Monday, 24 December 2012

Monday, 17 December 2012

Young girl beats old man

stats of the week: run 29km, gym 3hrs

The 3rd race in 3 weeks - that's the first excuse for not having run 10K sub 45 mins what was my declared target. Also conditions were not really perfect - heavy rain and strong winds on a cold Friday evening. But the main reason was that I started too fast!

Shortly after setting off I noticed a trio of club runners who paced a little girl looking very young. Later I learnt she is already 13. I got so excited looking at her easy and perfect running style that I followed the temptation to keep their pace and the first 2km were great fun.

Soon I had to admit that she was too fast for me and after 3km I lost the group. After 5km I was so exhausted that I could hardly imagine to finish this race. On the second half I was overtaken by at least 20 runners. All hope was gone and my only thought was to reach the finish line.

The little girl finished 3 mins ahead of me, my time was 45:49, still not too bad as the average of 4:35 min/K is just the same as two weeks before. Alas - there is little hope now that I'll be able to run the New Year's Eve race of 15K in a 4:30 pace.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Old runner - old rule

stats of the week: run 40km, gym 4hrs
stats of the week before: run 34km, gym 4hrs

Two very different personal race experiences on two consecutive weekends.
First a flat 9.6k lap with perfect conditions where I struggled from start to finish and averaged a 4:35min/K pace by outmost effort.
This was followed by 9.1K race on a very cold and wet day on streets and pavements covered by snow slush. Once again an old rule proved to be true: Performance is best when you don't expect yourself to deliver a good result. Without pushing too much I was able to run a 4:26min/k pace.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Sweaty times on the treadmill

stats of the week: run 56km, gym 2hrs

Back to a sufficient mileage I included treadmill intervals to my schedule - as I do in December usually. Looking at the time table below, my speed might seem to be too low. I've been doing this for more than a decade and I learnt that my heartrate is 10 beats higher on the treadmill compared to outside workouts. Experience says that this sort of speed will get me fit for New Year's Eve Race and I always was able to run at a 4:30 min/km pace for 15K. But I doubt I can do it again as I got older by one year again.

from km   to km     kmh min/km  time
0,0   0,2   3,5   17:09 03:26
0,2   0,6   8,5   07:04 06:15
0,6   1,0   9,0   06:40 08:55
1,0   1,5   9,5   06:19 12:05
1,5   2,0   10,0   06:00 15:05
2,0   2,5   12,0   05:00 17:35
2,5   3,0   12,5   04:48 19:59
3,0   3,5   8,5   07:04 23:30
3,5   4,0   12,0   05:00 26:00
4,0   4,5   12,7   04:43 28:22
4,5   5,0   8,5   07:04 31:54
5,0   5,5   12,0   05:00 34:24
5,5   6,0   13,0   04:37 36:42
6,0   7,0   7,0   08:34 45:17
7,0   7,5   12,0   05:00 47:47
7,5   8,0   12,7   04:43 50:08
8,0   8,5   8,5   07:04 53:40
8,5   9,0   12,0   05:00 56:10
9,0   9,5   13,0   04:37 58:29
9,5   10,0   8,5   07:04 1:02:00
10,0   10,5   12,0   05:00 1:04:30
10,5   11,0   12,7   04:43 1:06:52
11,0   12,0   8,5   07:04 1:13:56

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Back home for boost

stats of the week: run 41km, gym 3h

The marathon that has never taken place:

Now I am back to home town roads to do some cautious intervals and get prepared for weekly December races. Did my first treadmill workout with alternating fast kilometers and slow half kilometers in between. It was a promising start but still has to be boosted next week.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Sunshine before travelling home

stats of the week: run 38km

After a weekend at Washington D.C. - guiding around a really nice and well organised Marine Corps Marathon - and a turbulent week in New York City I have arrived at my very last U.S. stop in Miami Beach. Some days of warm sunshine will let me recover from the hustle and bustle in Big Apple culminating in the disappointment of a cancelled marathon.

Sunday's flashmob run at Central Park was sort of a compensation for the real race, crowds were in a great mood and a good number did even run a full marathon by four laps of the Park. I settled for 3 laps to get back to regular training soon.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Grand Canyon Day

Not me!

Don't worry, folks, I'm back safe and sound. As it turned out that I was much faster than expected I had a leisurely breakfast at Phantom Ranch and added a detour to Plateau Point, a viewpoint well worth the effort.

Having started at 5.20am at South Kaibab trailhead I arrived at Suspension Bridge at 7.45am, reached Plateau Point at 11.45am, had an extensive lunch break, left at 1.15pm and arrived at Bright Angel Trailhead at 4pm. A grand day in Grand Canyon!

Sunrise on South Kaibab trail

The famous Phantom Ranch, a surprisingly bucolic place

Just half way up!

Don't hesitate to see more photos at my picasa album

Monday, 22 October 2012

Hike of the Day

stats of the week: run 11k, some hillwalking

The photo shows the upper part of the famous Bright Angel Trail, leading from the South Rim of Grand Canyon via Indian Garden right down to Colorado River. Usually it is used for the way up while the South Kaibab Trail provides the way down. Together it makes for a 26K hike with a difference of 1,500 vertical meters. Many signs and serious advice warn the hikers not to attempt it as a day trip. Could they think of me saying this? Tomorrow is the day I have been longing for since decades. By own choice I will get up at 4am and take the first bus at 5am! Plans are to be back at 5pm.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Weeks of Watching

stats of the week: no running, just walking Utah

My calves needed time to recover. Never it has been so easy to refrain from running. So far I regarded Nepal and Iceland as the most exciting places I have ever been to. Well, St. Kilda and Fair Isle have to be mentioned. But now I am seeing Utah, a kind of landscape no artist would be able to invent.

Within 5 days I walked nearly all provided trails in Zion and Bryce National Parks. I can't get tired of watching. Today on Byway 12 I turned and drove the same route once more. Just to see it again.

Be invited to see my Zion and Bryce galleries on piccasa.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Great Day in Chicago

stats of the week: run 58km, cycled 40km

Folks, I havn't cheated und I'm not kidding. Today it was one of the really surprising days a runner rarely experiences. After two summer injuries and a very low level sort of training I made a cautious start at today's Chicago Marathon.

Then it happened that I was overtaken by a 3:50 pacemaker and found his speed convenient. My eyes didn't lose him all the distance and I couldn't believe my own legs that I was able to run the two halves of the marathon in almost exactly the same time. That made a finish after 3:50:33 - a sudden success.

No wonder that happiness didn't let me feel exhausted at the finish and I enjoyed to be cheered by the volunteers.

Sunrise above start area:

Off we go:

Back we are:

Personal happiness:

Thanks to the volunteers:

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Unscheduled Bike Days

stats of the week: run 44km, cycled 70km, gym 2hrs

This was the scene midweek, seen from my home's kitchen window. I looked up wiki how a rainbow and its light area develops but couldn't understand it and therefore forgot the explanation immediately.

Finally I seem to get ready for Chicago roads in time but still my longest run was 1 h 25 min. Not the perfect preparation for a marathon. As it is hopeless anyway I agreed to insert a couple of bike days on the island of Mallorca - it's always worth the short journey even when it's raining on the hills like it did today. However, I and my legs were happy to combine a bike and run workout.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Building up too late

stats of the week: run 33km
13 days to go to Chicago Marathon ... while I have extended my training distance to 12km today.

Unfortunately there is no red wine provided on the windy city route. I will have to stick to water and energy drinks. No temptation to take walking breaks but I will have to. I am selected to start in Corral C for a sub 4 hours finish but I will be happy to finish within 4:30.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Starting US autumn

stats of the week: run 7km, cycled 70km, gym 4 hrs

Finally the annoying calf seems to have recovered and I unpatiently try to build up a new schedule. Just 18 days to go to the next event: My first Chicago Marathon - a missing major race I am keen to be part of.

How will I do after 5 weeks with hardly any running? Still hoping to do a 20K-jog next week and hoping this will enable me to finish a 42K-toddle in windy city.

Didn't know that my name is that frequent in US ... 10 runners called "Sauer" entered Chicago Marathon!

Last Name First Name Gender City State Start Assignment Charity Organization Reg ID
Sauer Carolyn F Chicago IL CORRAL M 45162189
Sauer Christopher M Chicago IL CORRAL F 45162835
Sauer Jacob M Lakewood CO CORRAL K 45236610
Sauer Jennifer F Loveland OH CORRAL M 45232955
Sauer Jennifer F Missoula MT CORRAL B 45225988
Sauer Kathy F Verona WI CORRAL L 45185665
Sauer Lindsey F Chicago IL CORRAL D Chicago Run 45165214
Sauer Luciano M Escazu SAN JOSE CORRAL D 45153702
Sauer Michael M Chicago IL CORRAL J 45232242
Sauer Quincy F Indianapolis IN CORRAL J 45164778
Sauer Ulrich M Witten GERMANY CORRAL C 48486002

Monday, 10 September 2012

18,000 yards of vine

stats of the week: run 18km, cycled 56km

Constant problems with my injured calf forced me to alter my plans and shortcut the marathon to only 18km. Medoc is the only event I'd consider this. It would be a sin to refrain from vine tasting - the final 18km boast 10 stations and I didn't miss any of them. To avoid cheating I removed the time chip from the bib and just made my way as an unknown drinker.

humans flying over starting masses

you may take more than one glass

drinking in better style

the oyster bar signalizes the near finish line

helping hand serves with shower

Monday, 3 September 2012

Still waiting for come back

stats of the week: cycled 130km, gym 4hrs

Next Saturday will see me experimenting. After 4 weeks without running and still working to cure my calf I'll do a marathon. Alas it's not any marathon it's the red wine one. Medoc! 22 stations of samples of best Bordeaux wines.

I've laid out my plans. Run first half - walk second half - drink both halves.
This will hopefully and happily end after around six hours.

special drink station at Medoc Marathon (photo: official website)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Back from high level

stats of the fortnight: nothing but hill walking

Back from two weeks of high level trekking in Ladakh, North East India, also called little Tibet - full of impressions of a desert of mountains, green oases, friendly buddhistic people and big contrasts between poor and rich.

Didn't worry about staying fit for running ... finally I get injured after falling on Stokh Kangri and damaged my calf. Still working on that and probably withdrawing from next Sunday's half marathon. It was worth it - report to come.

Crossing Markha River by cable car

Sunset above Chilling village

River Zanskar meets Indus

Posing on top of Stokh Kangri 6,153m

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Two tops and one 10K

stats of the week: run 27km, cycled 62km, gym 2 hrs

With a few weeks of delay I finally managed to do the yearly visit to the Zugspitze and to care for Uwe's memory plate which is placed on the West ridge just 100 vertical meters below the top - in case you think about a visit yourself. Luckily the weather was fine as you see and I got the chance to climb the very easy ferrata to the top of Alpspitze.

Saturday saw a 10K race test and I was happy to finish a 45:08 min. After my very low summer mileage I can regard it as a proper performance.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

10 years younger by necessary doping

stats of the week: run 36km, cycled 66km, canoed 15km

My come back to running was eased by doping by cortisone. As usual I reacted allergic after a wasp sting and had to take a good dose of cortisone that let the infection be cured within 2 days. And as usual it also helped me feel 10 years younger while pounding the streets.

Now this method had to be finished and my feeling is back to heavy legs and slow moving. It will take some time to get fit for a proper half marathon. Luckily there is time to do so - alas, I will spend most of the days walking alpine and himalayan hills instead of doing running intervals.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Cycling now finished after more sunny days

stats of 2 weeks: run 40km, cycled 380km, gym 1h

Getting back to proper running workouts had to wait furthermore as I suddenly got the chance to do some more cycling on sunny Mallorca. Luckily I was able to enjoy 4 grand tours through the island's hills, including the famous road down to Sa Calobra.

Now it's urgent time to improve the running performance. Plans are to race a 10K next week and my home town half marathon at Bochum in early September.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Cycling apprentice

stats of the week: run 9km, cycled 185km
stats of the week before: cycled 270km

With all three events successfully finished my short cycling season is finished now early in the year.

Maratona dles Dolomites was a tough day due to the heat and my unsufficient performance level. I struggled to get through and ended up half an hour later than last year after 138km and 4100 vertical meters. The day was still very enjoyable until the unshadowed ascent up the steep road to Passo Giau. Best experience of the day was the descent from Passo Gardena when I was able to improve my placing for the very first time on any descent.

Col de la Madeleine worked just as a warm up!

A week of rest let me recover in time to tackle this year's L'etape du tour Act 1 from Albertville to La Toussuire. This is the route that the professionals will go on Thursday. It includes famous passes like Col de la Madeleine and Col de Glandon via Col de la Croix de Fer and the final climb to La Toussuire. This makes up for a total ascent of 4.750 vertical meters on 152km. I was very happy to finish this personal record of climbing with more than a third of the 4.400 finishers behind me. Not mentioned the 1.200 who abandoned the race.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Cycling to the sky

stats of the week: run 10km, cycled 280km, gym 2hrs

With the 3LänderGiro done  including Stelvio pass my body needed nothing more than rest.
The week started less promising as the calf muscle problem had turned back and I had to stop the Tuesday jog and havn't jogged a step since then.

However, with a taped leg cycling was possible and I surprisingly set a new pb of 8.34 hrs in the 168km race - some 15 minutes faster than 2 years ago but this was eased by a convenient back wind in the Engadin valley.

This week saw some cautious biking on Timmelsjoch and Jaufen pass before the next race -
Maratona dles Dolomites - takes place tomorrow. But to get back to running it will take another couple of weeks.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Stelvio waiting

stats of the week: run 23km, cycled 156km, gym 3hrs

2 weeks made a long time of waiting to get back to running and first steps were very very cautious. Now the calf problem seems to be solved but concentration has to focus on cycling for next 3 weeks.

I am not as fit as last year and there are doubts if I will be able to climb to Stelvio Pass in time next Sunday. But when the weather is fine I'll try.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Back on Bike

stats of the fortnight: run 13km, cycled 301km, gym 6hrs

With 2 weeks gone I am still recovering from the last marathon. The calf muscle didn't appreciate running again and I was forced to have a full week of rest. Now I am happy to be back on the bike at least.

We had a jolly 2-day-journey to Westphalia's second highest mountain, Kahler Asten 841m, and back home again - overall distance 300K and 3300 vertical meters. I have to admit it was high time to get some hill training and get fit for Stelvio Pass in 2 weeks.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

A decent one at long last

stats of the week: run 70km, cycled 56km, gym 3hrs

To prepare for oncoming summer challenges I considered running another marathon as a good idea. So I chose a small event in the far German East but not too far away to be reached by day tour: Ever heared of Arolsen?

Anyway the story ended by my first decent marathon since 18 months. No cramps, no weakness! I was able to keep the pace right to the finish line that I crossed after 3:56:20 hrs. And like always I don't really know why this one worked well and the previous ones were flops. May be my body just prefers hilly trail courses.

Because I didn't prepare for the run like a serious race I forgot to place protective plasters. After 20K my nipples began to hurt and to rescue them I decided to run the second part of the race half naked. Shortly after I stripped off it happened that I accompanied the leading lady for most of the remaining route. Kindly she didn't complain nor did she seem to be outraged.

My new GPS device shows the workout.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Danish Runamite

stats of the week: run 71km, cycled 145km, gym 2hrs

Copenhagen, Denmark, is a beautiful coastal city and its marathon is really recommendable. More than 9,000 finishers enjoyed an entertaining route, excited crowds and the sunshine. It's a very cool organisation as runners are allowed to push prams or be accompanied by bikers. Everything is easy going and many runners took their children by their hand to cross the finish line together.

Unfortunately my job was just to support the runners while I would have loved to run myself. One day I will do it.

Nevertheless I enjoyed daily training runs along the promenades and this week's mileage ended up unexpectedly high.

Monday, 14 May 2012

All sports

stats of the week: run 43km, cycled 180km, gym 4 hrs

I am counting a strike of 12 consecutive days of training now and those days were not easy. Yesterday's 5K race was fairly close to suicide at the finish. Having crossed the line I dropped down to the meadow but had to notice that life goes on. According to Fauja Singh 5K is too short to die.

However, my struggle was successful at 21:30 min and I cut 7 seconds off last year's time what let me be sort of happy when I was able to smile again.

Today's bike ride was the first one over 100K this year and the local hills made me so tired that I could hardly steer home free of crashs.

As you see it was a good week as long as sports is concerned.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

2013 Game Over

stats of the week: run 33km, cycled 157km, gym 2hrs

It took just 17 hours this time until the online ballot entry for next year's London Marathon had been closed again. Last year 120,000 national and 50,000 overseas applicants were allowed to enter the lottery, probably there are the same figures this time. Luckily there are still other ways how to enter.

For me it was a cautious week back to regular training again. Plans are to focus on running rather than cycling this early summer. However, I still hope to finish three challinging alpine bike races. On the other hand I aim for a very special running highlight which should become my toughest run ever. Will I succeed?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

No meat for my muscles

stats of the week: run 8km, cycled 80km, gym 2hrs

African record holder Mary Keitany signs bib of a very slow runner. Is it compassion?

It was a week of hurting muscles and unpatiently and vainly waiting for recover. I once more have to think about changes in preparing for the marathon and nutrition during the race. Once again I got the impression that I reached my performance peak 2 or 3 weeks before race day.

I was not amused to hear the suggestion I should try some meat. Never ever. I'd rather stop marathon running.

DO NOT FORGET: Tomorrow, Monday April 30, is London Marathon Ballot Day.
Apply here

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Almost a great day

London Marathon Result 2012: 3:52:14

It was going to be a great day. Bright sunshine, spectacular crowds, two brilliant champions, a Kenyan record. But sadly there also was the 11th death within 32 London Marathons. A young and well trained lady collapsed close to the finish line on Birdcage Walk. Claire Squires' donation website has rocketed now to more than half a million pound.

For me the day was enjoyable until 30K. Then the story suddenly turned to become my 3rd bad marathon in a row. Having lost all my power I preferred to walk several times in anxiety for my health and I feared not to get to the finish line. Only by stepping gently I was able to approach The Mall. However, I am not really disappointed. Number 13 is in the box.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Up and down

stats of the week: run 19km, gym 5hrs

Sports is a constant up and down. Last weekend was a very high up, now I'm down again. Recovering from the Easter half marathon race I developed a hamstring muscle problem that resists all attempts of therapy. I havn't been superstitious till now - is it a bad omen that this is going to be my 13th London Marathon?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Half practise and full theory

stats of the week: run 48km, gym 1.5hrs

Irina is fit for London. Running the 10K at Paderborn she clocked 31:44min after she had just arrived from high level training in the U.S. According to the WMA tables she'd be able to run a 2:23h on the marathon distance. Too slow to win  London in two weeks but certainly she'll make it for the top five and the money ranks.

For me Paderborn was one of the very few days when everything is perfect. A fast course, perfect weather conditions and a good day for myself. 1:36:27 is a time I'd have thought to be impossible. I improved my age graded personal best on a half marathon by more than 2 minutes and overall it has been the best performance since 8 years. The mentioned tables see me running a marathon in 3:21 what makes me laugh. This is pure theory as I always lack in performance on longer distances and I will be very happy to run a sub 3:40. More realistic is 3:45. But I don't worry as this year's success is already in the box now.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Tapering to die

stats of the week: run 79 km, gym 3 hrs

Did you spot the news? 101-year-old Fauja Singh is preparing to run the London Marathon again! I love his statement why he refused to go for a shorter distance than the full marathon: "If I have to die then I should be blamed for running no less than the full 42 K." That's what I ever have said: If I have to die it should happen while running.

The latest official London Marathon newsletter recommended to start tapering now. That' s not my choice of schedule. I was happy to do a midweek long run and crowned the week by running a hilly half marathon race. I've to admit my pace was significantly too high to get fully recovered for next Saturday's Easter Half Marathon. I prefered to enjoy the day and don't regret.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Together with Irina - 4 weeks to go

stats of the week: run 60km, gym 2 hrs

Just 4 weeks from today on. What means that only 3 weeks of proper training are left. Luckily I came back this week in spite of a mild cold.

My countdown is the same schedule as Irina Mikitenko's. Half marathon race on Easter Monday in Paderborn, Full marathon two weeks later in London. I look forward to comparing our performances on both events.

Thursday, 22 March 2012


stats of the week: run 14km, gym 2hrs

As you see the week was a steep setback. After the enjoyable Syltlauf of 33km I suffered from a muscle problem and had to rest several days. In addition to that I caught a cold on the weekend when I went for a short trip to the German Alps and wasn't prepared to stand on a glacier for hours. After the Syltlauf every runner received a box of cough sweets. They're very appreciated now.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Diet race

stats of the week: run 53km

To spend the weekend on Germany's poshest North Sea island and in its ugliest coastal village was somewhat depressing as I had to stay on my own.

However - the 33.3K race was a personal success. Despite a noticable headwind and minor digesting problems I clocked 2:53:22 hrs. 3 minutes faster than last year and one minute faster than two years ago!

Really surprising: Due to my active stomach I drank only 0.4 liters of energy drink and gulped just half a portion of energy gel - and this diet made me able to increase the speed on the final 5K. No cramps, no blue lips at the finish.

Average pace was 5:12 min/K (8:23 min/mile) which would make a marathon in 3:39 hrs. May I dream of this?