). Yapp, needed 500m to get the body back to normal temperature and it felt fine for the rest. After an easy warm-up (read: the legs run, the head focus on not falling on the snow and slush and the mind think it is therefore easy and slow pace…NOT!) just a little stretch and off to a fast tempo piece. Way too fast first km (although this is when checking the watch I noticed it, once again the brain said: all good and easy, just continue…), slowed down then and tried to ignore the beeps of the watch indicating I was outside the expected pace range. Once again focus on the road where the bike path was not (as I would have wanted) that cleared out. Several bikes coming from the other side indicated loudly that I was too move (and I answered loudly as well that I would not run on the icy-snowy-slushy part of the road). But of course I did it for 3 bikes which did not appear to move themselves to let me run 😦 WHATEVER! Just continued me and my beeping watch. After a bit more than half the distance I turned back and run from where I was coming from. Slower pace then due to the 180º turn, but still beeping watch … Completed the fast piece nicely and without falling on my bum a single time (achievement of the year so far!). Then it was just to get back home at an easy pace (read: once again the brain says it is slooooooooooooow, but the watch says it is not). Good run indeed, just can I be given the opportunity to explode now, please?

Back home, stretch, shower and quickly continued to work. Around lunch felt a bit “worried” not to have any hunger feeling so checked this by calling a nurse and she recommended to continue to take it easy with “hard” food. Choose white bread, pasta, rice and avoid vegetable or fibers. Wonderful, on my carb depletion day… So after talking a bit, she said I could have eggs, boiled fish or meat… yeah… just boring stuff! The afternoon continued with more work and after last meeting of the day, time for massage. This time it was not painful (almost). Cannot understand he is always finding spots which are not making themselves heard until he pushes them… But it was fine. Back home and a bit more work before starting the real stuff: PACKING! All the hand-luggage (race outfit and shoes, gels, passport, hair-stuff…) were already ready since yesterday. So this evening it was just to get the little clothes needed for the days I won’t race. SOOOOO nice to take out bikini, sun glasses and sun cream. Hopefully the weather will be nice then (it has actually been cloudy and raining last week…). Now I am just turning round round round like a cheetah in a cage and seriously it ain’t fun! The plan will soon be to throw all in the suitcase, switch on the tv and try to fall asleep… Any suggestion otherwise?

So carb depletion day 1? sure! not really planned this way. But feeling fine (in comparison to last year when I was actually sick in my stomach). Keeping fingers crossed that tomorrow the carbs will be liked then! Still have to think how to lay the race… but this can wait until Friday morning 😉

Dubai…3days and a few hours to go…(shall I start screaming now?….)

History repeating itself? (the sequel…)

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

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

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

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



Short long run, but still a long run

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

Tired tired tired…meaning bedtime now!

What is one more day under the snow…if not one day closer to next Friday? :)

6:55am, pre-alarm kindly helping the brain to wake up…the first thing coming into mind then being: “let me cross the finish line in exactly one week from now!!!” 🙂 Then the day just started…

Already white outside, no need to check. Easy start, with breakfast in front of first task for work. And the day just went on…and on…and on. Meetings, preparation, explanation, planning, more preparation…all to get finished before next Tuesday and ready for my return on Monday (because of course the world never stops turning when I am going to a race… I wish!). Been frozen all day long, despite extra pullovers and warm tea (maybe too many…). Lunch time arrived and it felt like sushi should be on the menu. But with unconfirmed meeting right after my lunch break, I instead warmed a waffle with nutella and a banana 😛 THEN I went for sushi after my meeting. Pretty snowy and slippery on the pavement so I bravely walked on the road instead… Lunch completed quickly so picked up my package…NEW SHOES! Yippie! With yesterday’s parcel with 4 new shorts, today felt like Christmas all over again 🙂 The only catch was that I cannot try any of those new apparels due to the rubbish weather outside… So might spend the weekend in short tights and running shoes inside my home 🙂 If the weather continue this way, it’s gonna be treadmill instead. Not a chance I put myself on the icy snow those days! And the other positive with this potential treadmill session is to use my new shorts (probably the only positive with treadmill in winter!).

Now work day& week are over. Hot bath after dinner (spinach purée with potatoes and parsnip with thin beef slices and garlic. Tomatoes as well to have the plate a but colourful 🙂 ). Then time for more rest with scary movie (if I don’t fall asleep before…).

Now it really starts to feel under the skin… No pain in the hamstring (should be said reeeeeal fast so it does not change!), but really…WHY this wait (when I could be running right now OR tomorrow morning…). With the tapering comes next week the carb depletion (not looking forward to) and carboloading (yoooohooo!). And of course, travel and race and sun and…more rest afterwards!

Dubai…less than 7 days to go…the final week started…

History repeating itself?

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

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

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

9 days to go and snow on the tracks…

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

So countdown? check!

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

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

Dubai…9 days to go…


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Travel, shorts, tired, snow and frozen toes…

(Week 021213-081213)
Second of two heavy workload weeks…and some travel…and bad weather…training in all this?

As usual started the week with…a Monday. Less usual that it started after threw hours sleep and as early as 4:00am. Time to get the cab to the airport…business travel. Planned a rest day as I was travelling through 3 airports and one ocean before reaching my destination. Had compression socks to ensure (?) the legs would be fine. Lots of drinking (water!) during the flight, resulting to lots of walking to the loo (high price to pay…). Real boring flight so was happy to reach three Big Apple …it was a little more than a year aso I was there and…not allowed to run their marathon 😦 after the 3 hours wait in Oslo, had to be added an extra hour in NY (meaning 4 hours wait there!)… No need to say I could think of plenty of other ways to spend 7 hours today instead of waiting for my next flights… No possibility to run as I had my laptop in my backpack… Got finally to my destination, got a rental car (automatic….)and got to the hotel. My calves felt pretty tired and when taking of the socks, they appeared like double-sized… Decided then to get a short run on the dreadmill… More boring than that, unsure it can be found! Got up to a 5K, struggling with the pace and distance not being in metrics. Anyway, a good night’s sleep, I thought….
And there came Tuesday…at 3am in the morning…and impossible to sleep more. Decided around 4am to go up and head towards the gym. Once again, struggling with distance and pace, got a 12km (I think?) but so much sweat for this and according to the dreadmill, not at all fast! Got to ask a runner coming with a front lamp into the gym where he did run. “On the motorway” he answered… No kidding! “if you run early enough, the traffic is light” he added… So no, there was really no alternative to the treadmill. Long work day, dinner with colleague and to occupy the evening…stupidly tried to get on the treadmill again. Got to a 5K and seriously? Got so bored I even start to consider the motorway was after all not such a bad idea…
Wednesday got me up early…again with first meeting at 6am. Little ache in the middle of the left knee so sloped the run, especially with the loaded agenda for the day. Great day btw, ending at a Japanese steak house with colleagues.
Could have had a nice and long night’s sleep…if not for the online conference starting at…5am on Thursday… Therefore second rest day in a row. Work day a usual, having around 2pm the feeling that my head was getting closer and closer to the keyboard…a nice large coke kept me away from the jetlag 🙂 and them it was already 6pm (EST) and time to fly back home via Chicago and Copenhagen. Slept on all flights 🙂
So when the snowy landscape welcomed my plane on Friday…I was well awaken, with really swollen calves and hungry a lot. Spent a bit of time with my legs up to reducer the swelling (strange as I had my compression socks in the planes…), but could not hold more and got out for an easy 10K run on slippery surface… Great to be home!
Saturday got a more slippery run, but got a nice pace on those 15K though. Was a bit concerned for not having run well nor long in the US, but this day was fine. No evening out as planned so it turned into pizza in front of a scary movie instead..Tricky to get to bed before 3am…
So Sunday started later with easy and light breakfast and to my disappointment,… a white cover of snow had and was still falling from the skies 😦 😦 Changed to my running gear, left knee making itself heard (i.e. not willing to go out…). Two layers of clothes later and ice pikes under the shoes, time to go for the weekly long run… Stopped after 1km into a shop to get a plastic bag for my mobile as it was “nicely” (read the irony here…) raining out there. Frozen feet and tours that had lost their feeling… This is a description of my km2…onwards! Got to run on little icy parts, but the worse was the snow, the wet snow, the water pools everywhere, the cars passing by and making me wet (or more wet…). The motto during the run was from km2 “only 20km to go”…and no it did not change until reaching km10..when it changed to “only 19km to go” (and then deceased every km). Got to run with headwind, tailwind, side wind…you name it. Took of my ice-stuff a few times around the end as there were so snow-ice-free path and I really wanted to test for some speed 😉 Got up to 27km in those conditions. Took a whole under very hot water to get back any feeling in the toes…but so worth it!
Thai massage was waiting for me to complete this day and week…so well-deserved!

And so ended this travel week. The only positive with the treadmill was to be able to run in shorts!!! Not a fully satisfactory training week, but got more than expected from the workshop organised there. So definitely a good week. Two more weeks before Xmas…and then it us soon new year…


Treadmill day! A short one before sleeping…

And what I thought would NEVER happened, did happen today… Not one but TWO workouts on treadmill were completed before dinner. Just get back in time a little to see how this happened.

After a terrible night Sunday/Monday, no need to say that the whole Monday was a tough cookie to swallow… Not that I was really tired, but by 3pm, the brain was wandering on a regular basis and thanks to a very active participation call to the course I attend, I was able to focus. Did ensure to eat regularly and drink water so that for Tuesday (i.e. today!) the body would have had at least the fuel necessary to running. In bed relatively ok-early (9:30pm or so), I just did not have the time to count up to two sheeps before I joined Morpheus in the dream world. Woke up @5:00am and by 5:32am I had already hit…the treadmil. Yes, because the place we are staying is close to a lake and seriously I do have the nose running already (yes, it never want to stop!), had some scary throat alerts during the weekend and do not want to become sick WHATSOEVER before Boston. So despite all my beliefs (!), treadmil it was. A good workout of 12km @4:51/km with the first 7km @12km/h, then 2km @12.5km/h, 1km @13km/h, 1km @13.5km/h and finally 1km @14km/h. This progressive increase was quite welcome as treadmil is pretty boring. There was nothing of interest on tv, so stopped on the children channel, cut the sound and had my music in the ears. So strange to have this music as it was not corresponding to the environment I was running…no tree, no car, no people, no pavement, no change…Therefore I took some songs to be sang and… I sang along 😉 Good workout indeed as until the two final km, I was able (more or less!) to sing the songs I was listening to. The interesting part (if any!) was that this workout saw me finishing soaking wet! So much sweat have I never had while running I think. Did not find the ventilation system in the fitness romm until the end of the workout… Anyhow, body felt fine until the last 3km where it felt a bit of ache in the left hip/back of thigh/bum. But I put that on the pace increase. Low pulse was achieved as well and as the pace increased, the HR increased steadily as well. Nice curve indeed! Quick shower, quick energy and hotel breakfast before one more day at a course…

Later on today, we finished @5-ish pm and jumped into my gear again and headed to the fitness room (same reasons as earlier!). This time was planned an easy 12km, but seriously treadmil is SO not for me that I had to set a little program on my own: the Pyramid of the treadmil 🙂 2km @12km/h, 2km @12.5km/h, 1km @13km/h, 1km @13.5km/h, 1km @14km/h, 1km @13.5km/h, 1km @13km/h,
2km @12.5km/h and 2km @12km/h. Quite fun actually to have these up&down pace changes. The going up went fine (once again, same tv channel and same music in the ear, even though the singing was a bit tougher than this morning!). Reaching the half way of the workout it was pretty tough, so no singing was the rule, adn keep up the calm breathing was the other rule! Had this time my water bottle with me and did take a few gloups during the run. Ended in 13km @4.46/km (1:01:54). This was a bless to be able to run this workout as well the same day. Completed bravely and definitely soaking wet AGAIN! I mean water drops really from the face and upper body. Bläää! Worth a nice and hot shower before dinner with colleagues.

So to summarize this day: 2 workouts on treadmil for a total of 25km 2hrs00min05sec 🙂 Snowflakes have been dancing around during the whole day and I really hope the weatehr will be milder tomorrow so can do my intervalworkout outdoor.

Time for bed as beauty sleep is always welcome!

Boston: 27 days to go… and yes I have started to dream of the race already!

Make it a double!

Woke up early this morning, ready (almost) to conquer the world! Cannot happen to anybody at 5:30am… Temperature showed a nice -5/8°C, although real feel was way under that! Despite my two layers of clothes, my bum and thighs were freezing! For at least the first 4km. Tried to skip the watch and pulse and run easy. Too early for the delicious smell from the bakery factory… Disappointed! Finish the run easy, yes I can also do easy! 10.33km @5.22/km (avg HR: 156 / max: 165). Good feeling, a bit tight in the left hip, but ok. Good stretch and hot shower, then light breakfast (protein drink + banana). Got to start working early.

Good for today, nose was fine, sneezing occurred only once during the day. Had a massage during lunch break. New place. Oh my! This was painful! Once again, no pain – no gain (ya, right!). Will probably go back if tomorrow my body feels fine…

Planned today’s run was an easy 10/12 km. Dropped T at the gym and went for an evening hill run low pulse: back & forth 4 times on the major city bridge, adding some downhill works a well. All with a low pulse. Pretty nice to run this way and see the bridge under different lights. Completed a 13.73km @5:22/km (avg HR: 152 / max: 169). Stretch afterwards, but still now ache in the left bum/top of the thigh. Will see what can be done…


Burning skies... Beautiful


Still burning


I can do blue to match the skies!


Last lights in the skies

So for today, 2 runs which is not common in my training. Had the 10I on the menu for yesterday but had a rest day instead… So wanted to see how it would work with double workouts. Probably better you ask tomorrow and inn Thursday! Funny to se that at the end of the day, both workouts were done at same pace and almost same HR range…


Bridge changing colours


Under the bridge...


Sun going down


Me & the sun going down


Turning ferry


Boston, 33 days to go!

Would you do it eyes wide shut?

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

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

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

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

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

What a GREAT day to run!

How often do you wake up and the first thought is this one: “What a GREAT day to run!”. This happened to me this morning. After an unplanned rest day yesterday (got to go to the opera instead or running the planned 10/12km…), and falling asleep quite late, when the clock rang at 5:00am (I know, I have to fix this!), actually the first move was NOT to snooze it but to smile as feeling really great! Took probably 10minutes for leaving the bed, starting to prepare my gear (half was prepared). Had to charge my watch again (what is it lately with this loosy charging planification!!!) and after taking a nice oat-porridge (+ fresh blueberries – love them!, gojji and oat-milk), I recalled that today was the day of  joint workout with work @6:45am. So I skipped hurrying (not that I was!) and just chilled a bit before leaving to the training arena.

Easy warmup of 3km before arriving at the indoor arena, changed from my winter gear to ASICS Vesta + Dubai 2013 tshirt (way too large for me AND warm!) and off I went for one more km indoor warmup with my colleagues. LIttle pause for explaining today’s workout and a couple of lap more for warmup.

Running drills were just following the warmup:

> (1) Kick-butts
> (2) Skip March run (high knees)
> (3) Kickouts (“Ravellis”)

> (1) only – back to start “side crab run” each side => twice
> (1) & (2) – back to start “pick up grass” every three steps => twice
> (1), (2) & (3) – back to start easy run => twice
> (1), (2), (3) & fast run  – back to start easy => twice

Then stretching easy and time intervals. The plan was to do a pyramid: 1/1.5/2/2.5/3/2.5/2/1.5/1 min with 1min rest between each intervals. Tough indeed. A bit unsure how fast it was as started to count the lap at the beginning but lost tracks… So estimation on 10K pace:

Sträcka Distans Tid Snitt
Repetition 1 220 m 01:00 4:33 min/km
Repetition 2 330 m 01:29 4:30 min/km
Repetition 3 450 m 02:00 4:27 min/km
Repetition 4 580 m 02:34 4:26 min/km
Repetition 5 680 m 03:03 4:29 min/km
Repetition 6 450 m 02:07 4:42 min/km
(missed the start due to pit stop) + 30sec rest!
Repetition 7 450 m 02:02 4:31 min/km
Repetition 8 350 m 01:30 4:17 min/km
Repetition 9 250 m 01:00 4:00 min/km

Pretty tired after that but it was NOT finished! Strength circuit was planned with different stations:

> jump on box
> fast step on low box
> fast run “high knees” on “jumping matress”
> jump both sides of bench (second time: frog down/up)
> fast run “high knees” on “jumping matress”

Each station: 20sec
rest in-between to change station

1min (?) rest between two series

Really tough especially the jumping parts, but pretty fun and done to the fullest! So much smiling all around despite the difficulty!

After that got some tips for stretching my bum/thigh muscle and then just had to jump back in my long tight and run back home. Quite cool to meet colleagues from different organizations in such an arrangement. Got to run a short distance with one of them before heading home, shower, food and getting ready for work.

Oh, my! I was so right when I woke up… Today WAS a great day to run! Now it is evening, dark outside, a pizza in my tummy and ready to watch a movie. Have been asked today how I felt regarding my training and it is a bit tricky. After the interval workout, I definitely feel great and ready but when running TO the indoor arena, I would have said the contrary. 1:36 is to beat and should not be a problem (apart if sick like last year…), but how much is the improvement since last year (compared to both the Semi de Paris and GV,,,)? Will see in 15 days!

All about shoes

At lunch break I went to the shoe store for checking new running shoes.
My purple ASICS GT-2160 [296gr] are fine. Bought in December 2011 – ran 743km with them (give or take!). Mainly used for distance, rarely for intervals and never for long runs. Surprisingly they always have felt heavier than my other pairs of GT-2160, but while at the shop, my personal helper M 🙂 took their weight… and… they are actually a few grams lighter than my pink ASICS GT-2160… IT IS ALL IN MY HEAD, THEN??? He explained that sometimes (and studies have been done apparently on this topic) the colour feels more heavy… well well well, what will the small ones say on this after having heard me complaining over a year on those shoes!!!

ASICS GT-2160 Purple-heavy

ASICS GT-2160 Purple-heavy

My pink ASICS GT-2160 [294gr] are my back-up shoes for races. Bought in December 2011 as well – ran 963km with them… Used for any run from distance to intervals or long runs. Unfortunately while in Barcelona some holes popped up in the net on the front and on the side. I can (and will!) continue to train with them, but it is bothering as this is my back-up shoes… Not much fun if they just decide to break during a race…

ASICS GT-2160 Pink lightgear

ASICS GT-2160 Pink lightgear

My ASICS Gel DS Sky Speed 2 [233gr] are great. Although I have had them for a short time period (bought end May 2012 – ran 622km), I have run 4 marathons, 2 10K and a bunch of long runs and intervals workouts with them. So would be good to have a backup solution just in case…

ASICS GEL DS-Sky Speed 2 - superfast

ASICS GEL DS-Sky Speed 2 – superfast

So the question is: running 5-6 days a week, approx. 60-90km, three pairs of shoes are way enough. WHY are they starting to die on me all at the same time?!?!?

Looked at new models as the ones I have are no longer existing as being from previous years. In order of preference, here are the ones I tried:

1) ASICS GT-2000 tight (T2L5N (2A)): [265gr] great fit, perfect around the feet. Like the first pair of GT-2160 I had. ASIC have some models which are in tighter form and this is suiting great. Good feeling while running. Nice color (white!). Unfortunately my size was not available so tried in slightly bigger size. Might be my next shoes…

ASICS GT2000 (T2L5N (2A)) - nice for the eyes and the feet

ASICS GT2000 (T2L5N (2A)) – nice for the eyes and the feet

2) ASIC GT-2000 regular (T2K7Q): [265gr?] great fit, although slightly less perfect than the tighter model. Good to run in, nothing else to complain about! Nice color (fushia?). Can be considered as my next shoes!

ASICS GT-2000 regular: nice right? Cannot miss me on the road (all black with pink shoes!)

ASICS GT-2000 (T2K7Q) regular: nice right? Cannot miss me on the road (all black with pink shoes!)

3) Saucony Kinvara 3: [190gr] nice and light. Good fit for my feet 🙂 running fine and kind-of stable despite being lighter than GT-2160. Nice color (white, again!). Although they look a bit funny on the side, not going up like the ASICS. As long as I can run fast and stable, who cares???

Saucony Kinvara 3 - the ones I tried had no "stripes" on the toes part... but nice, right?

Saucony Kinvara 3 – nice, right?

4) ASICS Gel Noosa Tri-8 (T356N): [230gr] Nja… a bit unsure right from the start because of… the color (or rightly said colorS!). They are however better than the Kinvara 3 when it comes to stability for my feet.. but really, the mix of colors made me almost sick… Nice sneakers though!

ASICS GEL NOOSA Tri 8 (T356N) - nice for the feet... but seriously what about the eyes???

ASICS GEL NOOSA Tri 8 (T356N) – nice for the feet… but seriously what about the eyes???

New models will come end of February so will see then what to get. No need as said for new shoes right now, but in case one of my racing shoes fall apart, I need a backup!!!


Shoe trying session…

This evening I took my little-tired body for an evening run. I decided to (finally!) go for changing the battery of all my Garmin pulse band. Why not running to the store then? Gears on and off I went. body felt quite tired (Daaaa!) but surprisingly the thigh/bum was kind-of fine. I have had my compression socks all day, can this help? Ran 2.6km to the shop and back home, for a total of 5.57km in 29:40 (avg pulse 146, which seems normal). Will see tomorrow how the pulse curves are looking like… Interval session planned (hopefully the body will have a  good rest and the weather will not be too cold…)

Rest needed now. Eyes are closing themselves!

UPDATE (13/02/13): have added the weight of each shoe. For the shoes I have, it is weighted on my kitchen weight and for the models I tried i took the reference weight from ASICS or Saucony website for female models.

Who’s that (crazy) girl?

Today started early. Once again, clock ringing at 5:00am and body&mind saying stop until 6:00am. Tough night in a way, but let’s start from yesterday…

Went to get a massage as to solve the mystery of my thigh/bum muscle on left side. As he got the pain disappeared in the thigh right before Dubai marathon (thanks again, M!), this was the right place to go for this new problem. As written earlier, the naprapath confirmed (?) this was muscle-related. So since then, extra stretching and massage have been done. But still, after Dubai marathon, I took a full week off running (Yes, I can!) and then a week of easy running. Well, the thigh/bum problem still there. So back to yesterday. 1 hour was booked and seriously it must have been spent 45minutes (!) on my bum/top thigh muscles left side. And NO, this was NOT pleasant at all! I thought I would have bruises but today nothing. And it feels fine. But not normal. This is really annoying as when stretching the right side, it feels it stretching, but on the left side it feels it is “painful-kind-of”. Massage definitely helped, but today’s run reminded me that it is not gone…

Was so tired yesterday evening, after being up early and long work day that 7.00pm was in bed and slept. To wake up 2 hours later and unfortunately unable to fall asleep again due to noises outside. So disturbing night, least said! 6:00am – Ate breakfast “à la Staffan” (i.e. oat-porridge, fresh blueberries, gojji berries and oat-milk). 30minutes later (had to wait while charging my Garmin… How well prepared can you be really?!?!?) and off I went in the morning roads. Weather fine, still snow on the pavement when it is now icy… Skipped the low-pulse thing as it appeared pretty quick that my new solution for pulse band was not working. I put it on my back instead of the front. Seemed to work fine until km4 or so when it showed 97… Not THAT well trained I am! So off and in the pocket and continued, able to sing and talk while running (which was the test for not having too high effort level). Indeed many must have wondered who was that (crazy?) woman running as I generally shout loud when I reach a certain level of running (e.g. after 10k, or after climbing a stiff slope…). So this easy morning run was quite gratifying after 14.2km in 1h12 (5:06/km). Good to be back home, thorough stretch and toe exercises and super hot shower (I know, it might not be good for the recovery of the muscles, but seriously WHO wants to shower ice cold in winter??? even for guaranteeing better recovery it is not my cup of tea!). Forgot as well that I am starting a bit of new challenge as well: hover 2min after each workout. Done it on Sunday and now today. No need to say that after a long run, despite feeling fine while “hovering”, today was waaaaaaaay easier. Will hold 2min until the end of February (as said earlier, after every workout) and will see after Paris half-marathon whether to increase slightly or not. It might as well stop being fun…

Now time to work a bit! Great energy flow after a running workout…


And some still SHOULD like it slow!

After one day travelling back home yesterday, body & mind were pretty tired. Nice talk with an American lady pilot on the way to Frankfurt and long nap on the way back home. Empty suitcase and nap again… So ready for nice and long laundry time in the evening!

So this morning when my eyes opened and noticed it was over 10am, I was not surprised. Breakfast of oat-porridge+gojjiberries+cranberries+oatmilk, water and gear on. Snow it is AGAIN here. So put on my anti-slip and started my long run. Took ca. 1km before I took the anti-slip off as the bike roads were well enough to run normally.

Today was again a new try to run with low pulse. Set the alerts for 154 (once again, I have no clue about what value I should follow!). Biiiiip biiiiiiiiiiiip biiiiiiippp, this is what I was NOT hearing as I had the brilliant “Killing the snow” mix of DJ Eclipse in my ears (how appropriate!). I however received this little electro-chock from my Garmin for each Biiiip! Difficult to keep a steady pace which ensure a pulse less than 154. Run and run and run and run – feeling on the top, body feeling great. The aim was as said, low pulse and 2hours out. Not pressure on pace nor distance (although I still receive the Biiip for each km!).

Lonely road with snow

Lonely road with snow

Sun hiding behind the clouds

Sun hiding behind the clouds

Nice run really, calm and steady (not for the pulse), turned left, then right and straight forward… added a few acceleration (otherwise it would not be me!) but really more to follow the rythm of the music. Had a few slopes as well, which were quite welcome for not making the run too boring. All-in-all, it ended with 24.22km in 2:22:51 (avg pulse rate: 156/ max pulse: 183). Pace was 5:54min/km (!) which is one of the SLOWEST workouts I have EVER done. Unsure it is good for my running steps though. Will continue to give this “low pulse” a try during this week and see whether I enjoy it. If not, I’ll continue the way I used to train, with adding a bit of km in the week training though.

Now time to rest for the day! Tomorrow is a tough day at work and a nice morning run should make miracle in creating energy for the day! Let’s just hope that the snow remains and no ice is coming!

Nice countryside under the snow

Nice countryside under the snow

Me and apparently a sniper aiming at me...(joke: this is the reflection of the sun!)

Me and apparently a sniper aiming at me…(joke: this is the reflection of the sun!)

Back home… Finally?

From Arrakis to frozen/snowy Caladan (thanks for the reference, you know who you are!). Brrr, really tough start this morning.

Body feels fine apart from the thigh. Had to stand quite often during today’s meeting as sitting position made my legs becoming stiff. Drank water as usual, got my tea cups quota back to before the marathon week and fruits during the day as recommended!

Mind feels that it will take a bit of time to get back to normal. Once again after such runs a clear void takes place. Two solutions: go down in depression and hope for the best (!) or -I choose this latter one!- get on with daily activities and ACCEPT the emptiness it feels during a week and start a new challenge right after… Does not need to be a big challenge but something worth doing that will make one proud and happy when completed.

Below are what welcome me on the way back home this evening (could not take a pic this morning, rain outside…) so the question is: remind me why I even come back here?!?!


Evening now with colleagues so work it is for a little longer… So good to be back! 🙂

Final check run

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

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

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

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

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