Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Confirming old rule

stats of the week: run 27 km, zwift cycled 46 km, gym 2 h
stats of the previous week: run 27 km, zwift cycled 103 km, gym 2 h

An old rule has been confirmed once again. Double your 5 K time and add 2 minutes to get your possible 10 K time. This time I doubted this would be realistic having in mind that I did very few runs up to 10 K in training, only 3 during the recent 7 weeks.

But it worked. Following 24:30 for 5 K two weeks ago I was now able to finish after 51:14 at 10 K. Unfortunately the heel spur problem restrains me to increase my mileage otherwise I could probably attack the 50 min border.

With the Covid situation getting worse and worse some organisers now cancel their races once again. Winter seems to become depressing again with very few events to enjoy.

photo: 10 K start at the Blumensaatlauf alongside Baldeneysee

Monday, 8 November 2021

Surprising pace

stats of the week: run 17 km, indoor cycled 110 km, gym 2 h
stats of the previous week: run 27 km, indoor cycled 26 km

Although Covid is worse than ever in our country, life is almost back to normal and a number of running events are on offer again for vaccinated runners. 

I was happy to pace C to a 29:04 finish at our local 5K race on Halloween evening where she won her age group. Next Saturday I raced on my own account and was surprised that I was able to keep a pace that I have not trained for. I finished the flat 5K in 24:30 min what lets me hope for more in the near future. However, my heel spur problem still keeps me from intensifying the schedule while some intervals would be needed to build up more speed. C again won her age group while I was only placed 5th.

This weekend was New York Marathon weekend! Within 16 years this was only the second time I could not be there to run myself or watch and guide German runners. Now I wonder if I will ever come again and this is somewhat a sad feeling. Otherwise I should happily look back to what I could experience and be thankful.

This is Irina 2019:

Saturday, 30 October 2021

Recovering in different ways

stats of the week: run 14 km, cycled 98 km, hill walked 42 km
stats of the previous week: run 6 km, cycled 39 km, hill walked 35 km
stats of the week before: indoor cycled 1 h, hill walked 8 km

Recovering from London meant a lazy week at home first, then a week of easy hill walking on the island of Sardinia, followed by a sportive week in France.

I still suffer from a mild heel spur that keeps me from intensifying my running. Luckily I am able to do short jogs up to 10 km without bigger problems.

Some impressions of Sardinia:

Walking Mt Ventoux was a very different experience after 10 times up there via bike:

Thursday, 7 October 2021

A happy day - Number 22 in the box

 London Marathon 2021 result: 4:31:34, 133rd M65 of  333, 19,600th overall of 35,867

As you see in the photo, my 22nd London Marathon was a very happy day. The world seemed to be back to normal. More than 35,000 runners on the route, the crowds were nearly as big as ever and the people's behaviour let me forget the Brexit. Londoners are as polite and helpful as they have been in better times.

My race plan - alternating 5 km running by 500 m walking - worked until km 32. Then I had to extend the walking parts and to shorten the running parts. It was a strange feeling to walk already after 5 km when everybody raced by. But it payed. In spite of my limited preparation I was able to keep my pace far into the race and was very happy to finish after roughly 4.5 hours. This experience makes me hope that I will be able to keep on running for some more years.

Saturday, 2 October 2021

From Ventoux to the Mall

stats of the week so far: cycled 133 km
stats of the previous week: run 42 km, cycled 205 km

Finally I managed to do a long jog of 23 km - having walking rests in between every 5 km. I still hope this enables me to get to the finish line on the Mall in London. My plan is to walk 500m every 5 km from the beginning on.

On the way I celebrated a jubilee at Mont Ventoux: my 10th ascent on the bike, 5 from Sault, 3 from Bedouin and 2 from Malaucène.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Failing to prepare for London

stats of the week: run 24 km, cycled 234 km
stats of the previous week: run 13 km, cycled 46 km
stats of the week before: run 14 km, cycled 124 km

Building up my mileage was interrupted by an infection that kept me resting for a week. Now I aim to do just one longish run of more than 20 km to get somewhat fit for the London Marathon. The plan is to finish the marathon by jogging 5 km each followed by a short rest and some minutes of walking. This hopefully will enable me to get to the finish line at sub 5 hours. Last year this worked fairly well.

This weekend's highlight was a bike tour from our French home at Mollans sur Ouvèze to the Ardèche Gorge and back the next day.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Success in Berlin

stats of the week: run 14 km, cycled 90 km, indoor cycled 30 km, treadmill walked 12 km
stats of the previous week: run 35 km

The Berlin Half Marathon was a success regarded my limited volume of training. Unexpectedly I was able to finish just sub 2 hours at 1:59:29. The final 3 km were a tough fight but I finished in style in front of a doctor who inspected my eyes and let me go on to receive my well earned medal. It was such a good experience to be part of real running event again.

Now the next countdown has already started: 5 weeks to London. I hope Boris Johnson will let us in.

Photo: Enjoying the final stretch to the finish line in Berlin.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Ready for Berlin

stats of the week: run 39 km, cycled 73 km

I was able to fulfil my schedule and increased my long run to 18 km. Quite happy about this. It nearly feels like at the time I was a real runner. Now I look forward to Sunday and running my 7th half marathon in Berlin and 60th half marathon overall.

I don't feel ready for a sub 2 hours but 2:05 should be possible if it isn't a bad day. Half an hour slower than in former years, that's life.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Farewell to Provence

stats of the week: run 29 km, cycled 110 km

I was able to extend the "long" run to 12 km what is sufficient at the time. I still hope to get to about 17 or 18 km to prepare for Berlin Halfmarathon in 2 weeks. Cycling has to stand back now and I reckon most of this year's cycling is done meanwhile. I will certainly sum up more than 6,000 cycling kilometers this year what makes still one my best cycling years ever although my performance was somewhat low.

Some more impressions of my number one cycling area.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Increasing Tiredness

stats of the week: run 26 km, cycled 134 km

I increased the running distance to a 10 K and was able to finish sub 58 min what makes a proper base to build up. However, the combination of frequent running and cycling results in increasing tiredness. I will have to cut down the workouts to cope with longer runs. Just 3 weeks to Berlin. I will be happy if I can build up the long run up to 16 K.

Col de Perty is the most beautifull pass in the area.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

From blue Lavender to the white tower

stats of the week: run 27 km, cycled 190 km

A proper sports week with increased running and another ride up Mont Ventoux, taking the easy way up from Sault, however, the final 2 km are always really tough.

5 weeks to Berlin, 10 weeks to London. I hope to increase distances up to 18 km in time for Berlin.

The area around Sault is famous for its vast Lavender fields.

In high season the top of Ventoux is a crowded place.

Monday, 19 July 2021

Focus on 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.