Monday, 13 May 2019

Official excuse

stats of the week: run 19 km, cycled 181 km, gym 2 h

Some flat cycling in the Netherlands to get fit for the Italian hills!

Next stop: Nove Colli, Cesenatico, that calls itself the "Queen of Gran Fondos". Some 13,000 cyclists gather in the home town of Marco Pantani to tackle 205 km and the famous 9 hills. For me, it is only 4 hills and 130 km. My excuse is that cyclists from 65 years on are not allowed to go for the long distance. However, with 180 km of training so far, I am not really prepared for a full Gran Fondo.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Fading age groupers

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

I studied the London Marathon results and figured out how the numbers of age group participants develope. The message is more than clear:

M50 2,536
M55 1,400
M60    764
M65    290
M70    160
M75      52
M80      15

This is just to confirm that I have to be very happy still to be part of the running community. My next target is to add another 5 years and to complete a quarter century of London Marathons. Every five years one has to be one of the surviving 50%.

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Grateful at 66

stats of the week: rest! recovering!

(photo by Isaak)

I am so grateful for being able to run my 20th consecutive London Marathon at the age of  66! Already before race day I thought about donating based on my finish time. The faster the pace the higher the donation - some special kind of motivation.

I selected a well known charity that I have been supporting several times in recent years. Amani Childrens' Home in Moshi, Tanzania, does a gorgeous job to rescue kids from the streets around  Arusha and Moshi. They deserve any help any of you can afford however small the amount might be.

Amani Childrens' Home     German Friends of Amani

Monday, 29 April 2019

Counting Londons

stats of the week: run 63 km, gym 1 h

London Marathon result: 4:14:37

These 3 guys have 44 London Marathons in the box, while the left of them still has zero.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Getting nervous

stats of the week: run 16 km, hiked 32 km, gym 1h

Compared to recent years I am much more nervous approaching the Big Day. Obviously that is because of my jubilee, the 20th London Marathon in a row. I even let a special t-shirt print for this occasion. I discovered that I have this jubilee in common with David Weir, British wheel chair racer and local hero. Alas, there is one difference: He has won the race eight times. If he wins again I will meet him at the Monday press conference and ask him for a photo of the two jubilees.

The final weeks were below schedule but I still have confidence that enough work is done. However, as always with London Marathon the main target is to finish and put another medal into the box.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Smile whatever the time

stats of the week: run 28 km, gym 2 h
stats of the week before: run 36 km, gym 2 h

The Berlin Halfmarathon brought just what was to be expected. 1:51:26. Not really bad, but no improvement. Wonders seem to happen even more rarely now. I am still 7 minutes slower than 2 years ago on a 21K. Even more, recovering from the race I caught another mild cold, 3rd one this winter.

The only reasonable conclusion is to taper now and have a rest as long as necessary. After all I want to run a marathon next week. A very special one. Number twenty.

Photo Berlin: The finish causes a smile whatever the time.

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Too much for my legs and me

stats of the week: run 60 km, gym 1.5 h

It was a decent amount of mileage this week. Alas, it turned out to be too much. At the end of yesterday's long run of 28 km, I was so exhausted I could hardly move any more. The feeling afterwards was like I had run a full marathon distance!

Now the only option is to recover until next Sunday to deliver a proper half marathon in Berlin. However, after yesterday's performance I doubt that I will be fresh enough to have a good race.

Well, I have to admit this bad long run would not have been necessary to prepare for a half marathon. It was scheduled looking at the next target in 4 weeks: The London Marathon.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

There's the Cup!

stats of the week: run 31km, gym 2h
stats of the previous week: run 56km, gym 1h

An old man's modest dream came true when I entered the stage to receive my cup for the 3rd place in my age group at the legendary Syltlauf. Well, there was a bit of luck as all of the 5 runners in the higher age group of M70 were faster than me. Nevertheless I was happy and content with my time of 3:09h for the 33.3km along the whole of the island from South to North. There is even hope for more as the final 3 km were the quickest of the whole distance.

Still on schedule, two weeks to go for Berlin Half Marathon.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Schedule completed

stats of the week: run 72 km, gym 1 h

7 weeks to go till London, with two more highlights on the way to it: the 33.3K Syltlauf and the very big Berlin Half Marathon.

I completed the scheduled mileage but still have no proper 30K run in the box. However, I am happy that I could get through 87 K in 8 days on Lanzarote. The volcanic Canarian Island is a perfect place for running. We did flat jogging along the endless promenades between Arrecife and Puerto del Carmen but you can also opt for trail routes along the coast or across the hills.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Private training camp

stats of the week: run 43 km
stats of the previous week: run 40 km, gym 3 h

Successfully finished the hilly 26 K race at slow speed. Only finishing matters and having a longish run in the box.

Now a private one-week running camp on Lanzarote has started. Well, I skipped the 30K jog but at least I did 2 runs in one day counting 24 K, what is not too bad. I try to complete an intensive week with a mileage of at least 80 K. Half is done so far.

Some impressions of Lanzarote and neighbour island La Graciosa. As we abandoned the bikes this time we get some new experiences of the island on foot.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Still waiting for better days

stats of the week: run 44 km

I skipped the local half marathon race because I am still not yet recovered from the long time cold. At least I was able to do some easy jogging, including a longish run of 17 km today after what I was so exhausted that I had a sleep on the sofa. It will take some more days until I can do some speed work again. Desperately I entered a 26K race for next Saturday.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Mad, rich, colourful, poor and disturbing: New Orleans

stats of the week: run 10 km
stats of the previous week: run 55 km

The New Orleans Rock'n'Roll Marathon is a rather small event with less than 2,000 runners while the half marathon counts around 8,000 participants. The race has few spectators but quite a lot of music and a perfect organisation. I worked as a supporter for a small group of German runners.

New Orleans is crazy and vibrant little town where you can enjoy top class jazz and any kind of great music after you strode over more homeless people living on the streets than I have ever seen in the US. NOLA is nothing short of Big Easy for many. It is a colourful South country place but also a magnet for those who struggle to survive. The main impressing is the experience of a disturbing society.

On the other hand it is a town of happiness and frequent road parades. This is Crewebacchus parade which is the kick-off of Mardi Gras weeks.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Weak week

stats of the week: run 43 km, gym 4 h

The week's mileage is on schedule, but the feeling is still weak. Tried to run treadmill intervals at 12 kmh but had to reduce to 11.5 kmh to finish six legs of 1 km.

Winter climate doesn't help to get rid of the cough. Now I hope to find warmer conditions in New Orleans and to do some long jogs in City Park wearing shorts. And Rock'n'Roll Marathon on Feb 10 will be fun to watch.
New Orleans Marathon

Sunday, 20 January 2019

No improvement

stats of the week: run 42 K, gym 4 h

Finished the flat 10K race in Haltern after 50:59, slightly faster than recent races but this route profile was easier so I resume that there is no improvement until now. Performance grade of 68.0 is still the lowest since 1998 what is depressing. At least I was able to do a decent long jog of 22 K this week.

However, I know I should be happy that I am still running. In Haltern out of 600 runners there were just 33 older than 65.

M55 51 runners
M60 32
M65 18  W65 2
M70 8
M75 3
M80 2

Monday, 14 January 2019

Review of Tenerife

stats of the week: run 36 km, gym 3 h

This week I cancelled the 10K race due to bad weather, but did some proper treadmill intervals instead: 6K at 11-12kmh.

Some more impressions of Tenerife:

Start of the New Year's Eve race in La Laguna, an unexpectedly great event.

Pico del Teide, highst mountain of Spain. Walked up in 4 hours, ran down via Pico Viejo in 2 hours.

Main Street, Taganana.

Aerial view of Taganana.

View of Fortaleza while ascending Teide.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Good end, good start

stats of the week: run 38 km, some hill walking
stats of the previous week: run 31 km, gym 2 h

The year ended with a surprising success. At La Laguna on Tenerife a big New Year's Eve race takes place since 36 years. Nearly 3,000 runners met on the historic plaza, there was music and dancing before the perfectly organized race of 5.7 K started at 6pm. We ran two laps through the UNESCO listed old town which was illuminated beautifully. Thousands of spectators lined the route. The great evening was topped by my unexpected age group victory. Out of 11 M65s I actually was the first, clocking a modest 28:23 min.

The new year started promising as I was able to fulfill my schedule for 5 consecutive weeks now. That is a rare achievement for me. Alas, my performance is not yet satisfying.