Mörfelden Adventslauf 10km

It’s been a while since my last race hasn’t it! My dad visited 2 weeks ago, then my uncle and cousins last weekend, but this weekend is back to normal and I could try my hand at the Mörfelden Adventslauf 10km.

The run up to Mörfelden

I feel/felt like my form is great at the moment. I kicked up to just under 100km a week of running a few weeks ago, as well as doing some quality and a long run per week. The last 2 weeks have been, shall we say, a little more relaxed. Not much quality, more days off and no long runs. It’s fine, as Paris marathon is still a loooong way away, but I think my form may have slightly dipped.

Running or clubbing?

Anyway to Mörfelden. I cycled to the train station where a night club was still playing music at 07:30! Kid today eh? I got my 2 trains, then cycled to the Waldstadion, getting pretty lost on the way. I was still there at 08:50 for a 09:30 start, so all was fine. Continue reading “Mörfelden Adventslauf 10km”

Gear Review – New Balance Boracay v2

I have had the New Balance Zantes for a while now and they are my go to 10k race shoe.  I also have the NB1080v6 which are a bit clunky but still good easy run shoes.  So I am a fan of New Balance shoes it seems, but with a marathon ahead of me in spring (Paris on April 8th) I don’t have a marathon shoe from them. That’s where the Boracay comes in.

Marathon Shoe

The Boracay is more substantial than the Zante and more less clunky than the 1080, so it could fit into the gap and be my half marathon or full marathon shoe, along with being used for some up up tempo work or even fairly normal training runs.

Weight

Continue reading “Gear Review – New Balance Boracay v2”

Offenbacher Mainuferlauf – 10km

Offenbacher Mainuferlauf

I said a while back, I think after the Alagastlauf, that I fancied doing the Offenbacher Mainuferlauf. I had heard that it is a fast course and I thought I could get myself in possible PB form for it.  That started to look slightly less likely as the time passed, but I still felt like I could run sub37.

So after watching Kona until midnight, then sleeping dreadfully for 5h, I got up for the race.  I am off eggs at the moment, so I ate oats, toast and a banana for breakfast.  After watching the Kona marathon on fast forward, I was off to Offenbach.

Cool and misty before the race
Sick everywhere

I had to ride to Römisches Theater in the fog and dark. When I got their it was full of drunks and people had been sick everywhere. Lovely!  The set up in Offenbach was quite nice, in a big school hall with loads of people. I have done so many little races recently, a 600 strong starter field seemed massive!

Good start

The Offencbacher Mainuferlauf started at 9am. I had a pretty good start place and got away clean too.  There were some properly fast people there, so the front group was gone in no time.  I settled in and saw 3:40 for the 1st km, all fine.  I have been having some stomach aches and pains recently, along with a being on a strict diet, so I haven’t been feeling tip top.  It had definitely crossed my mind that my blood loss might have happened again, but when I saw that my HR was 165bpm or so after 1km, I knew I was fine and good to race.

I kept everything under control for the first 4km. I was overtaking quite a few people and feeling good whilst keeping my pace up.  As I passed the 5km marker I saw the time on my watch said 18:11. Right on PB pace.  The 2nd half is always where it bites though, so I knew it would be tough.

On the edge

The course was really flat and there was no wind at all. I hung tough and my pace stayed constant. After about 8.5km I saw Konrad and Lukas warming up for their HM, it was a nice distraction from the pain!  The last 1km seemed to take an age. Someone overtook me, but fortunately no one I know, so I could just increase the pace without killing myself to cross the line in 36:32, only 8 seconds off my PB

2nd best time ever

I am happy with that! It was my 2nd best time ever. I’ve only been sub37 once before and I am still a good 2-3kg over my optimal weight.  I reckon I could be in the 35flat region when I am at race weight!  That would be cool.

One advantage of doing a bigger race is that I didn’t win anything, so could leave pretty soon after the finish. I wished the TCEC boys who were running the HM well, and was off within half an hour of finishing, bliss!

Next Up

Next up – well I’m not sure at the moment. I could run the Mainz Charity Run and Walk next weekend, but might not. The Lindenseelauf 15km would be really nice to run at the end of November, but my Dad is visiting then, I think it might be a bit arseholey of my to spend the whole Saturday at a race, instead of going to the football or Heidelberg for his visit.

So if they are out, I think I might head to Rodgau sometime to try to set a new 10k PB. I need to find out the dates, but it is either the start of November or the start of December.

(There are hundreds of photos online from the race, but only of the people who ran over 40minute :-(, so this post is a bit colourless )

2. Hüffelsheimer Panoramalauf – My second win ever!

Trail Running

A colleague of mine organised a run last year for the first time. Last year it was shortly after Berlin Marathon and I was still resting up. This year I didn’t have a good excuse (except the difficulty in getting there) so I decided to take part.  The Hüffelsheimer Panoramalauf is a trail run, with 3 distances – 5km, 11.5km and 22km.  The 22km looks and sounds tough, a bit much for me at my current fitness level, so I took on the 11.5km race instead.

Hüffelsheimer Panoramalauf

I got the train to Bad Munster, then cycled 6km uphill to Hüffelsheim. I ran what I thought was the last 700m of the course as a warm up, it was 700m downhill, then I ran back, 700m uphill – tough running!  Luckily I found out that isn’t the right route for the longer distances races though!

Continue reading “2. Hüffelsheimer Panoramalauf – My second win ever!”

1. Windräderlauf – My first race win!

Windräderlauf

I’d seen that the Windräderlauf in Wörrstadt was on this weekend and I thought I would sign up. On Monday I went to the website, but found out that the deadline was already passed, oh well.  Then on Tuesday I saw that Lex Laufexperten posted about the race, asking if anyone fancied it.  I checked again and could sign up. I guess they had changed their minds!

So after a heavier than normal running week (for the last few months anyway – about 70km) I headed to Wörrstadt nice and early on Sunday.  I decided to cycle 6km to the train station, get the train to Wörrstadt, then cycle from the station to the start, that should save my legs a little.  Online it said that there wouldn’t be any toilets at the race, sounds like a nightmare too me! Luckily there were toilets at the start.

Start line Continue reading “1. Windräderlauf – My first race win!”

Alagastlauf 2017 – Gau Algesheim 10km

Alagastlauf

On Friday I didn’t even know that the Alagastlauf was on this weekend. I had planned to swim and bike on Saturday, then run a bit longer on Sunday.  Then on Friday evening we were out at Katha’s until quite late. Katja and I went into town on Saturday to have a coffee and a general potter around, when Jochen asked me on Facebook if I fancied running the Alagastlauf on Sunday.  I hadn’t run it before, so though – why not?

The Alagastlauf is a 10k, but 4 x 2.5km loops. I didn’t know until i arrived that it isn’t very flat, there aren’t hills, but it rolls all the time and has a good bit on cobbles too.

Top 3?

Jochen had run it last year and had run a good 38:45 time for 3rd place.  I had expected that I could run a flat 10k in 37:30, but with the bumps, I thought 38 minutes would be okay. Hopefully that would be good enough for a top 3 place, who knows. Continue reading “Alagastlauf 2017 – Gau Algesheim 10km”

Mainzer Firmenlauf 2017

Firmenlauf

Last year the firmenlauf was perfectly placed for me, just before the Berlin marathon and I was on good running form. This year I am on good lazy form and got a cold the day before the race. So now that I’ve got my excuses out of the way, I can start with the race report.

It’s always a funny time of year at work when the firmenlauf comes around. People start asking me about my running, and exaggerating my abilities (you’ll win or run 14 minutes!). I tried to play it down this year and was actually a little worried about remaining number one in TRON as some people had asked about my pace, as if they were comparing and fancying their chances!

A bit under the weather

I was at the CIMT annual conference until just before 6pm, so had to hurry up to get to the start. I swam in the lunch break to get the blood flowing, I wasn’t feeling good though, it was just a head cold, but made me less confident..

The TRON team photo

We had the team photo at 18:15 then I decided to walk into the front of the start pen, instead of having to push my way in from behind. That worked out perfectly and I could start in the front row.

Fast start

After starting too fast (2:40/km is ambitious!) I settled in and the leaders weren’t really much faster than me. I felt decent and could pick off a couple of the stupidly fast starters after 2-3km. The course is still the same as last year, i.e. lots and lots of turns, and lots of cobbles. It’s also almost certainly short too, but it’s hard to know just how short it is. I think about 200m short, but it could be as much as 300m.

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. I had 10:15 on the clock after 3km and 14:00 after 4km so I assumed a 18 minute time. After the last few twists I was out and just around the corner from the finish line with 16:45 on the clock! I thought I could beat my time from last year so kicked a little, and crossed in almost exactly the same time as in 2016 – in 17:08 instead of 17:07.

Camera work! Me from behind

Title defended

I’ll take that though. I thought I’d be a good minute slower, last year I was ready to run a 2:55 marathon, I doubt I could do that right now. I also managed to defend my TRON/Biontech title, which is a nice little bonus.

So that’s that. I might run the Mainufer 10km in the middle of October. I have exactly 0 running PBs in 2017, it’d be nice to change that if possible.

Trimmathlon – Vereinsmeisterschaft 2017

It’s been a while, Pirmasens was cancelled for some reason and Remagen has been cancelled too.  I have been ticking over in training, but I don’t have any pressing goals, so it is a bit more relaxed than normal at the moment.

Vereinsmeisterschaft

The Vereinsmeisterschaft (club championship) is a super sprint with 300m swim, 17km bike and a 4km hard run. The run is a right bastard, but we’ll get to that later!

I got to the start in good time, everyone was in good spirits but the potential winners were looking a bit more serious. Our wave started at 09:50, which means that the pool is full of competent swimmers, which is good for avoiding collisions.

Surprise start

The race started and we were off. I was the fastest in my lane and most of the race was to my right hand side, with only one guy behind near me on my left. 300m is basically a long interval, but you can’t start too fast, or you will blow up after 150m. I paced it ok and got out after just under 5 mins had passed.

My change was quite quick and I overtook Marcus in transition. I got going on the rolling bike course and saw that Sebi was stopped with a technical problem at the side of the road. Up the hill I was passing the fast swimmers who can’t bike so well. On the flat a little later I was doing fine, but I wasn’t feeling confident on my TT bike.

Cautious Riding

After going wide on a round about, Marcus and Sebi passed me. Sebi was getting a nice draft off Marcus for a long time, before passing in him on the next hill. I was losing time on the downhills, gaining on the uphold and staying about the same on the flats.

Te last few km were a bit twisty and downhill, I haemorraged time on this part. After just about getting in clipper on the downhill to T2, I had a good change and was off on the run.

Running Tough

The hills are tough on the run. There is a steep bump, then a bigger bump, then a long slight downhill, a switch around and everything in reverse. I caught Marcus on the big bump, but everyone else was way ahead of me, and I couldn’t see anyone behind me. At the turn, I could see that Max was in range, I got him just at the end of the long drag uphill. I knew that I was in 5th but way off 3rd and in a different time zone to Lukas and Konrad who were side by side in 1st and 2nd.

Meh, but better than last year

I jogged it in for 5th in a time that was 3 mins faster than last year. My swim and run were decent, my bike felt like crap! I was just so careful and felt like I was losing time on every corner or bend.

It turned out that Sebi had crashed at the start, he didn’t have a mechanical. He did well to get going again so I forgive him his recovery draft! Christoph came third, he has got so much better through the season, he’ll be tough to beat next season.

So another Vereinsmeisterschaft is over, and with it my Triathlon season 2017. It was my best season by a mile, it’s just a shame that 2 races were cancelled. I’ll be back next season though, targeting the shorter stuff and hoping to help us get promoted again!

P.s. Lukas beat Konrad by 17 seconds on the run.

City Triathlon Merzig 2017 – Sprint – RTV 2. Landesliga

  Merzig the Third

I’ve done Merzig twice before, but it is a staple of the RTV league calender, so I was down to do it again in 2017.  I haven’t been doing much training since Roth, and I have been eating lots and have gained weight, so I was worried before the race that I wouldn’t be on form.

I had to get up at 5:30am and I had only slept about 4h, perfect preparation. Add to that that I had a puncture on Saturday, so walked home and hurt my foot by standing on a stone, I wasn’t feeling tip top!

We were there at 8:30 and the weather was nice, we had a very strong team, Christoph, Michael, Heiko, Jonas and me. After being the best team in Zell and Worms, we were hoping to win again and make getting promoted a near certainty.

Wetsuit Swimming

Happily the water temperature was 21.2°C so we could wear wetsuits, it’s only a 750m swim, but given my lack of training, I wanted to wear a wetsuit.  We watched the mixed relay whilst warming up, the referees were pretty confusing, one told us that we had to hang our bikes by the brake levers, the other said that it didn’t matter, the saddle was fine too…

So at 10:09 we went into the water. I hung back slightly so I could find some clear water to swim in. With absolutely no advance warning, the race started!  I felt like I swam ok, not brilliantly, but decent enough. The Buoy was packed at the turn around, but after that I could get going on the 2nd half.  I had hoped for about 12minutes, but got out and saw 12:45 on the clock.

Draft legal?

There is a bit of a run from the swim to the bike, team captain Sebi told me that I was 20 seconds behind Christoph and 30 seconds behind Michael.  I got going on the bike and didn’t feel so great, but my pace was good.  There was a group maybe 100m ahead of me, so I pushed to catch them.

After 3-4km I caught the group, or should I say peleton. They were riding in a group and after Worms I didn’t want to get involved in that. A couple of guys gave it a good go at blocking me by accelerating as I was passing, but I made it past.  I got to the front of the group and wanted to push on, but soon enough the group swallowed me up and I was left in the middle.  I decided to hang off the back, as we had a near 41km/h average speed, so I couldn’t speed up to get away on a flat course, so I would just hang and hope that they get busted.

Trying not to draft!

We caught Christoph after maybe 12km and he had the same problem as I had had. We ended up just rolling around near the group, it sucked. In Worms I averaged 310w or so, here I averaged 255w.

Not feeling the run

In T2 I messed up putting my shoes on again, so Christoph was 15 seconds clear of me. Apparantly Michael was 40 seconds clear, that would be tough!  I passed Christoph after about 500m but wasn’t feeling too hot. I was passing plenty of people, but my legs felt flat.  By the 2nd round it was getting a bit better, so I could at least roll for a few km.

I could see Michael in the distance at the turn around, but I wasn’t catching him. I kept my pace up, but it wasn’t so impressive.  On the last lap of the 4, with only about 400m to run I could hear someone behind me.  A quick look back showed me that it was someone from Tri Post Trier, so someone from my league, this was for position!

Sprint for position
Tri Post Trier man right behind me on the last lap

Though I really didn’t want to, I started building speed early so that it wasn’t a side by side sprint. I kept accelerating and could hear that he wasn’t keeping pace, phew!  As I started to feel like the job was done, it was still 100m to the finish line and he wasn’t far back, so I kicked again and got over the line 1 second before him 🙂

Race Overview – meh but 5th place

It felt like a bit of a nightmare race, my swim was average, bike limited by the group and run below par. I was 3rd from the 5 in TCEC.  When the results were posted though, it turned out that I was 5th in the league in 1:04:06, so more than 6 mins faster than in 2015 (I think the bike was shorter and faster this year).  I only lost to Michael by my bad transitions and ran the exact same time as he did. Actually it was a decent performance.

TCEC – always winning

More importantly, with 3rd, 4th, 5th, 12th (and 19th) for Michael, Jonas, Me, Christoph and Heiko, we were easily the best team, in fact it would have been near impossible for us to lose with those results! So we have won every race this season clearly, and just need to stay competitive in Pirmasens and Remagen to win the league.

For me, I need to get back into training. It doesn’t need to be crazy training, but more swimming and running would be good, and maybe ease up on the eating too!  It’s been 3 weeks since Roth, I have been sensible and taken some down time to recover, but now that time is over!

Gear Review – Canyon Inflite 9.0 S

My Current Stable

Up until buying my new Inflite, I had 3 bikes. 1 mountain bike that I recently bought on eBay classifieds for 100€ to use for commuting to work, cycling to swim training and occasionally riding a little loop between Hechtsheim and Bodenheim.

My 2nd bike is a triathlon bike. It’s a Canyon Speedmax Al 8.0. I bought it used from a guy on facebook for 750€ if I remember correctly.  I have upgraded the wheels and now the cockpit and it is a good solid bike. If I can find a good deal on a frame, I might replace it sometime soon, but there’s no rush.

My 3rd bike is a road bike. I bought it at the end of 2012, having snapped the hanger off my old road bike in a crash in Augsburg, and thinking that the frame was snapped.  My old bike was a Canyon Ultimate Al that I had bought on eBay, it was a 60cm frame, but I felt like it was a great fit and I loved riding it.  When I replaced it, I looked for another eBay deal, but could only find a 62cm frame, and a Roadlite Al 5.o, 1 model down from the Ultimate Al and even bigger!

The saddle wasn’t always so silly looking!

Even though it was too big on paper, I really loved that bike!  I rode it in La Marmotte, the Maratona, the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege this year along with draft legal triathlons and team sprints!  It cost me 430€ (recently sold it for 300€), so it did pretty well for me for 4.5 years!  Recently though I have been having the urge to get a new bike. One that is actually the right size and is a bit newer than my old bike.

A new bike needed

How I work is, I think of what I would like in a bike and make a list. In this case there were only 2 really big things that I wanted – disc brakes and plenty of clearance for wider tyres.  That sounds simple enough. I made a list of the Canyons and Roses that fit the bill and had about 7 bikes on the list. I want to be able to ride on the road most of the time, but have the option to get onto tracks when I fancy it.

In the end, to meet my wide tyres criteria, I needed to get a cyclocross/gravel bike, so the Canyon Inflite 9.0 S won out for me.  The road bikes all allow 28mm tyres, but nothing much above that.  Annoyingly, the Inflite medium frame comes with a 172.5mm crank. I have a crank based powermeter on a 175mm crank arm though!  That was the right size for my other 2 bikes, but would be wrong for my new one 🙁

Welcome to the family – Canyon Inflite 9.0 S

The Inflite has massive tyre clearance, some say enough for 38mm tyres, I can’t see how 45mm tyres wouldn’t fit though, the stock 28mm Conti GP4000sIIs look tiny in the forks! It has Ultegra Hydraulic disc brakes and Ultegra everything else really, with DT Swiss R24 Spine wheels. The bike is no lightweight at 8.7kg, but for what I want it for, that isn’t too important.

Two small issues

Two things that I don’t like much. The hydraulic cabling is external and is just kind of hanging there. It is hella ugly. It runs along the fork and the top tube, I reckon in next year’s model they will hide it in the frame/fork.  The other thing is that it has a quick release for the wheels.  Through Axles seem like they will be the ‘norm’ on disc wheels, I don’t know why Canyon haven’t adopted that here. They have on their road bikes.

First ride experiences

So my first ride was a ‘little’ 170km loop in the hills with the TCEC guys!  This probably isn’t to be recommended, but the bike was great straight out the box.  I usually ride an Adamo saddle, so was a little uncomfortable on the stock saddle, but it was still fine.  The ride was plush on the 28mm Contis at 6 bar. Braking was a bit different, but seemed to get better as the day went on, they should self adjust so maybe they were just a bit loose at the start.

The bike is a bit upright for a fast group ride, I will flip the stem, then decide if I want to send it back to Canyon to get a longer stem (edit: I tried, they said no). It didn’t feel bad yesterday, and I certainly could keep up, but a longer lower position would probably be better for me long term.

5 months later

I have had my Inflite for 4-5 months now. I still really like the bike. it is very comfy and goes off road pretty well, as well as making  riding rough cobbles and/or broken asphalt much easier than a normal road bike.  There’s only been 1 puncture at the front and 1 at the back, but that was after getting lost and riding through some very heavy grass with brambles in them.

I rode in the black forest too. 4000m+ of climbing in a day is a lot for me, but the bike took it well. The worst part was the decent down Kandel. The road was dreadful and I was on the brakes constantly.  I’d read that that can be bad for hydraulic brakes, but I had no issue.  I couldn’t really do a harder test for them than that. I think they’ll be fine.

So the Canyon Inflite 9.0 gets a big thumbs up from me. I guess that the 2018 model will have thru axles and will hide the cables better, but even if not, it’s a great all weather all season bike for the money (1500€ in a sale when I got mine).