Mais Oui, Paris – Weeks 13+14 – 2 weeks of very little

For the first time for about 3-4 weeks I am feeling slightly better about things now. I have severely cut back my running in the hope of getting myself right for Paris Marathon. Now it is the last 2 week, so I will do my threshold intervals on Tuesday and Thursday, then the work is done!

Monday:

I cycled to swim training, swam for 1h15 – about 3000m – and cycled home. I was in the slow lane, which was a good thing! I did one harder 400m pull set, which was in 7minutes flat. I am trying to actually kick properly in when doing breaststroke, I hope that makes me slightly less slow!

Tuesday:

Back to the 1817 track after work. As it is the school holidays it was pretty empty at the track (not many kids playing football), so I switched directions for each interval. I wanted to do 6km at T pace again, as I felt fine I split it into a 3-2-1. My heart rate was much lower than it has been, and I did the last km in 3:33 without going all out.  This was much more like a session I would expect to have than those from last week. I think that is a good sign that I am recovering!

Wednesday:

I should have swum before work, but I wanted to sleep (I didn’t sleep well). I had a nap after work, which was stupid because I then couldn’t fall asleep at night.. Rest day

Thursday:

6km T, I just did 6x1km as I wasn’t feeling great. All were about 3:40/km but felt far harder than they should have.

Friday:

Off

Saturday:

After hearing that Sebi and Peter were looking for a 3rd person to swim, I decided to go along and try a longer work out. I wanted to do a 90 minute swim, but they wanted to leave after about 60mins so I did what I could until then.  I think it was 3400m, a lot for me. I slightly extended my cycling home so that it was 20km or so, I would have liked a bit more actually, but it was fine for the day.

Sunday:

off

Monday:

I went for little 7km run just as a leg shake out. Now I will admit that I probably ran faster than I should have, but my heart rate was sky high from the start. Against the wind I was in the mid 150s when doing an easy pace.  It came back down a little with the wind behind me, but my piriformis hurt, the whole back of my right leg ached, and my heart rate was high. I started to consider not starting in Paris.

I cycled to the pool later anyway as it was Easter Monday and I could swim at 5pm instead of 8pm. It was a decent session, if only 1h again. The lane was pretty empty, but when Konrad is there it always shows me how much slower I am than I need to be!

Tuesday:

I had planned on doing some M paced intervals, but after the nightmare of yesterday, I rested. I feel like I am allergic to something, or have a long lingering cold. (I got my German B2 test results – I got 90.5 from 100 for a very good grade, quite happy with that!)

Wednesday:

Because of the French trains striking, one of our connections wasn’t available, so we had to get to Karlsruhe in a different way. We managed it but then saw that our train to Paris was cancelled. We scuried to try to get a slow train to Strasbourg, but missed it s were stuck in Karlsruhe. Or so we thought, because suddenly they announced that a replacement train would go instead. It was said to be on time, but actually was 1h40 late!  So we didn’t get to Paris until fairly late on Wednesday evening.

Thursday:

Tourist day in Paris – up the Eiffel Tower

Friday:

Another walking day around Paris

Saturday:

I ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill in the hotel, I did some slightly up paced stuff and felt ok, maybe I had recovered in time??

Sunday:

Marathon

Mais non, Paris – Paris marathon 2018

After a few nice days in Paris I had arranged to meet Has to sign up to the marathon at 14:30 on the Friday before the race. I handed in my ‘medical certificate’ and got my start number, I wasn’t ready for the race, but I would be running it anyway!

The last month before the Paris marathon has been a nightmare, a constant mix of being overtrained, ill, allergic and injured, not ideal for getting ready for a marathon. My heart rate has been constantly high for a while now, at rest and while running. My hope was that after enough rest, my body would somehow digest the training that I’d done, recover and spit out my fitness returns. Well if it was going to do that, it was waiting until the last minute to do it! I was still feeling like crap 6 days before the race, my last real run before the marathon.

I knew that 2h50 was possible if everything came together, but if not then I would be miles off with my recent form. I would go out at 2h50 pace anyway and see what happens, hopefully I’d feel ok!

Me and Has next to the straw filled toilets! (and the Arc de Triomphe)

So on the day of the race the alarm went off at 5am and I ate my Pain aux Chocolat and pita bread and waited. At 6am Katja was awake and we went to down to breakfast in the hotel at 6:30. We met up with Has and Audrey at 7:30. Katja would spectate with Audrey whilst Has and I ran. I felt a bit odd about the race, nervous of course but sometimes I feel nervous, but ready. This time I was nervous and not ready, I felt unprepared.

The first km is downhill on cobbles, I found my tempo of 4:00/km and felt ok. It was a bit warm even at the start of the race for me, but it wasn’t too bad. My heart rate belt was playing up and showed variable numbers for a while. With a 170 heart rate after 2km I was/would be in major trouble, but it then went to 160, which would be ok. It soon settled down a bit, and showed that I was going too fast, and my heart rate was too high.

I kept on anyway, seeing Katja after 6km and giving a shaky thumb to indicate that it wasn’t going great. After 10km 41 minutes had passed, I was a little slow for a 2h50 marathon, but on PB pace. That was pretty much irrelevant though, it wasn’t going to happen, I knew that already.

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After 13km I made the decision to pull the plug on my race, I would run on to the end, but I couldn’t race it anymore and hope to get to the finish line. I started to slow and my heart rate fell a little, but I didn’t really slow too much for a little while. I passed 14km after 58:30, I wasn’t on PB pace anymore.

That was the kick I needed, I gave it up for real and decided to run/walk it in, like I did for Roth last year. So after a 45 second walk I ran for 9:15  every 10 minutesm until the end of the race! For the first 4 intervals I was running at 4:15 pace, but then that started to fade too.

I wasn’t bothered about my time anymore, I just wanted to get to the end. There was a long tunnel after maybe 25km which they called ‘Hell’ it was a bit weird, it was actually nice and cool compared to the sunny 18-20 degrees outside, so it wasn’t too hell like for me. (I’ve since heard that is where Diana died, it seems in poor taste now!)  In the next tunnel they played Funky Town, a Roland Cake favorite! I couldn’t help but laugh.

Mentally I felt like it was always going to be ok, even after 25km I was thinking, only 8-9 more run/walks. My quads were getting pretty sore, so re-starting after the walk breaks was starting to get pretty painful. My 9:15 runs we’re getting slower and slower too, but as I say, time was not irrelevant, but my legs were so dead.

After about 36km Has overtook me. He had started 2 minutes after me and was having a decent race. I didn’t try to go with him, I doubt I could have anyway, but it didn’t make sense if I was run/walking. Finally after 40km the walk breaks were over and I would run to the end. Those last 2.2km dragged like a mo-fo, I felt like they would never end! I got to see Katja again just before the end then clapped some hands on the run in before crossing the line in 3:17:32.

It was a nightmare day, too warm, my legs weren’t there and my fitness is just gone too. I think it is just a bit of overtraining that has led to this nightmare, I will take it easy for a good while now, I need a cycling and swimming base anyway.

I think I am done with marathons now, I might try one off triathlon training some time, but that won’t be until at least Autumn 2019.  Paris Marathon has been a dreadful experience for me, I hope the rest of the season is much much better!

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 12 – Slowly Recovering?

Lets not dwell on how shit my training is going, lets just see how this week goes.

Monday:

I had only gotten home at 1am from England the night before, so was tired. My hips are still tight and sore, I guess they won’t feel great when I am working them out as much as possible!  I was going to go on the trainer for an hour, but wasn’t feeling it so rested.

Tuesday:

I went to 1817 after work and tried another 3x2km T. I could actually run my T pace of about 3:42/km more comfortably today. I did the 3 intervals fine, with a poopmergency only coming on after about 5.6km, so I could hold it for the last 400m before going to the (open today) toilets.  I feel like it wasn’t great running today, but also not dreadful, certainly much better than Friday.

I cycled to kastel and then home after the run for another 30mins or so of work. In the evening I tried 1 leg hip bridges for the first time, I had muscle ache in my hamstrings the days after!

Wednesday:

I went to the weight training session of TV Hechtsheim. They have really old equipment, but they have the main bases covered. They also have a stepper, an eliptical, spinning bikes and a treadmill. I did a round of the leg based machines, then did 6 minutes on the stepper. I felt better after doing the workout than I did before.

Thursday:

My hips felt better than they have, it is mainly a slightly nagging right hip flexor now, with my piriformis still be noticable on occasion. Anyway I went to do my now standard 3x2km T session after work.  Everything was fine, my HR was lower than in the last couple of sessions, but I felt short of breath. I managed my times (7:25 or so for 2km) without pushing too hard.

Friday:

Rest

Saturday:

I wanted to do an easy run, I haven’t done any for a while so I thought it would be worth testing myself on a nice easy loop. TCEC were meeting at 10am at Römisches Theater, so I thought I’d join in.  After a few km of warm up, I met up with the group and we set off. I could feel by glutes were a little sore and my heart rate was higher than it should be, but otherwise the run was fine. Actually I enjoyed it as it was just about 90 minutes of chatting about triathlon and other crap whilst having a nice easy, scenic jog.  When we got back to the start I had exactly 20km on the watch, that’d do for the day.

Later after going into town with Katja, I went to TBB to try my first T26 swim workout.  I know you should do the A workout, then if you swim twice a week you should do A-A, then A-A-B, then A-A-B-C, but I felt like the A sessions look a bit big for me, they are generally 4500m or so, comfortably my longest swim ever!

So I picked a B swim. It started off all good, lots of snorkel work until I actually was looking forward to taking it off. Then came some speed. It was 8x50m at 85%, which was fine, but then came another 8x75m at 85%. The last of which took me over 3000m for the session. I swam the easy 150m in the plan, then I should have repeated the 8x75m + 150m easy, but I was done!  My times were only going in one direction if I carried on.  So I did 3150m, a long workout for me, but a shortened B workout in T26 world!

Sunday:

The weather was nice, 10°C and sunny with little wind. I took my chance to actually cycle!  I know that I can’t or shouldn’t just jump on and do 100km, I also didn’t have time, so I just rode an easy 1h20 or so. It was nice to be out in the sun and my legs felt better than expected, though I don’t know if I’d manage 3h+ right now.  I did about 35km on the cross bike all in.

Overview:

Well it isn’t exactly how I envisaged my marathon training going!  I ran 3 times for a total of about 37km, but I did 2 (easy) sessions and a longer run, so it could have been worse. With a swim and a bike and a gym session it wasn’t the nightmare that last week was.

I feel like I am having a bit of hayfever at the moment. I have fairly constant headaches after exercise and am a bit snotty and can feel that my breath is hot. I don’t want to sound too positive, but if that clears up and I start Paris feeling healthy, it might not be a nightmare, there were a few ifs there though.

Next week I want to do my last sessions on Tuesday and Thursday, I will bike and swim on Monday. It is easter weekend after that, I’d like another swim and maybe a longer bike and another 20km+ run. I don’t want to overdo it with less than 2 weeks until Paris, but in a 4 week taper I should be able to do a bit more!

 

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 11 – my oh my.

So after deciding that all was not well in my marathon prep, I really switched things up this week.

Monday:

NO RUNNING! I cycled to the pool in the evening and swam for 1h15, then cycled home in the pouring rain. I didn’t love being the slowest swimmer in the fast lane, but it is what it is. Less rain would have also been nice.

I did lots of adductor/abductor work at home using a band and a chair!  I will be working on hip strength lots before Paris now. My Piriformis feels much better already, but my groin is still not great.

Tuesday:

Rest Day – Goethe Test in Frankfurt and I want to rest anyway, so no training at all.

Wednesday:

Straight after work I cycled to the 1817 track and did some fast intervals. After only 800m warm up, I started my first of 8x600m repeats. With confidence low, I wanted to do 2:02/600m intervals with a 2min 200m walk pause, but I set off too fast so the first was 1:57. The next was too fast too, and the next and the next! I decided to just keep them faster than 2:00 for my 8 reps, which I managed fairly comfortably. After a 1km warm down I was done, 7.8km total according to strava, 8km actually.

Thursday

Nothing

Friday:

I was flying to England in the evening, so I took a break from work mid-afternoon to go and do some intervals. I thought I’d do some threshold stuff instead of going overboard with VO2 max work.  I ran to 1817 and started off. I felt pretty crap from the get go. I was keeping up 3:45/km just about. I did 2x2km in 7:30 but then I really needed to go to the toilet.  I ran to the uni, did some biiig business, then headed back to do another 2km.  I felt crap and my heart rate was high, it was just a nightmare.

Saturday:

I was in England for my Mum’s 60th birthday. It was about -4°C and snowing a bit, the wind was the bad bit though!  I had planned to run, but given that my hips weren’t feeling great and I felt like I had a bit of a cold, I binned it.

Sunday:

After everyone left my in Stamford, I went to the pool. It was about as bad as I could have feared. It was a leisure pool that was not at all meant for swimmers. It was full of kids, there was no swimming lane and the pool wasn’t even rectangular. I swam as best I could for 35 minutes before getting sick of it all and leaving.

Overview:

Lots of schedules would have this as my biggest training week, instead I ran twice for a total of about 18km, though I did swim 1.5 times and cycle once.  My hips don’t feel good, it feels like I have groin pain on both sides, sometimes right, sometimes left.  I think it is just the piriformis messing everything up.

Next week I will hope that things get better, they can hardly get worse!  I would like to get a slight inverse taper in, so if next week it easy, then 1 good week before a last week of tapering. Who knows, I just need to keep doing my hip exercises and taking my iron, I can’t do much more.

 

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 10 – Time for a rethink

I don’t think it is a great sign when you wake up on Monday morning cursing your alarm clock and feeling incredibly tired, you stand up, your butt hurts (glutes) and your hips are tight as hell, well that is how I started week 10 on my road to Paris!

Monday: AM:

Given the above, I just trotted to work. I took a new route that is a bit more off road. It was quite nice to run somewhere new before work and the weather was nice for once!  I ran it fairly directly and the route was 5.8km, I could extend that pretty easily though.

PM: I took a similar route back home. I felt like I ran ok, I mean I felt like absolute crap, almost dizzy at times and just generally weak, but I assumed I would run at 4:50/km or so. After picking up the pace at the end just for shits and giggles, so was shocked to see a 5:13/km average! I guess the new route which was on trail was a bit uneven and bumpy, I guess I slowed my pace more than I thought on that bit.

We have some 5-HTP tablets lying around as I’d bought them to help Katja sleep ages ago, but she never took them. For some reason I decided to take one on Monday evening. Wow I felt a lot better very quickly!  I still didn’t sleep very well, but I felt a noticeable improvement in mood and, as you will see, my pace improved a bit over the next few days.

Tuesday: AM:

I woke up again feeling very tired, but better than yesterday. I did all my stretches and foam rolling last night, so my muscles were a bit looser- I ran my old route to work but wasn’t plodding as much as I have been. It was 6.8km at a 4:42/km average, good for early morning running for me.

PM: I ran a longer route home over Laubenheimer höhe. It was actually a really good run, I felt quite strong and felt like doing a bit more. I ran 14km at 4:40/km, a good 2nd run for the day.

Wednesday:

I went to the track after work in my Zoom flys and ready to do some work. The track was fucking closed again!  I set off to the poop loop like last week to do a tempo run instead. I felt quite good, even though it was windy. The tempo part was about 5.2km in 20 minutes, setting a Strava CR on my Poop Loop segment (at last). I actually kept the pace pretty high after the tempo was over so I finished the run with 16.3km at 4:22/km and only a 140bpm average heart rate, pretty good!

Thursday:

I was starting to think about my half marathon on Sunday, so decided to do easy doubles on Thursday and Friday. I did 7km to work and 7.4km home, both nice and easy.

Friday:

Friday was much the same as Thursday except I ran 8.5km on the way home instead of 7.4km. All very easy and felt fine.

Saturday:

I took a rest day from running, but decided to swim in Mombach in the afternoon. I did my now fairly standard set of 400m in, 3x300m snorkel and flippers, 100 easy, 8x50m alignment drills, 10x50m sprints with 50m easy recovery, 100 out. That is 2900m there, it might have been 2800m, I can’t remember exactly but I feel like I am swimming not that badly considering how little time I am spending in the water!

Sunday

I had spoken to Jochen about going to Kandel with him to run the half marathon there instead of in Frankfurt. I felt fairly unconfident and got a fairly average time of 1:20:50. It could have been worse, but it should have been better if I want to run 2:45 in Paris. The race report is here:

Time for a change.

I keep banging my head against this high mileage training thing, but I feel like I am digging myself into a hole and am getting slower, not faster. A 1:20:50 is equivilent to a 36:33 10k, so that is 45 seconds slower than 5 weeks ago in Groß-Gerau.

So, here is my plan. I am cutting out a LOT of my mileage from now on. I will try to ride some easy kms and swim a bit more, but the main goal is to be fresh and fit for my running intervals. My butt (piriformis) hurts quite a lot at the moment, but if that settles down I will try to do Tuesday/Thursday intervals, otherwise I will do Wednesday only this week and next week hit my 2 a week interval sessions.

I will take my iron tablets every day from now until Paris, my levels could be falling and I haven’t been taking them religiously for a while now. There is time to recover from a slight fall before Paris.

I also think I will be targetting 2:48 for Paris, rather than 2:45. If all goes well on the day I can try to speed up, but I don’t want to split 39 minutes for the first 10k and blow up, better to split about 40 and feel good.

I am feeling pretty depressed about training, but optimistic that I can save this training cycle. We’ll see how the next weeks go, freshening up my legs and getting rid of this nagging hip/butt injury is top of my priority list now though.

Bienwald Kandel Halbmarathon 2018 – 1:20:50

Where to run?

I had planned to run Frankfurt half marathon, it was sold out but had 500 places for people to sign up on the day. To be sure of getting one of those places, I would have to get there at 7am, 3 hours before the 10am start time.  I saw on Saturday on facebook that Jochen was driving straight from Mainz to Kandel to run a half marathon there on Sunday. He was setting off at 8am. I could leave the house 2 hours later, save a few euro and run a new course for me, that seemed like enough reasons for me to run there!

Low confidence

I was not confident going into this one, but needed to see where I am at.  The course should be flat and the weather was perfect for running, little wind and about 9 degrees and cloudy.  Who knows, maybe I’d surprise myself and run a PB!

Running cheap

We arrived a bit later than planned and I only had 15 minutes to sign up. I saw Stephan Jung and asked him where to sign up. He said that a friend of his had signed up but wouldn’t run, so I could take him place!  I decided to get my name on the startlist by paying 5€ to swap start places. So I ran for 5€, not bad, especially with getting a T-shirt!

There weren’t enough toilets at the start. I mean not even nearly enough. I managed to go once, but would have liked another opportunity. Anyway, I was nervous on the start line but got a clean start and got into a rhythm. I seemed to be running at 3:45-3:47 pace and feeling ok. I managed to lose my energy gel after about 4km. It wouldn’t stay in my shorts, I adjusted it a few times, but eventually it fell… annoying.

That 5km marker!

At the 5km marker someone was reading out the times. He read 19:30 as I ran past, WHAT!! I though I would be there at 18:45 or so. I was very depressed and worked out that I was on 1:22 pace or so, but that is after 5km, this could get ugly.  After 7km I confirmed my shitty pace by seeing 26:xx on my watch, but then I looked again a few seconds later and realised it read 24:xx, confusing.

The one marker I felt like I could trust was the 10k marker, it had a timing mat so should be accurate, I crossed at 37:52, actually pretty solid especially considering I wasn’t feeling too good and was worried that my time would be about 40mins after 10k.

Hurting on the way back

There is a massive out and back in Kandel, it is about 5k out and 5k back. It is bullet straight and boring as hell!  I passed a triathlete I recognised from Langen after about 13km, just before the turn around.  There were 2 women ahead of me, that is fairly rare nowadays, they were fast.

I kept on at it though my pace was unspectacular. My 1:19:30 time that might have been possible after 10k, wasn’t going to happen. I was running largely alone and was seeing a lot of 3:50-3:55/km on my watch instead of the required 3:45/km.  The last few km were more interesting than the out and back, I passed the 2nd woman, but was also passed by a few guys. I would say I kicked on to the end, but it was definetely more going out with a whimper than a bang!

Sub 1:20 – not today 🙁

There is 300m on the track at the end, I got into the stadium with 1:19:40 or so on the clock. It really sucked to miss 1:20, I should be cruising that now, I needed to keep on it to get a sub 1:21 though. I managed to get over the line in 1:20:50 – shit.

Jochen had another dreadful race for him, he got into the stadium looking like death, and he ran a 1:32 or so, he is a better runner than that, I hope he finds out what’s wrong sooner rather than later.

Operation Save Paris

As for me, I feel like I have over-reached. I did my biggest week ever last week, I had a fairly big week with week. My piriformis is hurting when I sit and it can’t be helping when I run. I have 4 weeks until Paris, so I think I will aggressively taper my mileage now, but keep up/increase the quality until the last week. I hope I can save my Paris performance, if I don’t PB (and I’m not ill), then I am done with marathons, you have that in writing Katja!

 

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 9 – Freezing my face off!

Monday

AM: It was bastard freezing, -7°C when I woke up and windy too. I ran to work to get in a few easy km, it was actually much better than expected, 5.8km at just under 5km/min

PM: Spurred on by my good morning run, I set off for a longer run after work. Again not so bad and after 11km or so I turned for home. I also happened to turn in a head/crosswind from hell!  I ran with my buff over my face, but it still really hurt. It was only -4°C, but felt like at least -10°C to me. It was 14.2km at 4:53/km, and not very pleasant at the end, I was freezing!

Tuesday

AM: I ran to work again, it was -8°C this time and wasn’t as much fun.  I ran 6.8km to work with a cold cold face.

PM: After work I tried to find a new route, but got a bit lost and ended up running a fairly normal route instead!  It was 12.7km which was good for the weather. The last few k were freezing cold against the wind.

Wednesday

It was -9°C in the morning, but I didn’t have to run, so I froze on the bike instead!  After work I wanted to run my intervals, but the track was closed.  I decided to do a tempo on the poop loop, so I did just over 4km of tempo work, but it was just a bit crap really, it was painful anytime the wind wasn’t behind me.

After about 12km I needed to go doodie, so found a dixie in the messe. I couldn’t make it to the toilet without walking, which wasn’t great in the cold. Then I got to run the last 4km largely against the wind, it was hell. I have to say, I haven’t hated many runs more than this one!

Thursday

AM: It was very cold again on the way to work. I ran 6.7km around next to Volkspark, my pace was just under 5:00/km.  All ok except my sore and freezing face!

I was at work just as normal, I got some cells from Barbara, put them in the incubator and came back to my PC. It felt like I had looked at a bright light or something, I had distorted vision on the left hand side, like a half crescent moon. After a minute or two I realised that it wasn’t a bright light, it was a migraine!  I have never had a migraine in my life, but Katja has told me about hers before.  It lasted about 30 minutes and I felt a bit crappy for the rest of the day. I didn’t get a throbbing headache, but just generally felt a bit spaced.

PM: Not loving the freezing cold, I couldn’t bring myself to run as far as I should have.  I also had an appointment for a massage at 18:30, so I looped around a little and ran 8.9km before calling it a day.

The massage was good though! I had 1h on the legs, sometimes it really hurt, but generally it was enjoyable.  I felt a little looser after the massage, so it was worth the 40€ in my book.

Friday

AM: It was a bit warmer, the end of this deep freeze is in sight now!  I had a butt clenching run to work, that’s why it was only 4.5km long! Still better to do something and get everything moving than not to!

PM: After work I actually felt a bit looser and could run a little freer than I otherwise have been. I tried to find a new route again, with much more success than last time. It isn’t all asphalt, but it is nice crushed dirt, which isn’t bad at all to run on.  I then looped around onto my more normal loop to get to 13.7km.  The wind had dropped a lot and I repeated the hellish route from Wednesday, today it wasn’t too bad.

I went swimming in the evening. I tried a 400-300-200-100 cutdown. I expected my 400m to be about 8 minutes, but it was 7:20. The 300 in 5:20, 200 in 3:30 and 100m in 1:40 were all better than expected. I swam about 2800m in an hour and even managed to catch my bus!  All good in the hood.

Saturday:

As soon as the cold ended, the snow started!  I had planned a 35km long run, but in the snow that seemed silly, so I took a rest day.

Sunday:

The snow was gone and the weather was actually pretty good for running.  The run started off dreadfully, with me looking for a toilet after 2km. I had to go again after 4km, but fortunately that was that for the day then.  I ran over to my Polderloop, a flat 7.5km loop in Bodenheim.  I wanted to run 2x5km at marathon pace as part of a 35km long run. The marathon pace part didn’t feel good, I felt like I had to push to keep the pace, it shouldn’t be that hard should it? I pretty much managed it anyway, then trotted back over Laubenheimer hohe. Oh how I hate that climb at the end of a long run!

I realised that if I ran 35.6km, I would have 125km for the week for the first time ever. Though I was obviously tired (more thirsty actually) I looped around to get to 36km, a real marathon long run.  My glutes and hips were pretty sore afterwards, but that will hopefully subside.

Feeling Down

I’m feeling a bit down about training at the moment, I don’t feel like I am making the forward progress I had hoped for.  My legs are sore and I feel like marathon pace is fast.  I don’t know if I should cut my mileage and cross train, or just cut my mileage, or tough it out, I just know that it feels sub-optimal at the moment… Next weekend should be a good test, I think I will do Frankfurt half marathon, I need a PB, otherwise I’ll have to reconsider my Paris goal time 🙁

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 8

Monday

AM: I woke up early and could feel yesterday in my legs. I jogged an easy 5km into work but my legs still felt pretty crappy. I right glutes still hurts. If and when I sit on my massage ball in the right spot, it is agony!

PM: Still feeling flat, I ran 6.5km home and was done for the day. The homemade popcorn from last night wasn’t agreeing with me and my legs were tired.

Tuesday

I think I am a bit ill. I have been very hungry recently, which is ok, but I now have a bit of a head ache and a sore throat. Ain’t nobody got no time for dat!  I planned on doing an easy single run, but ended up sleeping instead, so today was a rest day.

Wednesday

I felt a bit better so after work I set off to Willy Wacker to do my intervals. I wanted to do a 1-2-3-2-1 pyramid, with the 1ks at 5k race pace, the 2ks at 10k race pace and the 3k at 15k race pace.  I ran the first k slightly slow in 3:28 instead of 3:27, but damn was it tough! I was gasping for air and my heart rate was 170 already.  I knew it wasn’t going to happen, but I set off for the 2km, but was feeling dead.  After 700m I picked up my jacket and set off on an easy loop instead.  My guts were dreadful too, all in, it was a bad run. I am definitely a bit ill.

Thursday

I woke up feeling pretty under the weather, even though I slept for 9h again. I decided quite early on that it would be another rest day for me. I don’t think I’ll be ill for long, so I am not too worried.

Friday

I was feeling a bit better, though my guts were still fairly bad. I ran an easy 12.2km loop, it was nice weather, except for against the wind!  There is a cold front at the moment and it is below freezing all the time. Running into the easterly wind is painful, but fortunately doesn’t last too long!

Saturday

I was up early and ran another easy 12.2km. It was very similar to yesterday, though it was the squatch loop this time. In the sun and with the wind on my back, it felt warm, against the wind it was bitter cold!

I went swimming later for the first time in a while. I felt quite good surprisingly. I did my tautness kicking and alignment stuff, followed by some fast 50s and a little cool down. As I only had 45 minutes, it was a good short workout before the TCEC JHV.

Sunday

I ran the TCE 10km in Langen. See the race report here.

Overview

Well it wasn’t a good week was it!  I ran just about 56km with no workout, but I did have the 10k race. I am a bit disappointed with my time, but the ice wind must have cost a few seconds.

I’m feeling good now anyway, I have 4 big weeks of training left, then a taper. It is finally getting to the endspurt!  Next week I want to run 125km with a quality long run and a longer midweek run with some M pace work in there. The weather won’t be helpful, so I will have to do my man suit up tight!  I also want to cut back on my eating, I ate a lot in the last 9 days, that needs to stop so I can drop 1-2kg before Paris.

I have no photo for the snippet – so here is me in my new cycle kit that arrived this week – 31€ for bibshorts, top and a bidon!

Langen TCE 10km Run – 35:51 – 10th Place

I had heard that this is a fast road 10k race from a few people, so I actually moved around my plans to fit it in! After being ill midweek and failing my intervals badly on Wednesday, my confidence wasn’t sky high, but who knows what will happen and I had signed up, so I was running for the first time in Langen.

An unnecessarily early start!

I managed to get a lift to the start with Sebi and Lukas, we set off at 8:30 for a 10am start, except that the race started at 11am!  So we had a long while to linger before the start, but as it was part of the triathlon convention, it wasn’t too bad.

Lukas ummd and ahhhd about signing up for the race. It was freezing cold, windy and cost 20€ if you sign up on the day. He eventually decided that he would run, he is fast so would have a chance to win.

Blowing in the wind

The race started with the wind and thus the start was fast. I felt pretty good and settled into a decent pace. After the first turn around, we started running into the wind. I tried to tuck in for a while but I felt like I was in the wind more than I wanted to be. After maybe 4km a few people including Sebi passed me, I should have tried to stay with them but I didn’t.

Head down and grind it out

I didn’t feel great and I had no idea what my pace was, but after 6km I saw 21mins on the clock, that is 35minute pace!  Ok I had more to do against the wind, but I was shocked (Strava disagrees with either the km marker or the time, I wasn’t on 35min pace!)  The 7.5-9km part was the worst, but Sebi wasn’t far ahead of me and I was still going ok. I thought that a PB could be on if I held it together.  The last switchback was with 700m to go, then it was a few 100m with the wind, then a sprint to the line.

Not a PB 🙁

I crossed the line in 35:51, 7 seconds slower than 2 weeks ago in Groß Gerau.  I felt disappointed as  wanted a sub 35:30 time, but it also wasn’t a nightmare.  Sebi ran a massive PB 10 seconds ahead of me and Lukas won the race in 33:16, I guess coming last from us 3 probably made it feel like a worse result than it was.

Just to make things worse, I was 4th in my age group, so went home empty handed, not that that is too important, it is always nice to win something!

And on we go

So that was that. My 10k season is probably over now. I have a half marathon in 2 weeks, until then I need to get some good mileage in and stop eating so much!  I can still dream of a 1:17 half marathon, even if a 1:19 seems more likely at the moment.

Mais Oui, Paris – Week 7 – Half Way

The half way week, now I can start counting down instead of counting up!

Monday

Rosenmontag – rest day as my feet and right glute were a bit sore. I over ate but didn’t drink too much, could have been better, could have been worse!

me in costume
#no filter
Tuesday

As I am off work until Thursday, I won’t be doubling. So I ran for just about 90 minutes nice and easy for 18.6km. It was a nice run, though my right foot is still slightly sore from running in the Zoom Flys on Saturday!

Wednesday

It was my birthday, so I ate a LOT of pancakes for breakfast!  After a nap, I ran 17km in another longer single. The weather was lovely, chilly but sunny.

Thursday

AM: I had left my bike in town on Saturday after the race, I wanted to finally pick it up today, so I ran into town before work.  It was 5.6km at about 4:58/km and a nearly dead 118bpm heart rate. It started snowing as I was running and when I cycled back to work it started getting heavier.  I had planned a workout this evening, I’ll have to see if that is still possible.

PM: I really wanted to do a workout, so I tip toed through the snow to the track after work, but that wasn’t going to happen:

The track covered in ice

I looked around to see if the paths nearby were clear of snow, but they weren’t. There just wasn’t anywhere where I could run fast and not probably slip and fall. Feeling slightly annoyed, I jogged around a little bit, before going home. I only managed about 7.65km at 5:13/km due to the snow.

Friday

AM: The snow was largely gone, so the paths weren’t too bad, but the roads were fairly deadly on the way to work. With lentil soup from dinner working its way through the system quickly, I just ran 5.2km at a very very slow pace of 5:20/km which was good for getting my heart rate up to 115bpm! At least my clothes aren’t very sweaty today!

PM: I cycled home and headed straight out to the now snow free track. I didn’t really have a plan, I didn’t want to kill myself, but I wanted some speedwork, so 7x1km at 10k pace?  The first interval was right at 3:34, but it felt too easy, so I sped them up to 3:30/km. I was still cruising them but didn’t need to go overboard 2 days before a half marathon. All in it was 15km in 1h05.

Saturday:

I woke up at 8am, so ate some cornflakes. I decided against the TCEC run, so set off at 11am on an easy loop.  It was pretty crappy! It was like I was hungry after 3km, but I dragged myself around 14.9km in 1h14 feeling weak all the way. My right hamstring had a few wobbles that buckled my leg. It didn’t hurt or anything, but seems far from ideal.

For the rest of the day I felt starving. I ate lots but still felt hungry. I would prefer not to over-indulge before a race, but it felt like my body was telling me to eat, so I did.

Sunday:

As mentioned last week, I had a plan to run Mörfelden HM as a up-paced long run. I would do a warm up jog, 21.1km at 4mins/km, then another loop of 10.55km to round out my long run.

The start

All went to plan more or less. I set off at 4:00/km pretty much and was with Jochen after 3km. He wasn’t having a good day (in fact his training is going very badly for some reason that is hard to explain) so I left him behind.  I ticked up the pace a little after 10km and split 41:57, a little too fast after 10.55km.

Long Long this week, it was cold

3rd place was ‘only’ 300m ahead of me, so I thought that if I sped up and he slowed down, I might catch him.  I sped up a little without going all out and passed a few people. After 16km it was clear that I wouldn’t catch a few people ahead of me, so I didn’t try to overdo it at the end and I ran in a 1:22:44 with the 2nd half being in 40:47.

I had a couple of cups of tea, then headed straight off for my 3rd loop, it was a real slow jog, which seemed to take an age, but eventually it was done and I could shower and eat cake!

2nd in the age group

I was 7th place and 2nd in my age group. It ended up being a HM at marathon pace, with the 2nd half being faster than marathon pace. I don’t know how I feel about it yet, it was certainly no nightmare, but maybe I should have taken it easier.

Overview:

It wasn’t a perfect week for training! Rosenmontag meant a rest day, on Monday, though that was due anyway. Wednesday was my birthday and it snowed on Thursday, so I think I did ok to get in my 118km, even though I wanted a bit more.  I feel like my pace is there and endurance is looking promising. If I had run the half marathon at a steady pace, I could have judged better if I was in the right zone. My 161bpm average would be about right to a little high for my marathon pace, I would definitely be worried about holding that effort for 42.2km.

Next week will be a bit lower mileage, ending with Langen 10k. I have heard that it is a flat road race, if I run like I think I can, I want to be close to 35:00.