Thursday, 30 November 2006

The knee and other collapses

Th 11/30: forced to rest
We 11/29: flat run, 10K, 0:52 hrs
Tu 11/28: gym, 2 hrs
Mo 11/27: easy run, 7K, 0:40 hrs

The knee is still causing problems and restricted my mileage significantly. It's not the common pain I usually suffer at the kneecap's cartilage. It seems to be the patella tendon. The evil thing is that I don't notice anything during everyday life but after running for a couple of minutes the pain starts.

I have offered J to work as her pacemaker at Saturday's race. So I won't have to go for top speed. We will aim for 44 mins finishing the flat route of 9.6K which is a tempo of around 4:35 min/K.

You might remember J is the lady who collapsed at the 8K race in August. What I didn't report here, she also collapsed after 39K at the Frankfurt Marathon 5 weeks ago. Now she is desperate to get to the finish of her next race. Luckily I am an experienced expert in holding back fast ladies who tend to run away too fast. But J is a formidable policewoman and a tough gal. I will need all my assertiveness to slow her down.

The race will probably ruin my knee for at least another week but I love the event and want to be part of it.

Monday, 27 November 2006

A word about the Flora London Marathon entry procedure

I don't have to underline that I love the London Marathon. Since my first participation in 2000 I have returned every year and don't think about aborting this habit.

So I feel being entitled to complain about the procedure we have to undergo annually. The FLM's entry system really looks out-dated. This even more when regarding the London Marathon in a line with the other 4 World Marathon Majors (NYC, Chicago, Boston, Berlin).

All the others provide online entry and updated online information long since. While FLM still teases its applicants by forcing them to send forms and cheques. Then we have to wait for nearly 2 months to receive the ballot's result by conventional mail. The organisers stubbornly make a secret of their drawing system.

For overseas applicants it is even worse. There is a separate ballot for overseas runners but nowhere any official description of the procedure can be found. Overseas applicants have to pay the triple price of British applicants. Success rate of the overseas drawing is close to zero.

At least overseas runners have the chance to book a guaranteed place via a licensed travel agency. But numbers are very limited. E.g. Germany gets 300 places. Compare with the NYC marathon where Germans get 3000 numbers. To get to the point: NYC has 50% overseas runners, London has 7.5%!

Therefore I won't call London a World Marathon Major, it is still a British Marathon as long as this kind of entry policy is maintained.

By the way: I just discovered if you search for "london marathon" at you will get 2.2m results and my website is ranked number 1. Ahead of the official one which is number 2! :-)
At and it is still the other way round but I am working on it.

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Shoes sorted out - knee to be kept

su 26/11: hilly run, 16K, 310m, 1:23 hrs
sa 25/11: gym, 2 hrs

Went to the gym yesterday to work on my sixpack (sorry, no photo) although B claimed that it has not to be improved but I don't believe her. Well, the other reason was that I booked a preventive medical checkup for next friday. Two years ago I managed to reach 300 watts on the indoor bike. I desperately want to retry this to prove that I don't grow older. I would be disappointed by a lower performance. So I thought it to be a good idea to train for it. I made it up to 225 watts without being exhausted what was okay. Will try again Monday or Tuesday.

The knee still causes problems. It hurt during the first 15 mins of today's run, then it was fine and the outcome was the second fastest run along this route this year. I really felt strong and relaxed. Afterwards I treated the knee by placing the icebag on it. But didn't notice that it got leaky (the icebag) and messed the carpet wickedly.

Marathon in New York City also means shopping in New York City. I could not resist to buy two pairs of running shoes (beside lots of running cloths). Therefore I had to clear my stock now and sorted out 5 pairs:

I have to admit they look quite usable but most are more than 3 years old and worn out.

Not that I wouldn't have a choice now:

There are still 8 pairs waiting to be carried out and see nature.

Friday, 24 November 2006

A cautious week

training stats
Fr 24/11: run, 8K, flat, 0:46 hrs
Th 23/11: hilly fartlek run, 8K, 150m, 0:42 hrs
We 22/11: slow run, 8.5K, 0:51 hrs
Tu 21/11: gym, 1.5 hrs
Mo 20/11: slow run, 7K, 0:40 hrs
Su 19/11: hilly run, 16K, 300m, 1:32 hrs
Sa 18/11: rest
Fr 17/11: hilly run, 11K, 200m, 1:05 hrs

The stats might look impressive at first but on a second view you will notice that the daily runs were rather short. I cancelled my start at Saturday's race in Hagen-Hohenlimburg due to light problems with my right knee. I would love to run there but the oncoming races next month are even more important to me, so I avoid the risk to worsen the injury.

Always being prepared for this kind of common cases I store a couple of ice bags in the freezer. Most times this treatment is enough to get back on the road.

By the way - if you like to have a look - I published a small non-runner's gallery of New York City photos.
And I promise to start the work on the Nepal report shortly.

Thursday, 16 November 2006

Business as usual

thu 11/16/2006: hilly run, 13K, 200m, 1:08 hrs
tue 11/14/2006: flat run, 13.5K, 1:15 hrs
mon 11/13/2006: gym 2 hrs + sauna

sun 11/12/2006: easy jog, 8.5K, 0:52 hrs

After a late season packed with major highlights I am now back to normal and glad that my legs don't moan. I treated them to a whole week of full rest after the NYC marathon and came back cauteously.

Today I regretted that I didn't take the camera with me as it was such a beautiful sunny and warm autumn day. It was a real pleasure to move through the coloured local woods and enjoy the sun.

Already feeling enterprising again I entered 4 local races to be done until the end of the year. All of them are distances between 9K and 15K. In previous years I always trained hard to look good in these events cos many local contenders take part. Most years I had to pay the price later on when I failed to get fit for the following London Marathon. Therefore I committed myself to take it easy this time. But I have to admit I start feeling tingly again ...

By the way: For a final view back you might like to see my NYC marathon race report.

Friday, 10 November 2006

This town is worth it

Basically I am not a friend of big cities and the crowds. New York City is a different thing. I love to see the people, how they move through the town's gorges like nobody is watching them. And they are right. Nobody takes notice. Apart from German tourists, I have to admit.

Verrazzano Narrows: The bridge the world's runners are dreaming of.

Brooklyn Bridge: Popular running route.

Miss Liberty: Guarding the sky.

Looking thoughtfully: The face of Miss Freedom.

Mirror of the sun: Manhattan Midtown.

Lighted: New Jersey Skyline.

Red Hat at night: Empire State Building.

Officially documented: The pair of happiness and success.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Still Dreaming

Just another document of last Sunday's perfect race:

Bettina's PB is 3:45 hrs. Regarding the hard route of the NYC marathon I recommended to aim for 4:15 and that was the pace I tried to set off from Verrazano bridge. The first mile was too slow due to the mass start, but from then on we were on time and I constantly had to fight to hold back Bettina who every now and then tried to increase the speed.

These are the impressive 5K-Splits: 31:47 - 29:33 - 29:54 - 29:34 - 29:43 - 28:35 - 29:03 - 28:24. The fastest 5K we ran between 35 and 40, and the second half was more than 5 minutes faster than the first half.

It was not easy to stay alongside Bettina. Her motto was: "Whenever I see a big buttock in front of me I have to overtake it." And there were hundreds of them! For 25K I tried to slow her down. Then I gradually noticed how strong she was and let her go her pace. Once this acuminated to her question: "Are you still there?" Several times I had to sprint a short slalom to catch up with her.

We had great fun especially when cheered by the crowds who easily spotted the big name signs we were wearing at the front of our t-shirts. This was the scene at mile 25 in Central Park:

It was my 16th maraton but the first one with a faster 2nd half. Therefore I would call it the most successful one and it was certainly the most beautiful one.

Monday, 6 November 2006

NY NY - BETTINA was part of it

This photo was taken at mile 23. No need to say any more.

Result: 4:08:19
First half: 2:06:59
Second half: 2:01: 20 (!)
A perfect race on a perfect day. Endurance smiling record. Bettina has undoubtedly qualified as my favourite running mate - sorry, gals ;-)

Friday, 3 November 2006

If you can make it there ...

... you'll make it anywhere. (Frank Sinatra)

kind regards from NYC, Manhattan, 108W 24th Street.

On Tuesday when we arrived it was Halloween Evening. Streets were crowded with costumed people all in a very good mood. It is like a German Carneval, albeit with a very different kind of music.

Thursday afternoon we were out to Central Park for a jog along the last mile of the marathon. We tried the finish for a first time.

Our travel agency has engaged two famous coaches for us. Herbert Steffny (mid) was 3rd in NY 1984 and won a bronze medal at European Championships. Wolgang Münzel (right) was an international marathon and fell runner, German fell running champion, and now he is the national fell running coach of the German team.

Fred Lebow, founder of New York Road Running Club and the New York City Marathon.

Columbus Circle at the South West corner of Central Park. It gets dark quite early now, around 5.15pm.

See you soon, watch my race number 12233 on Sunday. I hope to run alongside Bettina whose number is F2824.