Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “Swimming

Race Report – Öloppet Sprint – 2015/08/01

Or… Tale of a “swimclimbwherethef***istherunpart” race…
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Planned: Get around in a good time, test this swinrun thing, have fun

Actual: Experience is what makes us grow, right? Yaaaa…sure! Some experiences ain’t really necessary maybe. But done is done!

Let’s start with numbers:

03:06:35 – time it took for getting us round the route

9 – place mixed team

35 – place total

22425 – length in meters for the whole race

2610 – total distance for the swim

19815 – total distance for the “run”

200 – total of teams registered to the Öloppet Sprint

374 – number of times I said “Sorry” to Johan when not keeping up the pace

218 – number of times I asked Johan to slow down or wait

0 – number of time I thought about dropping of the race

57 – number of times I swore in French during the race (among which 4 were done out loud. Rest was in my head…)

5 – number of times I swore in Swedish during the race (3 out loud, rest in my head)

1 – number of times I fell on the face during the race

54 – weight Johan was pulling throughout the race (mostly during the climbwherethef***istherun parts)

48 – number of small cuts detected and undetected on the hands, fingers, thighs and other parts of the body (more to be discovered I assume – always noticed when in the water)

4:13 – pace of the last 1,6km of the race to the finish line

7*3cm – surface for the bruises on the left knee

6 – number of mixed teams we passed during the final 2,5km

3 – number of sea swimming training done prior to the race…all in July

OK, probably plenty of other fancy numbers can be found. Let’s start with the beginning of this tale… 2012 (?) got suggested by Anton S. about participating to Öloppet. Sounded like an idea but all places were already sold. More talk during 2013, but unsure would suit with the marathon and other races plans. Quiet then until hearing more with Eva F winning 2013 edition and Johan P reaching 3rd place of the shorter Öloppet edition 2014. OK, just a little push and November 1, 2014 registration was done with Johan P as partner in crime. Eight months later, standing on the start line with wonderful green swimming cap and yellow singlets. 12:00 – start is given. A bit back though.

06:30am – up and breakfast @7:00am with chia+banana porridge and green mix. Water drinking. Never done this race so did not really know how to load energy for it.

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Outfit ready for the race

07:30am – bag checked for the 5th time and ready to bike to the ferry.

07:59am – OK, took way shorter time than expected to get to the ferry and lay down on a bench enjoying the morning sun while waiting for Johan. Nice run snack when he arrived and finally on-board the ferry (and more run-talk).Felt very relaxed and all looked actually bright for the day even the weather! Arriving on Styrsö-island and there were the brave preparing for Öloppet (the long one). We get ourselves registered, got our start-kit and spend the rest of the wait taking our breakfast. Decided to eat a bit as my breakfast was a while ago: bread with omelette and 3 slices of ham + orange juice and tea. Johan got a good breakfast and 3 (or 4?) coffee mugs. Hoping that my stomach will keep the food as it is less than 2hours before start.

11:00am – heading to the changing area (walking up up up and finally getting there). Queue to the loo so decided to skip it and get myself ready, which means: warmup cream with chili on the thighs and calves, vaseline all over the body where there can be friction during the race, suncream which is supposed to be repulsive to jelly fish on all body parts not covered by the wetsuit, wetsuit on, repack the clothes, queue to the loo, more Vaseline, cream on the face (which I wondered for a while whether it was Vaseline or suncream and hope for the latter one), drop the bag, find Johan and head to the start.

11:42am – getting close to the first line. Decided that the first run of 400m+ was probably very fast so as good to be first there. Meeting with people Johan knows. Listening to the final instructions.

11:59:50am – final countdown out loud…

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Öloppet Sprint at start - still smiling!

12:00pm – start is given and the race is on. As expected it goes like crazy fast directly left and shortly after right. Johan is passing in front of me and I follow gladly (hoping that the pace would be sliiiiightly slower afterwards!). Reaching the water I get the rope from Johan and attach it to my home-made rope-belt. Swimgoogles on and off in the water. I think we were quite early in the water. And it did not even feel cold. Johan had shown me the flag to follow on the other side which is the first island t reach. Crazy many people swimming and the rope between us is a very good idea. I got to pull for the first part and then Johan changed as I headed a bit wrong. It feels long but ok. Don’t like having people swimming on each other at the pool and here it is exactly what is happening. But ok.

First island is reached, tricky to get up on the feet as it is pretty muddy (and me who does not like the mud or anything close to it…). Johan is heading directly to the little cliff to climb. Yapp…starting with some climbing, but I follow where Johan’s feet are landing. Feeling fine. I am expecting a good run when reaching the top of the cliff…and meet…more climbing, sliding down the hill, Johan having a good rhythm but the rope between us means I have to follow a similar rhythm. And playing the mountain goat ain’t my cup of tea (and will never be). There starts the first “please slow down”, mixed with a couple of “sorry”. Try to follow Johan’s instructions of NOT slowing down when going down the cliff and just follow (otherwise it takes forever AND I probably slide and fall). Little swim to the next Island Köpstadsö and there…Nope…still no running and more climbing. When we finally get some running, we miss the left turn. I shortly stop for tying my stupid shoelaces (and yes, I did a double knot before start) and we run incorrectly at a really decent pace to find ourselves with 3 other teams in a stop area. Turn back and find the correct path. Loosing quite a lot of places there. More climbing and walking and finally some walkswimwhateveryoumaycallit to the next island. Long swim there (cannot remember much of it apart from that I pulled and then Johan pulled and then I pulled and finally arrived on the next island Asperö. Johan takes the lead and it ain’t easy to get out of the water. Nothing enjoyable that I recall there. Climbing, run on stones (wet ones), happy to get in the parts with real roads to run on…but it is already time to jump into the bloody water again (cannot understand we do that when there IS actually a ferry doing this route 😛 ).

OK, here is a part that I have NO idea where it is during the race, but I think it is before Brännö or before Asperö. There is water ahead so we plan to swim. On with the swim glasses and in the water. Walking a bit, it is muddy. Very muddy. Trying to swim but my hands are touching the bottom and cannot see anything in the water (which is so mud-filled). Decided to skip the swim and do some walking instead, which makes my legs going deep into the mud (up to the knee-like?) which does not make the walking very practical. So question: there is water. You cannot swim and cannot walk. How do you get to the other side? 😦 Not liking it.at.all.

Have to recognize that after the first swim I said “one done, eight to go”, I knew that after passing Galterö we would have gone half the full distance and there was only two long swim left and running. BUT this was when I had checked and studied the route map. Well on place and running, the only thing I focused on was not to fall. Looking at Johan’s footsteps and setting my shoes where he had set his. During a slippery-stone passage (which was called “run”…), Johan advised wisely to run with light steps, spend the shortest time on each stone and go fast. For a while my mind only thought about “light feet, fast feet, light feet, fast feet…”. Worked well! Tips which I followed for the rest of the race. And THEN when we had reached quite a good rhythm on those stupid #%&!!?& stones or whatever, happened what I did not want to happen. I fell. Unsure exactly where we were (no comment on my orientation abilities here: I AM good at orientating myself, but here, no clue where we were and seriously, I was not really enjoying the landscape and only looked at…yes, Johan’s footsteps and calve. He made it looking so easy and light. “Mountaingoat” ability: ON). Arriving at a progressive downhill, almost dried stones, focusing as usual on light steps, quick steps and there comes this guys from the left and “take.my.stone”… Meaning this was the stone Johan had his foot on and just left and that my foot was to use. Now I just got without stone and my left foot just met nothing but the emptiness. Fell fast and quick reflex got my hands first. Right hand got a bad smash on the palm, cannot recall what happened with the left hand but only that it got on a stone as well. The face fell right on a stone as well. Left side. And the left knee hit a stone as well (but mostly because this particular stone was a bit big, otherwise the knee would have been kind-of fine). Remained this way, face on the stones for what seemed forever. Noticed the shadows around of the guys stopping to check on what happened. Johan coming back and asking how it is. Felt terrified that my face was all bloody and with a bone broken. Really did not want to turn on my back then. Which I eventually did. Heard voices, comforting ones. But honestly the only thing I recall was the sun in my eyes, shadows all around, Johan checking up on me and asking kindly how it was. Suggesting to stop for a while. Felt tears in my eyes and hearing myself that we were just to continue. That the knee was fine but the face must be checked. Johan telling the face was not showing anything wrong and no bleeding, that we could rest a while. Seriously, cannot remember how long time took this whole happening, everything went so extremely fast and I just did not want to see my face completely broken. Don’t know how I got on sitting position and then standing. The left knee was clearly hurting a bit after the fall, but the worse was to feel the pain on the left side of my face. Looked at my hand palms. They had been covered with blood since the first going out on the first island and now they had blood and dirt. Which I really did not want on my chick. Which felt really crazily swollen. Johan wisely took a slower pace and was carefully asking how it was. I kept looking around for some water, any water to get on my face for cooling down the pain. But nope. There.was.no.water.anywhere.to.be.found. We did eventually reach the end of Känsö to get into the sea. Must be there we had to jump (and yes, this is on the list of the things I put my full trust in Johan. Just jumped).

This long swim was tricky. Boats on each side, but it was very broad between them. And it felt we took the outside part. Was pulling for a while and then Johan corrected the direction and took the lead. All the bruises, cuts, pain on the face were just not feeling at all in the cool water of the sea. Nice. Skipped thinking about the darkness of the sea under us and focused on following Johan. Changed from crawling to breaststroke as it made my left knee moving and felt actually better. Was able to keep up the pace from Johan, so that was ok. But man…this was a long swim! When reaching the stones, Johan got slightly on the right and off the water. Unfortunately I could not get out.at.all. He pulled but it was too slippery. A guy behind me took my hand and tried to help, but still slippery. He then kindly told me that we did not know each other but would be friend now and nicely push my bum up J Nice and happily on the first stone, I thanked him and noticed we still had a bit of climbing to do. But it felt fine (well, it was climbing on the whole four, so not enjoyable, but we made it worked). We were way off timewise. Checked my watch indicating 2hrs 30 and we were still NOT on the last island. Got to the final swim, which I think went well (and yes, I did not listen to Johan and left myself be pulled. Swam on the side of him, unsure it was good or bad, but at least we reached the final ladder at the same time).

FINALLY, last island. Styrsö. 6km plain run. Starting with a bit of stone climbing, Johan being very good at orientating where to go. Reaching the little harbour, swearing for getting my pullbuyo in place, hearing a friend cheering (always nice to hear my name in a race) and it was on! The feeling on the asphalt under the feet…hmmmmm…so crazy nice! Passing a mixed team and asking whether this had been the last swim and they confirmed it. Johan was strong and running well. Pulling definitely but I felt that I was able to run and keeping up the pace. Not in those stupid uphill that the route had, but for the rest. “2 mixed ahead, we take them” – said Johan. And indeed we passed them with not much effort. Just continuing. Was a bit (read: completely…) disoriented and was not sure how long was left. Turning left and passing one more mixed team. Always this done. And then seeing the arrival…but we had to turn left and up the little hill, very stiff and Johan that still makes the whole thing looking like “piece of cake-running”. Passing two giants walking and I do my best to run up on light feet and mostly front feet. But there is more uphill. WHY? This is an island and not a high one! Getting into the forest or whatever it is. Been there last year, so I recognize a bit. “Keep right” I hear Johan saying and the people we pass are kindly doing it and cheering bit. Passing 2 mixed teams in the woods and more running and finally on the asphalt again and turning left. This is the final km a gal is yelling to us. Yaaaa….sure… have heard that before. We are meeting teams with white singlets, those on the final line from Öloppet. Johan has increased slightly the pace and it feels good to run, passing people and getting some cheerings. Looking in front of us and there is one mixed team – “we get them as well” said Johan quietly and I just agree. Aaaaand done. Last little bump to run and there is this nice light downhill and straight.to.the.finish.line…Nooooooo! there is a mixed team still in front of us. Yes we take them as well. Johan had this extraordinary strength since we reach the last asphalt and he still finds extra strength for running and pulling me. My feet are no longer touching the ground. The mixed team must hear us coming and they turn to look and accelerated, the gal getting closer to her partner, but Johan is just wow-running fast. I hear myself telling him it is too fast but the finish line is just there. My feet get on the grass and then it is only short to the finish. Passing the line. Hearing our names and team name from the speaker. Stupidly short area for the arrival makes me bump into a guy in front of me and falling nicely on the back on the grass. We done it. We arrived. We are finished. Johan smiles and look far from tired.

The adrenaline of the final run made me forgetting about my knee and my face and it all comes back now. Up on my feet. Getting water and a Redbull. Salted pickles. More water. Getting our finisher bag and meeting Johan in the crowd. Hug and smile. Checked at the medic tent. She does not think anything is broken on the face nor on the knee. Nothing can be done. Just wait and see how it will look like later. Got all the cuts on the fingers cleaned up and that is all.

AFTER THE RACE:

Walking back to the change area (i.e more climbing), and yes Johan is correct saying that I am far from being trained for running on terrain, but that the route this year was far from fun as last year. Climbing was just NOT part of the deal. Quick shower, not feeling any burn mark on the body – which is good, meeting Johan outside. Chat and then heading back to the tent for eating. Johan takes an early ferry and I remain on the island for a bit longer. Bike home in the evening then, feeling that my right wrist is not too kind with me when changing the gear of the bike.

SUMMARY: Been there, done that, got the tshirt and won’t do it again. Seriously, some parts felt pretty dangerous and not just because I am not an elite runner on terrain. Saw a few falling and many must have ended with bruises and bloody bodyparts. The challenge of running terrain and swimming in the sea was definitely on and it is done. The second part for the swimming in the sea went strangely better than expected (apart from the disgusting swim-walk parts in muddy water). But the run was far from fun or entertaining. Way more climbing compared to last year apparently and this made the whole experience far from fun. Thanks for Johan it went fine from start to end. Without this incredible pulling force ahead of me, it would have taken way longer time to complete the whole route. The evening was spent with massaging the knee with anti-inflammatory cream and arnica cream for the bruises on the face. Surprisingly the right hand and fingers stopped functioning in the evening, impossible to move them at all. Which felt a bit scary. In the morning they were “fine”. The whole body felt a bit tired and sore. Nothing that could stop from going out on Sunday morning for a long run (heat workout…) however. 🙂


Let the barking dog out until the sleeping lion wakes up (or a fortnight of (close-to) misery…)

Long time no see (this is the obligatory 4 words when no post has been added for a while, correct? :)) Today it is Saturday and hopefully the last fortnight of (close-to) misery will end soon. Let me take you through it…

Started with a Monday which is “pancakes’day” in France and despite all my planning, I woke up too late to have that done before work. OK. Not too good, but there were still some hours left in the day to redeem myself! Left to the office early, having a workshop which I was holding. Better not being late then. Stupid snow and ice still out there on the streets and pavements, so had to be careful with my shoes. And apparently not careful enough when after 500m or so, I slided (?) on a little bump which I thought was snow, but had actually ice right under. Fell on my right knee and my left elbow/arm. Most of the impact felt however in the left shoulder. Nobody for helping to get up (?) until one guy stopped by asking how I was (well, I am on my knees in the snow and apparently not having the winter oufit justifying that I am starting a snowman…what wo you think?…). He was kind enough though to help me getting up (after I asked him to…). Heavy left arm to the office, but more focus on my workshop than my arm then. It was only around lunch that I actually recognized that something must be not too fine. At the end of my lunch with my colleague, I had to ask for helping to get my coat on. No good 😦 Got back to the office and there, typing on the keyboard was making my arm hurt… Right… Left directly to get to the doc. Had to wait for 1,5hour at the drop-in and finally got a check done. Nothing apparently broken, probably the muscles being sored. Still been sent to the xray (twice in the last 6 days!). No preliminary result as I got there just before they closed. Spent a nightmare of night (a bit redundant, but it was really like that!). Had taken some paracetamol as the doc suggested against the pain, and it worked…NOT! Got 4 hours of sleep divided into 3 times… No need to say that Tuesday morning I was a bit tired (understatement…). Worked from home to skip the walking and sliding. Talked to coach for seeing how to plan the training in the next few weeks as the left foot was still not fine and the shoulder was definitely far from allowing any training (well, the doc said ok for bike and swimming). A call to the doc and got the results of both xrays: shoulder “ok” (i.e. no fracture), so have to be patient (!) and rest the muscle and foot “ok” (i.e. no fracture either), so have to be patient (!!!) and rest the foot a while more. No running until the foot is 100% back to normal. Had no chance to try the cross-trainer on Monday, and would probably wait a while before I do, so that the shoulder is fine again. So Tuesday turned into rest day (from training) and indulged myself with a foot treatment. Apparently did not have much to treat, a little dry heels, and got tips for keeping the feet up and running (ha ha ha!). So rest day, with actually a left foot that was half-ok today.

So what about Wednesday then? Got an hour bike intervals (indoor) done and visited the naprapath in the evening to fix this shoulder problem. Pain pain and more pain… when she used the pressure points for solving this shoulder problem, that was FAR from nice. But once again, if this is what it takes to be back on track, I’d say: “bring it on!”. Got to sleep this night as well, thanks to the “horse medicine” prescribed by the doc. Well, it not really “horse medication”, but the way I feel after taking them, make me think that maaaaaaaybe a horse would be taking it and fall asleep as fast as I do! But once again, this is this OR not sleeping at all due to the pain 😦 Thursday got a visit to the physiotherapist who confirmed that “Yep. have to wait before we can do anything with the foot. Bike and water-running… Help yourself!). So headed right after to the gym and got a bike intervals workout once more. Friday and up early for T’s celebration day :), then work and finishing a bit earlier as well. And headed to the gym for…trying the cross-trainer. And yes… the bike has found its king of boredom… the CROSS-TRAINER. OMG! this was so extremely annoyingly boring to stand on this machine…for more than an hour… Luckily, the program was included some intervals, otherwise I would probably have closed my eyes, fallen asleep, fallen from the machine and got to the doc and the Xray once more!!! Not as sweaty as the bike. Foot felt ok. Tried as much as possible to skip using the handles when “walking” to be sure the shoulder would not hurt. Fastest shower ever and then restaurant with flag and fun. Everyone was pretty tired. But celebration it should be, so ended the day with cosy time on the soffa watching a movie.

Saturday started later than planned (but went to bed late and had this horse medication as well 😦 ). On the bike, intervals, sweat and 56 minutes later, was done. This was the same workout as the one done one week before but outdoor, and I can tell that all the joy from outdoor biking was NOT there, when sitting in this gym! Easy rest of the day. Especially because the left should had been behaving badly. The pain was no longer in the muscle (triceps/biceps) but in the scapula on the back. A bit of shopping, finding a place having Gatorade 🙂 In the evening? Impossible to sleep. So on the Sunday, got to book a last minute massage and man!… this.was.not.enjoyable.at.all!!! Cannot remember when it felt that painful really. And if I have trained and the massage is helping to recover, then I can endure the pain as I know it is coming from the training. But HERE… did not do anything to deserved this. One hour later, decided to get a rest day. After all…it was Sunday!

SOOOOOooooo… this was one week. Hoped for having an easy week after that, but nope. The Monday after the massage, the shoulder was still painful, but could bike (so I did. Indoor. still…). So hope was not (completely) lost. And for the fun of it (!), joined colleagues to a spinning workout on Tuesday morning…7am!!! OK this is not crazy early compared to one and other runs I had taken in the morning… BUT… this meant getting there to change and be ready before 7am… No ferry until 7am neither (apart from the one I took, a paying one). Which meant…bicycling to the ferry, wait 7 minutes in the cold and considering whether or not to bike the 5km to the gym (over a bridge…), finally waiting for the ferry, getting fast to the office to drop my laptop and biking to the training center and almost ready on time 🙂 Meeting A there. T had forgotten his outfit and M was nowhere to be found. Matters not, had actually fun. 30minutes spinning, not increasing too much the difficulty, but enough for feeling it! After that it was planned circle-training, but due to the shoulder, I remained in the room and biked for 15 more minutes talking to A. All good. Shower after that and free breakfast. Ready to rock at work before 8:20am 🙂 THAT’s the way to start a good day! Wednesday got an early cross-trainer workout. 45min and fartlek on the menu. Set the “hill” program and off I went (well, I went nowhere as I was on the cross-trainer…). And after that, the day passed… Friday was decided to be rest day (from training). Early up, early work and got to have a massage for the shoulder again. Not as generally painful as on Sunday, BUT there was these knots that the masseur is so good at finding (and which are so painful). So let’s talk about pain: this was not “painful-like-I-am-gonna-cry”, but “painful-like-I-am-gonna-swear-so-bad-that-it-will-probably-hurt-my-ears” (and I did not do the swearing, but bite my lips pretty hard :-(). No afternoon tea as planned, but evening with girlfriends and that was pretty fun. Ate in this Italian restaurant. And by the end of the dinner, I think that most of my brain had checked out and the rest was on survival-mode, using only the little necessary to be able to get back home on bike without falling (the cold outside helped to keep the eyes opened!). Right back home, impossible to fall asleep, so directly on the soffa to watch the end of the Matrix (Revolution, I think. Just loving this movie :)). So no need to tell that this morning Saturday) the eyes were red and puffy and the hair probably would have scared forest-trolls (not the trolls leaving under the bridges, because those ones are crazy scary…). A bit of tea, C-vitamin and swimming suit on. Just got ready to (finally…) bike to the swimming pool for a session of water-running. THIS.IS.NOT.FUN.AT.ALL!!! When you are used to swim, this water-running is no fun. I guarantee! 10min easy (felt like being a little dog unable to swim) and then a little fun arrive (anyway!): 3 times 15 minutes (with 5minutes under tempo, 5 minutes at tempo pace and 5 minutes sub-tempo). And nope. I do not know what is “tempo-pace” when doing water-running. But the first serie felt like testing a bit. The second serie was a bit of fun: I had found a French song which was suiting perfectly the “tempo”-pace. And for the “over-tempo”, I just continued to sing… just faster 🙂 So the final 15 minutes disappeared fast (well, it still took 15 minutes!). Then 5 minutes easy and 10*45sec fast with 15 sec easy. This was nice to finish the whole workout… 70minutes all-in-all. Would never believe I would actually complete it when I jumped into the water! Got a long sauna after that, to relax. And then bike home. Felt pretty hungry (had not eaten anything prior to training… :-() and spent the day chilling out (read: fixing at home, folding the clothes, reading…).

SO, this was how the past fortnight went. No bed of roses directly… But as someone wise told me: “What hurts you today, makes you stronger tomorrow”… Keeping up the pulse and ensuring to keep up the shape…All to be ready when the foot and shoulder allow to get in my runner outfit again.

So I surely have this little barking dog out for now…pretty useful…for now… just wait until the sleeping lion wakes up 🙂


Meet my new “friend”…

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This bike will be my friend for a little while…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sweat, Sun, Sleep, Sluggish and more – in one week

Morning run along the beach...

Morning run along the beach…

After a late evening, went up on Monday morning, planning an easy run. Well, not too early as started around 6:30am… and the sun was already out above the mountains and warm… Not too easy to run then, huge change with home… Despite being along the sea, there was no wind nor air to breathe really. Did a 10km but the body felt really sluggish (yes, “sluggish” is definitely a description suiting well for the last weeks…). The rest of the day went pretty easy with beach, morning gym at the beach club, lunch, swimming-pool (sunbathing part), dinner, evening walk to the sea and sleep… One day done!

So when the clock rang at 5:00am on Tuesday morning, the whole me said pretty easily “nope”. Decide for a rest day. Woke up G&E as they had planned to play tennis at 8am… More sleep for me 😉 Up for 9-ish breakfast and headed to the beach with the hotel bus. Morning gym at the beach club, rest under the sun, sea gym with T and older ladies (pretty fun and not that easy with all the waves!), more rest then back to the hotel and swimming pool, reading and dinner time before short walk before bedtime. Got a back massage from G as it felt pretty stiff after so many days without really training correctly. Second day and pretty tired as we headed towards the pillow before 9pm…

Therefore started Wednesday pretty well at 5am without any problem. Pretty windy outside, sounded great when I saw the sun was not above the hills yet 🙂 The knee feeling ok, time for some running. 26°C at start, easy 4km and decided to get the pace up and went for 6*1km at tempo pace with 1min rest. Felt quite nice (and once again, I fully understand those running marathon @3:4x pace… It is really nice and enjoyable 😉 Completed the run with a few short hills (the temperature had risen to 30°C then) and then back to the hotel, change of gear and direction to the tennis court… 7:10am – already hitting some balls with E. Of course, it was early, but by 8am the temperature had changed from 31°C to 36°C and more than half the court was under the sun already… Breakfast after well-deserved shower and then, beach. No activity as the entertainment team had a full day off… Decided for a “no fried food day” as it had been a bit too much French fries and other dessert or food well fried… Lots of resting under the sun and by the evening, had a very nice tan turning to dark red on the chest and the thighs… Nice with the chocolate colour I got already!… Evening early in bed after dinner. Long day at the beach = tired in the evening!!!

Evening view during dinner

Evening view during dinner

Which allowed to go up early on Thursday, well-rested and ready to run. Achilles heels feeling pretty tired in the morning…probably due the lack of activities during the day… After easy warmup, got a serie of 400m intervals done. Ok, only the first two were real 400s as the others were cut at half. Mostly due to the head not really willing to push and scared for hurting the knee (knee which, btw, did not make itself heard 🙂 Aaaaand rest of the day (read: from after breakfast taken @9:00am) spent relaxing at the beach (read: mostly sunbathing, turning on a regular basis, putting suncream for not burning, drinking, eating and resting more…). Actually this type of day feels mostly exhausting… Late evening watching the “black & white show” in the hotel auditorium. Pretty fun and nice 🙂

Therefore Friday was decided as day-off…from running. Up late, breakfast late, at the beach late but just on time for the morning gym. No need to say that the body felt extremely stiff and far from flexible. Doing the gym under 36ºC hot sun making the whole thing not much easier…and as a follow-up I joined for an hour beach volley-boll…still under hot sun. It was after all rest day! Lots of drinking, still not understanding how the body can sweat that much when laying down under the sun doing nothing and then to the pool. As usual, knee rehab and torture massage on bottle. Although it does not feel like torture any longer. Mostly boring to spend 10minutes doing this!

Saturday was the last day planned for training. Motivation was not very high, have to recognize, but wanted to skip running on the last day abroad. Easy warm-up before a serie of 3-minutes fast run. Had to stop after the 4th rep as it felt liiiiittle bit in the knee, but the final four went fine. And easy run up the slope with sun in the face towards the hotel… finally…finished…time to relax a bit! Easy stretch before going back to bed…and waking up with the worse pain in the left calf. Like exhaustion ache 😦 massaged with tiger balm and off for breakfast and easy day at the pool. Yap! ALL-DAY-LONG! Still took time for the morning gym (ouch! for the left calf during the stretch) and the aquagym in the pool (ouch! for the calf when kicking in the water) and played table tennis w/G under crazy hot sun (but not running much, so it was ok 😛 ). Wanted to test Zumba but after 10minutes and seeing all the other women jumping, I decided to stop because the calf wanted me to… and back to the pool and rest…again. Finished the day with dinner, walk along the beach as every evening and then last show at the hotel (yeaaaah… election of the hotel miss….). Time for bed!

Final slope...ALWAYS with the sun in the eyes

Final slope…ALWAYS with the sun in the eyes

Took a longer sleep-in on Sunday because everybody deserves such rest form time to time! Rest day, staying close to the pool, did not even take out my book as it has not been possible to read anyway (I felt asleep for every try this week!). Quite some swimming today and table tennis game as well as shuffle and dart. Perfect final day of vacation under hot sun of 36ºC… Early dinner with a bunch of Dutch people ready to watch the game. Game, crazy finish, getting ready for travelling back home with long bus trip to the airport, check-in, a bit of wait at the airport…and it was Monday, 3:00am and time to travel back home…

 

Summary of the week: HOT, HOT and HOT. Unsure I have ever been somewhere with  a temperature of 43ºC! Lots of resting, lots of sweating, not much running (and most of it being rubbish – I could blame the heat, but seriously I won’t…), too much eating… Good change for body and mind. If only the knee was 100% back…

No one swimming here...

No one swimming here…

...nor here either (until I jumped :) )

…nor here either (until I jumped 🙂 )


Summary of a Worthless Week (with capital W!)

Not much writing this week but nonetheless lots of thinking! A bit of summary for a worthless week, when the hope was to get back on track (but for real!)

Monday:

Easy run of 14km in the morning – nice to have the sunshine. Still feeling ache in the calves and the thighs. Aches from excessive exercises? Really? Cannot be the following of Friday’s bike tour… Not that many days after and a bit of rest in the middle… Compensated with VSA legs (*2) as well as the Advance core workout suggested by Pfitzinger (well, advanced does not feel extremely difficult to do, but let’s call it the same way as in the book…). Eccentric heel raises still done diligently…

Tuesday:

Ouch! Unbearable calves pain… Decided to skip the heel raises but (stupidly) ran to the swimming pool (REALLY easy pace) with GET on bike. back and forth added distance to 7.5km, painful and the way back home was under heavy and steamy sun… The swim tour ended with a lazy 500m swim and a few jumps with the kids. But seriously, should have stayed in bed (or in a bath of cold water with ice cubes as it is supposed (!) to help the calves/heel pain). Not fun night…

Wednesday:

Rest day (from running). On the bike and completed a nice 28.7km bike tour to the islands with the kiddies. Pretty easy pace, calves and thighs making themselves constantly reminded. No additional training on this day. Apart from the outing, not much fun as far from being able to run…

Thursday:

Rest day (from running AND biking). Yes, BORING! Done a thorough core and stability workout, but rest of the day was chilling out and walking to/from the city. Heels not liking it too much.

Friday:

OMG! Already Friday?!?!? Heels feeling as normal, calves as well so went for a morning run (low pulse). Same 14km route as Monday’s (i.e. with hills….). Went pretty well, got the whole run 1 minute faster and the fastest km downhill under 4min/km (Yippie?). But the feet were hurting a bit after that, especially the second toes. Had forgotten that when running with the (2A)-shoes the second toes were getting a bit hurt while running more than 14km (don’t ask why 14km, but it was like this. 12km – OK. 13km – OK. 14km – NOK…). Tried to chill out for the feet after that, but when the run is done early morning and you have the whole day ahead of you… ended with back&forth to town on foot once more. Crazy night – drank camomile tea with orange blossom but seriously if falling asleep 2hours later is the effect… I’ll skip it next time!

Saturday:

Morning run of 10K (with too many hills…which is apparently not good for the … heels ! ha ha ha!). Felt fine, but at this pace, cannot really complain! Sunny, sweaty and tired afterwards. Spent 15minutes of ice cold bath for the feet. Hopefully it helps? Afternoon recovery bike tour with GET of 11.75km ending with pouring water from the skies (and as usual the rain stopped when we crossed the home door…). Calves feeling quite ok so we took a 6/7km walk in the evening to listen to the music from the outdoor concerts in the neighbourhood. Bad night (read: falling asleep difficulties, but once asleep GREAT night… until small tip-toeing feet came to wake me up for checking if it was ok to watch morning tv program…)

Sunday:

Late awakening – yippie? stiff in the whole body, so decided to skip the run I had planned. Breakfast with day-planning and then bike tour to IKEA with lunch break there. Then bike tour along the river until G got a flat tyre and unfortunately no possibility to repare it. So walked to the ferry, crossed the river and then run back home with the bike on the side. Bike tour ended into 25km with easy pace (and heavy headwind on the way back) and a couple of km walk after the flat tyre. Now hot bath, cold on the feet and heel raises. Heels feeling fine, calves are back to normal and thighs…well, liiiitle aching, but will see after a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is back to work, so will see how to get new routines in place.

 

Weekly summary: worthless week really. Had hoped for a little higher volume, probably similar pace (i.e. easy for the heels and calves/thighs), but did not turn out as planned. Counted that Berlin marathon is in less than 6 weeks and 6 days from now… Hopefully recovery will work before that…

 


Mini-Tri for a Rest day?

Friday as a rest day? Sounded pretty good to the ears, especially after the bike workout of yesterday which brought lactic acid in the thighs… But no…

Good night’s sleep despite trouble for falling asleep, the thighs made themselves reminded right away when I got up. Great! When the heel is fine, the thighs take over… Did anyway the VSA legs (*2) workout (tough with the squats!!!) and eccentric heel raises right after breakfast. Nothing planned really so I got myself ready for the swimming pool. Not forgetting that I wished to do a new test run on gravel. To skip waiting for the tram, I biked to the pool (the thighs seemed fine but screamed a bit from time to time…). Today’s challenge (!) was to bike at max gear 5, i.e. not higher than that. This means you feel pedalling in mashed potatoes most of the time… But at least the thighs liked it (I think?)

Well at the pool, I did the following workout:
– Mini pyramid : 1-2-3-2-1 (*100), with the 200s with pull-buoy and plaquettes and the other freestyle.
– (Half) Odd pyramid: 1-3-5-3-1 (*100), with 300 with pull-buoy and plaquettes and other freestyle. Did up to the 500 and stopped as 1) was tired and really needed energy and 2) was a bit bored.

A bit of sauna and direction to the track. Biking of course! Arriving there, the track was empty…understandable as the sun started soon to make this place as a steaming oven… Anyway, I was there so as good to do my test run. 4km clockwise, 4km inverse clock, 3 laps clockwise and last 2 laps inverse clock. Felt quite good… for the heel! Because the left calf was always close to cramp and the right one from time to time. The thighs were constantly at the limit of pain, but rarely broke out. Became soaking wet from lap 2 (out of 25!!!). Stopped after 3laps and at km4 for stretch. Then extra stop for water drinking and wetting the head before the last 4laps (got dried by the sun probably before the end of one lap…). And bike home after that.

So today’s “rest day workout” turned into:
– 12 km biking
– 1900m swimming
– 10km running
(& a lot of sweating, but not measured…).

Back home, all reserved were probably empty since a while! So banana, vitargo yellow to drink right after crossing the door! Then shower and rest under the cloudy sun. Late lunch of pasta, avocado sauce and two eggs. Yummy! With a large glass of orange juice. Refreshing!
Rest of afternoon spent on massaging the thighs, resting the body and mind and a bit of reading.

Tomorrow WILL be a real recovery day (might bike to the sea but reeeeeraaaally easy!)


When water pouring from the skies ain’t enough…

3:00 am – time to wake up at the lovely noise of…water falling in buckets from the skies! No problem it was still early and after all my rest day was planned at the sea and not starting until later…
7:45am – must be kidding me… Still raining and more buckets! Time for a plan B… Did I have a plan B? Preparing swimming gear and started a complete core workout. VSA legs, S’s program *2 and eccentric heel raises. A bit of sweating while the rain calm down a bit.
Well at the swimming pool, got to hear the 25m pool is closed for reparation and only the 50m is opened. Not much there, have my own line during an hour 🙂  Done a pyramid: 200-300-400-500-400-300-200. All freestyle, apart from the 400s done with plaquettes and pull-buoy. Good workout  Have not swim that much since a while! Got a walk home to see how the foot felt. Quite ok.
Finished the day with more eccentric heel raises. And time for bed. Hoping for sunshine tomorrow a planning a longer bike outing.

Btw no half marathon in Malmö as the heel does not allow me to run…


Boston M Day-2… AWESOME!

So it was now time to leave hot and humid North Carolina for… cold & gloomy (?) Boston! Travel morning ahead of me and relax afternoon hopefully B-)

Up at 6 am this morning after a good night’s sleep. Aimed to the pool and got a nice and cool 30 minutes easy “workout” (not much of a workout really, free style back & forth). After a quick shower and throwing in the suitcase all the stuff that remained spread around the room, I aimed for breakfast… OMG! SO many people there… Long queue for getting eggs, but ultimately I got my 2 eggs, 2 pancakes with hot syrup (double Yummy!) as well as fruit plate, orange juice and my soy milk with chocolate (which I drank directly from the bottle… Shhhhhh! Don’t tell!). Quick back to the room and missed the shuttle to the airport by 2 minutes (Yeah!), long queue at check out, starting to stress me out, but ultimately got to the airport.
Lovely ladies checked me in and then waited for my flight.

AWESOME day really! As my running friend E would write in his race report from Boston 2012, the word “AWESOME” was on everyone’s lips. Did not have any at my arrival in North Carolina, had one day without on Tuesday and… it started then to RAIN awesomes during the rest of the week. Did not count how many times it was said to me on Friday, but the words “Boston marathon” seem to appeal for them! Sun is shining, feeling liked smiling to everyone (& everyone I smile to might think I am high in something…), tummy is happy, body feels great.
I AM GOING TO BOSTON TODAY!

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My destination is... BOSTON! (and this is apple juice, nothing else!)

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That high I feel right now!

Finally New York… Last time I was there, they canceled the race… So this time, just flying by 😉
One apple in the go and reaching my gate. Soooon Boston! Have spotted already a few runners for the marathon. How? Pretty simple: running shoes, runner’s passport of the Boston marathon in the hands, bag from other marathon on their back, reader of RW, wearing tshirt with “More than Sport”, drinking an insane volume of water.. or all that together! AWESOME to be there! Almost feeling like belonging to a secret tribe…which come in all shapes and flavours!

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30 minutes to go!

Yes, here comes one runner with Brooks Green Silence. SAVE BGS!!!

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Brooks Green Silence! Please do not disappear!

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BOSTON!!!!!

NOW we are talking!

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What a welcome!

Eager to get to the hotel already! Took the Silver line, then the Red line, and the Orange line. Starting at Hostelling International Boston. Sharing room with 5 other females, maybe some will be runners…
Meet S as planned and direction to the expo. Lots of people.

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Entry to the expo

Pickup of the number and then tshirt (had to change size as CA was way to tight).

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Marathon route

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Thanks!

Saw Kathrine Switzer, first woman to have completed the Boston marathon, and who was running there illegally (yes, women were not allowed then to run marathon…). Cool!
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Tried some clothes from Adidas, but size not fitting, so no purchase! Went round the expo, stored st Brooks, but no Green Silence… Watch a film in the Boston marathon route and then crossed the finish line 🙂

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Finish line! Yippie, what a sight!

Aimed with my guide S to a Vietnamese restaurant and took chicken with vegetables and rice.
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Mums!

Then direction hotel. Discussion about planning for tomorrow Sunday and back to my dorm room. Meet Andrea from Florida who has been here this week in a tea class. Cool! Now in my bed, two girls just took the middle beds. Have prepared my running stuff for tomorrow AND now time to sleep.

Boston, less than 36 hours to the start!


Tapering for Boston: 5 days to go…

OMG! Is it really 5 days to go only?!?!? Seems like yesterday I was writing that it was 30 days to go…

Today full rest. Annoying ache in the thigh/bum muscle, requiring patch all day long to be able to reduce a bit the pain. Started the day with jumping directly to the pool. Small one (15m?), decided to take the safety first and do no turn around to avoid possible hitting of the side and risk for hurting the ankle (This has probably happened once or twice in the past, not hurting the ankle but hitting the foot on the side of the pool as it is to the level of the water…). 30 minutes turning myself into a dolphin and off I went back to change for breakfast. This morning was a special treat: omelett with spinach, mushroom, tomatoes and slices of crispy bacon, a plate of watermelon, 2 pancakes with hot sirup (YUMMIE!!!), tea and orange juice. Once again, unsure when we would be eating lunch as holding a course all day. Experienced what Espen talked about while he came last year to the Boston marathon, that everybody was finding everything awesome: the ladies of the morning service have said at least 4 times the word AWESOME to me this morning (and I stayed not THAT long at breakfast!)

Morning work, arrive lunch time. A colleague drove us kindly to a thai restaurant which was GREAT (sorry, Espen: AWESOME!). Lunch turned out to be a thai soup (delicious) and mixed vegetables+rice+chicken. Great place! More work in the afternoon and another colleague brought me to try some very American food for this area: we stopped by a BBQ place and ordered Chopped BBQ pork with pintos and coleslow as well as hushpuppies (yummie as well). And YES, I did accept the offer to have a dessert. We shared two fruit pies (one strawberries and one peach). Not really pie, but more like tatin, with dough or cramble pie with dough instead of the dough. Cannot recall what it is called though. But delicious to have with vailla ice-cream. Yes this was an explosion of food, sounds like, for today. Did resist to eating the sweets that another colleague had bought for the course (ok, I took 2 “fun size” twix and a “fun size” M&M’s bag). Lots of water and tea during the day. Tomorrow start the first day of carb depletion, i.e. reducing the carb intake to the maximum and get instead increased intake of protein and fat. Will see how it goes!

Time for bed – eyes are closing themselves now 🙂

Boston, coming soon – in 5 days all will be completed!


Recovery day 1…

In bed at 2am, up at 7:30 am, off bed 7:41am… Slept tight though! Not much to do so went for breakfast… a REAL one!
Thought my hip had been hurting all along since yesterday but the more the day went the more it felt back as earlier: back side of left thigh just under the bum. No picture as nothing to see really! 🙂

Woke up with this today...

Woke up with this today…

Correct breakfast. right?

Decent breakfast. right?

As soon as up from the bed, did mail the Boston marathon about my new time (had received en email the day before Dubai marathon, that if wished to seed with a better time, the deadline was soon… Great as I already updated this seeding time after Berlin and now after Dubai (and no, there won’t be another update before the deadline!)

Chilling in front of my laptop after breakfast and then aiming to the supermarket before beach time. Not much happening there neither. “Creaming” up the body, carefully, especially on the burnt zone (which I cover to avoid direct sun), turning every hour… Read only little, ate 2 half baguettes with chocolate with hazelnuts (not to smart when sunny and warm to have chocolate in the bag…), drank also iced tea and water. Between two turns, did try myself to the sea… Brrr, so cold (really!). But once in the water, took some length and trained the legs. So nice not to feel the ground and being so light!Soooo rested when the afternoon finished. Quick shower at the beach and then feeling the legs, feet and thighs were fine, decide to walk back home. Easy pace but quite tactful. Barefoot after 1 km as my blister behind left foot was no longer protected and the shoe made it painful. Once again my estimations were erroneous and had to walk more than planned. Body fine anyway.

Carefully cleaned my sores, and now resting. Was a but hungry but not wanting to go to the mall so checked the restaurant but a but early so was empty. Ate my cereals instead for dinner. Now feeling pretty tired surely due to the sun. So bedtime it is really soon(7:40pm!).
Tomorrow have to leave my room at noon so have to fix some stuff before the beach and visit to Burk Khalifa (end afternoon). Probably will spend my evening in the Mall (they close at 1:00am if recalling right!)

Summary first day of recovery: does feel that I ran yesterday. Would have been home, would have gone got a foot & body massage. To be booked right upon my arrival home! Feet ok, body ok apart from left thigh and blister left foot. Seriously, could be so much worst! Rest it is for a week at least… Training will resume after that, will see how the mind reacts. Feels empty after the race and being alone ain’t helping, therefore the beach! So still incredible what happened yesterday… Looked twice at my medal after getting up and yes, still engraved: 3:11:55

Highly appreciated all the support and nice words of both encouragements and congratulation. Cannot wait to come back home and show to the small ones, although for the rest of the world life has being going in as usual during my stay here… Work, school, cold… What I leave here on Monday is not easy to replace! Maybe I should just stay…

Bedtime now!


Time for swim!

(And I guess this will be the last one in the post serie “Time for…!”).

After a good night sleep (worked late – despite Friday night…), chilling in front of the tv, hover 3*1min as forgot it yesterday evening… light core exercises (even fell when trying to stretch on my Pilates ball… I put more air in it yesterday and now it is to high for me to relax on the back… Fell on the left thigh and was not fun)… and time to get ready for the swimming pool. Have to get a new bathing suit. This one start to get old (but still looking good in it 😉 )

500m cr
500m cr w/paddles & pullbuoy
300m cr w/ flippers

Good feeling, easy pace, sun shining outside (but temperature down to probably -12ºC and if not, must have been this as “RealFeel” temperature). Legs felt fine and that is good. Cut the last 500m to 300m in order to relax in the sauna a short while. Friend meeting and then soccer game to coach. And then it was the end of the afternoon already! Quick food shopping, tacos evening and now ready for movie evening with the small ones.

Dubai is less than a week from now and so far so good! Feeling fine (both mind and body). Wish it remains that way for a while (i.e exactly until Friday afternoon next week!)


Easy day comes and goes

Starting the day with American pancakes can never be wrong! Mixed the last one with banana… Soooo delicious!

Aimed then for the swimming pool where I took it quite easy: 1,500m freestyle, easy pace. Slight feeling in the calf while pushing the wall at the beginning, but fine after a while. Finished with a nice sauna. Banana and clementine with lots if water afterwards. Nice start for the day!

After that chilling at home, oven toast with avocado and half a coke served as lunch. Visit to the city to oxygen the mind and back home with a headache 😦 Quite tired now so the day will probably end soon…


And so this was a brand new and better day

The past days have not really been as expected on the training side. Not too good at 4 weeks before marathon (but better than 2 day before!). But today started well (although a bit early!). Trip to Dubai booked : check!

Decided for a swimming tour early morning (opening at 7am) but seriously… it is still Saturday! and as up early, went back to bed for a short while… which became a longer while! So ready and in the water of the swimming pool turned out to be at 11am instead. Good feeling and great workout.

2*500m freestyle
500m freestyle w/flippers
500m freestyle w/paddles & pull buoy

followed – stupidly? – by a 30minutes sauna… Yaaaa, did not really think about the de-hydratation here… But felt good. Banana + sushi and lots of water after that! + walk tour in town to check for any sales opportunity.
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Back home had a lot to fix and tidy… took a few hours and thereafter got myself ready for an evening run (aka testing the body/mind form). 10K in 47:47 felt good. All paths were cleared out as snow has disappeared and rain has come to clean it up. Still keeping strong focus on the pavement and potential icy parts.

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Ducks enjoying the evening lights

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Unfocused lights of the bridge

Back home, shower and dinner (2 portions pasta from G) and thereafter rest in front of the Lord of the Rings on tv. Time to bed now! If everything fine, longest run tomorrow morning.


Let it snow, let it snow, let is snow…

Up late this morning and after light breakfast we went swimming. Easy workout this time:

1000m freestyle
400m w/ flippers
100m w/ flippers – butterfly legs

followed by a 15min sauna for relaxing the whole body & mind. Ate thereafter at Max (their Low carb burger + French fries and coke 🙂 ) and then last Xmas shopping before back home.

Today was a rest day and was not planned to have active recovery, but following the thai massage from yesterday afternoon, the thigh felt fine (little-little feeling still, but nothing alarming as before). Swimming was feeling like a bless really, despite the cool temperature at first. But as F said wisely: “swim a bit, you’ll warm yourself!”. Regarding the food afterwards, no real bother to have a burger, just did not feel like cooking (on the top of cooking lunch would have taken a while, so this was the best alternative).

Evening dinner with smoked salmon and boiled potatoes – Mmmm! so nice with butter on the top. And finally some last Christmassy stuff to be fixed before bed time. Will see if tomorrow is allowing for a bit of running as the skies decided today to bring us a thick white cover, nice to walk on, not too nice to run on!


The power of the water might be stronger than expected…

Intervals left a bit of euphoria in the mind but the evening was spent resting in front of the tv (yes it may happen!). So up this morning did not feel like training as rest day it was.

10:30am: change of heart and aiming to the swimming pool instead. Snow had been falling during the night and all was covered by a thick white layer – although not cold (+1ºC). Well at the swimming pool had a great workout:

600m freestyle
3*100m  w/flippers (25 fast/25rest/25fast/25rest)
100m w/flippers – easy
600m w/paddles + pullbyuoy
400m w/flippers – easy

After such a workout, spent a while in the sauna relaxing and then lunch in the mall close to the pool (chicken with potato gratin).  Back home and resting.

Feeling good to have moved a bit instead of resting passively at home (read: watching tv all day from the sofa!). Upper left thigh still a bit aching,and stretching not helping. Hope this disappear for tomorrow’s long run… Now Lucia concert before early-bed evening 🙂


And it was Sunday again…

Cold this morning when went up after a really good night’s sleep. Discovered – not too happy – that the swimming pool I was planning to aim to was 1) opening at 11:00am and not 7:00am like the rest of the week and 2) the 25m-pool was closed due to a race…

So rest during the morning and went to another pool. See below my accessories when swimming today 🙂

Swimming accessories

Swimming accessories

The workout went super fine: 2000m in 38min:

1050m freestyle
3*100m w/flippers (25 fast/25rest/25fast/25rest)
50m freestyle rest
100m freestyle regular pace
300m w/paddles + pullbyuoy
200m freestyle rest

Perfect session, felt great and smoothly felt like a real dolphin in the water:) Ended with a nice sauna and then lunch at Subway.

Rest of the afternoon reserved for little shopping and chilling at home. Now it is dark outside (again) and feel quite tired so early bed it will be.

>> One word for this week’s training: GREAT!


Grey day is Swimming day!

Not really, but having run longer yesterday, decided to aim early this morning to the swimming pool, instead of either running again or resting completely. Good choice, as went really fine.

Easy workout (yes, it is still a workout) as follow:
300 – freestyle
300 – w/ flippers
300 – w/ paddles + pullbyoys
200 – w/ flippers – 25 under water 75 freestyle 25 under water

Good swim and good feeling afterwards. Really relaxing and apart from the swim with paddles which really show that my arms needs some serious workout (!), it went really smoothly. Planning to double the length next visit to the swimming pool, keeping the pattern of 300m.

Now time to rest for the evening before tomorrow’s long run.