Sunday, 30 December 2007

Happy new year

training stats
Sa 29/12: flat run, 10K, 0:53 hrs
Fr 28/12: gym, 2 hrs

Th 27/12: gym, 1.5 hrs, indoor bike 1 hr
We 26/12: hilly run, 16K, 1:36 hrs

Happy new year to everyone. Remember you are not alone, there are others who also get a raw deal:

Looking at the week's training stats you might think that I am back to perfect fitness. That's a wrong impression. The hilly run turned out to be too much stress for my knee. Running the New Year's Eve Race tomorrow will probably ruin my patella for weeks. But it's the race I have done more often than any other one and I desperately want to run it. I am too young to act sensibly. Perhaps next year but I doubt.

A better purpose to feel good next year:

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas everybody

training stats
week's total:
jog/walk 31K, bike 2 hrs, gym 2 sessions
Su 23/12: hilly run, 8K, 0:48 hrs
Sa 22/12: jog 5K, 0:30 hrs, gym 2 hrs
Fr 21/12: slow jog, 10K, 1:06 hrs
Th 20/12: indoor bike, 1:00 hrs
We 19/12: jog/walk, 8K, 0:48 hrs
Tu 18/12: indoor bike, 1:00 hrs
Mo 17/12: gym 2 hrs

My year of running seems to end placably. The knee seems to recover slowly. At least I was able to circle our local reservoir which is a flat distance of 10 K. By a very modest speed I have to admit. But that is what an injured runners has to learn: To become modest.

There are more things to learn. Being early pensioned provides you with a big amount of freedom. (I hear you crying: "Let me have your problems!") Excessive use of this sudden liberty can cause problems - there is a sensitivity of catching injuries due to too much exercise. But there are more risks. Perhaps the most obvious and easiest solution is: Do not demand too much from your life, stay modest. A motto for next year?

Merry christmas everybody, be happy!


Sunday, 16 December 2007

Christmas walking time

training stats
Su 16/12:
jog/walk, 11K, 1:24 hrs
Fr 14/12: gym 1 hr, treadmill run 5k, 0:30 hrs
Th 13/12: indoor bike, 1:00 hrs
We 12/12: jog/walk, 9K, 0:55 hrs

My intention was to do some kind of sports every day during this week but I didn't stand it on Saturday. You might argue that walking is not a sort of sports. I am happy to agree therefore I did some running in between. I was less happy to feel that my knee did like walking more than running. Could that be MY knee?

All my attempts to avoid gaining weight are in vain. I meet cookies everywhere everytime. And most of them are tasty. It is a bad time being injured but it is even worse during christmas time.
Christmas time can be a bad time and it is even worse when injured. And all this gets worst when New Year's Eve is approaching - a day which gets me soppy every year.

Don't worry - be happy!
(provided you are not a turkey)

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Outside smiling

training stats
Tu 11/12:
cross training, 1:00 hrs

Mo 10/12: gym, 1:45 hrs
Su 09/12: pacemaker race, 10K, 50 min

Being watched during the race I might have been looking happy. I was smiling all the time as I was running alongside a very pretty woman - for 50 min at least. But inside I worried about the continuing problem with my knee.

Analysing the 2007 Berlin Marathon results you see that there are 2,810 finishers in age group M50. In the next age group, M55, finishers are down by 46% to 1,519. Next year my age group is M55. Now I fear that I will have to take the same road as all the poor guys who had to stop running.

If I have to stop running I consequently will stop running the website about running. I don't think it will be fun to write about running when I am not able to run. Okay, life is not all about running but I feel I have to think about building up an alternative passion.

Don't worry - this is obviously one of those rainy cold depressive days, not just due to injuries and weather.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Same mistake as last year

training stats
Fr 07/12:
hilly run, 10 K, 0:57 hrs
Th 06/12: crosstraining, 1:00 hrs
We 05/12: treadmill 5K, 0:30 hrs, gym 2 hrs
Tu 04/12: slow jog, 7K, 0:50 hrs
Su 02/12: gym, 2 hrs
Sa 01/12: pacemaker race, 10K, 0:47 hrs

It seems that the combination of running a marathon followed by strenuous hill walking meant to be too much strain for my right Runner's Knee - a weakness of the kneecap's cartilage. One could blame me for making the same fault as last year. And yes, one would be right to do so. Alas! - I love running and I love the mountains.

Now I take Diclofenac as usual, try to ignore all problems and finish my favourite local race on Sunday, the X-mas run in my home town Witten. Certainly it is a MUST to be part of. However, today I had to stop running after 40 min when the patella caused too much pain.

Of course I will increase strength training of the Musculus Vastus Medialis. This muscle often is regarded to cause imbalances which lead to problems like Runner's Knee.

We'll see what happens on Sunday. Anyway I will pay the doc a visit and ask for another series of
Hyaluronan injections. Last spring it helped but will it do again?

PS Those of you speaking German might like to read my race report: Der Diplomaten-Lauf.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Andean Experiences

training stats: no running at all

You know I expected it to be tough. It was. More than I expected it to be.

I failed to climb Cotopaxi. Still regarding my decision to be right after I turned back due to storm and rain at 4,800m with more than 1,000 meters still to climb. But nevertheless this decision was followed by deep disappointment and severe weakness both physically and mentally. If someone had offered me a ticket to fly home instantly I would have gone.

The most depressing time I had when staying in the camp with very wet, foggy and cold weather every morning and evening. I even forgot to use the bottle of Single Malt I had taken with me to help along such phases.

Luckily I made my come back when fighting my way up to the top of Chimborazo. With three tops successfully climbed I can finally regard the trip as an achievement. There were Rucu de Pichincha (4,684m), Illiniza Norte (5,126m) and Chimborazo. At the letter one I have to admit I climbed just the second highest of its 5 peaks, Ventimilla which is recently measured at 6,225m. The main summit is only 42 meters higher (

photo 1: Looking from the ridge of Illiniza Norte to Cotopaxi. Note that Illiniza Norte was expected to be a walking summit free of snow and ice.

photo 2: Flying close by, a condor at the Illiniza hillside.

photo 3: Ornamentally placed alpacas in front of Chimborazo Mountain.

photo 4: We started our ascent of Chimborazo at 10pm. At sunrise we already had been walking for nearly 8 hours. With the verb "walk" playing down the sort of movement.

photo 5: Whereever I went - my mountain of disappointment was there to remind me, Cotopaxi, seen from the top of Chimborazo.

photo 7: Easy to notice that I was at the limit of my capabilities.

It will take some weeks to publish the complete photo story on my website. I will let you know when it's done.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Off to the Andes

training stats: nothing, just rest

Thanks, Heike, your guess is right. I am heading for Ecuador and its chain of volcanoes. I am part of a group of 12 guys who have a tough programme of peaks to do:
Rucu de Pichincha, 4,784 meters
Illiniza Norte, 5,126 meters
Cotopaxi, 5,897 meters
Chimborazo, 6,268 meters

These mountains are technically not too difficult. The only thing concerning is that we will be ascending by a rather high speed. We arrive at Quito (2,800 meters) on Sunday. Climbing Pichincha is scheduled for Tuesday and Illiniza for Thursday and Cotopaxi for Saturday night.
Heading for high mountains you never know what happens. Altitude sickness can catch everybody - you can be fit enough to run a marathon but this is no guarantee you will be able to survive at high altitude. And of course always there is the weather you have to respect. Therefore I would be happy to get to two of the four planned mountain tops.
For those of you speaking German: I have booked with the German Alpine Club's agency, effectively called the "Summit Club", our detailed schedule is published here.
I regret I will have no internet access during most of the time. So you will have to wait for any news until end of November. Sorry about this incovenience. Don't worry.

In case you like to read my German race report of last Sunday's New York City Marathon, here it is.

Monday, 5 November 2007


OK, it is not the time to beat J's result at Frankfurt last Sunday. But honestly I am very happy with my run. NYC has a very tough route indeed. I lost the two needed minutes along the final 3 miles when I had to fight strongly to keep running.

Now I will need a full week's rest to get recovered for the next trip. It starts on Sunday and I would call it the toughest project I ever intended to do.

First of all I look forward to today's After-Marathon-Party, where I will enjoy more than one pint of Sam Adams.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Greetings from NYC - race number 11202

training stats
Fr 02/11: 10K, 0:56 hrs
Mo 29/10: 11K, 1:04 hrs

This trip is my third one to NYC within three years. First time I was totally excited about the abundance of human life. Second time I enjoyed the classic highlights the City offers. Now I feel sort of horrified by moving through the tarmacced gorges of Manhattan. I guess it would be easier to survive in the rain forest than in the hustle of Big Apple. And I reckon people in NYC are so friendly because they know how hard life is in this place.

photo: sunset on Friday afternoon

Regarding tomorrow's marathon I don't feel to be really fit. My legs are more tired than they have been for months. All the guide business might have been a bit too much. Even worse I caught a cold. So I have to think about cutting my goal back to 3:45 or even 4:00. I will decide after having run the first couple of miles.

Today the US Olympic men's marathon trials took place in Central Park. The photo shows winner Ryan Hall waving to the crowds with half a mile to go to the finish line. The two more places to qualify for Beiing went to Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell. Sadly the sudden death of 5-time-US-champion Ryan Shay had to be announced. He collapsed after little more than 5 miles into the race.

Follow tomorrow's race tracker along the New York City marathon and look out for race number 11202.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Greetings from Dublin

Training stats
week's total:
run 69K

Su 28/10: run, 17K, 1:32 hrs
Sa 27/10: run, 11K, 1:02 hrs
Tu 23/10: long run, 30K, 2:55 hrs
Mo 22/10: hilly run, 11K, 1:02 hrs

Greetings from a weekend trip to Ireland where I am the tourguide of small group of runners who intend to do the Dublin Marathon tomorrow. Dublin promotes its event to be the "friendly marathon". And they prove to be right. Everything is easy and relaxed.

We joined the International Breakfast Run this morning. Everybody can show up and take part, without any qualification. It is a very short jog, around 4 K, and the real event is what follows. A decent t-shirt by sponsor adidas, food and drinks in the hall for everyone, Irish music and dancing. Very relaxed indeed.

An unfamiliar habit for guests from Germany is to trade with t-shirts. I was asked by a French runner to change the shirt I wore. As it was far too big for me anyway I was happy to get a long sleeve french one instead. Later everybody I met thought I was from France.

Framed by running before and after, I managed to complete 90 minutes of running this morning. After Tuesday's long run I was not happy as my old right knee moaned about the stress. So I had a rest of 3 days and it seems that this was the right decision. Now I hope to be fit for NY next Sunday. Training mate J has finished 3:38 today in Frankfurt, so this is the challenge. We'll see.

(sorry I forgot my card reader and can't post any photos)

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Cautious Running

training stats
week's total: run 54K, gym 2 sessions
Su 21/10: run, 9K, 0:46 hrs
Sa 20/10: gym, 2 hrs
Fr 19/10: run, 17K, 1:32 hrs
Th 18/10: rest
We 17/10: treadmill, 10K, 1:00 hrs

I cautiously shortened today's run to 9K. Schedule was to do a long run of 30K. But I felt a light strain at my right thigh so it was wise to cut down the workout. As it was a cold and rainy morning I was not too disappointed. The muscle seems to have recovered, so I hope to make up for the missed distance on Tuesday. Mid of next week is the last chance to do a long run with sufficient time to recover until marathon day at Nov 04.

Once you have set up a schedule it is always hard to fall behind your planned workouts. It needs some years of running experience - at least for me - to get strong enough to withstand and take the required rest. Though it is already the second time I am not able to fulfil the weekly mileage. As long as I can complete the final long run I stay confident that I will be fit to finish below 3:40 hrs in NYC.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Day out with the local running family

training stats
Tu 16/10:
run, 18K, 1:44 hrs
Mo 15/10: gym, 2 hrs

week's total: run 71K
Su 14/10: easy jog, 10K, 1:02 hrs
Sa 13/10: slow HM race and warmup, 30K, 2:48 hrs
Fr 12/10: rest
Th 11/10: easy jog, 18K, 1:50 hrs

The weekend's highlight was the first ever marathon our little town has seen. One of the two local triathlon clubs, PV Triathlon Witten, successfully established the new event on a perfect day with brilliant sunshine. 35 male and 8 female runners completed the classic distance. A rather small field having in mind that there were cash prizes offered for the first 3 males and females. 500 Euros each for the winners! There are a lot of marathon races in the area, so this is still a good start for a new race.

The half marathon was more popular with about 200 participants. Together with the 10K distance there were more than 400 sports people at the venue.

One good thing was that the weather was perfect. I even more enjoyed the family like atmosphere. Most of the people knew each other. Everybody was relaxed and nobody moaned about the too short distance of the marathon. It was shortish by at least 2K so that the times are not qualified for rankings.

As I urgently needed a long run to get fit for NYC I did a 10K warmup and then joined the half marathon race accompanying B and her friends S and P. Their pace was a bit speedy for a long run but I was fine and could stay with them right to the finish.

Green, green my valley is. Running the banks the Lake Kemnade.

Facing the sun in the Ruhr valley.

Still smiling - not yet realizing the oncoming hills.

Please feel invited to visit my picture gallery.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Not disappointing

training stats
We 10/10:
run, 13K, 1:14 hrs
Tu 09/10: rest
Mo 08/10: rest

week's total: run 60K, hill walking 25 hrs
Su 07/10: hm race, 21K, 1:36 hrs, plus afternoon hill stroll, 4 hrs

As expected the Suedtirol Half Marathon had a strong and fast field with international runners at the top. The winner was more than half an hour quicker than me, the first 8 men were professional overseas runners from Kenya, Morrocco etc. Conditions were perfect and the route really flat with the exception of 3 ascents of 10-20 meters.

And as expected I could not manage to run a PB but it was still a proper race. A brave one, indeed. Until 13K I was on course for a finish at 1:35. Then I had to fight very hard and lost not more than a minute. At 20K I was still convinced to finish below 1:36, but then there was this long and high bridge to cross and the final stretch seemed to be longer than 1.097 meters. Finally I clocked exactly 1:36:12.

I have a range of photos showing me finishing but the pictures are to be censored. I just look too beat-up. As always Angelika shook her head seeing my condition. I admit it might have looked worrying but it only takes 5 minutes to recover. Outsiders will not understand but we know that all the toil is really fun. I love the moment beyond the finish line when I smile at other runners while gasping for breath together.

Relaxed start in the South Tyrolian village of Neumarkt:

A slightly less relaxed finish at the same place, 1:36:12 hrs later (chip time):

20 minutes before, synchronous gestures by the winning lady and her pace maker - not gentlemanlike:

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Some Photos from South Tyrolia

Training stats
Sa 06/10: rest
Fr 05/10: morning run, 13K, 1:12 hrs, plus hill walk 5 hrs
Th 04/10: easy hill walk, 4 hrs

We'll see if all the hill walking was too much to stay fit enough and run a decent half marathon tomorrow. The route profile offers no excuse. It is totally flat, there is only one ascent of mere 10 meters. And weather will be perfect. No excuse, we'll see..

Some pictures taken during the week:

Apples are the main business here besides wine and tourism, of course.

In calm Ultental you still find a lot of old farm houses, still working in the old fashioned way, with the modern SUV car in front, and all electronis staff inside you can get nowadays.

The gardens of Trauttmannsdorff in Merano offer a modern attraction: Airy outlook above the valley.
Downtown Merano is touristic and mediterranian.

On the top of Hochwart (2.608 meters) looking North to the Ortler. In good conditions it is an easy hill walk up there but with lots of snow it was even more entertaining.

The village Tirol is nicely situated on a hillside above Merano and enjoys sun all day.

Finally lucky me on the top of Lauwandspitze (2251m) with Ifinger in the background.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Shrinking Depots

training stats
We 03/10: brisk hill walk, 4:20 hrs
Tu 02/10: touristic run, 14K, 1:23 hrs, plus day walk
Mo 01/10: flat run, 9K, 0:52 hrs, plus day walk

Things are going well, my fat depots around my hips are shrinking and I felt reasonably fit on my morning runs and walking to the top of Hochwart - 2.608 meters - today. It was a detour by leaving Angelika on our alm walk. But the route turned out to be longer than expected, so I left her for most of our day but enjoyed the lonely walk. It developed to become a decent hill walk with much snow on the ridge and some steps needing concentration. However, I was able to keep up my speed for the full length of the walk and I feel fit to run the half marathon on Sunday.

I will try to do my best. OK, not a PB - those times are gone. But conditions seem to be perfect and it is a fast course, so I would be happy to finish with a time under 1:40 hrs.
S├╝dtirol Marathon

Friday, 28 September 2007


training stats
Fr 28/09: rest
Th 27/09: easy jog, 10K, 1:04hrs
We 26/09: rest

Realising the newly set up schedule starts with a setback. I was happy to finish the urgently needed long run on Tuesday. But my muscles were not ready for it. The result is that my left thigh is hurting so badly that I had to cancel today's workout what sets me back significantly within the first week of the just picked up new schedule.

I hope to meet my plans on Sunday again. I am looking forward to running in the sun of South Tyrolia where we are heading for to have a week of holidays tomorrow. As ususal I have selected a B&B offering broadband access, so please come back at beginning of next week.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Countdown Schedule

To confront myself with the thruth I have setup a plan to fit in the final workouts during the remaining weeks to the NYC marathon on Nov 4. It sums up to an average mileage of 61K per week for the last 6 weeks.

NYC schedule (excel file)

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

State of training affairs

training stats
Tu 25/09: long run, 31K, 3:00hrs
Mo 24/09: gym 2hrs
previous week: run 22K
week before: run 34K

Our charity run is made history now. It was a big success with glorious weather and record entrants of active runners and passive donators - 688 persons!

The other side of the coin was that I had not enough time to train properly. Noting that there are only 5 weeks left until NYC marathon day I have to admit that I will not be able to get fit in time to finish inside 3:40 hrs.

As you might guess I will try to do it anyway. My schedule is to do at least 3 long runs thereof the first one I completed today. At least a good start. What let me stay optimistic is: After 28K I met a group of fast local runners and joined them for the final 2K. They pushed me to a speed of 7:10 min/mile (4:28 min/K). A good pace at the end of a long run!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Too busy

Sorry, folks, currently I am too busy to post. So much work to do with all the preparations for our charity run on Sunday: .

I reckon I will come back to you mid of next week. Please visit again.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

A Different Week

training stats
week's total: run 26K
Su 09/09: hilly run, 16K, 1:27 hrs
Mo 03/09: eays jog, 10K, 1:12 hrs

The week turned out to be rather different than it was planned to be. Schedule was to travel to France on Wednesday and to run the famous Medoc Marathon on Saturday.

My body had different plans and held me back to my local bed to cure a sudden flu. To be honest I was not disappointed too much as I was horrified by the 15-hour-bus-trip from Frankfurt to Medoc. If I ever try to do it again I will opt to travel by plane.

I was very happy to be back to running today. I suspiciously watched my heart rate monitor but everything was okay and I was able to complete a decent workout. I clocked an average heart rate of 116 b/min what might look rather low for you but my maximum HR is 158, so this is a level of 73% what is an ordinary rate for an everyday's workout.

Sorry that you have to do without any photos showing me running Medoc costumed.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Busy Week

training stats
week's total: run 67K, gym 1 session

Su 02/09: slow run, 16K, 1:36 hrs
Sa 01/09: short onion relay race, 600 meters
Fr 31/08: fast run, 17K, 1:23 hrs
Th 30/08: rest
We 29/08: gym 2 hrs
Tu 28/08: long run, 24K, 2:15 hrs
Mo 27/08: easy jog, 10K, 1:06 hrs

This week saw my second highest mileage this year! It didn't plan this amount of training as I don't have an ordinary training plan these days. My target is to get fit for a decent marathon in New York City and to put in 3 or 4 long runs until then to build up my performance.

On Tuesday a long run with J and U came across and then on Friday I developed a spontaneous speedy run to compensate for my bad mood and frustrating thoughts.

You are invited to see my commented (in German) little photo gallery of the local onion relay race. By the way my team finished last but our ladies won their weight group!

Monday, 27 August 2007

Good Race - Good Fun

Training stats
Mo 27/08: easy jog, 10K, 1:06 hrs

week's total: run 44K, bike 129K, gym 1 session
Su 26/08: race 8K, 0:37 hrs + 2K warmup
Sa 25/08: rest
Fr 24/08: hilly bike 88K, 3:37 hrs

Did another short race this weekend: 8K consisting of 8 laps of 1K each on hilly roads of the small town of Wetter on the Ruhr. As expected it was a neck-to-neck-race with my former college J. We both were close to our limits when we approached the final climb to the home stretch. Activating the endmost power I could find I was able to gain a lead of about 10 meters. Moaning and groaning, turning and looking back several times, I managed to rescue 1.2 seconds to the finish where I was 9th in a small field of 44 runners. Behind the finish line there were some people looking at me rather worrying since I was looking close to collapsing. But that is the usual impression I give after a good race. And this was a really good race and very good fun.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Flooded my green valley is

training stats
Th 23/08: bike 41K, 1:51 hrs and easy jog 10K, 1:09 hrs
We 22/08: gym 2 hrs and treadmill run 5K, 0:30 hrs

Today's jog around the local reservoir let us watch some of the highest floods ever our valley had.

Photo 1: Lake Kemnade has been dammed in 1980 and I can't remember that its banks have ever been watered by floods.

Photo 2: Egyptian geese seem to be quite common around the local lakes this year for the first time. They breed widely in Africa mostly in Nile valley (hence the German name: Nilgans), and there is also a population in East Anglia, UK.

Photo 3: Usually the dam separates different levels of water with a difference of about 5-7 meters. Today it looks like the river (left) would be higher than the lake.
Photo 4: After passing the dam the river Ruhr spreads out in the valley.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

A Taste of Iceland

training stats
Tu 21/08: fast run, 9K, 0:42 hrs
Mo 20/08: easy jog, 10K, 1:06 hrs

week's total: run 33K, bike 39K, gym 1 session
Su 19/08: rest
Sa 18/08: race, 10K, 0:42 hrs, +2K warm up
Fr 17/08: rest
Th 16/08: rest

The weekend let me just acquire a taste for the wonders of Iceland. Reykjavik is a nice little town but on its own it is not worth the long journey. It is the island's nature what makes Iceland so special. A bus tour on Sunday could only give a short impression of what the country has to offer. Obviously one has to leave civilisation and trek across the highlands to experience the unique nature of active volcanos, spitting geysirs and spacious glaciers.

Some pictures of the day show...

... no man's land between American und European tectonic plates

... Gull Foss, the waterfall which is reported to look golden in sunshine

... Strokkor, currently the only Geyser throwing hot water regularly

You are invited to look up the complete photo gallery.

Yes, there was the marathon, too. It was a very nice event with 500 marathon runners, 1100 doing the half marathon, 2800 running 10K and thousands enjoying the 3K fun run. Race day was an unusual warm and sunny day with Icelandic hot summer temperature of 16°c, a perfect day for running.

I managed to do the 10K between caring for my group of marathon runners and I finished with the fairly decent time of 42:10 min. Age graded this is my best for the recent 3 years!

Photo: Olympic Champion Stefano Baldini (right) finished the Half Marathon runner-up to winner Benjamin Serem of Kenya.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Off to Iceland

training stats
We 15/08: gym 2 hrs and easy jog, 9K, 0:55 hrs
Tu 14/08: hilly run, 12K, 1:04 hrs
Mo 13/08: hilly bike, 39K, 1:39 hrs

On Monday I received confirmation to go on a sudden journey next weekend: On Saturday the Reykjavik Marathon will take place and I'll be there to care for a small group of runners. Hopefully I will be able to run the 10K race which starts at 10am after the marathon and half marathon runners start at 9.10am. So I can be ready in time to welcome my group at the finish of the marathon.

I have never been to Iceland. There will be no time left to do extensive excursions but I look forward to have a bath in the Blue Lagoon and to see the nearby wonders of nature on a Sunday tour along the Golden Circle.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Exciting Activities

training stats
week's total: run 39K, bike 133K, gym 1 session
Su 12/08: hilly run, 16K, 1:28 hrs and easy bike, 39K, 1:51 hrs
Sa 11/08: rest

Fr 10/08: fast run, 10K, 0:48 hrs + 2K slow
Th 09/08: gym 2 hrs

Most exciting day of the week was Saturday when the staff of interAir had their day out. We made our way along the paths of a high ropes course and - even more exciting - we got the chance to enter a sailglider and had a short but terrific flight.

Balancing along the ropes was more difficult than I expected. I have done a fair number of Klettersteige in the Alps but this is a different thing as everything you try to stand on is moving!

Soaring was one the most exciting things I ever did. The start was great fun with the plane beginning to rise with the first move. It felt like a vertical rise! High up one has a view all around and it is great to hear the wind streaming along the plane. Unfortunately the flight lasted only a few minutes as we failed to find an thermal lift.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Biking Lower Ruhr Valley

training stats
We 08/08: run, 11K, 1:00 hrs
Tu 07/08: rest
Mo 06/08: touristic bike tour, 93K, 3:45 hrs

week's total: run 26K, bike 228K, gym 2 sessions
Su 05/08: hilly run, 16K, 1:25 hrs
Sa 04/08: hilly bike, 74K, 3:40 hrs
Fr 03/08: gym 2hrs
Th 02/08: easy jog, 10K, 1:10 hrs

On Monday - according to the weatherforecast the last sunny day for quite a while - I completed my bike tour along the river Ruhr. I took the train to Duisburg where the Ruhr meets the Rhine. From the station there were no signposts referring to my long distance bike path. By consulting my map it was no big problem to find the meeting of the rivers. Once you have found the banks of the Rhine you simply follow it to the North until you see the Ruhr.

The forecast was right. It was a hot and sunny day and the journey was a great pleasure. I found the route between Essen-Kettwig and Hattingen the most beautiful stretch of all the Ruhr valley. I also enjoyed the first part last Wednesday in the woods of the high Sauerland and, too, the route between Wickede and Schwerte is picturesque. Overall the complete distance was worth biking and can be recommended. I am sure I will do it again.

Some photos of the day.

Where the Ruhr (right) meets the Rhine.

Only in Duisburg the final part of the Ruhr is used as a waterway for business transports.

Between Duisburg and Muelheim the Ruhr is already a calm stream with green surroundings.

The biggest reservoir along the Ruhr is the beautiful Baldeneysee, situated South of the City of Essen.

Coal mining is gone. All working pits have moved to the North of the Ruhr Area.

The Ruhr at Hattingen.