Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Sufficient 2014 and a sunny year's end

stats of the week: run 44km, cycled 21km
stats of the week before: run 51km, gym 3h

Facing the end of the year only 23km are missing to cross the 2,000km border for 2014. Unfortunately it's not the time for a very long run on New Year's Eve. However, it is still the best year since a long time, and also 4,450 km cycled make a good balance. So I can close the books of 2014 looking back in satisfaction - not only concerning sports.

Photo: Franschhoek calls itself the gourmets' center of South Africa, not mentioning the numerous wineyards. For me it makes the perfect place for exercising without the danger to lose weight.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Trail week

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

It was quite an active week with two challenging trail runs. I felt I had to test the route through the local quarry before to guide a group of fellow runners around. Last time I was there it was summer and impossible to get through the thorn bushes. But now everything is down and it was a pleasure to run up the trails.

I reckon within these group of runners I was the one with the least life mileage ...

Merry christmas everybody!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Amazing Elderlies

stats of the week: run 29km, gym 4h

The weekly races took their toll now by developing light muscle and knee problems. There was no choice than a recovery week - with another Sunday's race. The 10K ended with a net time of 45:17 and a performance grade of 73.04 what is the highest on a 10K since 2008. This is amazing after my weight is higher than during the whole of the year and I did only a bit of speed work.

Three elderly sportsmen happy, proud and honoured

Monday, 8 December 2014

Year's Best

stats of the week: run 49km, gym 5h

It's sort of a year-end-ralley what I'm doing currently. 4 weeks - 4 races. This time - no. 3 - was a success. Not only that my average pace over 6 miles was 4:31min/K - fastest of the year - I also beat a couple of competitors that I usually only watch from their back. Nice feeling. The only backdrop was that someone asked me if was over 70. And that happened even before the race!

Three winners - 60 years old!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Low temperature, slow pace

stats of the week: run 43km, gym 3h

I finished Sunday's 7.5K-race after 34:54min what stands for an average pace of 4:39min/K. That is even slower than my last 10K-race (4:34).

I suppose there are two reasons for this disappointing performance: 1st is the low temperature, 2nd is my weight that is 2kg higher than during summer. And of course I have to admit that one cannot perform at the same high level all over the year. However, I still hope to get slightly faster for the oncoming two local races.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

A race stays a race

stats of the week: run 53km, cycled 31km, gym 3h

It doesn't really look like at the finish of a training race. Well, it was intended to be a training run but a race still is a race. Clocking 1:49:06 for a flat half marathon was neither slow nor fast but still a pace that forces me to recover. However, there was 75-year-old who finished 1:30:06!

Reason for me to do the distance was to prepare for shorter races in December. So 10Km won't appear that long.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The year's first review

stats of the week: run 42km, gym 3h

The graph shows my monthly mileage so far this year. It is 9 years ago that my yearly mileage exceeded 2,000km for the last time. As it looks by now I'll just reach 1,900km once again while the red colour indicates a fairly large share of races done.

On the other hand my cycling mileage adds up to 4,300km what is my second highest ever.

Last task of the year is to recover from the marathon and get rather fit for the final two or three short local races where I should appear in a reasonably good shape.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Windy city

stats of the week: run 15km
stats of the week before: run 61km

New York City was a windy city on marathon day. On Verrazano Bridge I hold my bib number to keep it safe and not to lose it to the blastery wind. However, later on route I found the conditions quite okay and enjoyed the race and the crowds for most of the distance.

It was only 3K to the finish when I suffered cramps in both thighs that cost me around 3 minutes. Luckily I was still able to finish sub 4 hours what was my target for the day: 3:57:53. Maybe it was my last sub-4-marathon. It gets closer from year to year.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Irish Path to New York City

stats of the week: run 34km, gym 2h

I looked up my last year's preparation for the NYC Marathon and designed it the same way once again. Walking the Irish Coast and watching Dublin Marathon.

This is Dingle peninsula and its so called three sisters.

Russian Dimitry Safronow lead by 2 minutes at half way of the Dublin Marathon but finally he was down to 3rd rank and lost by 25 seconds to winner Eliud Too of Kenya.

Monday, 20 October 2014

3K too long

stats of the week: run 48km, cycled 35km, gym 3h

As expected I could not defend my last year's 3rd place at the 29K Teutolauf which is quite a tough hilly trail race. Finishing after 2:33:34 meant I was just one minute slower than last year. That's the regular aging downfall. However, I felt strong during nearly all the distance, it was just 3K too long for me because at the final stage I had no power left and merely staggered towards the finish line. I reckon if there had been a doctor watching me he'd have stopped me and taken out of the race. Anyway I missed the third place by just 9 seconds what was a surprise. The guy probably overtook me within the final mile. I didn't notice but that didn't matter as I wasn't able to resist.

The only thing scaring me is that next race is even 13K longer!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Intensive week, limited year

stats of the week: run 70km, gym 4h

70K means my most comprehensive week of running this year. This was intended to get ready for the oncoming two races. First is the 29K hillrun "Teutolauf" where I finished 3rd of my age group last year. A surprising result that I reckon is unrepeatable. It is now my second year in M60, and I estimate every year counts for 2 minutes at a distance of 29K.

However this year's mileage is somewhat limited and it's forseeable by now that I'll not reach the target of 2000K in 2014.

Second next event is my 8th New York City Marathon. But let's take it one by one.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Decent bike year at end of season

stats of the week: run 25km, cycled 413km

End of season saw us cycling relaxed on sunny and warm Majorca for just 3 days.

However, half of the week's mileage was done at home on a weekend tour with one sunny day out and one very wet day return. All this mileage made 2014 my 3rd best bike year ever, adding up to 4,299km by now.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Year's best 10K

stats of the week: run 31km, cycled 10km, gym 2h
stats of the week before: run 31km, cycled 126km, gym 2h

After 2 halves and one full marathon it was a time for low key jogging. But the fortnight culminated in a 10K race run at my very limits. Groaning for the final 2K I managed to clock 45:37 and was still disappointed at first because the last kilometer turned out to be too long. However, it was my year's best 10K, so no reason to moan.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Demure Scotsman

stats of the week: run 55km, bike 71km, gym 2h

My first full Marathon du Medoc was a special experience. It was a hot and sunny day, perfect party weather. Alas, I felt it a bit too hot for drinking pints of red wine, so I ended up again faster than scheduled. After 5:09 h I had 80% of the drinking pack behind me. The advantage was that the queue for the beer at the finish was shorter.

I have to do it again with more time and more red wine. And as a free Scotsman :-)

Monday, 8 September 2014

Sundays' experiment

stats of the week: run 48km, cycled 81km, gym 2h
stats of the week before: run 45km, cycled 50km, gym 5h

The experiment of 2 half marathons on 2 consecutive Sundays was successful. The first one was flat and planned as sort of exercise with restrained speed. However, I finished it slightly faster than scheduled after 1:53 h. Obviously it wasn't too fast as the second half marathon was faster than planned, too. I clocked 1:41 on a hilly, strenuous course and was ranked 2nd of my age group. This was just luck as there was only one really fast 60-year-old taking part.

A minor part of the experiment was to wear lightweight shoes on 21K, for a much longer distance than I usually do. Success again, no pain, no problems.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Late Pain

stats of the week: run 48km, gym 2h, hill walking 9h

Just a week of regular exercise, switching to more emphasis on running in preparation for two half marathons on two consecutive Sundays.

However, a hopefully minor foot injury occured. It is over and over surprising that some injuries make themselves felt only many hours later. This time I ran in the morning and first pain occured late in the evening. It persisted until next morning, so my self treatment now is ice and rest.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Memorial weekend

stats of the week: run 37km, cycled 48km, gym 2h, hill walking 9h

Our annual visit to the Zugspitze saw a glorious sunny day with perfect views.
We took the original race route from Ehrwald in Austria to the summit. Uwe's memorial plate is now in top condition just in time before runners will pass by next Saturday and Sunday on the new Zugspitze Running Festival.

On our way along the race route between "Felderjöchl" and "Gatterl".

The following day we took the popular Via Ferrata along the Mittenwalder Höhenweg. It took us 9 hours and we just made it back to the car before darkness.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Cycling Wet Surrey

stats of the week: run 20km, cycled 328km

Sunday's cycle at the Prudential Ride London was a very special experience. Nobody regretted that organisers shortened the route from 100 miles to 84 miles and cut out Leith Hill and Box Hill.

The rain began just in time when I crossed the start line at 07.12am and stopped when I received my medal in front of Buckingham Palace after 4:30:19h.

photo by Ride London: Rainy Surrey

twitter photo by Sedgewick: Flooded Kingston

To get over it I rode the whole distance of 139K without any respite and clocked an average speed of 31km/h. At least it wasn't cold and crossing the floods made a warmish foot bath.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Cycling week

stats of the week: run 10km, cycled 425km, gym 1.5h

On Monday I discovered that there was a countrywide meeting of cyclists taking place nearby. The German terminus is "Bundesradsporttreffen" and the festival offers daily signposted mostly flat routes of up to 110km for the whole of the week. For me it made the perfect opportunity to get more cycling practice and get fit for next Sunday's London Ride 100, a 100 mile cycling event that starts in Olympic London and takes the riders out into the beautiful landscape of Essex. I look forward to taking part for my second time.

Monday, 28 July 2014

High Level Marathon Rain

stats of the week: run 52km, cycled 192km
Swiss Alpine K42 result: 5:51:40 h

The Alpine Marathon at Davos/Switzerland turned out to become a very special experience. After 3 weeks of warm and sunny weather race day was the first cold day with continuous rain sometimes heavy. Waiting at the startline looking up to the cloudy mountains I was seriously reminded of the tragic Zugspitz Run in 2008. However, weatherforecast promised the lowest temperature at 7°c, so no real danger should develop.

It was raining all day and my fingers got so cold that I could hardly close my rain jacket after reaching Kesch Hut at 2,625m altitude. The high level muddy crossing to Sertig Pass at 2,739m took me some time. But finally my Transalpine mate Herwig pulled me along the final 10K to a respectable 6th place within 34 runners of my age group. The beer was well earned but the cup of hot tea was even better.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Remote Alpine Walking

stats of the week: run 32km, cycled 35km, hill walking 20h

The week's main experience was a 3-day-hill walk in the Italian Adamello Group, one of the remotest parts of the Alps and a big National Park. It's the only part of the Alps where sightings of the brown bear are still reported. However, we spotted frogs, a snake, marmots, chamois and a few humans.

1st day: Temu (1141m) - Rifugio Garibaldi (2550m)
2nd day: Rif Garibaldi - Passo Premassone (2834m) - Rif Baitone (2280m)
3rd day: Rif Baitone - Rhino (700m) , Bus back to Ponte di Legno

Rifugio Garibaldi at Lago Venerocolo, 

 Passo Premassone, 2834m

Lago Pantano, 2378m

Lago Baitone, 2281m

Monday, 14 July 2014

Cross training further South

stats of the week: run 25km, cycled 208km

We escaped from the bad weather in the Dolomites and made our way to warmer areas North of Lake Garda. Altitude is here at 70m above sea level compared to 1500m at Corvara. That guarantees some more degrees and allows cycling while wearing shorts.

Even more Lake Garda offers some entertainment on perfectly designed Via Ferrata.

I believe it's a key point to do different kinds of sport to stay fit and free of injuries.
In between I did a bit of hill running to prove my performance before running the Swiss Alpine Marathon. I decided to stick to 42K instead for 78K due to my lack of long distances. Another advantage is that the K42 start is at 11.30am while you have to get up at night for the K78. Easy decision for a late bird like me.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Marathon on wheels

stats of the week: run 16km, cycled 290 km

My 6th appearance at the Maratona dles Dolomites was my slowest of the 4 long distance options I finished. But I finished - after 8:24 h in a fairly good shape. The photo shows me near the top of Gardena Pass which is the final one at Sella Ronda and 4th of 7 passes on the 138km race. Altitude meters count up to 4,300 after organisers introduced another obstacle: the wall of the cat with an ascent of 19% that I pushed up my bike in protest. To add this wall is no good idea I think. It's just a show point to entertain spectators who have fun to watch exhausted cyclists after a whole day going up and down the mountains. However, I enjoyed the day and was happy to be part of the event.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Scramble fun in Snowdonia

stats of the week: run 10km, cycled 131km, gym 6h
stats of the week before: run 16km, cycled 124km

Wales offered another week of glorious weather and we could do all the planned tours. Cycling around Llyn Peninsula included some 20% obstacles while the lap around the Snowdon massif turned out to be easy.

Scrambling was the most of fun. Tryfan North Ridge was a first pleasure and the photo shows me on the top of Lliwedd, final summit of the Snowdon horseshoe, after Crib Goch, Crib y Ddysgl and Snowdon itself which all can be seen in the background. It was my 6th ascent of Snowdon (1085m), highest mountain of Wales, and I still dream of taking part in the Snowdon hill race some day.

Unfortunately I strained a muscle on this mountain tour what effected the following week of training. The year's calendar shows 2000 cycled kilometers so far and I am curious about next weekend's start at the Maratona dles Dolomites. I'd love to complete the long lap of 138km and 4,000 altitude meters but I am not sure if it will be within my capabilities.

Monday, 16 June 2014

3 hours of fun

stats of the week: run 59km, cycled 146km
stats of the week before: run run 36km, cycled 130km, gym 2h

The Man versus Horse turned out to be much tougher than I remembered. I did it once 12 years ago. The distance had be extended from 22m to 24m. And the bog was in top condition this time. May be there were even more ups and downs included. Anyway, 2002 I finished after 3:27h, this time it took me 4:28! It was great pleasure for the first 3 hours but the final 3rd of the route was a torture.

However, after a first disappointment by my performance I learned that I finshed 4th of 17 men 60+ what did actually please me. Even more, I beat 10 horses!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Northern Beauty

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

I spent the weekend watching one of my most favourite marathons - Stockholm. Luckily I was able to do three nice training runs along the town's waterside.

Stockholm is not an easy marathon with a high bridge to cross twice and a good number of ups and downs that sum up to 400m of altitude difference. There is a friendly and enthusiastic crowd, one of the world's most beautiful cities, perfect organisation and the atmospheric finish at the old Olympic stadion of 1912.

The Photo shows the female winner, Isabellah Andersson of Sweden, obviously of African origin. She refused to take the offered green crown before the finish line and saved some more seconds.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Tired with locational pain

stats of the week: cycled 300km, gym 2h

Recovering from the marathon load, it was a week of slow cycling though hilly. By now I get the impression that the marathon caused tiredness reached me late by a week. Tendons and muscles do hurt now and prevent me from starting into decent training again. Meanwhile I experienced the very first spill with my race bike and strained my thumb painfully. At least the legs are okay ...

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Not too disappointing

stats of the week: run 61km, cycled 40km, gym 3h

My disappointing time of 4:00:20 placed me 8th of 36 runners in my age group at the local Ruhr Marathon. Sounds still too good to be really disappointed. There were two motivating aspects: First 30K went fairly easy and relaxed, still on 3:49-course. For the final 2K I was able to jog again constantly and to finish strong with a 200m spurt.

When metabolism changed to fat consume at about 33K I got so exhausted that I had to walk several times until 40K. Obviously I had taken too little carbos during the race. Adding to this, race day was the first hot day after a coolish period. But I have to admit that the main reason was my lack of long training runs.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Peak Week

stats of the week: run 59km, cycled 40km, gym 3h

It was a rather tough week, with the 10K race last Sunday, another 5K race on Tuesday, hill training on Thursday and Saturday, followed by a long jog on Sunday.

The photo shows me cautiously running the 5K track race what were the local championships. I thought to win my age group easily without competitors but had to learn that there was a new face almost a minute faster than me. However I appreciate any additional motivation for future starts!

Monday, 5 May 2014

The very last Sub46

stats of the week: run 46km, cycled 168km, gym 5h

Another proper week of exercise,  with the weekend seeing me running a 10K race along the local lakeside. The performance was okay, the result of 45:59 min was probably the last sub 46 10K of my life, so it was kind of a historical day. The (alcohol free) beer was well earned. (thanks to KP for the photo)

It's now two weeks to go until what I call my penalty marathon. After the failure in London I think I have to run a decent marathon and there is a local opportunity at Gelsenkirchen.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Hill at the doorstep

stats of the week: run 45km, cycled 182km, gym 2h

It was a step forward to decent training. I integrated hill training coz last year it helped me to improve my overall fitness without too much strain for the joints. Just at my doorstep there is a steep alpine style path of around 60m altitude difference which I ran up six times. This should make my legs stronger what helps on longer distances as well.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Cautious Come Back

stats of the week: run 9km, cycled 53km, gym 4h

This is how I looked like after 4 hours of running with almost no drinking and eating ... (photo by Isaak Papadopolous)

A slow marathon has one advantage: Your muscles recover more quickly. So I could get back to some movements without major problems. However, I got the impression that my aging process has done another significant step forward. Training should be planned more cautious now and recovery time more regularly.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Worst ever

London Marathon finished: 4:16:31

It was my 15th London and my 39th overall. And it was the worst ever!

Already during the night and before the start I noticed something wrong. The first 10K felt good but soon I knew it was going to become a bad day. Half way at 1:55h looked still okay. After 27K I had to pay the loo a visit. Hoped everything would get better after that. It got worse. Started to walk before 30K. As I wasn't able to drink or eat anything I feared to get hypoglycemic and walked the final 2 miles all the way.

Disappointed Mo Farah said: "It was just a bad day in the office." So it was, what a shame for such a nice sunny day and the best London crowds ever.

My first thought was: "Better give up the long distances." First action at home was: Applying for the next marathon. 5 weeks to go. Things can't get worse now.

Achim and the London Lovers:
4 Runners - 50 Londons

Monday, 7 April 2014

Forced Rest

stats of the week: run 5km, cycled 51km, gym 5h

As you see it was a week of problems. Pain in the adductor muscles changed from leg to leg and back again and isn't yet gone. I do not really doubt that I will be able to run the marathon. But it is better to relax as long as possible. It gives some solace that by now running won't improve my performance anyway.

At least I will feel rested by Sunday. Good luck everybody running in London or anywhere else.


Monday, 31 March 2014

Torments of an old man

stats of the week: run 39km, cycled 25km, gym 2h

The half marathon in Dutch town Venlo, called Venloop, is certainly one of the most atmospheric races in Europe. Big enthusiastic crowds and lots of music escort about 7,000 runners along the route. It's an event not to be missed.

My own performance was inside expected limits. 1:42:10 is not a bad result. But the final Ks were such a torture to my body that I wonder how often he will accept this kind of torment until he knocks me down. My feeling is I have to be more cautious if I want to get older.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Another medal collected

stats of the week: run 31km, cycled 120km, gym 2h

Planned was a longish weekend of a bit of easy cycling on Majorca but shortly after having arrived I was confronted with the fact that there is the traditional Palma Half Marathon taking place on Sunday. As I had to do some training anyway the decision was easy. I had to do this race but stay to a calm pace of maybe 2 hours for the 21.1km.

It was a sunny and windy morning and no surprise my run ended up slightly faster than planned. I finished 1:50:06 after a decent painfree run along the promenade avenue below Palma Cathedral.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Painful success

stats of the week: run 40km, gym 3h

It was a week of tapering down for Sunday's Sylt run, a flat race of 33.3K along Germany's most fashionable island. Due to the strong north westerly wind it turned out to be the toughest of my 7 appearings here.

documented veterans

Adding to the conditions I failed to manage my food intake properly during the race. The result was that I was nearly forced to walk after 25K. Some fruit sugar rescued me and enabled me to get to the finish rather in style. The result was still presentable: 2:56:26 h was exactly the time I could expect and by placed 8th I reached my target to finish within the top ten of my age group.

On the downside part is the multitude of pain I suffered during the second half of the race. Not just several muscles but both knees hurt a lot and made me doubt that a good season can follow.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Travelling North

stats of the week: run 52km, cycled 50km, gym 2h

It was a decent week of training with one interval session and a longish run of 21K. However, it ended by coming up another light injury with hurting adductors. Anyway, this week is planned to taper off for Sunday's race on Germany's most fancy island Sylt. I just hope to be painfree until end of the week.

After a week of glorious sunshine weatherforecast for Sunday is rather gruelling. Rain and very strong winds! Let's wait and see - and run.

To be honest: I don't like the island but I love the race. It's already my 7th time.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Back on home track

stats of the week: run 65km, gym 1.5h
stats of the previous week: run 37km

Back on track, with the cutback that the marathon is missing in the schedule.
To make up for this I went for a 30K long jog today. Rather disappointed about my performance but I put the blame on the climate change: it's 25°c colder in old Germany.

I'm now curious about getting fit for the 33K Sylt run within 2 weeks. My declared target is to finish top ten of the 42 runners in my age group. Too optimistic?

Easy cross training: Paddling on Sunday River in South Africa
(no crocs, no hippos)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Lost in the heat

stats of the week: run 8km

You can imagine I'm not happy to report that I got ill the day before the marathon. There was no chance even to think about running. The unbelievable heat in Cape Town struck me down.
I think my clever body found a way to convince me not to start. I won't have survived it without major consequences.

At least I recovered so far that I could enjoy the Freshlyground concert in Kirstenbosch. Great venue, great music.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Running to Concert

stats of the week: run 50km, indoor cycling 1h, gym 3h

It was the 3rd consecutive week of 50+ km running. But will 2 long runs of 25 km be enough to prepare for next Sunday's marathon? Will I be able to earn my 3rd South African medal after these two?

Weather forecast promises 33°c for Sunday. However, I don't mind as start is at 5.15 am, so I hope to have finished at 9.30 in the morning. Needed to make plans for the rest of the day! Found the Kirstenbosch summer concert by Freshlyground and immediately booked.