Monday, 19 July 2021

Focus to running now

stats of the week: run 20 km, cycled 139 km

Focus is on running now as there are just 5 weeks to the Berlin Halfmarathon. I am happy with my beginner's course for my calf until now but there are still doubts that I will be able to finish 21 km. Current workouts sum up to 7 km so far. Running events seem to come back finally, signs are good that London will take place on 3rd Oct.

A new hobby is beaver watching down at our local river, the Ouvèze. Every evening our friend is on time at 8.15 pm for his evening meal across the river.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

The double Ventoux and more than the Brexit

stats of the week: run 12 km, cycled 232 km 
stats of the previous week: run 7 km, cycled 73 km

Watching the pros when the Tour de France crossed Le Mont Ventoux twice was a great experience. All the  spectators behaved very well and supported every cyclist from any team and country. What a difference to Wembley stadium at the European Football Championships.

What the hell has happened to the English society? I have spent 25 years of holidays in Britain, ran 20 London Marathons and finished 4 London Rides. I have always appreciated the English way of life and how the English keep company with each other. The English were known for being the ideal of fairness expecially in sports. Now they boo the hymns of their guests and barrack other teams as soon as they got the ball. London has been the most unkind host of all championships ever. Brexit has changed much more than I thought.

However, here are some impressions of the Tour de France: 

Monday, 28 June 2021

Too much recovering

stats of the week: runwalked 10 km, cycled 37 km
stats of the previous week: runwalked 7 km, cycled 155 km 

It was a fortnight of recovering after the strenuous Ventoux ride. More due to low motivation rather than to weakness. I developed what I call a beginners' course for my calf: walking and jogging alternately with jogging of max 400 meters. It works so far. 

Watching the Tour de France is my daily sport now and I look forward to spotting the heroes on the slopes of Ventoux next week.

Friday, 18 June 2021

Hot and tough

stats of the week: cycled 351 km
stats of the previous week: cycled 323 km

The fortnight culminated in the participation at the Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux. There were roughly 2,500 cyclists taking part thereof half each chose the short route of 100 km / 2800 am and the long route of 120 km / 3800 am.

It was a piping hot day with degrees well beyond 30°c. I did fairly well until Chalet Reynard after the former food station already had run out of water. Obviously this caused problems for a lot of cyclists not only me. Mounting my bike again for the final stretch of 6 km to the top I suddenly felt totally exhausted. I managed to keep riding at a speed of 6 km/h while many others had to push their bike or stopped.

However, at the final bend 50 m before the top I suffered a horrendous cramp that forced me to stop and rest. After a couple of minutes I was able to finish the very steep final meters on my bike again. I only did the short route but it was one of the toughest days I ever had and by far the hardest climb up Ventoux of the 7 ones I did. Surprisingly my ranking at 661th place out of 1,200 finishers was fairly sufficient. 

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Enjoying cycling the Provence

stats of the week: cycled 285 km
stats of the previous week: cycled 174 km, zwift cycled 41 km
stats of the week before: cycled 162 km, zwift cycled 146 km, tm walked 14 km

Still no running due to the calf problem. I tried to jog several times but after less than 1 km the muscle striked again. So I now decided not to run during the 4-week-holiday in France. As we entered the London 10K which is on now I have to walk it to get at least my shirt and medal that I payed for.

The area around Mont Ventoux is still the very best I know for cycling. Although I miss running much I can enjoy cycling here. There are lots of passes to choose from and the landscape is more than lovely. There is no better way to spend the final years of your life than to settle in the Provence and just enjoy day after day.

Monday, 10 May 2021

Cycling life on brakes

stats of the week: run 10 km, cycled 85 km, zwift cycled 217 km, tm walked 8 km
stats of the previous week: run 2 km, cycled 281 km, zwift cycled 51 km, tm walked 12 km

Still no running due to the persisting calf problem which maybe caused by a back problem my physiotherapist guessed now. I do daily back exercises now but without success so far. Will try diclofenac for a next attempt.

Luckily cycling keeps me alive. Life without running is a life on brakes for me - cycling still feels only like a deficient substitution. However, I have completed 3,000 km this year so far and look forward to the Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux taking place on June 13th.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Almost normal life until 5pm

stats of the week: run 3 km, cycled 227 km, zwift cycled 31 km
stats of the previous week: run 3 km, cycled 180 km, zwift cycled 70 km

Having a week on Majorca proved to be a good decision although the weather could have been better. Apart from one rainy day we were able to cycle daily and it was good to meet long-missed relatives. 

My cycling performance didn't bolster me up, however we had fun to be on the beautiful island again and cycling the well known routes. Having Covid tests before both flights didn't make big circumstances and outside life on the island let feel nearly normal life until 5pm when bars and restaurants had to close and streets suddenly emptied.

Enjoying Cap Formentor on a rather cold day

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Struggling against the process

stats of the week: run 9 km, zwift cycled 185 km, tm walked 7 km

Zwifting remains the main exercise, I am happy this is still possible while the calf problem persists. It is a sneaking process but I have to face the development in direction of a non-running person. I turned 68 this week, the oncoming year will show if  I am happy to stay against this process. Around 90% of my running mates at the same age have retired from our sport but there are still a few ideals. 

Equipping your Zwift avatar you can choose your hair!

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

First glimpse of summer

stats of the week: run 12 km, cycled 176 km, zwift cycled 51 km, hiked 15 km, tm walked 8 km

I am back to slow running with first attempts by very short distances on the treadmill. Summer turned in for a few days and made outside cycling possible in bright sunshine.

I won't hesitate to fly to Majorca to get more fine cycling but unfortunately C is still doubtful. Luckily I will get my first vaccination on Thursday. If figures stay good on the island I hope to convince her to go for a sunny week of cycling.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Hoping for Mt Ventoux

stats of the week: cycled 79 km, zwift cycled 149 km, hiked 15 km, tm walked 12 km

No running this week due to the calf problem that turns out to be tenacious. At least I moved suffiently to stay somewhat fit. And I am happy to cycle outside again what is still much more fun than the Zwift thing. 

The Gran Fondo Mont Ventoux planned for Mid June is sold out. Will it really take place? There is enough time left to put in hill training and become fit for the Provence giant. I am dying for travelling again.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Walking speed London approved

stats of the week: run 10 km, zwift cycled 116 km, hiked 33 km, tm walked 9 km

Walking the Syltlauf ended rather painful on the final stretch but even more painful after stretching down on the sofa. The time of 5:32 h for 33 km including rest stops was exactly what could be expected. This walking speed would let you complete a marathon in roughly 7 hours. Fast enough to meet the London Marathon time limit.

At least there was no additional muscle pain the next day. There is only this nasty little calf problem that refrains me from running since last Wednesday. However, the week's result doesn't look bad.

And there are still 10 weeks to get fit for the London 10K which will be virtual again.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Forced to take part

stats of the week: run 12 km, zwift cycled 146 km, hiked 36 km, tm walked 10 km

I missed the final date when the cancellation of the Syltlauf was possible. So I received the parcel containing my bib and also the medal. The result is that I have to do it next Sunday. 33 km! 

Photo: This year's bib and medal are the ones from the cancelled run last year.

Luckily the usual time limit of 4 hours is not valid for the virtual version. We are allowed to walk all the distance. I planned a flat route along the river Ruhr and completed a test walk of 20 km that was fine. Target for next Sunday is to finish within 5:30 h.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Virtual LM sold out

stats of the week: run 10 km, zwift cycled 109 km, hiked 25 km
stats of the previous week: run 17 km, zwift cycled 145 km, hiked 14 km

The virtual London Marathon 2021 is actually sold out now. 50,000 bibs are gone, was surprises me as I am not an excited fan of virtual races. Boston follows and offers even 70,000 virtual places!

Regarding Boris Johnson's announcement about Covid openings in summer the real London Marathon has a good chance to take place in October. Maybe only vaccinated starters will be accepted. By then this should not be a problem.

At the moment I can't imagine myself running a marathon. Restricted by several orthopedic problems my jogs don't extend 7 km. Even a half marathon is unthinkable. Luckily walking is allowed at the virtual Syltlauf. The distance in two weeks is 33 km.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Could have been worse

stats of the week: run 5 km, zwift cycled 83 km, hiked 20 km
stats of the previous week: run 4 km, hiked 10 km

Entry to the virtual London Marathon 2021 is now open. It seems to be less popular than expected. The organisers do a lot of advertising. Regarding Boris Johnson's reopening plans one can hope that the usual London Marathon can take place on Oct 3rd. I cautiously begin to believe in this. Everybody will be vaccinated by then, maybe overseas runners will need a test but that will be okay. Fingers crossed.

For me there is a new problem to get back to proper training. While hiking in the local woods I fell on the ice and damaged my left shoulder. Nothing broken but one tendon is cracked completely and two others partly. A very painful experience that will take up to 3 or 4 months till I will have fully recovered. No chance to ride my bike outside now but luckily it is no problem indoors. And cautious jogging is possible, too. Could have been worse.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Groundhog days

stats of the week: none
stats of the previous week: run 28 km, zwift cycled 48 km, hiked 6 km, tm walked 14 km 

The good news is that the MRI showed that my hip joint is fine, no arthrosis found. However the pain forced me to stop any kind of activity. 

The suprising detection is that I don't really miss the daily activity. I nearly feel like I had never done any sports. I am eating the same amount of food as before and wait for taking on weight. Well, Covid life isn't really exciting but I seem to get accustomed to the endless row of groundhog days. I know that I am in a privileged situation. While others have to fight for their livelihood my only trouble is that there is no chance to spend my monthly pension.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

New finding

stats of the week: run 16 km, zwift cycled 206 km, tm walked 10 km

What I regarded as a minor tendon problem seems to be more serious. The x-ray shows a hip deformation (called cam impingement) that is not really suitable for intensive cycling. This finding may explain the pain I have developed after I increased indoor cycling over the recent weeks. Cycling indoor is much more intensive than outside because the hip is rotating all the time without a second of rest.

The conclusion has to be to stop cycling completely for a while until the pain decreases. I hope I will be able to jog frequently at a limited pace. I am lucky that this year's London Marathon has been postponed to autumn.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Post from South Africa

stats of the week: run 0 km, Zwift cycled 238 km, tm walked 17 km, hiked 10 km
stats of the previous week: run 12 km, Zwift cycled 76 km, tm walked 10 km

Received my Comrades medal with a delay of half a year what I don't mind. I am just happy to have got it, a quite impressive one earned by running just 10 km. It came with a very nice shirt, too. If the next Comrades will be run virtually again, probably it will, no doubt I will take part again.

I developed a new passion for riding my bike at home. Other people may have a home office, I - as a retired person - have a home gym. I still would prefer to run more often but the mysterious tendon problem is still restricting me.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Streak aborted

stats of the week: run 20 km, Zwift cycled 153 km, tm walked 14 km

Finished the virtual Honolulu Start to Park 10K in 53:11 min what is quite sufficient regarding my limited mileage during the recent 3 months. However, I could not be really happy with it coz I developed a tendon problem that forces me to stop the streak after 56 continuous days of sports activity. Not the best start into covid year 2.