Monday, 28 December 2009

Strange Problem

stats of the week: run 37km, 1 hr indoor bike, 1 gym

Wiki photo: Adductor muscel

Adductor injuries are rather common with sports that involve sudden stops and sidesteps, e.g. football or badminton. It should be quite rare among runners. It's still a miracle for me that I strained my left adductor twice within a fortnight.

One option might be that the indoor biking came too intensely, another that a new workout to strengthen the hamstring wasn't tolerated.

Running is strictly off-limits until Thursday now when I still hope to be able to take part in the traditional New-Year's-Eve race.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

More time on the treadmill

stats of the week: run 43km, 2 gyms

I am still doing my best with indoor intervals on the treadmill. I have practised this kind of speed workouts for about 10 years in November and December. And it always worked reliably to get fit for the end-of-year races. This time I was happy to see that I am able to achieve the usual training results - same speed, same number of intervals, same heart rate as every year.

But this time my race performance is absolutely disappointing. There is no evident impact.
In the cold light of day all my races since April were disappointing. And there is no improvement to hope for. Now I think about doing some cautious speed work all year round to limit further loss of ability.

Photo: Local winter weather forced to do half of the mileage on the treadmill - not appreciated.
(archives photo)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Fun Day

stats of the week: run 29km, 1 hr indoor cycle, 1 gym

After last weekend's disaster I stick to my thought to take it easy now and just have fun.
Along today's Christmas Run I enjoyed my role as the most envied runner as I was accompanied by two beauty angels.

I was surprised that we were a mere 13 seconds slower than last year when angel B took it more serious and trained much more. Don't worry there is still another proper race at New Year's Eve.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Time has come

stats of the week: run 42km, 2 gyms

Time has come to face the truth. I thought that training went well during recent weeks. The more disappointing happened to be what was my poorest race ever. Yesterday I was confronted with the worst performance I can remember. On a six-mile-race I lost nearly 3 minutes compared to last year.

Well, one can concede that I had a very depressing email conversation with the Zugspitzlauf lawyer the day before. What was still dominating my mind while racing. But this cannot explain why I wasn't able to run properly. There was no power to fight, there was no breath, no strength, there was nothing but a sagging old runner. Maybe time has come to stick to slow enjoyable jogs through nature and to say Good Bye to behaving like a sportsman.

Photo: Clock proves a leisurely pace but my face looks different

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Don't mind the judgement

stats of the week: run 62km, 1 gym

(With 2 runs in the hills of Garmisch this week's mileage increased to a level I didn't plan. I will have to taper off now to get fit for next Saturday's St Claus race. )

Witnessing at the Zugspitzlauf court case did not really help to overcome the memories. In fact it made things worse as I once more had to face how several people made fatal mistakes resulting in the death of two runners.

Initially I was shocked that the organiser resolutely affirmed that he didn't make any fault concerning race day. I'd be relieved if I could state this myself. Alas - imagine you are accused of involuntary manslaughter - won't you also try anything to get away not guilty? On the other hand if you have the feeling that you could have avoided the fatalities by doing better - shouldn't you have the standing to confess your part?

Whatever the court will judge on Tuesday it won't help anybody to come to terms with what happened. And it won't change the public opinion - what still is hurting most.

Photo: The place where U. passed away is just a ten-minute-walk to the top.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


stats of the week: run 37km, cycled 52km, 2 gyms

With the financial help of the Triathlon-TEAM Witten and a large group of individual runners last summer a memorial bronze plaque for Uwe Moldenhauer could be installed on the Zugspitze. We all hope Uwe will be remembered forever by everybody who passes the place he finished his very last run.

On Monday the trial clearing the liability of the Zugspitzlauf tragedy will take place at the local court of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and is scheduled for 5 days. I will have to appear as a witness on Thursday. As you might imagine I don't look forward calling back this disaster, otherwise it could be helpful to overcome dark memories.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The usual treadmill

stats of the week: run 43km, 3 gyms

It's just the 2nd week following the marathon, so I am fairly happy with the mileage done. I even managed to do a moderate interval workout on the treadmill.

I used to do this in recent years with good results. The session consists of a number of fast 1km-intervals interrupted by slow 0.5km-intervals. Last Thursday I started with 4 single kms and once per week will build up to 6 kms with increasing speed - I hope. This should lead to a satisfactory new years eve race.

One advantage to do it on the treadmill is that you can stick to a lower speed indoors as your heart rate is 10 bpm higher than it would be outdoors at the same speed.

Meanwhile you are invited to have a look at my extended New York City Photo Gallery.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Happily alive

stats of the week: run 22km, 2 gyms

Wiki-photo: van Veen 2009

Saw Herman van Veen on concert yesterday. One of his jokes I remember went like this: "You are really lucky. 53% of my audience has already passed away."

I have been visiting his tours for about 35 years - he is still able to lift my spirits for a number of following days. Indeed it's rather funny to notice: In the 70s his typical fan was around twenty, nowadays all the visitors are around sixty - still the same people coming to his concerts. And it's good to see that most people are still behaving like being twenty.

Herman van Veen

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Day of Surprise

stats of the week: Run 62km (including NYC Marathon 3:43:29)

Sometimes there are days when you are able to surprise yourself. New York City Marathon was such a day. Honestly. It was really sort of optimism when I wrote I'd be happy to run a time around 4 hours.

I looked up my weekly mileage for the 11 weeks since Helsinki Marathon in August. My average week added up to just 23 km! Could I expect to finish the race after 3:43? I reckon this performance is possible only with a background of 20 years of running. I won't recommend to copy my schedule nor would I try to do it again myself.

This year's NYC marathon was my 5th and I planned to let it become the last one. But once in Brooklyn and enjoying the crowd I already changed my mind. How about running my 50th marathon at the 50th New York City Marathon in 2019?

photo: German runners at a final workout in Central Park on Thursday afternoon

Saturday, 31 October 2009

New York City Marathon 40th Anniversary

stats of this week: run 18km
stats of previous week: run 60km, 2 gyms

Greetings from New York City where I hope to finish my 5th consecutive NYC Marathon tomorrow. I have done a number of marathons without proper training but this one will be the worst! At least I managed to do just one long run of 26km last weekend in Dublin where I took the DART train to the coastal village of Bray and ran back to the hotel.

However, I will try to beat my Helsinki time of 3:59. Watch out for race no 10471 at . I am in the first wave starting at 9.40 am local time which is German time 3.40 pm.

As usual I am here with my favourite travel agency . The Massai like chap beside me is Wolfgang Münzel, a former world class hill runner. Note that I am looking slightly overweight next to Wolfgang. He is the slimmest man I have ever seen. He is now 56 but still holds a number of course records of Alpine hill runs like the Matterhorn Race which he won several times, like many other important hill races. I am proud to be able to have a run with him along Hudson River. Here we are posing while resting on the newly opened High Line - a garden promenade above 10th Avenue.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Intermediate Home Visit

Back from Nepal, meanwhile I have already published a too big gallery at picasa before I will start to work on my ordinary Annapurna Circuit trekking report. This will take some time I have to admit as I am about to leave for Dublin at first followed by New York City.

Since the Helsinki Marathon in August I haven't done a proper long run. I will run NYC with the worst preparation for a marathon I ever did. I am sure I will be suffering. That's runner's life anyway.

Here's a taste of my ample photo collection.

Village life at Ghaza

Bodnath Stupa Surroundings

Observing Kathmandu Traffic

Kathmandu Sales Kids

Manang And Annapurna Range

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Off to Nepal

stats of the short week: run 22km


I regret there will be no posting until late October when I hope to be safely back from Nepal. I am doing the Annapurna Trek, the most crowded walkers' highway of the Himalaya. I think there should be a reason that everybody goes there. I will report if there really is.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Enjoyable race day

stats of the week: Run 44km, Cycled 112km, 2 gyms

Although I didn't feel really fit and the knee was slightly hurting I took the bait to race in the neighbourship. A fairly small event - apart from hundreds of kids - of hilly tarmacced 8 laps of 1 km. It was as tough as I expected and I finished 1 min 39 secs slower than two years ago.

As you see I didn't compete all-out but it was still a very tough time to clock at 38:45 min what placed me 12th out of 49 runners overall. Looking back at recent weeks of very low key training I didn't cherish any illusions. It was a highly enjoyable day - due to all the pleasant people I met.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Race and Work

stats of the week: run 28km, cycled 67km, 1 gym

In recent days I was rather busy with our yearly charity run .

Once more it turned out to be a success with 874 entries and 733 finishers. That's a loss of 16% on the day what unfortunately is quite normal nowadays.

I would recommend everyone who regularly takes part in races to get involved in organising such an event. Next time you go for a race you will have a different view of it. We were around 80 volunteers to serve the runners. And some of us had been working for weeks to prepare all the things needed.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Dancing the pace

stats of the week: run 32km, cycled 169km, 1 gym
I increased my cycling mileage as I learnt that this kind of movement helps my knees to get back to a painfree job. This week reminded me to stay happy. I should really be grateful to be able to complete this amount of workouts.

After a fast flat bike tour of 113km on Saturday I enjoyed to escort B to fast 10km race in the City of Dortmund on Sunday afternoon. She totally ran on her own, I didn't help in any way. I was just happy - as someone described - to dance around her for 48 minutes along the 8-lap-route.

Monday, 7 September 2009

No pain but strain

stats of the week: run 26km, cycled 106km, 2 gyms

The stats look better than the week has been. Still suffering from a cold I struggled to get back to regular workouts. Finally I felt cured and once again took part in the traditional local onion relay race - a Saturday night fun event in downtown Witten. I had to run the final part of five members and luckily I was the last one by far when I took over the onion baton. So I decided to enjoy the short run of 600 meters. Two days later I have to notice that it was long enough to strain my knee! I'll have to cut down my training again.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Forced to recover

stats of the week: run 17km

I would have loved to do more sports, alas! a nasty cold set me back since Thursday and I am not yet fully recovered. It's no surprise that my body demands rest now after a summer I strained myself more than ever.

My German readers might like to read the Helsinki marathon photo report and the short Berlin Championsrun race report.

No fixed plans for September. I hope to build up again by doing a couple of long runs to get prepared for the NYC marathon. Long runs have to be done in September because October will see me doing some hill walking.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Championships gallery

I found my favourite athlete. Allyson Felix undoubtedly is the most elegant runner of Berlin 2009. She won two gold medals: 200m and 4x400m relay.

Please don't hesitate to enjoy my Berlin 2009 gallery.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

World Champions

The new Marathon world champion, Xue Bai (left), is still finding time and power to support her fellow Chinese runner with a sponge. This is the scene after 27km on the route.

Sabrina Mockenhaupt, nickname "Mocki", did a very good job finishing 17th after 2:30:07 on a very hot day in Berlin.

Germany's Susanne Hahn proved to be strong and finished 34th with 2:38:39.

My world championships gallery is to come on Tuesday evening.

Greetings from Berlin

Just a short message from Berlin and my visit to the IAAF World Championships. Today's most astonishing German achievement was the bronze medal of the 100m women's relay team. It is really a great moment to see the girls being so happy:

Please come back on Tuesday when I will have uploaded my championship gallery with the best of the champions photos.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Not Pacemaker but Follower!

Helsinki City Marathon: 3:59:43 hrs, 93rd M55 of 273, 1765th of ~5,000

Sorry folks I am delayed reporting of Helsinki City Marathon. You might think that's because I was overtaken by B. while I tried to work as her pacemaker .. probably you're right.

It was a tough day and I had to learn that running is different from cycling. With a lack of long running workouts I suffered from 30km onwards and struggled to reach the finish. After 2 or 3 short stretches of walking I was just able to perform a strong finish to beat the 4 hrs.

Right from the beginning the pace was made by B on her own. From shortly after the start I only managed to follow her until I lost her at one of the feeding stations at around 37km. I always have known that this kind of day would come once but I didn't expect it to be real today!

The photo shows B behind the finish line waiting for her pacemaker for 61 seconds:

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Cycling still preferred

stats of the week: run 42km, cycled 297km, 1 gym

I know I should really concentrate on running in this last but one week before the marathon. But in brilliant sunshine and high temperatures I can't resist to ride my bike. It's simply because one can enjoy the whole day while cycling and have the highlight of a visit to another ice cream parlour to add to my collection.

On Friday I took the train to Finnentrop, a village in the nearby mountain range of the Sauerland. The way back home took me 138km along a beautiful green scenery with a view to the Sorpe Lake nearly midway:

Since two or three years my home town Witten on the Ruhr boasts a bikers' ferry. On Saturday I finally managed to use it for the first time. It's an idyllic place as you see:

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Bike Watch

stats of the week: run 62 km, hill walking 11 hrs

I was really tempted to take part in the Bochum Giro, an open bike race in my home town. Alas I should concentrate on running now with only 2 weeks to go until Helsinki marathon.

The other option was to have a look at the professionals' race. My photo shows the top of the peloton lead by Columbia. With yellow sun glasses there is Tony Martin, Germany's new Tour de France shooting star, and behind him Marc Cavendish who won today's race as expected.

Mid of the week I did a spontaneous - although long intended - journey to the Zugspitze. I had to complete a sad project I will report about later.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Sports for Age

Would have been "no sports" the better advice for Mr Sarkozy? No, says Times online,
Middle-aged joggers like Nicolas Sarkozy have longer, happier lives.

Very kind, dear Times, I am especially grateful for the wording "middle aged".
Worth reading: Times online article

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Active recover week

stats of the week: run 37km, cycled 260km, 1 gym

On Friday I felt totally exhausted and had to slow down my flat running workout of 12km to a clocked time of 1hr17. Sunday already was much better and I now look forward to the next highlight: Helsinki Marathon on Aug 15. It's going to be a touristic run so I hope to be fine with 2 longish runs of around 25km to get fit for the day.

May I point out to you a Guardian portrait of Lizzy Hawker which is well worth reading. Lizzy is a pure amateur but to be regarded as one of the world's best athletes. She is certainly very well known within the hill running society but outside this small world she is being overlooked what is a pity. She is a real champion. A champion not only of sports but of life.

Guardian Portrait Lizzy Hawker: Queen of the mountains

(photo: Swiss Alpine)

PS. German speaking readers might enjoy my l'étape du tour race report.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Mt Ventoux Champion

Result L'etape du tour: 172km, 8:43:10, 4679th of 7396 finishers

Everybody's life has some days which one never will forget. Definately this was one of mines! Simply I regard this day as my life's best ever and most exciting sports performance.

My only option to survive was to keep most of my power along 150 km on the way to the foot of Mt Ventoux. However, there were almost 2,000 meters of height difference to overcome until Bedoin, the village in front of the mountain.

The organisers had published their first elimination point to be practised after 113 km where one should arrive at 1pm latest. I was happy to be there at 12.10pm after it took me 34min from the gun shot at 7am to reach the start line.

Second elimination was after 149 km at the village of Bedoin at 2.50pm. I showed up at 1.35pm and now was fairly sure that I would make it to the finish in time. Finish closure was intended to be 5.30pm. I had a few minutes of rest and made my way to the top.

The final 21km consist of a consecutive ascent of almost 8% on average, with long stretches of more than 10%. 1,600 meters of height difference without a chance to recover. Temperature at Bedoin culminated at 38°c when I started my climb.

I stopped 3 short times for drinking but managed to carry on all the time. I guess 5 of the 21km I cycled while standing on the pedals! I saw fellow bikers falling, sitting, lying, vomiting, walking. I carried on cycling and clocked 2:32 hrs for the stretch from Bedoin to the summit. Especially compared to Erik Zabel whom it took 1:59 I was more than happy to reach the summit in style at 4.16pm.

Now I think I can call myself to be a cyclist.

Please feel invited to have a look at my photo gallery and view the videos.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Personal doubts

stats of the week: run 34km, cycled 155km, gyms 1

In my desperate effort to prepare for the l'Etape du Tour I cycled another organised bike tour in the nearby Sauerland, a low mountain range rising to not more than 840 meters above sea level. The route covered 155km and climbed around 1,800 meters of height difference which sounds to be a proper training for Mt Ventoux.

After 140km I imagined myself to be at the foot of Mt Ventoux - which accords to next Monday's race. And I have to admit I don't believe that I will be able to finish this race. I took another view at the elimination rules: They are rather challenging. One has to stick to an average speed of more than 20km/h to beat the sweeping up bus. At the Maratona dles Dolomites I managed an average speed of 17.7km/h ...

First feeding station will be at 76km! It's not going to be a day for beginners... Anyway I won't have time for a comfy lunch. There are two nicely called "Elimination Zones". Zone 1 demands to have done 113km within 5:30 hrs, Zone 2 says 149km within 7:20 hrs. And there are some hills in between. Oh folks, it is going to be a tough day ...

Friday, 10 July 2009

Bike Fun Day

stats of the week: run 11Km, cycled 190Km

Result bike race Maratona dles Dolomites:
106K/3100hm, 6:21:38 hrs, 338th of 542 M50-57, 1725th overall of 2523

Last week I said I'd rather run a marathon than cycling through the Dolomites but viewing back I am totally excited about this great bike tour around the Sella mountain taking in 6 mountain passes. It was a great day, a gorgeous experience and I ever would do it again! As most of the participants do - most of them were not new to the race.

After viewing the route by car I forced myself to opt for the medium distance of 106km. One is allowed to decide during the race how far to go. There are choices of 55km, 106km and 138km. The longest route takes in a 7th pass which is the most strenuous one. I don't regret to abstain from the ultimate tour. Being a cycling beginner I am quite content with my performance, one more hill would have tested my very limits. I put this aside for July 20th.

The result shows that I was able to let one third of the field behind me. What you couldn't analyse from the figures: I could have done much better when I won't be so much afraid of downhill cycling. On my slow way down I lost a lot of the places I won uphill. Between the 4th and 6th pass I won 280 places, downhill to the finish I lost 80 of them. Anyway I regard cycling being my recovery sport and I do it for fun. Therefore this memorable day was a big success. It was GREAT FUN.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Tempting Alternative

We are still staying in the Matter valley of the Wallis Kanton in Switzerland and during our daily hill walks in the area we frequently come across the preparations for the 8th Zermatt Marathon which will take place next Saturday.

After the start in the village of St. Niklaus the route follows the ascending Matter valley and takes 20km to reach the village of Zermatt. Then the real story begins. The runners have to climb the viewing point of Sunnegga which most tourists head for by mountain rail.

After a detour far into a hidden high level valley runners head for Riffelalp at 2,200m above sea level just to start the final very steep climb to the top of Riffelberg at roughly 2,500m. The scenery is breathtaking with the famous Matterhorn close by.

I have to admit I would prefer to run this marathon instead of cycling the Dolomites Bike Marathon as this seems to be the more dangerous and incalcuable challenge for me. Well - I have just decided I will run the Zermatt Marathon to celebrate my 60th birthday. Not too long to go.

More at Zermatt Marathon

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Working to be content

stats of the week: run 47km, cycled 43km, 1 gym

Result Aletsch Half Marathon: 2:38:08, 30th M55 of 92, 543 overall of 1540

Oh folks, it was a tough day and a disappointing one. I know I should be happy that I am still able to take part in events like this one. Other men have passed away at my age. I am still running and trying my very best. Alas - it's constantly getting less .

It was not the best of my days today. May be I was not sufficiently recovered from the recent weeks' training. Certainly I was not acclimatised adequately for a race which starts at 1,900m above sea level, has numerous ups and downs and finishes at 2,675m. Rationality says I have to be content with the performance, but as we are runners we think different...

Conditions were perfect to make it a great race day. This is the scene after about 4km with the finish far in the background, the top of Bettmerhorn.

And this is me crawling to the finish line, more than 2 hours later.

The scene around the finish.

At least I made it.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Ready for Recover

stats of the week: run 56km, cycled 111km, 2 gyms

To have to train for running and cycling is a deluxe dilemma. I wonder how all the triathletes get along with additional swimming . This week I am content with the mileage of hill running I did but I had to neglect cycling. Today I thought about an afternoon cycling workout after running in the morning but I simply felt too exhausted.

Since Wednesday when I did a tough hilly long run I am feeling worn out. I will have to recover now to get fit for the Aletsch Half Marathon next Sunday. I was surprised to see that more than 70 men of my age group have already entered the race. I dreamed of a top ten finish but I will have to correct this to top twenty now.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Performance weekend

stats of the week: run 42km, cycled 201km, 1 gym

It was a fairly active weekend. Sat I gave my life premiere at the stylish world of triathlon when I took the bike part of a relay competition in my home town Witten. It was a short 8-lap-distance of 10km overall which took me 20 min - slightly disappointing at 10th place out of 27 - but my windchill speed felt much higher! However, it was great fun and a completely new way of experiencing the local roads.

(Thanks to MDC for the photo)

Sun I did another long bike tour of 160km, an organised event by the local cycling club. It was a hilly course counting 1600 height meters and I got really exhausted. I have now done 4 long bike workouts of around 150km. I think that the most I could do but I still doubt very much that it will enable me to finish l'etape du Tour where I will have to climb Mt Ventoux after a warm up of 140km. As a runner I very often learned that one can perform much better when competing, compared to training. I hope it will be the same with cycling.

Sunday, 7 June 2009


stats of the week: run 30km, cycled 171km, 1 gym

It was sort of a tough week. Legs are heavy and I feel aged and tired. I completed a streak of 10 days of training and have to remind myself that recovery should be part of the schedule.

My problem is that I try to get fit for a half marathon hill run and for my most strenuous bike tour ever at the same time. With already two marathons done it might be too much of a load.

I set up a time schedule for the Maratona dles Dolomites and now I am really worried that I'll be overtaken by the sweeper bus. Fortunately there is a race day option to shortcut the race from 138km to 106km and I'll seriously review my chances at the junction.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Some days are better than others

stats of the week: run 25km, cycled 172km, 2 gyms

Today was actually one of the better days. I managed one of my longest bike tours ever, 153km, and performed the second fastest tour ever by an ave speed of 30.3km/h. Thanks to a group of 4 young lads and a tough girl, my average speed increased from 28 to 30 within the final 60km of the very flat course.

Well, the young athletes didn't really take their gloves off but I so much enjoyed to be able to stay with them and fly along the countryside roads. However, I still very much doubt that I will be able to finish the l'etape du tour in style. We'll see if I survive.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

More events to dream of

stats of the week:
run 9Km, cycled 277km

Call me crazy but after my sports year has been almost perfect until now I am planning more events to take part.

I discovered the Aletsch Half Marathon fits perfectly into the journey to the cycling Maratona dles Dolomiti. I haven't booked yet but I am very keen to do it! It's an alpine half marathon on a plateau at 2,000 meters above sea level, with the finish culminating at 2,643 m!

Nevertheless I am now concentrating on cycling workouts and I am enjoying it, at least as long as the weather stays like today, summerlike temps and brilliant sunshine.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Another Finish, another Medal

stats of the week: run 62K, 1 gym

Finally we made it to the RuhrMarathon's finish line in Essen, after B had to overcome an injury problem and her disappointment.

We clocked 4:21 hrs, not too bad after a delayed start when we had to wait in pouring rain and low temperatures for 50 minutes. We were on schedule until 26K but then B had a tough time to reach the finish. She proved to be a brave runner! And I have to admit her trouble helped to me to cover the distance in man-shape.

You might like to have a look at the photo gallery.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Another race number

The New York City Marathon seems to feel the crisis, too. Today I unexpectedly got confirmation that I received a Good-for-Age-Entry for the 2009 race on November 1!

I tried this first time in 2006 and was successful. 2007 I applied again and was told that I had to stand back because I got a number the year before. 2008 I was successful again. So for 2009 I expected me to be rejected according to the previous rules.

It was said that NYRR are aiming for a field of 50,000 runners within a couple of years. Applicants seem to have better prospects now. Anyway, I am happy to take part again. Provided I am staying fit to run it will be my 5th time!

Photo 2005: Leaving Queensborough bridge for 1st Avenue.

By the way - I qualified by running the Hastings Half Marathon 2009 in 1hr37min gun time. M50+ runners have to be faster than 1hr40min what is much easier than the marathon aequivalent of 3hr30min. See qualifying times at NYCM website.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Cycling to new limits

Stats of the week: run 37K, cycled 194K, 2 gyms

Oh folks, what have I done!

This week I received confirmation by that I got a number to cycle this year's l'etape du tour! It's not any leg, it's the one finishing on top of Mont Ventoux! What means that after 140K with some "minor" mountain passes there will be waiting 1,600 height meters to climb. I have done some sporty events so far but I reckon this is going to be the toughest day of my life. For me it's only a one-day-race - I have increasing respect for those who do it as just one leg of the 3-week-tour.

(wiki photo)

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Recovered and enjoying

stats of the week: cycled 110K

It took a very long time for my muscles to recover. Today I did my first jog since the London Marathon. It was so enjoyable! Running through the spring time woods in a light drizzle reminded me of what is really important. One doesn't need to run a marathon. Just moving through nature keeping your eyes open is definately enough to be happy. Speed doesn't matter. Medals don't matter.

Er - this might be the moment to admit that I have entered another marathon not too far away. In fact it is just 10 days to go! I had to enter, there was no choice. I would have prefered to do the Half Marathon through my hometown again. But organisers changed the route. Now I have to go for the full distance to run through Bochum. Luckily it's the first 15K which I love to run. May be I will retire after half way. Alas - I have finished 301 races and not given up once. I would rather walk the second half than quit the race.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

My London Struggle

Definately this couple did better than me! Samuel Wanjiru didn't worry about the high temperatures and won by course record of 2:05:10.

Irina Mikitenko (GER) defended her title and surfed to a safe victory after 2:22:11.

After 11 miles I managed to show high spirits but I already knew that this wasn't going to be the best of my days.

Finally having received my medal I was looking content - and I really was. The main target was to finish my 10th consecutive London Marathon. Shouldn't I be happy about this achievement?

Until 35K I was still on target of running 3:30. But right from the start I felt something wrong. With 5K into a marathon one should feel completely fresh like just started. But I felt tired already. Nevertheless I tried to stick to my time schedule. There was a refresh after half way and new hopes emerged. But after 30K I got slower and felt sick. With just 1 K to go I got a strong and sudden cramp at my right hamstring. I lost 2 minutes to get over it. Finally I was lucky that my sickness didn't get worse before I reached The Mall but only 3 meters behind the finish line where I was ashamed to have to vomit repeatedly. A tough finish!

3:35:31 still makes my fastest marathon since my PB in 2004. And just 11 seconds slower than my very first marathon in 1991 - when I was 18 years younger. The longer I analyse last Sunday's result the happier I get...