Saturday, 29 April 2006

London Marathon Report Published

So I kept my promise and published the English version of my London Marathon Report. Those of you who have already read the German text will not find any new content. It's just a translation.

There is one new service provided: The complete results of nearly 33.000 finishers packed in a zipped xls-file. Bookkeepers like me will enjoy playing with the big amount of data including nationalities and age group results. I was surprised that the French are the biggest group of overseas runners. Why do they get 500 numbers while Germany has to be content with 350?

Looking at Adrian Massey's annual photo report I got the idea to fundraise for a British charity next year. Adrian collected thousands of pounds for St. Andrew's Hospice. I feel I should have started fundraising years ago. Well, I already do some social work for a local charity but my overseas website visitors have little chance to support it. Next time I will open a Justgiving charity website to give everybody the opportunity to give a helpful feedback for my website work. There were about 500 english speaking runners who had received my London Marathon newsletters so I hope to be able to collect at least a modest contribution. I will not need a Golden Bond entry as I get a guaranteed entry via the travel agency I do some voluntary work for.
I will choose the charity at the beginning of next London Marathon season which starts at August 1. It should be an organisation helping children in UK or the Third World. Any suggestions?

My (short) story of success

Marathon race balance target 3:40 - run 3:40:59

Please kindly accept my apology for being that late again with updating the English version.

There was quite a lot of update work after coming home from the London weekend. I also run a fairly popular website for local runners. Everybody wants to see the weekend's results as soon as possible and everybody is used to find it on Well, I don't want to conceal that I am more than somewhat proud of it. The best outcome this work produces is that I got to know a lot of nice and friendly people. I have to admit when I take part in a local race there are always runners greeting me and I should know who they are but I don't. It can get really embarrassing sometimes. I could not remember names very well even when I was younger but nowadays I am a hopeless case. What I wanted to say - to update the local part of the website was urgent. Then it was the German report on the London Marathon. Which is available at Bildbericht (English version still to come, tomorrow I promise). And there is also the usual persoenlicher Kurzbericht (just in German). Finally there is the photo gallery.

No question - as you see I was really satisfied with my race. I accurately reached my target albeit the training runs didn't come up to the schedule I designed to run 3:40. I just tried to keep the pace as long as possible and I was lucky to pick up a good day. I think it helped a lot that I relaxed during the final fortnight before the marathon so I felt rested on race morning.

It was not just the race - the whole of the London weekend was a happy story. All the members of our travel group seemed to enjoy their time and I got nothing else than positive and friendly feedback - many thanks for this. On Monday I experienced another highlight when attending the official press conference. Without proper accreditation I have to admit. There was a big sign warning "no public entry" but if anybody is authorized to walk in isn't it the unknown German internet journalist who runs

This is the way David Bedford looks when Felix Limo is saying:
"I havn't got the money yet."

To read more about race day I sincerely recommend to visit Sabine's blog which will take you right into the mid of the runners and their feelings.

In recent years I always closed my blog after race day. This time I think about continuing it. To do it both in German and English would be too much effort on the long run I presume. So I have to decide about the language to choose. I think I will prefer English cos I find it sort of easier to express personal feelings in a foreign language. It keeps a distance to one's own thoughts. And some people close to me in daily life will not be able to read it which can help.

So watch this space - life goes on after the marathon. Or should I say between the London Marathons?

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Ready for take off - 3 days to go

I clearly remember the morning of April 16th, 2000, when I stood at the London Marathon start for the very first time. My eyes were visibly watered even before running. On Sunday it will be my 7th time but it will be as exciting as it was every year.

My target 1 - simply to be at the start line - is nearly achieved now.
My target 2 - to reach the finish line - seems to be feasible at least.
My target 3 - to run a new PB - proved to be unrealistic already weeks ago.
This was sort of a setback but on Sunday I will not worry about this. The only motto is: It's a big party and you are a part of it. Just run and have fun.

Many thanks for your support and kind feedback. All the best for your personal race, enjoy the day!

Happy running

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Detracting from running - 4 days to go

week's balance scheduled: 74K (46m) / done: 26K (16m)

My story of running is still a story of being injured. Why should I be better off than Paula R.?

Paula consulted Mr Müller-Wohlfahrt, the famous sports doctor from Munich who is visited by the best athletes from all over the world. But even he couldn't help her. The only outcome was: Paula has to rest. I fear that is what I should do. I will do - from next monday on.

I tried to get rid off the daily input of tablets, but it didn't work. Now I consulted Mr Müller-Wohlfahrt's just published new German book "Einfach Marathon" where he explains how to cure ankle problems. His favourite first help is what he calls "hot ice". Soak a sponge in ice cold water (which means temperature is just above 0° celsius) and place it on the ankle. Tie a soaked bandage around it and cool the ankle for at least 20 minutes while watering the bandage to keep it wet. Repeat the process several times during the day.

That's what I am doing right now. Might be a bit late after 2 months of pain and 4 days before running the marathon. But it's never too late to do the right thing.

So there was no running during the Easter weekend. We did a trip to the Netherlands - I got my running gear with me but didn't use it. At least we walked a lot along the streets and "Grachts" of Amsterdam and the world's tulip center at Lisse, the "Keukenhof".

Happy running

Catching the sun on Amsterdam's canals

17th century Merchant houses: still fairly upright

Not the Cutty Sark, it is called "Amsterdam" and part of the Marine Museum

The world of tulips at the Keukenhof

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

Running into hell? - 11 days to go

week's balance scheduled: 75K (47m) / done: 32K (20m)

Sorry about being late with updating my blog. I felt far too tired to write anything in English after I managed to finish my long run on Sunday.

I took a consistent rest for the whole of last week to get my foot recovered and feeling ready for the final long run before London. This was definitely the last weekend to do this. Most schedules recommend to do it even three weeks before race day to provide enough time to recover and reduce the mileage stepwise until the marathon. However, I have the "advantage" that I don't have to taper from a high level of mileage. So I hope 2 weeks will allow me to heal all the little aches and pains I suffer now.

The good news is that the foot didn't get worse after running 20 miles on Sunday. The bad thing is that after 18 miles I was totally exhausted. I had to walk twice to get back home! My knee hurt (probably due to the altered running style), my left calf felt like stones and I could not imagine to run another 10K as I will have to do in 2 weeks. If I was in the same shape on race day I would be running through hell. I don't like to think about it. I clearly remember how tough it was last year when I ran after being injured, too.

By the way, Sabine asked how many shoes a runner needs. I don't know a term valid for everybody but I am sure every runner has more shoes then really needed - like me:

There is a rule which says you should have one pair for every day of the week you run. I have to admit counted my shoes I would have to run more than once a day.

happy running

Friday, 7 April 2006

Phoenix in Berlin - 16 days to go

week's balance scheduled: 57K (36m) / done: 35K (22m)

My half marathon in Berlin was really like rising as a phoenix. Age graded my finishing time of 1:36:32 is worth a 1:25:15 what is my second best half marathon performance ever. Well, it was sort of luck. The conditions were perfect and personally I had picked up a good day.

Already after the first mile of the race I was sure that I will be running well. My target was an average of 4:35min/K (7:22/m) which adds up to 22:55min per 5K. And my splits then were: 22:54 - 22:45 - 22:37 - 23:21. I only lost some speed during the last quarter cos my calves hardened to stones and I feared to get cramps.

So I achieved my target and fulfilled the qualifying time for the 2006 New York City Marathon (1:40 in M50). I already entered online and will here around mid May whether I am accepted.

The Berlin Half Marathon offers what you expect it to be: A small Berlin Marathon. Actually the half has the best part of the full marathon. You pass the promenade Unter den Linden, the Brandenburger Tor, the Siegessaule, castle Charlottenburg, shopping mall Kurfurstendamm with the church Gedachtniskirche and the Kaufhaus des Westens, see the modern Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz with the tower and the Rotes Rathaus and finish in front of Berlin Cathedral. It is pure sightseeing as long as you take your time like most of the 13.500 runners did.

Meanwhile I am back to the ashes. The ankle is hurting again and forces me to throw in more pills. I cancelled all running this week, did some cross training on the indoor bike and hope to be ready for a final long run at Sunday or Monday. At least one more long run is really essential to get fit for London as I have done only one workout longer than half marathon so far.

happy running