Sunday, 30 May 2010

Local History

stats of the week: run 11km, cycled 80km, 1 gym

Downtown Ruhr valley - the area where I live - is designated European Capital of Culture. One of many projects during the year is this one:

Hundreds of yellow balloons show where forgotten coal mines existed many years ago. The woods of my home town Witten are the cradle of Ruhr valley coal mining, with all pits closed since mid of last century. The evening view from my attic window shows green surroundings and a lighted yellow point reminding of our gone industrial history.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Scotland is hot

stats of the week: Edinburgh Marathon, 3.57.35 hrs

Did I say the weather was going to be perfect? It was - for the spectators. And for the runners to relax on the meadow after the race. Newspapers reported the hottest May weekend in Scotland ever! 26°c was more than Athens had to offer on the same day, the headlines claimed.

Adding to this the route turned out to be not as flat and fast as promised. The first miles were narrow and twisting, later there were a number of strenuous short climbs. Though toughest parts were the long stretches without shadow.

Even more admirable that B reached her target to finish sub 4 hours.

Drafting in her lee I felt comfortable and strong until I experienced a weak moment after around 36km. I saw her running off and felt that I won't be able to follow. But with the help of some dextrose and the view of the 25-mile-sign I managed to close the gap. Together we delivered a really strong and breathless finish.

Capable of smiling again. Well done!

Split times:
10km 52.06
21.1km 1.52.21
30km 2.44.15
42.2km 3.57.35

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Happy With the Rear Side

I have been to Edinburgh a couple of times. I love the place and this time it will be my first view of the city in sunshine! The weather is perfect, the ash plume is gone, I am coming.

My only target on Sunday is to follow B's footsteps. That will be hard enough. I strained my hamstring on Monday and therefore didn't do any sports since then. I don't worry - the advantage is that I can feel rested now what is more important than to train until the final minute. However, I am prepared for the feeling being let alone during the second half by B picking up her pace. Her success is more desirable than mine - I'll be happy to see her rear side.

Last time it happened in Helsinki:

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

More Racy Veterans

Following the recent note on Charles Eugster, competing oarsman and bodybuilder at the age of 90, today I have the pleasure to allude to the oldest man ever to have finished a half marathon.

Constant London Marathon runners will already know him. Fauja Singh ran London in 2000, when he was 89 and finished his first ever marathon after 6:54 hrs. 3 years later he set his PB in Toronto with 5:40 hrs. Meanwhile he has finished 5 London Marathons, 2005 being his last one.

Last Saturday he ran the ING Luxembourg Half Marathon in 3:32:30 as the only member of his very own age group "M99" (certificate). Fauja: "I won't stop running until I die."

photo by Fauja even got his own pacemakers.

By the way: Let me just point out he is vegetarian ...

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Tired legs in good shape

stats of the week: run 39km, cycled 211km, 1 gym

Adding up the weekly stats this evening I am very surprised that the week was the most ambitious of the year so far:

Anyway, this is the mathematical result of converting cycling to running by a rate of 35km of cycling equivalent to 10km of running. This ratio obviously can be discussed. Especially for long rides it needs to be adjusted.

However, my body agrees that is was a very tough week. After a long ride yesterday my legs woke up very tired this morning. I was amazed that - after an ardous start - I was able to complete a hilly 16km run in quite a good shape.

Today all flights to Manchester and Edinburgh were cancelled! Please, volcano E..., don't cause the same trouble as with the London Marathon!! The Met Office raises some hope as it forecasts wind will change at mid of the week... My flight is booked for Friday morning.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

30 years to look forward

stats of the week: run 21km, cycled 144km, 3 gyms

Came across an article in the Sunday paper and have found a new hero: Charles Eugster, an Englishman, dentist, lives in Switzerland. Nothing unsual so far, alas: He is 90 and he probably is the world's fittest man at this age.

(photo: Charles Eugster website)

His story lets me hope to have still some 30 years of sports to enjoy!
Charles Eugster

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Waiting for Come Back

stats of the week: run 19km, 2 gyms

A whole week after London my thigh muscels are still hurting. Did I tell you that there is another marathon I have entered? 3 weeks from today on I hope to be at the start line in Edinburgh. My muscles seem to be informed and let me know they disagree.

The even bigger dilemma is that I have booked three ambitious Alpine bike races to do in summer and it is high time to start the special training. The solution would be to do just bike training from now on, hoping another sub 4 hr marathon in between can be done without loads of running.

There is just one drawback: My legs are longing for more rest to recover from recent miles.

(Wiki photo)