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.


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.


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


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.




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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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 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.


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!


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!


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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


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!


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

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Mais Oui, Paris – Week 6

Into week 6. After taking a look at my current training, I have decided to try to break down my runs slightly differently. My doubles have been 10/10km or so, but I will try to split them more 5/15 or even single a 20km more often from now on.

This week will be a bit different as I am racing a 10k in Groß-Gerau on Saturday, my first real form test of the year!


AM: I ran to work, just 4.8km. It was a clencher, but I made it in a slow as hell 5:15/km. It was cold and I was rocking the shorts 🙂

PM: I wanted to run 15km after work, but I ended up running 14km, not a big deal I guess, but I misread my watch whilst running!  My pace was better, as is normal in the afternoons. Continue reading “Mais Oui, Paris – Week 6”

Groß-Gerau Frühjahrslauf 2018 – sub36 – PB

Fassenacht Run

It’s that time of the year again – Helau! – no that isn’t what I’m bothered about, the Groß-Gerau Frühjahrslauf is on Fastnacht Saturday every year. In 2016 I ran my current PB 10k race there, it was a bit of a shock result, but great for me in my run up to Rotterdam. Last year I bombed and ran nearly 2 minutes slower, it was a nightmare run. This year I feel like I should be able to beat my PB, and by a fair amount too. Sub36 at least. Continue reading “Groß-Gerau Frühjahrslauf 2018 – sub36 – PB”