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