Monday, 30 December 2013

Ready outdoor and indoor

stats of the week: run 26km, gym 1h

The wee injury seems to be gone fortunately so I was able to start jogging cautiously again. Missing proper speed training I don't feel fit for the traditional 15K race but I'm happy to start into the New Year being able to do outside workouts.

Happy New Year to everybody. Keep running!

The attic is ready for wintry indoor workouts too:

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Unhappy new year's eve

stats of the week: run 20km, gym 6h

Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2014!
Many thanks for still visiting this blog. It's a pleasure to know you're out there and enjoy running.

My most active year now has to end by a little disappointment. The joyful christmas race strained my inner thigh muscle what I ignored first and worsened it by doing an interval session on the treadmill. Result is that I have to cancel the New Year's Eve run. That is sort of a letdown since the 15K-race on the last day of the year is the one event I took part in more often than in any other race: 21 times so far.

However, I know I shouldn't worry and better stay happy and look forward to oncoming events. Most important is to get fit again for the Cape Peninsula Marathon on Februar 16th.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


stats of the week: run 40km, indoor cycling 1h, gym 2h
Back home in wintry Germany I had 3 nights to overcome the jet lag before my start at the local christmas city race. They could call it a 6-mile-race since the distance is exactly 9.6K.
Training in sunny Jamaica did pay off: My speed was faster than two weeks before, an average of 4:29min/K compared to 4:37min/K. The earning was a second place in the age group - just 4 sec in front of my persecutor.

3 happy elderlies

Next step is the traditional 15K New Year's Eve race that I have run regularly since 1985. Will I once more be able to run faster than 28 years before? I reckon it's over now. I should not deal too severely with myself. Turned 60 now it's time to be happy with a slow but smiling finish.

I know you don't believe me. You're right.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Sunshine Pleasure

stats of the week: run 37km

It was a pleasureful week caring for a group of runners starting at the Reggae Marathon on Jamaica. The race is a lovely event with a glorious pasta party, an early dark start into a hot morning, a flat course along the coastline with a finish that let the runners walk straight onto the beach and into the ocean.
A record of 180 took on the full distance while 600 ran the half marathon and more than 800 the 10K. Surprisingly there were far more female runners than male! Unfortunately I had no time to start myself but I had a good time taking photographs in the sun.

World famous Rick's Cafe was in classic mood with a sundowner and brave cliff jumpers.

It's a destination you should think about for next December: Reggae Marathon

Monday, 2 December 2013

Cough attacks

stats of the week: run 46km, indoor cycling 1h, gym 3h
stats of the week before: run 16km, gym 1h

During the week's workouts I got the impression that the cold had been cured largely. Running a race is a different thing I had to learn on Sunday.

After a speedy takeoff I was shaken by a series of cough attacks. Already at half of the 10K distance I was forced to slow down seriously until some energy turned back and let me finish satisfyingly after 46:13min. Fast enough to be placed 2nd in my age group. It was my 8th runner-up finish at this traditional event out of 32 starts but I still have never won it.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Older and wiser

stats of last week: run 33km, indoor cycled 1h, gym 3h

Was struck down by a bad cold this week and wisely decided not to go out for any workout. This behavior makes a difference to my earlier years when I wasn't able to abstain from sports for minor illness.

Disease never comes in handy but this time at least it doesn't keep me away from any event. So I don't complain although I won't get fit enough in time for the unavoidable New Year's Eve race.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Body and Soul tired

New York City Marathon: 3:53:36

After two fast races I looked forward to running a sort of better NYC Marathon. My last sub 3:50 run dates back more than two years ago. So I started the race by a steady 8:20 min/mile pace and clocked 1:51:30 for the first half.

But already then my body and soul felt tired. The days in Manhattan were strenuous with too much trotting the pavements for about 10 miles per day. The travel group work let no time to relax. I reckon that all this led to an all over body and mind tiredness that obviously dispersed during the second half of the race. I lost 10 minutes while I stumbled the final 10K culminating in a thigh cramp 150 meters before the finish line. Eventually I wasn't unhappy by the result as it makes the end of a really successful sports year. Having completed six life decades one can be fortunate to be able to run 26 miles without more than minor pain. However, this time I was indeed proud to have run it until the end without walking.

Toronto flat iron building

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Old man flowering

stats of the week: run 38km, gym 4h

It looks like a low key sports week but I was forced to recover from post race muscle pain until I started a much loved long distance hill race in the Teutoburger Wald. I thought it'd make a good preparation for the NYC Marathon as it boasts 29km and 600 vertical meters with some really steep sections.

Disappointingly I had to walk three times (!) - more than ever before at this race. By the finish I clocked 3 min more than 2 years ago. Still fast enough to climb the podium for the very first time at such a big and renowned event. After 2:32 h I was 3rd of 33 age group runners and a proud old man being awarded with a potted flower.

By the way: If you ever need to rent a car on Majorca be aware that "Goldcar" is a dubios company not to be trusted. They charge extortionate petrol prices and will debit unjustified fees weeks after you have returned the car.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Still fit by the Alps

stats of 3 recent weeks: run 92km, cycled 380km, gym 4h

Recent weeks were far from a structured training. A hot and sunny week on Majorca let us keep to cycling the island's pretty hills and we had one day of extraordinarily enjoyable walking. The spectacular climb up Torrent de Pareis from Sa Calobra to Escorca was a memorable experience.

After these weeks with very little running I started today's local half marathon with big questions on my capabilities. Luckily I found the perfect pacemaker to follow for the whole distance. Finally he was tougher than me but I was very happy to finish after 1:38:51 which in fact was my age graded second best half marathon ever. The transalpine performance effect still seems to operate.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Lungs and legs recovered

stats of the week: run 37km, cycled 42km, gym 4h

To get back to faster moving and to test lungs and legs I spontaneously joined a local 10k race. The new course turned out to be a very hilly route with a steep road which had to be climbed five times. Not too much for alpine proved muscles!

Although I didn't do any speed training all summer I was able to run faster than at my last short race, a flat 5K 2 months ago. 45:45 min was better than expected. The conclusion for me is that I should stick to regular hill training as it seems to make me stronger.

photo: top of the hill. (copyright Heinz Schier HSR Fotografie)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Legs fit, mind empty

stats of the fortnight: Transalpine Run, 261km, 15,800 alt.m, 48:03 hrs
cycled 155km

German speaking readers might have followed the daily blog and noticed that we indeed finished the transalp race. A unique 8-day-experience that has proved that one can do more than one thought.

The following week was far less than relaxing with some hill walking and cycling up Jaufenpass, Timmelsjoch (Passo Rombo) and the Sella Ronda Bike Day. But this kind of activity can't cover that my motivation to do any more competitions in oncoming weeks is lower than low. My legs are still okay but my mind is exhausted.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

The last and least thing to do

stats of the week: run 36km, cycled 198km, gym 4h

To fail is not an option.

It's not the time to think about anything. It's time to run. Up and down and far away. The only pity is that I have to use my own legs.

German speaking readers might like to follow the Transalpine Sterntaler Blog.
It all starts next Saturday.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Training peak too low

stats of the week: run 75km, cycled 35km, gym 1.5h

It was a tough week including a hilly 20k-race which I clocked 1:39:54. One and a half minute slower than 2 years ago what is the normal age-caused decline I reckon. My present fitness is the year's best so far but I doubt that I will be able to cope with 260km and 15,000m of altitude difference in 8 days.

That's the challenge at the Transalpine Run which I was persuaded to take part in. It starts next week on Saturday. I guess my chances to finish are less than 30 per cent. No chance to do more severe training - it's time to taper now.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Blue London

stats of the week: run 57km, cycled 54km, gym 3h

London's colour 2013 is blue.

Lately erected on Trafalgar Square the bright blue big Cock is a sculpture by German artist Katharina Fritsch. The proud male bird makes an adequate addition to the historic statues around - Lord Nelson, George IV and a couple of British generals. "I like the British humour," Ms Fritsch is quoted.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Inaugural London Cycle

stats of the week: run 36km, cycled 268km, gym 1.5h

The inaugural cycle race London Ride 100 turned out to be good fun. The weather was perfect, the Surrey landscape beautiful and the cyclists were relaxed. More than 15,000 finishers with an extraordinary female rate of 20% enjoyed cycling through the City of London, Richmond Park, Surrey country roads over Leith Hill and National Trust's Box Hill with a royal finish on the Mall.

There were very few overseas participants but this hopefully will change next year after this successful first time event.

My personal performance was fairly satisfying, clocking 5:48h for the 100 miles lap with 1,000m of altitude difference, with the only downer that I lost about 20min using the crowded food stations.

Event site:

Monday, 29 July 2013

Memories of Fate

stats of the week: run 33km, cycled 95km, gym 3h, hill walking 9h

The tragedy of the Zugspitz Run is 5 years ago now but it is still present. Germany's highest top has become sort of a fate mountain for me. Whenever I climb it - as I do every year to care for the memory plate - I worry about anybody who accompanies me. This time C and I again chose the Höllental ascent and I was very relieved after we had easily crossed the glacier and made the crucial step over the crevasse to the ferrata. However, it was a very hot day and after 9 hours of walking and climbing the two of us were both exhausted.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Italian bits and bites

stats of the week: run 47km, cycled 196km

The Italian region of the Piemont is a perfect area for cycling. Narrow winding roads with very little traffic, tough shortish climbs, a green countryside with picturesque villages ... ice cream is very good and the wine is even best. So I had a week of proper training that let me feel a bit more confident for the oncoming events.
Less happy I was about the at least 150 mosquito bites I counted on my body ... 

Monday, 15 July 2013

Home Disaster

stats of the week: run 45km, cycled 90km, gym 3h

I knew it was a fault. But my sponsor provided me with a free start at the local 5K run. And I'm one the guys who can't say No. Moreover the race takes place alongside the lake where I train every week. So it's sort of a home match.

The result was more than disappointing. By far the weakest 5K time ever in 36 races. 23:12 is a shame. I knew that my lungs would be limited. But this kind of low performance is a disaster.

(photo: saw many females just from their back)

Saturday, 13 July 2013

My happy part of L'etape du Tour

stats of the week before: run 18km, cycled 220km

The warnings were reasonable! This years 21st L'etape du Tour was the shortest ever, with just 128K. And 3,500 vertical meters didn't sound too challenging.

But the final climb to Annecy-Semnoz proved to be worth to be a stage of the Tour de France. It was really tough. However, the finisher rate was indeed the best I have seen in 5 years. 10,600 out of 11,400 made it to the finish line in time. So did I, but my performance was disappointing once more. Place 6,631 overall doesn't look too bad for a 60-year-old, but I got the impression I did far better in former years what is not a pleasant feeling. Anyway, I am still happy to be part of the event.

The professionals ride this stage on Saturday 20th July, the day before Paris.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Tired legs don't like cycling

stats of the week: run 18km, cycled 136km

Not surprisingly my this year's fifth Maratona dles Dolomites was my slowest one. On the 106K course summing up 3100 vertical meters I was 4 minutes behind 2009. The cold conditions were no excuse. My low performance obviously was induced by a lack of cycling training and sort of fatigue after two marathons and the ultra race just 4 weeks ago.

photo: On Passo Pordoi the day before the race

However I still hope to do better next Sunday when attending my 5th L'etape du Tour which will be the same as the 20th etape of the professional cyclists.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Documents of a very long day

stats of the week: run 47km, cycled 120km, gym 2h

Comrades Marathon 02/06/13: How it all began in the dark.

80K to go. Already sweating.

Meeting my supporters after 35k, still smiling.
My watch shows 9:30, no problems yet.
It seems to be hurting.

Kids enjoy viewing the runners.

Can't believe: It's me approching the finish line after 11:46:02 h. Just in time.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Still impressed

Back home from South Africa and Durban I'm still reviewing the unique impressions of a unique road race: The world's most traditional long race - the Comrades Marathon.

Around 15,000 runners take the challenge every year, most of them do it year after year, most of them local runners of RSA. It started all in 1921 and this year sees the 88th edition. What it means to the locals has been shown by building up the "Wall of honour".

This is how it looks. Not just the winners are documented, every finisher may buy a badge. Only runners who finished at least ten times get a green one.

Famous Charly Doll, a dominant hill runner and blackforest cook, was the first German to win the race. He was followed by Birgit Lennartz and 3-time-winner Maria Bak.
Arthur's seat is another landmark on the route.
Roses are given to the runners just before the place and thrown on the seat in honour of Arthur. Good luck for the rest of the race he wishes them in return.

More of my own race see next posting.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Handsome decision

What am I doing here? To laugh is my very last help.

Weather is good, wine is good, eating is good, jogging along the promenade is fine...
Sunday's going to be different ..

(it's not the finisher shirt - it's the applicant's shirt)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Climax after 30 years

stats of 2 weeks: run 30km, cycled 490km, gym 1h

It took my legs more than a week to recover from the marathon. Anyway the 2nd week was planned as a cycling week on cold and rainy Mallorca hills. After all we were able to do four decent tours counting more than 5000 meters of altitude ascent. Hopefully this will help my thighs to cope with the load of next Sunday's 87 km.

I'm glad it's not 90km as I thought. It will make a big difference once I made it to km 85 ...

My plan is to trot 4 half marathons in 2.5 hrs each. Sounds not too hard, does it?

Last year 659 men of age 60+ entered but only 307 made it to the finish in time.

Next Sunday is going to be nothing less than the climax of my 30 years of running.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Mind Marathon

stats of the week: run 66km, cycled 160km, gym 2h
Ruhr Marathon result: 3:55:44

You could rate this as a failure and you'd probably be right. Today's marathon was intended to become a build-up run to put miles into the box for the Comrades challenge.

The marathon ended up as another race and the burden I feel now is even higher than last time. There is no part all along my legs that doesn't hurt.

The pace seemed to be easy and once I noticed that I was too fast I wasn't able to slowdown. However, I could keep the speed until to the end but it was a matter of mind.

Relaxed attitude after 20K

See the difference after 36K

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Back to proper training

stats of the week: run 50km, cycled 190km, gym 3h

For the first time in 15 years I missed the London Marathon Ballot! It was closed at noon on Monday after it was opened at midnight. Organizers didn't tell how many applicants had been accepted. Last year there were 170,000.

Overseas runners should make their agency reservation well before September 2013! No doubt who is best for Germany:  :-)

As the headline shows it was a proper training week for me. Next Sunday will be a decisive day concerning my Comrades participation. If I'm able run the Vivawest Marathon free of pain and injury I'll give it a go.

Monday, 29 April 2013

The 14th

London Marathon time: 3:58:11

A happy runner half time ...

and so it was at the finish.

It was one my best Londons as I was able to run two equal halves that just differed by 13 seconds. Conditions were perfect and crowds better than ever. The day was too great to run slow. The load let me rest for a whole week now but I still hope to get ready for the longer one.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Greetings from Hyde Park

stats of the week: run 30km, cycled 93km, gym 2h

The view from Lancaster Hotel room

Hope everyone coming for the marathon had a good journey. Weather is perfect for a PB, 13°c, cloudy with patches, no rain, wind calming down.

London Marathon organizers have decided to donate 2 GBP per finisher on Sunday which makes up more than 100,000 $ going to the victims of the Boston attack. Every runner will be provided with a black ribbon to be worn during the marathon in memory of the victims. There will be also be a minute of silence prior to the start.

Regarding my personal preparation there are no good news. The Achilles tendon problem still continues and my only target is to finish the Marathon without any significant worsening.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Cycling Adventure

stats of 2 weeks: 700km slow cycling, run 25km

Cycling Cuba was more of an adventure than we expected. People even more friendly and helpful than hoped, vegetarian eating sometimes limited, roads very different, shops empty but guarded, accommodation very close to local way of living. Didn't smoke cigars, but had some cocktails ...

The come back now is almost pain free but London has to be tackled without long training runs. I have to admit I have never tried a marathon with such a bad preparation.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Pain free day

stats of the week: run 20km, indoor cylcing 2.5h, gym 2h

After more than 2 weeks today was the first day without tendon pain. That let's hope. Even more after I extended the treadmill session to 30min and 5K today. During the week I cautiously did just 1-h-triathlon workouts of a combination of crosstrainer, bike and treadmill. I've to admit that I returned to taking a bit of diclofenac after my sado maso physio diagnosed a light Inflammation.

Alas the Achilles tendon will be given a break while I'm on a fortnight of touristic biking on Cuba. Looking forward to enjoy sunshine and heat ...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Bad Habit

stats of the week: gym 2h
stats of the previous week: run 19km, indoor cycling 1h, gym 2h

A significant set-back reminds me to be patient getting ready for the season. Problems with the Achilles tendon have to be taken serious. It is one the most stubborn injuries a runner can be confronted with.

It stroke me without advance warning after a double session of running and indoor cycling when I followed the group's stretching exercise. Usually I never do stretches after training because I believe the muscles need to relax after the workout's burden. To follow the cycling group's habit was a momentous mistake and forces me to rest for at least a fortnight. And it enabled my physiotherapist to plague me more than ever.

Monday, 25 February 2013

A first Quarter

stats of the week: run 54km, indoor cycling 1h, gym 4h

I just noticed that I didn't set up any training plan for London. Staying to weeks above 50km and two or three long runs of 30km should do it. A significantly higher mileage would risk problems with my old joints.

Did a 24km jog yesterday and can't imagine to run a distance four times as long. Just knowing that 20,000 people can do it every year keeps me calm.

Last Sunday's finish at Bertlich Half Marathon: There is still a sign of pleasure.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Good week, good race

stats of the week: run 51km, indoor cycling 1.5h, gym 3h

A good week of basic training ended by taking part in a local half marathon. I got into the race by cautious speed, conditions were perfect, so I was happy to realise a faster second half of the distance and finished after 1:43 h. That placed me 2nd in my new age group - once again I have to wait for my first runner's cup in Bertlich. Ironically I would have won if I still had been in my last year's age group.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cautiously building up

stats of the week: run 52km, indoor cycling 1h, gym 3h

Hopefully back to regular running now - not yet trusting the silence. I'll know better next Sunday after a cautious half marathon race that'll be my longest run since October - and a first build up for more to come. It's only 9 weeks to go to London - thereof 2 weeks will be let for a non-running cycling holiday.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Painful success

stats of the week: run 40km, indoor cycling 2h, gym 2h

Thanks to repeated painful visits to the physiotherapist who enjoyed to torture my muscle fascias I came back to regular running this week.

Target now is to build up longer distances and get ready for London that indeed this time is just a milestone to the main challenge later here.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Just Forward - not yet straight

stats of the week: run 15km, indoor cycling 2h, gym 4h
stats of the week before: run 18km, indoor cycling 1h, gym 2h

It's still a toilsome start into the running year. Well - I booked my first age group victory due to the absence of cempetitors. But only by putting up with a prolonged muscle problem.  At least I won a sixpack of beer! Now I can cool my sore thigh with the cans.

I still hope to get fit for the year's big challenges. Everything is booked - no way back.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Not many Sixties remained

stats of the week: 36km, gym 2h

This photo document proves that I started yesterday's race as the third last runner of the pack. I wanted to make sure that the day remains a training day. Anyway it ended up as quite a fast session as I averaged a 4:47 min/K pace on a hilly 9.2K course. Finishing my first M60 race I got second of my new age group. I have to admit it was a small field with just 6 oldies like me.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Proud old and sweet new year

stats of 2012: run 1,692km / cycled 3,956km /gym 62 visits

The New Year's Eve run is already history but I'm still proud of my result. Unexpectedly I was able to average a 4:31min/K pace and finished 1:07:39 h what is once more one minute faster than in 1985, a mere 27 years ago when I did the very same race for the first time. Even more, I missed my age graded 15K personal best by just 5 seconds! Counting this I regret again that I mistook the first archway with the finish line and lost a few seconds by stopping too early.

It looks being time to recover but this sweet meal is deserved by cycling 470K on the enchanting island of Lanzarote - a week long first sort of training camp in 2013. Now back in rainy Germany I plan to concentrate on running again.