Monday, 26 December 2016

A gloomy view to next year

stats of the week: run 51 km, gym 2 h
stats of the previous week: run 43 km, gym 3h

Merry Christmas everybody!

A year of backdrops is approaching its end. Not just personal backdrops like my meniscus surgery and caught of parasites. It is a worldwide backdrop that let me feel how people might have felt during the thirties of the last century. I thought I would be too old to experience another great war but now I am not sure. It's guys like Putin, Erdogan, Trump and others in Britain, Netherlands and not least Germany that lead the world to its end.

Best wishes for 2017!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Wee Improvement

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

Small steps of improvement. I performed an average pace of 4:51 min/k at our local christmas race. However, it was still a strong fight. Season is over now but I look forward to running in South Africa's sun in 3 weeks.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Forced to be happy

stats of the week: run 27 km, gym 4 h

The "Nikolauslauf" at our neighbour town Herdecke is quite a big event. About 900 runners start beside the river Ruhr and race a lap around lake Hengstey.

My own summary is ambivalent. I know I have to be happy to be able to run a sub 5 min speed for 10 K again just 3 weeks after a long illness. Otherwise it is hard to accept that long known rivals are much faster. At least it is a step forward. I hope to be a few seconds quicker next Sunday when the local Christmas run takes place.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Pacemaker's Cup

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

Looks like a decent week, but it was still low key.

On Sunday it was my 37th appearance at Herten-Bertlich. The race had a big jubilee, it was the 100th edition. I was happy with my formerly poor time of 24:14 on the 5K distance and also happy about my 11th runner-up position.

It was great fun that C got the famous Bertlich winner's cup on her first finish there! If I ever win the ongoing joke will be over.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Building up cautiously

stats of the week: run 22km, gym 3h

Slowly building up the load on the way back to normal. I reckon it will take around 4 or 6 weeks more to get closer to my former level. Keep fingers crossed that things are going well. I entered another familiar race: the Bay to Bay run from Clifton to Hout Bay and back that takes place on Jan 8. In 2014 I did the 15K, now I hope to complete the full distance of 30K.

Bay to Bay run

Monday, 14 November 2016

Signs of recovering

stats of the week: run 5 km, gym 3 h

Finally it seems that better days are approaching. It took 6 weeks to identify the Bolivian parasites that struck me down heavily. Now I got the proper medicin to get over it. Nothing serious the doc said. However, I wasn't able to walk up the staircase to our apartment without getting out of breath.

I still doubt that I even can reach the performance level I had until last year but I would modestly be happy to jog again. The first excitement about signs of recovering let me enter the Kilimanjaro Marathon that takes place end of February. 15 weeks to go.

Thursday, 13 October 2016


stats of the week: run 53km, cycled 70km, gym 3h

A week of far too much load for someone who still has not recovered from illness.

Following a slow half marathon on Sunday my body reacted by fever and shivering. No chance to run the eagerly anticipated Chianti marathon in Italy. Now the weekend will end up as a sort of seniors' holiday. Equally disappointing that I have to refrain from Pecorino, icecream and pasta tartufo.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Cycling recovery

stats of the week: run 24km, cycled 169km

After only two days at home I was happy about the chance to recover on the sunshine island of Majorca from the tough Bolivian days. Weather was glorious and we were able to cycle some of the grand routes of the island. I dont know a better place to ride your race bike.

Now it's back to running as there are only 10 days to another (slow) marathon.

Friday, 30 September 2016

High level success

stats of the week: run 7km, hill walking 3 high peaks
stats of the week before: run 5km, high level walking approx 8h
stats of the 2nd week before: run 17km, cycled 168km, gym 2h

Two weeks offline - not completely but without computer - on my journey to Bolivia. A very strenous travel, hard core road trips, high level living, all the time more than 3,600 m above sea level, good beer, limited food. I lost another 3kg of weight to my optimum of 30 years.

Twice I managed a high level jog, a special experience. It is like starting at 30km of a marathon.

Final success was my 4th 6,000m peak: Acotango, Bolivia, 6,052m. Still hope, this can be topped sometimes.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Local Highlight

stats of the week: run 29km, cycled 91km, gym 3h

Excited about my surprisingly good performance at the mountain marathon in the Karwendel I decided to run the local half marathon in my home town Bochum. This is one of my most beloved races as along the route I pass the place of my child hood no less than 7 times within the 4 laps.

As you might imagine I didn't want to show any weakness at a local race. So I set my target at 1:45 h knowing that this could be a too high line just one week after the hilly ultra marathon. So things developed. For 14km everything went fine. But then almost from one step to the other my energy was gone. The final lap of 6km was pure torture. I lost two minutes and finished after 1:46:27. But I am still happy that I was able to do two highlights within one week.

In good mood before the start.

Feeling capable after the first lap.

The finish look.

Able to smile again.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Karwendel Heaven

stats of the week: run 68km, cycled 182km, gym 2h

This year's Karwendelmarsch saw around 650 runners and 1,200 walkers starting the 52km journey crossing the Karwendel mountains from East to West. It was sold out two months in advance. The reason was obvious. It is a glorious route in a wonderful landscape with a perfect organization, richly equipped food stations and friendly volunteers. 

Three main passes have to be crossed, always with high cliffs to your right and a more green scenery to the left (North). 

My own performance was surprisingly good. After 35K and two passes my legs felt still okay and I had a very happy day. There was an opitional finish provided at this point but no doubt I decided to go on.

The third pass turned out to be the hardest one and without shadow. My slowest 1K took 21 minutes! The downhill was fast and tiring. Now my energy was gone. There was a final flat stretch on tarmac of 8K where I had to walk several times.

 Still able to smile at the finish line after 7h 43min 8sec.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Hope again

stats of the week: run 6km, cycled 58km, gym 3h

The stubborn muscle seems to give up in time. It's not yet perfect but today I was able to jog for 15km without any serious problem. Still I hesitate to make the booking for next weekend. I think I will wait until Wednesday.

However, I finished more than 400 races so far but I have never been prepared so poorly before a really challenging event. My only hope is that routine will help. At least the time limit will not scare me. The Karwendelmarsch is also open to walkers what means there are provided 14 hours to complete 52km.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Fall back

stats of the week: run 45km, cycled 116km, gym 3h

I tried to increase the intake but it was too much. 2 tough runs and a long hilly ride in between provoked a strain at the right adduktor. That makes a severe fall back on the way to my next event. What should become my season's highlight.

Now it has a big question mark. At least one week of rest is required then we'll see what is possible without a really long run in the box.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Formerly merry old England

stats of the week: run 13km, cycled 116km, hiked 50km

Our Dales High Walk unfortunately had to be stopped half way after 2 days due to C's injury she suffered from an unlucky bike accident in London.

The Limestone Dales presented themselves as beautiful as they were 20 years ago when l visited last time.

Areas cared for by the National Trust stayed in unchanged beauty. See unique Malham Cove below.

What made me sad and thoughtful is that North England appeared as a forgotten and doomed country. All young people seemed to have gone, houses are run down or even abandoned, nothing has developed during the recent 20 years. Passing the town of Bradford along its Ring Road gave the impression of being in a poor third world country. And my beloved Britain will not be helped by the Brexit. 

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Dangerous Sunday

stats of the week: run 37km, cycled 260km, gym 2h

A good week with some more hill running at home. There are no mountains in my home area but at least at my doorstep there is a very steep alpine trail of 45 altitude meters. I simply run this up and down again and again. I have increased the load to 8 times in a row now.

Sunday saw me cycling the London Ride 100 for the 4th time. After C fell off her bike the day before caused by a longish dog lead it was a challenge to concentrate on my ride. However, I ended up after 5:12 h only one minute slower than last year although the route was so crowded that my gps showed 4 minutes of forced standing time during the ride.

(photo is taken on the Saturday's London Free Cycle, crowded too)

London Ride is a very well organized and attractive race. Alas, now it is definitely overcrowded with 26,000 riders in the main race and around 3,000 more in a beginners event that is hold on the same roads at the same time. I have never seen so many serious accidents during a cycling event. I intended to do this race every year but now I have to admit that this one was my last one. It is just too dangerous for an old man who has not many years left.

Unfortunately the Cycling event Sauerland extreme has been cancelled. I am not really disappointed because now I can concentrate on hill running to get fit for the Karwendelmarsch.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Motivation Low

stats of the week: run 30km, cycled 170km

Not a week of training I can be content with. Alas, I am 63 and it was a very hot week. On the other hand these are the kind of times when sports is not the most important matter. IS, amok, Erdogan, Trump ... it takes a high level of motivation these days to go out and run.

However, as a settled pensioner I can work my time around the risks. I never intended to travel to Turkey ... but I have to admit as long as Mr Trump is President of the US I will never run another NYC marathon nor will I travel to US. I reckon he will not be bothered as he said he will have an eye on Germans trying to get into his country.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Cycling Challenges

stats of the week: run 35km, cycled 161km, gym 3h
stats of the week before: cycled 330km
stats of the previous week: run 17km, cycled 282km

It is now mid of my cycling season. After last year's bad experience I limited my Maratona dles Dolomites to the middle distance of 106km and 3,100 altitude meters. Good decision! It guaranteed to stay healthy and happy and let me finish in the middle of the pack what I feel is quite okay for a  casually cycling runner.

Next Sunday was a different story. The Radmarathon Tannheimer Tal was a challenge of 230km and 3,300 altitude meters. Until around 170km I felt fine but following a guy who was too fast for me I got highly exhausted on the next 40km and nearly had to quit the tour. I made it to the finish but tested my very limits once again.

Now my problem is to get along with a combination of increasing running and cycling. There are two challenging highlights in August. First is the Sauerland extreme, a cycling tour of hilly 250km, and second is the Karwendelmarsch, an Alpine hill run of 50km. Will I be able to combine this within 2 weeks?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Good Bye old home

stats of the week: run 18km, cycled 186km, gym 2h
stats of the week before: run 17km, cycled 138km, gym 6h

It was the Brexit week. So it was a disappointing and a sad week. I have spent 30 years' holidays in all parts of Britain and I learnt to love it. Actually I did not have to learn loving it as I loved it right from the first visit.

Now I have to learn that My Britain no longer exists. Today it is a country of yesterday's Nationalism and full of fear instead of former frankness, politeness, modesty and consideration. Warm Welcome is no longer a British trade mark.

My next visit to UK is in less than 5 weeks to cycle the London Ride for my 4th time. I always felt like coming home when I crossed the Channel to Dover. There will be very different feelings this time.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Big but not great

stats of the week: run 22km, cycled 284km, gym 2h

As the stats show it was a good week, actually the third toughest of the year so far.
It was more quantity than quality but I have to be happy that it was possible without any hurt.

The local 10K race documented that I am still far away of recent years' level. 48:07 is not presentable. No time for improvement, it's the time to concentrate on cycling now. Maratona is just 3 weeks away.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Happy Summer Day

stats of the week: run 24km, cycled 82km, gym 2h

Midweek my knee complained  a lot after the strenuous hillrun in Bhutan and I didn't dare running another hilly race within the near future. But the knee is a mystery and a constant back and forth. On Saturday I felt ready for a new run.

I was happy to finish a local 15K including 300 meters of altitude difference without any pain - apart from heavy breathing in the heat of the day. I even was the quicker one of two in my age group. What a happy day!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Asian experiences

stats of the week: run 34km
stats of the week before: run 10km

The recent fortnight was full of unforgettable impressions.

After I raced a local 10K within satisfying 47:24 minutes I made my long way to China to visit the famous Great Wall Marathon.

It is a memorable event for every runner. Participants were highly excited, not just to experience running parts of the Wall, but by a route going through local villages and their life.

After 5 days in China I have to admit the Great Wall Marathon would make my only reason to go to China again. It turned out to be the most misantropic country I have visited. The polluted air is well known, but adding to this  many people are ruthless, traffic is a deathrap, food can't be worse. At first glance people seem to live freely. They dance on public places and ignore every traffic rule. China obviously has one of highest differences between rich and poor. Though there is no crime. Obviously this is only thanks to draconic penalties, China has the world's highest death penalty rate, not counted inofficial executions. At the airport we had to show the books we took with us. US software like Facebook, Google and Twitter is blocked and cannot be used. News websites are slowed down. Our local guide did not mention any critical matters. However the marathon was really very nice. While running you just have to refrain from thinking about it.

The following week was another story. I made my way to Bhutan and the Himalayan Mountain Marathon. Bhutan is a very small very mountainous counry counting 700,000 inhabitants overall and estimated 350,000 dogs. The Buddhism and a very wise King make the people happy and relaxed. Everybody seems to be smiling. They don't mind food can get short, electricity can drop out any time, the very few roads are only arduously to be used. Happyness is the law. The law says you might smoke at home but selling tobacco is prohibited anywhere in the country. Road workers from Bangladesh have to live in miserable tents beside their working place. But things are moving forward. The progressive King has installed an elected parliament. Tourist still are not allowed to move freely. They have to be guided by a local agency.

The marathon was a gorgeous little event with a mountainous route and very kind marshals.
I was happy to take part in the half distance. Even this was a very strong test for my knees.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Mourning the knee

stats of the week: run 41km, cycled 38km, gym 3h

More than 5 months gone since my knee was cut by the doc - and if you ask me now I would say it was the wrong decision. I should have tried without surgery. Of course I cannot turn it back now.

I am still taping the joint for every run. I take collagen tablets, aminoglucose, and eat chili, kurkuma and ginger daily. I do weight training regularly.

The knee still tends to swell after strain. However, at least it is free of pain as long as I am running. A pity is that one has stop sometime.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Gran Week and Fondo

stats of the week: run 10km, cycled 421km

Preparation in the Piedmont week up to the Gran Fondo Desenzano del Garda was successful. Well, I did not lose weight. But Italian cuisine and red wine proved to spend the energy needed.

The German-Dutch express train at the final stretch to finish alongside Lake Garda. The Gran Fondo with nearly 3,000 riders is a nice event with good roads in beautiful countryside.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Italian Recovery

stats of the week: run 8 km, cycled 36 km, gym 2h

The Piedmont is a perfect area to recover from the London Marathon. The food is excellent and healthy.

 The wine is among the world's best.

And cycling is pure enjoyment.

Don't forget: The London Marathon 2017 ballot has started today and will close on Friday.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

London Race Day

stats of the week: run 60km, gym 2 h
London Marathon result: 4:04:36 h

Race director Hugh Brasher called it an incredible day and that's what is was. A record field of more 39,000 runners, Kipchoge winning close to a world record, on the way clocking a 30K world record. A dramatic scene when three leading women fell heavily to the ground after 23 miles with Jemima Sumgong rebounding strongly to win the final sprint over defending champion Tigist Tufa.

My own race developed much better than expected. Starting cautiously I could hold up the pace to 35K before I had to have a short rest after 38K and then I was able to enjoy the final two miles and finish with a smile.

With worried thoughts I passed a scene where a runner obviously got reanimated. On Monday I had to learn that David Seath, 31, shortly later passed away in hospital. If this kind of dissolution would happen to me at 63+ I would call it a life fulfilling end. R.I.P. Dave, you were far too young. The charity Dave was running for is Help for Heroes.
Visit his Justgiving donation page.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Tough times waiting

stats of the week: run 63km, gym 4h
stats of the previous week: run 28km, cycled 36km, gym 4h

7 days to go to London!

That's all what I could do. Following the Berlin Half Marathon ironically the non-operated knee was worse than the repaired one and forced me to reduce the mileage. Finally and overall I put in three 20K-runs and one 28K-run in the weeks counting down to London.
This should get me to the finish number 17. I know the final 10K are going to be very tough. But I am used to that.

Did you know that there is a Facebook tracking now available that posts your start, half time and finish in time in London? Register

Easy running 5K into Berlin Half Marathon

Friday, 8 April 2016

Sand work pays

stats of the week: run 35km, cycled 150km, gym 2h
half marathon result: 1:47:28

Running on the sandy paths of Lanzarote paid in Berlin. No muscle soreness after running the half marathon at a speed I never trained.

I cautiously started my race with a pace adjusted for a finish sub 1:50 h. First and second 5km had exactly the same time of 25:38. Happily I was able to increase the pace to 25:26 and 25:15 on the second half of the distance and finished smiling.

Two days later the meniscus complained and reminded me of being still cautious approaching April 24. I still have to do at least one long run of at least 25km. I hadn't done more before my last NYC marathon - and it worked.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Cold cycling and not easy running

stats of the week: run 63km, cycled 240km

The week's mileage impresses even myself as it ended up much higher than scheduled. One reason is that weather on Lanzarote is too cold and windy to do really long cycling days. So we prefered to limit it to half day routes and completed the day by easy jogging.

However, running was slow but not really easy on trails that are sandy and hilly here around Munique which is a village amidth the island surrounded by "El Jable", the local desert. I was happy to complete one 20km run and now feel to be prepared for next Sunday's half marathon at Berlin.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Building up

stats of the week: run 49km, gym 3h
5 weeks to go to London

It's a reasonable mileage and longest run of 18km makes a step forward although I felt rather tired along the final mile. Counting the week by 7 days from Sunday to Saturday it added up to 62 km! If I will finish London without knee pain I will send a thank-you-letter to the doc.

First target now is to finish Berlin Half - it takes place in two weeks - without any pain and hopefully sub 1:55 hours.

10 days of mixed training on Lanzarote from Monday on. I look forward to finding a sensible balance between cycling and running. And local wine.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

6 weeks to stay in time

stats of the week: run 42km, gym 4h
6 weeks to go to London

It's been a reasonable mileage this week but longest run was still only 14km. However, I am within plans as schedule is not to do more than 3 runs of more than 20km. Still time to get ready for a really slow marathon on April 24th.

If I ever do another marathon in Japan I would do the Kyoto Marathon which regularly is hold one week before the Tokyo Marathon. Kyoto is a town full of tourist attractions and offers still lots of traditional Japanese atmosphere:

Monday, 7 March 2016

7 weeks to go. Seven weeks?

stats of the week: run 12km, gym 2 h
stats of the previous week: run 32km, gym 2 h

Still not enough mileage to get ready for a half marathon in 4 weeks and a full marathon in 7 weeks! My longest run so far was 12km. Luckily cut off time in London is 8 hours.

Adding to the shown mileage I did around 60km of town walking in Tokyo. That was a big burden to the recovering knee. However, I still hope to increase my mileage modestly in time.

Tokyo Marathon is a special experience with a route not really spectacular but thousands of excited volunteers.

Japan is a country full of wonders. This is the Golden Pavillon at Kyoto.

Mount Fuji reigns from its snowy top. Unfortunately it can only be ascended in Summer.