Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Hope dwindling

stats of the week: run 9 km, cycled 394 km, hiked 4 h
stats of the week before: run 28 km, cycled 145 km, hiked 5 h, gym 2 h

Did the Oetztaler Bike Marathon within 3 days and still can't imagine to complete it in just one day. It is no problem to ride up the infamous Timmelsjoch in its own, but to get up there after you have already done 3 passes and sit on your bike for 7 hours, it's a challenge too big for me. I don't think I will be able to do it. My target is to get as far as 2 years before when I climbed the final pass for 12 km (of 29 km) where I called it a day.

Even in 3 days my total time of cycling was 13 hours and 6 minutes. The time limit of the one day race is 13 hours 50 minutes.

Half way up the Jaufen pass

Nearly at the top of Jaufen

The final stage of Timmelsjoch

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Alpine training

stats of the week: run 9 km, cycled 342 km, gym 2 h

A weekend full of riding summed up to a proper volume of cycled distance. I hope to complete my bike training by some alpine passes during the summer holiday. But being in the Alps also needs some time to do some ferrata climbing and hill walking.

One of the four options to climb Germany's highest mountain - the Zugspitze - is the easy ferrata via the Wiener Neust├Ądter Hut. It's the shortest way but still involves an ascent of 1,700 m of altitude difference. Luckily one can take the cable car to get down again - so we did.



Sunday, 23 July 2017

Improving confidence

stats of the week: run 20 km, cycled 191 km, gym 3 h
stats of the week before: run 18 km, cycled 283 km

Feeling better now with my amount of cycling and confidence is increasing. Only 5 weeks to go to the Big Day. I still need more long rides to prepare properly for Oetztaler.

Plans are to do the official route in a tour of 3 days at mid August to know the difficulties coming up.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Alpine cycling with increasing fun

stats of the week: run 12 km, cycled 276 km
stats of the week before: run 9 km, cycled 291 km

Two alpine weekends with great cycling events.

Modestly I opted for the shorter distance of 106 km and 3,000 altitude meters at the Maratona dles Dolomites. I was a good decision as I didn't feel able to finish the marathon distance which includes Passo Giau, the most challenging ascent. My performance was not really bad, but also not definitely good.

I finished 12 minutes later than last year. At least my ranking was okay just behind half of the field. Due to the cold temperature I had to change 13 times what obviously makes up for the time difference to last year.


At the Bikemarathon Tannheimer Tal I also chose the shorter distance of 130 km and only 900 altitude meters. I had a great day and managed an average speed of 30 km/h which placed me within the first half of the pack for the first time. This event is a fairly small one with only 600 riders on the shorter route. 


Monday, 26 June 2017

A lot of cycling but not enough

stats of the week: run 24 km, cycled 148 km
stats of the week before: run 13 km, cycled 226 km
stats of the week before: run 18 km, cycled 263 km

My this year's cycling target now emerges to be not realistic. I hoped to cycle 7,000 km until end of August. So far I have completed just 3,300. The missing part could only be done by a weekly average of around 400 km. Impossible.

I have reduced running to just one workout most weeks. So I was happy to finish a hilly 15 K race within less than 2 minutes more than last year. However, running and hiking limits time and power for cycling. Recovery is an important part of your schedule if you are in your mid sixties.

This is half way up to St Barbara, a famous and regular climb of Giro d'Italia near Lake Garda:


Good Italian roads in the hills around Lake Garda:


Climbing the entertaining Ferrata Burrone at Mezzocorona:


Mezzocorona is a center of vine growing. We took home some bottles of course.


Thursday, 8 June 2017

Good roads, bad roads

stats of the week: run 10 km, cycled 303 km
stats of the week before: run 20 km, cycled 218 km, gym 3 h

First day of the cycling marathon weekend at famous Bimbach was a success. Legs felt tired but nevertheless I managed 160 km with 2,100 altitude meters on exeptionally good roads in a beautiful landscape. It was an event without timing and results what I enjoyed as it was totally relaxed.

We cancelled the second day due to bad weather and left. While some really hard cyclists finished the 256 km marathon after heavy rain during the first morning hours.

Now we are back to the bad roads but also in a beautiful landscape. Monferrato in Piemont provides a perfect landscape for cycling steep hills.




Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The sides of cycling

stats of the week: cycled 547 km

Had a great time at Emilia Romagna in Cesenatico. Cycling in a beautiful landscape and well catered for in the very friendly bike hotel Lungomare.

I also was happy with my performance at the Nove Colli bike marathon. I have to admit the view at the result list was somewhat sobering. My time of 10:28 h for 205 km and 3800 altitude meters was only good enough not be the very last one. 90 % of all 4,600 participants finished in front of me. And I felt to be fast...


I also enjoyed my rented Pinarello bike that enabled fast and safe driving. Especially the new Ultegra brakes seemed to work sensibly better.


The enjoyment was considerably muted when I noticed that - while I was in the area - two famous cyclists were killed by cars near Cesenatico. Julia Viellehner was a high level German triathlet who was overrun by an Italian lorry. She was 31 years. In a second accident two days later MotoGP world champion Nick Hayden (35) of USA got injured so badly that he died a few days later.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Testing week in Emilia Romagna

stats of the week: run 17 km, cycled 137 km, indoor cycled 2 h, gym 3 h

A fairly proper week of exercising but I still haven't got the confidence to be fit for Nove Colli. My longest ride so far was 105 km, Nove Colli's distance is the double.


Maybe the Pinarello bike will help but it hasn't got a senior equipment to handle the steep hills. I will test it tomorrow on a guided tour that waits with 1,600 m of ascent.


Monday, 8 May 2017

Low level week

stats of the week: run 35 km, cycled 140 km, indoor cycled 2 h, gym 2 h

It was more running than scheduled as focus should be on cycling now. However, it was very low level running. While I got the impression that my cycling is even lower level, after I got overtaken by more female riders than ever. I keep telling myself not to be depressed. At least I extended my longest ride so far to 100 K which is half the distance of the Nove Colli.

Two more weeks to get prepared for the year's first cycling highlight.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

London News

stats of the week: cycled 136 km, gym 3 h

My disappointing performance at the London Marathon provided one advantage. Due to the long stretches of walking my recovery seems to be faster than usual. But will it be fast enough to get fit on the bike for Nove Colli in 2 weeks?

There are some news around the London Marathon while the ballot is still open until tomorrow 7pm.

Adidas is finished as main sponsor and New Balance steps in for 2018 and onwards.

The World Marathon Majors have announced that the series will be extended by 3 more races in a few years. Obviously one of the new members will be in China as Wanda is the new main WMM sponsor. Cape town is another favourite and the third one will probably be in Asia.

And the London Marathon has launched a new London City Half Marathon called The Big Half. 5,800 public entries are already sold out. You can still get in via charity and via the 4 London Boroughs where the race will take place. The Big Half

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

London flop

stats of the week: run 71 km
London Marathon result: 4:17:18

The 37th London Marathon was a big success - not for me but for the organizers. The day produced a record field of more than 39,400 runners and a new women-only world record. Mary Keitany finished a truely brave race after 2:17:01. Even Paula Radcliffe was faster only once and that was with the help of male pacemakers.

Favourite Kenenisa Bekele was not able to fulfil expectations. Midrace he faced problems and fell behind. But he recovered and chased the leading Daniel Wanjiru who strongly defended 9 seconds and made it home first.

For me the story was not top but flop. I tried to be brave and kept to the schedule until 30 km. Then all my power was gone and I had to walk several stretches that made nearly half the way to the finish. I knew I couldn't make it within Boston qualification and preferred to reach the finish line in good health. 5 or 10 years ago I was able to run properly without proper training but nowadays at 64 things obviously are different. For my 50th marathon I hope to be prepared better.

(photos by Isaak Papadopolus / interair.de)









Monday, 17 April 2017

Top or flop

stats of the week: run 10 km, cycled 205 km

The cold turned out to be persistent and still kept me off running. I hoped the mild temperatures of Majorca would be helpful but they failed to do so. At least I could do some short road cycling tours that I highly enjoyed.



With a desperate attempt to get ready for London I completed a very slow jog of 2 hours today. A total of 45 km during the recent 3 weeks can't be sold as a suitable workload. I I feel nearly recovered next Sunday I will nevertheless try to beat 4 hours. Top or flop. When I have to admit that I am getting too slow than time will be of no relevance and I will have a relaxed walk to the finish.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Disappointing schedule

stats of the week: run 8 km, cycled 150 km, gym 4 h

With 2 weeks to go to London long runs are still missing in my schedule. The strained muscle has recovered but now I have catched a bad cold that keeps me off serious running.

At least I was able to cycle during the meanwhile stay on Majorca. There is no better place in Europe to enjoy road cycling than on this Spanish island. Roads are scenic and well-kept, car drivers are more considerate than anywhere else.

However, my thoughts are about running now. Boston qualification should be impossible now after failing to do the decisive long runs to prepare.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Toll of the test

stats of the week: run 9 km, cycled 150 km, indoor cycled 1 h, gym 2h

The half marathon takes its toll now and sends me back with a strained muscle. I tried to do some cycling instead but finally found it not helpful for the process of recovering.

18 days to London.

At least I made a sort of come back today with 2.5 km on the treadmill.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Successful test

stats of the week: run 47 km, gym 2 h

Less than 4 weeks to go to London. My personal target is to qualify for Boston 2018. That means to finish within 4:10 h at least. To make sure to get in I aim to run sub 4 h.

Indeed a sub 4 h marathon would also qualify for London 2018 as I will be 65 next year. I would love to start from the Green Start for the first time. London's Good For Age entries are for British residents only. Moving to Brexit UK to qualify for a marathon sounds silly but it is an option ...



The half marathon in Venlo was my test if sub 4 in a marathon is a realistic target. My time of 1:44:43 suggests that it should be possible if conditions are suitable.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Wintry New York

stats of the week: run 48 km, gym 3 h

Last weekend I saw New York City in a different state than the years before. It was pure delight to run through Central Park in wintry conditions.

Watching the New York City Half Marathon was a new experience, too. It is an event with around 20,000 participants, more than half of them female! As usual with NY Road Runners, it is perfectly organized and worth the visit. It offers the unique opportunity to run across Times Square with a finish downtown at Battery Park. 



Feyise Lilesa of Ethiopia, after 10 km patiently waiting in 3rd position, won the race in 1:00:04 h.


Unfortunately I couldn't take part but would love to do it one year.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Most exciting day of running

stats of the week: run 53 km, indoor cycled 50 min, gym 2 h
stats of the previous week: run 16 km
Kilimanjaro Marathon: 4:59:25 h

Kilimanjaro Marathon photos:

five boys sponsored by Germany were keen to run the half marathon


Fast runners equipped with shoes from Witten may be even faster soon


interAir clients meet at marathon starts all over the world.
Gerald is a rare runner having done all 6 majors within one year.


The start at 6.30 am


Roads are strictly closed for traffic. Runners only. Note that these boys run just for the fun of it without bib.


This brave lady didn't get any shoes from Witten unfortunately. She finished the marathon!


Comfortable tables!


Youngsters were excited to run with us.


Green scenery below snowcapped mountain.


Kilimanjaro Marathon was my number 48, but the most exciting so far.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Adventure preparations

stats of the week: run 51 km, indoor cycled 1h, gym 2h

Preparations are finished now after having done a second 30K long run, this time divided into 8K warm up jog and a mid speed half marathon.


Thanks to all the local runners who contributed to this selection of running shoes (there are even more meanwhile) that will go to Tanzania and hopefully work for lots of more kilometers.



At first our view now goes to the top of Kilimanjaro itself. I opimistically chose the most strenous route via Umbwe and Western Breach to go to the top. We'll see how far we'll get. We are supported by a staff team of 12 people but I feel it is still an adventure.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

My Role Model

stats of the week: run 46 km, indoor cycled 1 h, gym 2 h

2 years ago Paul Freedman ran his 24th London Marathon.




A few days ago he passed away. How could an athlete die after he was fit enough to finish a marathon? Well, Paul was in his nineties what should partly explain.

Many thanks to Paul who was an inspiration to many. And a paragon for me. At my age I am regarded by most as an elderly senior. But I still have dreams. For example I still aim to climb Aconcagua. However, my most secret dream is to be the oldest London Marathon runner one time in my (!) future. That is what Paul Freedman was. He is my ideal.

   Paul Freedman at West Ham

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Half fit is top ready

stats of the week: run 34 km, indoor cycled 2 h, gym 2 h

Artificial high level training seems to show first impacts. But I am not happy with the mileage. Reason is a light knee problem that keeps me being cautious.

My motto still is "better get half fit to the start line that get injured top fit".
The beer will taste best after the finish.


Monday, 23 January 2017

By the way another target

stats of the week: run 45 km, indoor cycling 1,5 h, gym 1 h

After the first week of exercise I cannot yet evaluate if the indoor high altitude training has any impact. However, I feel comfortable, heart rate is significantly low and oxygen saturation is just perfect. The main task is to stay healthy until the journey to Tanzania starts.

By the way I accidentally discovered that this year I could be able to qualify for Boston. The 2018's marathon day is just after my 65th birthday so qualifying times for M65 count for me. That is 4:10 h and it counts already in 2017 when I am 64. It should be possible to beat the time in London. Okay, another target!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Preparing for next challenge

stats of the week: run 15 km, cycled 118 km

Back to wintry Germany we have now not only to get used to minus degrees but also to get prepared for climbing Kilimanjaro. Luckily there is a high altitude gym room in our town available where we hope to get ready for our next challenge.

Four weeks to go to the climb and 5 weeks to get to the start line of the Kilimanjaro marathon. I am already excited.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Promising moves into new year

stats of the week: run 61 km, cycled 73 km
stats of the previous week: run 27 km, cycled 78 km



On New Year's Eve we took part in the Runner's Memorial Race at Green Point, Cape Town. It's not only a farewell to the gone year but also to all the runners who passed away during the year. Their names are announced before the start.

Also announced were two runners from Witten, Germany, although still alive. By the way, two years ago German female runner "Mocki" won the race in front of all men!

Not yet acclimatised we had to be careful and got around the 8 km distance safely. My time: 40 minutes. 



Today, one week later, things got more serious. The bay to bay run from Camps Bay to Hout Bay and back is a very popular race with nearly 4,000 participants. C set a tremendous PB on the 15 K distance and I ran a proper 30 K race on this hilly hilly course finishing strong after 2:52 h. What a wonderful start into 2017!