Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Posts tagged “taper

Sevilla 2020 – M day-2…

Nobody can ever convince me that having an alarm ringing at 3:20am means fun… and still it rang this early today. First night of the week which started before 11pm and did not mean visit to the ER (Tuesday) or the doc (Wednesday) or guys coming to check on the repair on the balcony…no, it meant going up to get ready for taking the cab to the airport…

Backing a bit into time here… After Ironman Hamburg, I wanted (and needed) to have a fast marathon in the legs. A proper one. With good preparations. Started with change of coach for triathlon focus (longing for having my running coach back but 2020 has 2 triathlons planned, hence more specific coach for this discipline). Agreed on one race in September and marathon focus towards Sevilla. Registered to the race before the end of August already.

Fast forward, new way of training, unsure of the quality of my results with this training but confident and truthful in my coach. December got this stupid stress-fracture-like in my right foot, messing up with the whole training. Converting running into indoor cycling in the living room. Back on track in January, but missing the longer runs really. Which in my mind are the key to get those good feelings in marathon.

Fast forward, receiving an email telling I won a contest which meant free entry to Sevilla marathon and the whole trip too… Could not really believe it. Exactly the week I started to look more actively to book my flights and accommodation for the race 🙂 No joke. City Sightseeing marathon challenge got me the best travel preparations as I have after that only focused on training (well… not just training, there is a life as well outside running…). Loooots of running indoors, more than I ever did before. Due to the real rubbish weather (to pick from: rain, cold, frozen asphalt, storm, wind…).

Fast forward, spent the last week trying to avoid people, which did not result work with one day at the office full of meetings, one day at the hospital for E and a few hours at the doc… yeah…life getting kind of in the way…

Too early to take the first tram and bus to the airport, hence the taxi @4:20am. Forgot my bagel at home. Good I took 2 single bags of sport drink and one bag of gummy bears with me… just in case. Meeting a colleague at the gate. We discovered each other a few weeks earlier through job meeting and leading to running talk 🙂 that we would go to the same race and with the same flights… Boarding and meeting the smile from Musse who also runs on Sunday. And Micke Ekvall is in the plane too… Wow! Talk about flying with the stars!

Slept all first flight. Dead tired indeed… Munich airport is joining Frankfurt on the list of the most boring airports in the universe… Toilet stop. Bagel purchase and time for second flight. Don’t dare to eat the stuff there. So preparing the second sport drink bottle and start digging in the gummy bears bag. More sleep soon…

Finally Sevilla, its sun, its nice people, its marathon… Got picked up by Rosanna from City Sightseeing and that’s when the real experience began 🙂 First a few pictures at the airport, then taxi to the hotel with a few detours to show me a bit the city. Free afternoon until the two other winners of the City Sightseeing marathon challenge arrive this evening. Dropped my stuff at the hotel, walked a little around. Quick visit to Decathlon to get some soft pants, then food hunting. About time… Too much to choose at tapas restaurants, so settling for Japanese. Sushi, bao and curry noodles, topped with some Aquarius drink. Maybe on the low side for total energy intake so far, but ok. Sunshine means staying out. A bit of research based in Rosanna’s suggestions and I started to walk towards Torre del Oro. Impossible to miss the green lines on the asphalt. The race vibes have started. Walking over a little tunnel and seeing the green lines are getting into it… Yeah… they said it was a flat route… and this happens around 2.5km after the start… and to be run TWICE as it will also be the for the second loop… Ok. Better knowing it now that discovering it on Sunday… Resting and sunbathing a while closer to Torre del Oro after having admired the building for bull fighting.

Time to get back home. A bit of shopping and then testing those legs. Faking asleep a while. The two British guys arrive with 30 minutes delayed flight. Real nice to meet them: Shaun won on his story and Nathan on his best tune (2:28!!!). Laura and Zoe are also with Nathan for this weekend adventure. Late dinner at a tapas restaurant with Antonio, Lauren and 2 former winners from last year edition.

Now it’s midnight. Really time to sleep!…


10 days to go and still…

not really willing to slow down. Tapering is an important part of all training and it generally goes well (apart from the two days of carbs depletion…). But today, Oh, my!… it feels like the day will never end.

Up early (but not THAT much), resisted to the impulse to jump in my snickers for an early run (and the temperature shown on my mobile was indeed helping on this…-10ºC…), so nope. No early morning run. Breakfast with three croissants and a tea 🙂 (one croissant was not mine, and how do you explain with a smile that “well, I will take the last croissant…because I am running a marathon next week”?…Not sure it went home 😉 ). Started work and at first break took a VSA leg*2 workout (cut it into two as I had a meeting starting then @9:30am, but the meeting finishing slightly early I could complete the workout). Then more meetings and by lunch time I decided to take a little longer break. On the floor for a “plank variations – 50sec” serie. A bit tough to reach the 50sec, but when it is done, it feels so good! Then into three layers (!) of clothes to go out in the cold. Temperature expected to be -6ºC (real feel -11ºC!). Once again, did not like really to have the extra layers as it feels like running with a diaper almost and the legs movements are a bit slower and strange with all this (OK, I could have skipped the compression socks, but it felt good to have). Wow – so cold when getting my little nose outside. Great investment to have neck warmers (and yes, I still look like a thief, but seriously…to you saying that: would a thief have bright colours? Apricot bonnet, blue mixed tights and sometimes colourful neck warmer?…I don’t think so!). Back to the run: took approximately 3km to get a nice warm(er) feeling in the body, keeping an easy pace and just letting the legs following the music. Had never run more than a couple of time on this music and it suits perfectly for “brainless-activity-and-legs-in-control” runs! Nice enough there was no wind, which made the layers of clothes a bit too many, and once again I thought about stopping on the side of the road to strip off my long tights (nobody would really notice I run in winter underwear, would they?). By km8, I stopped briefly for light stretch. Then did some drills (have in my new year resolutions to do drills at least once a week… so as good to do it on Mondays, so it is done 😉 ). Real fun to do, especially while watching the cars passing by and looking at me with this strange look saying “what the *** is she doing?!?!”. Then continued my easy run, up the hill and down the hill, when I realized I took another route which would make my run 2km longer…On a regular day, why not. But for tapering, I should really not take extra mileage…shouldn’t I? So the alternative were: 1) run the extra 2km home, 2) stop right there (almost) and take the tram home or 3) walk back home the 2 last km. Alternative 2 is not existing in my mind if not injured, and alternative 3 meant freezing my bum for 2km… so there was really no other alternative but to run home 🙂 Easy paced 14km in a cold city. All good then…

Quick stretch after the run, hot shower and smoothie+banana before starting to work again. 1hour later, got the leftover of goulash soup (Hmmm, delicious the first time and re-heated is even better!) and …. continued to work. By 3:30pm, it felt my day had been already 28hours long and my legs craved to go out and run…. But no says the head, extremely firm and decided… Sitting and working on my Pilates ball all afternoon to avoid any potential pain/ache in the left hamstring… which worked fine.

But seriously, now workday is over, night is on the city and it would feel so nice to get out and run… So strong mind to have for NOT doing it… Looking around to determine what will be today’s dinner and probably will aim for fruits and …fat (?). This is recommended for the tapering weeks to decrease progressively the calories intake and to complete this to have less fat (still for the 20-25% of daily intake) and have carbs instead. Surely I will stop drinking a pint of olive oil to compensate with the carbs… 🙂 I just loved the suggestion on RunnersConnect saying to swap pancakes with butter for maple syrup (already doing this syrup-thing… should I change it to something else?…) or have pasta with tomato sauce instead of cheese (already doing this as well…Start believing that I am generally deficient in fat…NOT!). So anything generally on my dinner table is fully acceptable in my standards 🙂

Time for dinner! and some rest…(Tapering week 1 officially started…yeah…)

Dubai…10 days to go!!!