Tuesday, 30 December 2008

2008 insights

On my regular visit to Pyjammy, I came across the habit of answering an end-of-year-questionnaire. I find it rather tempting to fill in my responses. However, I fear to publish too personal stories - esp. mentioning thirds' ones - and will be reading my text several times before going online. With 38 items the list is too long in my eyes, I will simply ignore some sort of boring ones. Have fun reading and be warned: You will not be able to avoid thinking about your own 2008.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
I did by first ever bike race. Even more exciting, it was the Alpine race "DreiLaenderGiro", crossing Stelvio Pass at 2,757 meters above sea level.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't make resolutions any more, I just have aspirations.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
None, and no signs to become grandpa.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Uwe. Do I need to say more.

5. What countries did you visit?
In order of visits: Spain (Gran Canaria), Spain (Mallorca), Netherlands, England, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Iceland, Ireland, USA, Canada. As you see I am retired.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Reach the top of a really high mountain (> 5,000m).

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
31/05/2008: Day of Stockholm Marathon - my funniest race ever.
22/06/2008: Alpine Bike Race DreiLaenderGiro, 168K, 3,500 height meters.
13/07/2008: Uwe died at Zugspitzlauf.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Successfully and regularly helping J with her school homework.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Let Uwe run to his death.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Arthritic knee, very high cholesterol level. But there was much more to suffer.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The most exciting thing is my new mountain bike. It is still unused due to the cold weather.

(12. Whose behavior merited celebration?)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There is a row of persons leaping into my mind. They all won't be surprised to be recalled in this way - but I'd rather not name them.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Travelling - as you guessed.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
J's first ever mark "2" in maths.

(16. What song will always remind you of 2008?)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? changes even more frequently
b) thinner or fatter? + 2 kilos
c) richer or poorer? lost 30% of all the money I saved during my life, but had a number of worthy experiencies

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Long-distance walking, high level trekking.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

(20. How did you spend Christmas?)

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Me? I won't tell you anyway.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
In German TV? You're joking.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
There is at least one I above mentioned in no 13.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Cholesterol Myths, by Uffe Ravnskov

(25. What was your greatest musical discovery?)

26. What did you want and get?
Really not for the public!

27. What did you want and not get?
Better: What did I get and not want: My first ever penalty points (for driving too fast).

(28. What was your favorite film of this year?)

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Do I have to say?! I got 55! But I don't remember how I did.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Come on, let me save my dreams. Writing down would let me face that is impossible.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Desperately trying to occure younger.

32. What kept you sane?
Moving and laughing! Perhaps crying, too?

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Obama is too far away to fancy and I reckon he can't meet all desires. -
I would like to mention biker Jan Ullrich who has my sympathy as he was not able to defend himself properly. He has made the same faults as everybody else did. It is an error to think of the best sports performer to be the most perfect personality inevitably.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Hundreds of billion Euros spent to save crashed banks but no money to renovate schools and buy books for the local library.

35. Who did you miss?
Whenever I race nearby I miss fellow runner Uwe.

(36. Who was the best new person you met?)

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
You can't avoid deep valleys between high mountains.

(38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.)

Thanks for reading right to the end.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

2008 Finish

stats of the week: Run 51K, 1hr indoor cycling, 2 gym sessions

My home town Witten is situated in the Ruhr area, Germany's most industrial and densly populated region. Luckily there are places like this within running distance from my doorstep.
The photos were taken during an afternoon stroll on Boxing Day.

Traditionally I will again take part in the New Year's Eve race of 15K from Werl to Soest. It's my 19th time, with the first race in 1985 still being the slowest one, clocking 1:08:33 hrs. My PB is 1:02:14 run in 2000. These times are gone, I have to accept. My target now is just to beat my slowest performance which is an increasing challenge with the years going by.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Not yet started

This blog will start in May 2009,
after the last "Flora London Marathon" will have taken place on April 26.

So long please feel invited to read my blog Flora London Marathon.

Record week

stats of the week: run 67K, 3 gym sessions

Watch the chart (yellow dots): This week ended up to sum up the second highest mileage of the year! It wasn't intended to develop like this, of course.

Like many runners I use sports for cheering up myself if needed. This week it was needed as it can be seen. I did a getting-away run of 20K on Tuesday, a quite fast one with a race-like speed. My mood required another long run of 23K on Thursday which I made as a jog-walk workout because I was frightened to put too much load on the knee.

You wonder if it did help? Anyway I reckon it would be even worse without running.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Decorated Santa Claus

stats of the week: run 43K, 1 hr indoor cycling, 2 gym sessions

The local newspaper entitled: The Christ Child and Santa Claus.

Taking part in the local Christmas City Run was great fun. Beforehand I was worried if my costume would be too silly or too simple but it turned out to be a big success - with children and adults. May be the true reason was my company.

A fellow runner called us: Uli and his tinsel... quite fittingly described. My Christ Child was highly content with our race result. I refrained from telling her that the distance was even shorter than published by the organisers ... But it was still a really good performance - in every respect!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Dreaming of come back

stats of the week: run 42K, 1hr indoor cycling, 3 gym sessions

logo by rc-herdecke

How much the world can change within one week! I'm speaking of the world of running. Another race, a new luck: Santa Claus Run in Herdecke has 9.6 K (exactly 6 miles) and although it is longer than last Sunday's race I was able to run faster! Don't ask me why - I don't know.

start photo by blogger Marcus

I enjoyed the race right from the start all the way to the finish. One key might have been that I avoided to get off too fast. First K was 4:12 min, slowest was 6th K with 4:20 and my finish was one of the best ever. Albeit I resorted to swearing heavily when crossing the line after 40:44.4 min as I was overtaken by a fellow age grouper by 0.4 seconds.

Now I'm dreaming of a come back next year. Still speaking of the world of running.