Mainz Marathon Staffel 2018

Marathon Staffel

In Autumn last year, I thought it’d be cool to make a TCEC staffel team for the Mainz Marathon.  I saw that the winning time in 2017 was 2:45, with some decent runners, we should be able to better that!  I asked around and got good answers. Heiko, Stephan and Michael would run with me. That would be a 2:3x team.

A little later Michael had to drop out as he would be away, but Sebi took his place so we didn’t lose any time.  A couple of weeks before the race, Sebi dropped out, but Basti stepped in, another good substitution.  The day before the race Heiko dropped out and I had used up my pool of sub 38min 10k runners, but luckily Uli would run for us. He is nearer to a 40min runner, but would help us out in a jam.

10km from 13km-23km

I have been having my troubles recently, as were well documented in my Paris Marathon blog. I was diagnosed with low ferritin (21 – much higher than expected) so I have been on iron and am feeling better but still not good. Unfortunately I got upgraded from the 3rd staffel leg that was 8km route, to the 10k route, as Uli would take the 8km.

So having signed on on Saturday, we were good to go on Sunday. We met for the TCEC team photo and Stephan took to the start line.  For some reason Basti didn’t have his TCEC gear on. He has been in TCEC for ages and we were a TCEC team, an odd decision.

I rented a bike and rode to my staffel change area area. The toilets were surprisingly full considering the race was already underway!  I watched the leaders come through, then Raoul shortly afterwards, then some guys I recognise from races, but Stephan wasn’t there yet.  A couple of minutes later than expected, he came into sight and I got ready for the change over.

Enjoying the start

I set off a bit worried, but didn’t know if I could run fast!  I settled into a 3:45 pace which I was happy about, and I supposed that as I was overtaking people, I must be running faster than Stephan had been.  It was fun with the crowd there and I slapped some hands and waved Helau so the kids.  I was soon through the old town and feeling good.  Then I saw the 16km sign, I had only run 3km!

Wormserstrasse (the out and back) isn’t so bad when you are fairly fresh. I saw lots of familiar faces. The TCEC family that cheer at the turn are there every year, I don’t know who they are, but they are perfectly positioned and make me smile every year.  I kept on overtaking people who were struggling near the end of the half marathon, but at least they were nearly finished after 20km. I had to pass the finish line and go 2km further, over the bridge to the staffel change point in Kastel.

Stephan ran next to me on the bridge for about 3m, the photographer caugh that moment well!

It got a bit quiet after the half marathoners were done.  I passed the half marathon line in 1:22:xx, slower than my time alone last year.  I saw Stephan on the bridge and asked what position we were in. 5th, bugger.  Over the bridge against the wind was tough, but it is short so done with fairly quickly. Soon enough I was over and found Uli at the change point. I had run 10.3km with an average of 3:51/km, not good, but not dreadful either.

Team Finish – 5th Place

I walked back to Stephan and Carola (his wife) to get my bag and watch Uli run by, before getting another bike and heading off to the 3rd staffel change area.  I only just caught up with Uli as he tagged Basti in.  We made our way back to the finish area.

Everything got a bit muddled, so we didn’t have a staffel team finish, but we did meet at the finish line.  I enjoyed my cake and alcohol free shandy and we sat around and enjoyed the sun.  Raoul won the Hochschulemeisterschaft again (this time for the marathon) and was the first German finisher, so we had to wait a while for his prize giving.

All in it was a fun day. I enjoy Mainz marathon weekend, even if I don’t run too well. I hope some time to run a good race there, 2019 would be ideal, though I don’t think I’ll ever do the full marathon in Mainz, it looks pretty lonely out there after km 21.

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!

 

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.

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”

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”

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.