Sunday, 29 December 2019

Winter speed work

stats of the week: run 39 km, gym 3 h

Back home to German winter it was a fairly good start although I am still working to get over the 11h jet lag. Every evening I fall asleep at around 9pm while my normal time is midnight.

I enjoyed our traditional "christmas roast digestive run" in the local woods. A big group of runners of different clubs and several neighbour towns met to have a social sportive morning on boxing day.

Did a cautious speed workout on the treadmill - 5 single km at up to 5:12 min/K. It worked well so I plan to repeat speed work every week from now on. However next speed work is the local 10K new year's eve run at Herne where I expect to finish at a rather slow time of  53 min.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Bye Bye Hawaii

stats of the week: run 17 km, hiked 25 km

The Hawaii holiday ended like it began: by a jog along the Pacific coast, this time at Hermosa Beach, stopover at Los Angeles.

I was able to imbed 1 K at 5:00 min/K but I don't expect my performance to be good at the New Year's Eve Run. I have to be patient and build up again. Main targets for spring 2020 are Syltlauf (33K), Berlin Half and certainly the London Marathon.

Merry Christmas everybody

and a happy new year!

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Honolulu - big, hot and relaxed

stats of the week: hiked 35 km
stats of the previous week: run 49 km, hiked 25 km
Honolulu Marathon: 4:43:19

Honolulu Marathon calls itself the 4th biggest marathon in the U.S. and it is certainly one of the slowest marathons in the world. One reason is climate and weather. The early start at 5am helps for nearly 2 hours until the sun rises. But already until then  you will be soaked by sweat. Later on the temperature reached more than 30°c.

I had to take walking rests from 27 km onwards, alternating between running and walking for the rest of the distance. Being in my advanced sixties I can't stand high temperatures like I did when I was younger. I had to stop twice due to stomach problems caused by the heat and the amount of water I drank. However, I was happy to finish still in style. Honolulu Marathon means, that with my modest time of 4:43 h I ended up 45th out of 648 in my age group. The last finisher arrived after more than 17 hours!

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Hawaii Part One

stats of the week: run 37 km, hiked 40 km

The week on Big Island of Hawaii was a strenuous one. Daily hiking, occasional running and return to the apartement always in darkness.

We ran on the newly tarmaced Highway 132 that was destroyed by last year's eruption, we joined the Hilo Thanksgiving 5K by chance, and we served Conny Dauben as pacemaker on her 3rd day of the Ultraman World Championships where she finished as a close runner-up.

We hiked the craters of the Volcano National Park and crossed rainforests in several state parks.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Stopover coastal jog

stats of the week: run 21 km, gym 2 h
stats of the previous week: run 33 km, gym 3 h

The mileage looks somewhat modest when the target to prepare for a marathon. However, have in mind that I also did 2 hiking workouts of total 42 km.

On the way to Hawaii we had a 2-day-stopover at Santa Barbara, California, and enjoyed a morning jog along the pacific coastline. On the final stretch I met a guy from Austria who made a challenging pace for the last 4 km. He told me he had a marathon PB of 2:57 and finished the Boston marathon 10 times. Good job, but too fast for me.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

No 1 gasping for breath

stats of the week: run 31 km, gym 1 h

Just returned from a strenuous week in New York City I could not resist to take part in a local 10 K race. I didn't expect my year's PB but it was worse than a bad dream. After only 2 km I gasped for breath. A dreadful cough attack followed. The rest of the distance was a pure fight for the finish.

The time was still acceptable - 52:03 - within my current potential. However, I was disappointed to touch my very limits at a speed like this.

Finally there was some comfort. As there was no really fast competitor in my age group I got the cup for number 1.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Biggest Apple ever

stats of the week: run 29 km, gym 2 h

Not running but watching the 49th New York City Marathon was still great fun. I enjoyed seeing all the happy faces at mile 14 between Pulaski and Queensborough bridge. With more than 53,000 finishers it was the biggest marathon ever. No doubt that the 50th edition will beat this.

The leading ladies still close together. Jepkosgei got the crown.

First group of leading men. Winner Geoffrey Kamworor hides in the middle of the pack.

German Arne Gabius misses Olympic qualification by one place as he ends up 11th.

Former WMM champion Irina Mikitenko on her late way to collect one more star.
Without proper training she still manages a sub 3 hours finish.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Friendly Ireland

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

The Dublin Marathon saw its 40th edition on Sunday and grew to Europe's 5th biggest marathon. Some 18,000 finishers crossed the line and earned the medal. The men's winner from Morocco set a new race record at 2:08:06 h. I was happy to be back to Dublin after 3 years of absence and enjoyed watching the "friendly marathon".

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Too much right now

stats of the week: run 47 km, gym 3 h

I have to admit it was a strange idea to run the Teutolauf just 3 weeks after the Berlin Marathon. It has a distance of 29 km and longish parts of cross country terrain, especially when it is very wet like this time. Anyway I was able to finish after 2 h 52 min - 19 minutes slower than 5 years ago - but it was very hard work with a lot of walking on the steep ascents. Gasping for breath behind the finish line my hindsight was that this was too much for my body right now.

Luckily I made it to the 2nd place in my age group what was a real surprise after 3 guys had overtaken me on the final stretch who looked as old as me.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Lively again

stats of the week: run 19 km, cycled 93 km, gym 3 h
stats of the previous week: run 8 km, cycled 104 km, gym 1 h

Presumably due to the walking parts of my final Berlin marathon stretch I recovered pretty well and did not suffer from any severe muscle pain. However, I missed my Majorca time trial bike record on the ascent to Galilea by 4 minutes. No wonder.

By the way - I kept to my medicine schedule consistently so far. But now I skipped to take in any more statins. After only 2 days I feel much better - much more positive, lively and stronger. I felt more and more depressed since I used these tablets. Now it is my decision to prefer 5 more positive years to perhaps 10 depressed years.

I even got the courage to do a 5 K race and was happy to finish after 24:41. A time to be improved.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Run according to schedule

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

My Berlin plan worked quite well. Conditions were wet and not too cold, that's a weather I like. According to the schedule I clocked exactly 2:59:43 at 30 km and even at 35 km I managed to pass at 3:30:25. As I expected I had to take some walking breaks along the final stretch where I lost 4 minutes (and was overtaken by 3000 runners) and finished after 4:18:24. I guess that I would have been able to avoid walking if I had done a couple of more long training runs. However, I am happy with the result.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

Hesitating to taper

stats of the week: run 51 km, cycled 124 km, gym 2 h

This week doesn't look like tapering and in fact it isn't. However, I urgently had to do at least one long run. This one on Tuesday with 28 km was too late and too short but all I could afford with Berlin approaching too fast. Now I promise to taper properly until next Sunday.

My theoretical plan is to run 30 km in 3 hours, then somehow get to the finish line. Luckily the route consists of one round, so there is no risk to be lapped. I expect to walk a few final sections.

By the way it will be my 3rd Berlin Marathon, second one being 14 years back in 2005. And my 37th Major marathon while I am still missing the big medal ...

Monday, 16 September 2019

Cross training at wrong time

stats of the week: run 17 km, cycled 316 km, gym 1 h
stats of the previous week: run 53 km, gym 1 h

I know this might not be the classic way to prepare for running a marathon. But it was an urgent wish to test my new bike trailer and learn how it works on longer distances. So we left for a 3-day-trip with light luggage of 11 kg. Together with the trailer the load was around 20 kg. I was happy that I was able to cope with ascents up to 15%. However, after 3 days of tough cycling I felt to be in need of 2 days of recovery and the scheduled long run of 30 km still has to wait. 

Thursday, 5 September 2019

The Real Come Back

stats of the week: run 48 km, cycled 39 km, gym 3 h

The Half Marathon at my home town Bochum was a real come back. With an average pace of 5:21 min/km it makes a promising base for future improvements to a forgotten level. I was able to enjoy the race without any serious torment and finished with a smile. Even more, I was lucky to end up 3rd in my age group.

Now I would prefer to work on my pace and run more fast races. However, it happened that I got a number in the Berlin Marathon's lottery. So I have to fit in some last minute long runs to prepare for the classic distance.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Rising heart rate

stats of the week: run 37 km, cycled 57 km, gym 2 h

The mileage is below target due to a minor foot problem. I did some cycling instead so the overall exercise is still sufficient.

On Sunday I took part in a nice 10 K city race at Hamminkeln, a small town in the Rhine area. My goal was to test my half marathon speed. With a finish at 53:47 under very hot conditions and after a 5 K warm up this was successful.

But the main finding was that my heart rate was surprisingly high. At a level of 145 I was able to run fairly relaxed while before the heart repair this level was my utterly limit where I was no longer able to breathe. Can I hope for a better performance at an even higher heart rate?

Anyway, for the half marathon next Sunday I set my target at a pace of 5:30 min/K. We'll see if this is possible including a surviving finish.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Proper week before forced rest

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

This week was still on schedule but the new week will end below target due to a minor foot problem. I hope this will be gone after 2 days of rest and I will be able to test my half marathon speed of 5:40 min/k at a 10 K race on Sunday.