Sunday, 26 February 2006

Saying Good Bye to high Targets - 55 days to go

week's balance scheduled: 81K (51m) / done: 33K (21m)
total difference so far: -102K (-64m)
BMI 22.5

Finally I have now reached the point where I can't ignore the facts any longer. My original aim of 3:19 on April 23rd does not look realistic any more. I should set back to a lowered challenge. And I have to admit my disappointment is somewhat limited. Right from the beginning I was not convinced by my own capabilities. My marathon PB is nearly 2 years old, and since then I didn't manage to get close to it again.

I made a visit to the orthopaedist last thursday. Wasted time and money. He insisted to eliminate a fatigue fracture by taking x-rays. Of course there was no break. He was not able to offer any proper diagnosis and just kept to his standard therapy: Take Diclofenac-pills and ice the area. That's what I already did. The consulted physiotherapist claimed to have found liquid in the tissue. He carried out a lymph drainage. I guess one has to believe in it strongly to make it help.

Well - my small world of running is not as sad as it seems to be. The recent two workouts were free of pain (cheers!) and I additionally spent 3.5 hrs on the indoor bike at the gym. This was very hard work, I had to recognise that I lack the muscles needed, and my sweat was dropping down to the floor what let me get some disapproving glances.

My new target for London is: Faster than last year (3:43). This should really be within my ability, although the redesigned schedule averages a weekly mileage of only 58K (36m). Some unexpected comfort came from the New York organisers who eased the qualification to enter their marathon. I now have to run the half marathon just within 1:40 h (was 1:36 for M50). I should face no problems to achieve this, if not on Cyprus in a fortnight, then at least in Berlin on April 2nd.

Hyperlink: New York entry information

My window to the world: The place where I spend much more time than on the local running courses.

Running adventures are terrifyingly parishable.
It's a good thing that there are printed souvenirs available

The week's schedule:
Monday: gym
Tuesday: 8K (5m) medium 5:30min/K (8:50min/m)
Wednesday: 75min cross training
Thursday: 10K (6m) very slow 6:45 (10:50)
Friday: 20K (12m) speed endurance/slow 5:00 (8:00) / 5:45 (9:15)
Saturday: gym
Sunday: 8k (4.5m) slow 5:45 (9:15)

happy running

Sunday, 19 February 2006

Sense of crisis - 62 days to go

week's balance scheduled: 72K (45m), done: 34K (21m)
total difference so far: -54K (-34m)
BMI 22.7

A doubt starts to lurk in my mind. A minor issue concerning my right ankle made me miss the target. The week before last week I must have stumbled in the snow what I didn't take seriously for some days. But eventually it was impossible to ignore it any longer.

Photo: The ordinary runner's home drugstore

Rest was strongly recommended. You might know what this means to a regular runner. Fellow runner Michael described it: "That's like a child whose toy is taken away."

In my fridge the ice bag is always ready but this time it didn't help. And the overnight salve bandage wasn't more successful. So I switched to thermal therapy by red light, applied diclofenac plasters and took in diclofenac pills which are rather strong. Well, together with 2 more rest days it worked. But the problem is not yet solved completely.

Accompanying all this there was a come back of the annoying cold which I thought was already overcome. However, today's morning run with our local group was a fairly speedy workout (5:18min/K=8:30min/m) and my heartrate was just okay. (you see I am unconvincable).

Just 9 weeks to go until London which in fact means 8 weeks of proper training. I really have to get into my schedule very soon, otherwise I will have to correct my targets.

Next weeks (original) schedule:
Monday: gym
Tuesday: 12K (7.5m) very slow 6:00min/k(9:00min/m)
Wednesday: 15K (9m) speed intervals, 4x2K, 4:40(7:30)
Thursday: 12K (7.5m) very slow 6:15(9:23)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 34K (21m) training race 5:30(8:45)
Sunday: 8K (5m) very slow 6:00(9:00)
total weekly mileage: 81K (51m)

happy running

Sunday, 12 February 2006

Joined the race again - 69 days to go

scheduled: 64K (40m) / done: 75K (47m)
BMI: 22.6

That's just the way it is when you are your own coach. The trainer knows better and advises: Be careful when recovering from illness and don't make up the missed mileage. The runner is compellingly drawn to the woods and can't be held back. The both of us now hope that this will go well.

On Tuesday my heartrate was back to normal and I enjoyed running again. Unscrupulously I completed the speed session on Wednesday. Thursday saw me running a double workout and Friday I crossed the woods again, hopping along easily like feeling 20 years younger - at least as long as I ran downhill.

Topping all this today I finished the "recovering" week by doing a 15K race where I exactly achieved the target average speed of 4:30min/K (7:14min/m). But how I did! Luckily there was no doctor on the route who heard me coughing. Presumably he would have shown me a red card. Anyhow, after one hour of running and coughing my throat was clear and I was able to speed up on the final mile.

The average of 4:30min/k (7:14min/m) is just the speed for a time of 1:36 hrs on half marathon. This is the time I want to beat on April 2nd in Berlin. And it is the time to be qualified for the New York Marathon in my agegroup M50. Surprisingly one can qualify for NYC by running a half marathon. And even more surprising the half marathon target of 1:36 is less demanding than the desired marathon time of 3:20. I have chosen Berlin because I don't know if NY accepts the time when run at a small race somewhere in the countryside.

The following week's schedule is slightly revised (and I have to admit increased) because I want to take part in a popular run with the neighbour town's running club next Saturday. Sometimes it is nice to do the long run in a different area and with different fellow runners just for a change.

Monday: gym
Tuesday: 7K (4.4m) slow, 5:45min/K (9:15min/m)
Wednesday: 14K (8.8m) medium, 5:30 (8:50)
Thursday: 10K (6m) very slow, 6:45 (10:50)
Freitag: 7K (4.4m) slow, 5:45 (9:15) and gym
Saturday: 25K (15.6m) slow, 6:00 (9:40)
Sonday: 16K (10m)slow, 5:45 (9:15)
Weekly mileage: 79K (49m)

"Runners live longer.
Marathoners don't die at all."
(Matthias Dix, local coach)

happy running, yours

And else: As my music rack lacks renaissaince music I now prefer "Cello", a beautiful song made by Udo Lindenberg, German rock legend.

Sunday, 5 February 2006

Missed the start - 76 days to go

scheduled: 60K (38m) / done: 34K (21m)

I started my accurately designed schedule with a classic failure. A persistent infection forced me to cut the mileage significantly. I noticed first signs of a developing problem during last sunday's run when I suffered weakness climbing the local hills. On Tuesday the increased heartrate could not be ignored (15 beats more than usual). Then it was just physical weakness, hurting joints and a constant stomach pain.

Now I have to lean back and accept the advice I otherwise provide for fellow runners. "Don't try to make up for missed mileage" is one of the rules which sound reasonable but runners don't like. However, my schedule is quite tough anyway. There is no space for additional miles.

I don't worry yet. Hopefully I will get fit in time to enable me to fulfil the oncoming week's mileage. But I have to admit it doesn't look really promising by now.

happy running

Monday: gym
Tuesday: 17K (11m) slow / 5:45min/K (9:15min/m)
Wednesday: 8K (5m) easy intervals / 2x2K 4:40 (7:30)
Thursday: 12K (8m) very slow / 6:45 (11:00)
Friday: gym
Saturday: rest
Sonday: 17K (10.5m) (15K race, target 1:06 hrs)
weekly mileage: 64K (40m)

excursus: The Viola Da Gamba is a historic string bowed instrument with usually 6 or 7 chords. It produces a sound which is softer than the one of common violins. The Gamba was used during the time of renaissance and baroque. J.S.Bach worked with Gambas composing the 6th Concerto of Brandenburg.

Making music and running are not very different. It helps to keep to a steady beat.

Viola da Gamba (source: Wikipedia)