Monday, 1 January 2018

Review the year

stats of the week: run 44 km

Another parkrun at Franschhoek done, a rather bad one for me. After 2.5 km I took a wrong turn and lost about 20 seconds, after 4 km I had such a bad cough that I had to stop and walk for a while. Finally I was still 13 seconds faster than 2 weeks before.

On New Year's Eve we once more did the lovely Runners Memorial Race. Before the start the speaker reminds the crowd of the runners who passed away during the year. It is a very special atmosphere when suddenly everybody is silent and listens respectfully to the names.

I had two targets. To run sub 40 minutes and to finish without a cough issue. Both were successful. 39:52 means 10 seconds faster than last year. A fairly happy year end.

Stats of the year disclose that I ran only 1,373 km in 2017 but 6,392 km on the bike are a record. Together it makes my 3rd highest quantity ever. My focus for 2018 is on running as I am the youngest vintage in age category 65 now. 

Happy new year everybody!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

More races, more medals

stats of the week: run 39 km, hiked 17 km

I can't remember that I ever did more races within such a short time. We completed our fifth race within 16 days in South Africa. And five more to come.

I tried not to run every event with full power but have to admit that doesn't work. You always find rivals to compete with. I lost twice. At the Sundowner 10K in Cape Town I raced a dramatic finish with an age group fellow who was faster than me at the very end. At the next parkrun I succeeded to be faster but lost to another age group rival. All good things are three, we say in Germany. At the Tokai 16K I was able to run off my rival after he overtook me after 12 km but I stroke back strongly.

More medals got at the Sundowner.

Another parkrun at Franschhoek.

Long hike around Jonkershoek Nature Reserve.

Country clothed at Tokai Manor House Run.

Framed on Signal Hill.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Racing South Africa

stats of the week: run 26 km

Did my second and first officially registered parkrun at Franschhoek, South Africa. It is such a simple and friendly event. Some 100 people gather at the start line, many youngsters, some dogs, old and young, fast and slow. A volunteer greets them, then counts "3-2-1 enjoy" and off the pack is.

At the finish line you present your personal bar code and a couple of hours later you receive an email showing your result and a link to a complete list including age groups, age graded time and the number of your park runs so far. As it was my first one I got also congrats to my PB. Hope to beat that next Saturday! Anyway, age graded I was placed 7th overall.

The only backdrop was that I sprained my left foot after the first of the 5 kilometers and developed some pain afterwards. Not too bad, so I could work as C's pacemaker next day at the 10 K race in Atlantis, north of Cape Town. It was quite a big event with almost all runners doing the half marathon while the field on 10 K was just around 100 participants. We are happy to store another SA medal now.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Many races out of season

stats of the week: run 38 km, gym 3 h
stats of the week: run 41 km, gym 3 h

Two more 10 K races done at exactly the same pace: 4:49 min/km. The last race was on a tougher course so I can conclude that my performance improved from week to week. Three 10K races within three weeks - a program I haven't performed for many years.

The runner in front of me is the winner just crossing the finish line.
He has lapped me twice on the 1.5K lap.

A happy third-placed old man.

Meanwhile I am off for a Southern summer holiday at the Western Cape and studied the local race calender which offers no less than 9 races within 4 weeks. No question I will not be able to race all of them at peak performance. But I will try to use them at a high key training and enjoy the South African atmosphere when people of all colours gather to run together and have fun.

On the political side of this beautiful and capable country we are curious how the ANC summit will decide next Sunday. Many hopes go with Mr Ramaphosa as the new ANC president and the country's president in 2019 or hopefully earlier.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Promising test

stats of the week: run 40 km, gym 3 h

It was another decent week of training closed by a 10K race. The Blumensaat Lauf offers one of the fastest route profiles in the local region.

However my goal could not be to run a really fast time but build up abilities to cope with some kind of speed. So I started the race cautiously and kept to a pace that still felt somewhat comfortable.

I am happy with 48:55 and hope to cut off some seconds at oncoming events. Age graded it is sub-40 level, so not bad. But note that the winner of my age group clocked 41:19 (age graded 33 min).

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Back on route

stats of the week: run 42 km, indoor cycled 1 h, gym 3 h
stats of the week before: gym 3 h

As expected the muscles hurt for a while after the marathon. It took me one week to get back on route again. Now plans are to build up acceptable capabilities to run the end-of-year races.

Next 3 weekends there are three 10K-races waiting. First two I regard as training sessions. Then the third one has to be run with full power as it is the one to compete with local fellows.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

US experience

stats of the week: run 56 km
NYC marathon: 4:22:56 h

3 weeks in the US are almost over now. It's no secret that Yosemite National Park is worth a visit. I can confirm it. Luckily I was able to do some longish hillwalks taking in the most famous views.

My holiday culminated in running my 10th New York City marathon what was also my 50th marathon overall. I was happy to keep 10 min/mile pace for the whole of the distance after I fell short of doing any long run in the weeks before. Due to the colours of my buff I was greeted as a South African several times. I look forward to coming home in 4 weeks.