Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Got my Medal

Result: 4:04:00 hrs
9972 position overall of 35669
595 position M50 of 1852

I did it. I finished and got my medal. This 27th London Marathon was truly one of my toughest. After 20 miles I had to concede the lack of serious training and the missing of long runs. I had to walk twice what really was a pity since B had recovered perfectly after she had two walks, too, earlier in the race. So we both hold up each other - a kind of teamwork we had planned in a different way.

My motto of the day: The medal looks the same for every finisher...

A photo report is to come until Saturday. Here are some photos in advance:

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Off to London

training stats: none

On Monday morning I discovered that I strained my left thigh. It probably happened while I was crouching on the road kerb for photographing the runners. I was cowering there for 2 hours after my own 10K race and it was obviously too much pulling for the tendon. It is not serious and I don't believe that my London Marathon start is in danger. But I have to admit I am still worried. No question I had to cancel the jog scheduled for Tuesday. Luckily this will not effect my performance: Training this week is just for the head, not for the muscles.

So I am off for my London No. 8 and it looks that I will achieve my lowest goal at least: To get to the start. B is still heading for a new PB - less than 3:45 - and my plans are to escort her as long as I can. I hope I can stay alongside her at least to the main highlight: the Tower Bridge which is at 20K. Further on we'll see.

I am afraid I will not be able to post before next Wednesday. Watch out the results for race number 54884.

All the best for those of you who will be running, too. Hope you will have fun and enjoy the day. I am sure you will!

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Dream Day

training stats
su 15/04: Pacemaking race, 10K, 0:49 hrs
th 12/04: Interval run, 22K, 2:04 hrs (with 2x fast 4K)
week's total: 52K

Since the NYC marathon was a success last year we thought it would be a good omen to do the same again and run a 10K race one week before the London Marathon. It was the premiere of a new running event in our town and organisers were very happy to welcome more than 700 runners allover the different race distances offered.

The route was challenging, hilly with lots of bends and pavements up and down and different surfaces. Adding to this there were the unbelievably high temperatures, hot summer at mid of April.

Regarding the conditions B's time of 49 mins is really impressive. She was 7th fastest women of 96 females finishing. And she won her age group! A really unexpected achievement! Disappointingly she didn't get a cup to present her children: It was an umbrella she was awarded ...

Only 2 very easy workouts are to be done now: A short slow jog on Tuesday and the travel group jog to Buckingham Palace on Saturday morning. That's it. We are ready to run London. And I would not have believed that 4 weeks ago!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

More of Bruges

training stats
Tu 10/04: slow jog, 10K, 1:05 hrs
Mo 09/04: run, 10K, 0:57 hrs

Besides beer the other Belgian speciality is chocolate. And Bruges is the chocolate capital. You can't spend a day in Bruges without coming across chocolate. Chocolate is everywhere. Order anything in a cafe or restaurant you will get chocolate with it.

These are some examples of Bruges choc art:

A guarded bridge:

Swans are another emblem of Bruges:

Watching heads:

One more typical landmark:

Magic hotel - beware of spooky walls:

Thanks for visiting my gallery.

Bruges Canals Star

The Scene: One of the main Bruges canals frequently visited by boat exursions. An open window above the water.

His life seems to be boring. Dozens of boats with hundreds of tourists are passing by every day.

He knows he's getting attention. He is used to the constant "Ahs" and "Ohs" of delighted passengers.

When he moves every motion is well calculated.

Rarely he shows a true kind of interest.

He is the star of Steenhouwersdijk and I suppose he has been employed by the boat trip company as the guides announce his presence well in advance.

Monday, 9 April 2007


By the way - I better might not mention it: I am 54 today. Your comfort is highly appreciated but to be honest it won't help.

Easter Excursion

Bruges is a medieval Belgian town, bigger than I expected. It has more than 100,000 inhabitants and you can walk along its streets and canals for hours and you will not yet have seen everything. In former times it had a North Sea port and became one of most wealthy towns of Europe. Which obviously it still is and one of the most beautiful, too. The town boasts with museums but the weather was just too fine to spend the day indoors.

See a small gallery of our Easterly walks so far:

Bruges Town Hall

A typical view of Bruges - the canals are called "Grachts"

The Begijnhof is a working cloister of Benedictines

Busy Bruges has 100,000 inhabitants, but 3,000,000 tourists per year

Belgium is beer country. I guess there are hundreds of breweries with even more kinds of brews.

Another view of the many Grachts which can be explored by a boat trip

Today - Easter Sunday - the famous classic bicycle race Flandern Tour started on the market place of Bruges. The place was packed with people. Early at 7am many thousands of hobby bikers started followed by the proffessionals at 10am. It is the main sports event in Belgium. Everybody is crazy about bike racing.

Windmill mirrored near the village of Damme.

Watch this space for more on Wednesday.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Most is done - 2 weeks to go

training stats
Fr 06/04:
long run, 32K, 3:06 hrs
Th 05/04: slow jog, 10K, 1:04 hrs
week's total: 42K

after 20K at the banks of Lake Harkort

Training is already over this week since I think I need to recover from today's long run for at least 2 days. I have to admit it was too early to do the long workout today - with just 5 days to recover of last Sundays half marathon race.

But we leave for an Easter trip to Bruges in Belgium tomorrow and Angelika would not be pleased if I disappeared for 3 hours during the weekend instead of sightseeing or visiting the town's cafes. Especially as it was me who pushed for doing this excursion.

So there was no choice - running 30K mid of next week would be too late to recover completely before London. Luckily I could join J and U to pull me along the distance. My legs started to tire heavily after around 25K, no question caused by the recent race.

after 25K on the Ruhrtal bike path approaching the village of Wengern

Only one more longish run is to be done before London, a 20K at next Thursday or Friday. That's it. It is still an emergency schedule, with only 2 workouts longer than 25K. But I am confident it will enable me to finish the marathon inside 4 hrs.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

1:36:35 - a magic day

Su 01/04: Half Marathon Race, 1:36:35 hrs

Benita Johnson of Australia seems to be ready to run London. She won the Berlin Half Marathon in 1:08:28 hrs. She announced she would be able to run the marathon inside 2:20 what she thinks would be necessary to win London.

The male race was won by Patrick Makau Musyoki (KEN) clocking a new course record of 58:56 min. (photos taken by my son Daniel)

And what about me? I already received a couple of emails asking how I could manage to run such a fast time with that kind of emergency training I started 4 weeks ago after 2 months of rest. Honestly I don't know. It is still a miracle to me.

I guess it was just a perfect day with perfect conditions. I started slightly too fast with a speed of 4:32 min/K (7:16 min/m) and sticked to this pace. I was expecting to face problems after around 12-13 K but the K-markers went by and by and I was still able to hold the pace. My fastest one was K 13 with 4:27 and the slowest was K 20 with 4:41 when we faced strong winds from the front. The astonishing result was a time which age graded is my second best half marathon ever!

I was that happy to be back on the roads - after half the distance I felt like dancing and thought running was the most enjoyable activity one could imagine. - Okay, there is hill walking, too ...

A small Berlin weekend photo gallery:

The new Berlin main railway station.

The Reichstag where the parliament takes wise decisions - well, they should.

The top is open to the public.

Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz.

Sony Center roof inside.

Brandenburger Tor.

Berlin is Bear City.

Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse

Remains of the Wall.