Trailrunning and the Schwarzeck

So not much has happened since my last race, I raced another 10k in March 2020, it wasn’t great but I had excuses, then everything got cancelled because of Corona. My marathon was off, Parkrun was and still is called off and every other race going was done too.

I decided to try to stay fit and get in shape for a 5k later in the year (wouldn’t have been possible, but whatever) then I injured my achilles. I’d been having issues with my achilles for a while, but this was something different, this was a real injury – a partial tear.

After a few days I could walk without limping, but it just didn’t get better. I could run, but only with extreme pain in the following night. I tried some short runs and even ran about 16k quite fast once while supporting Alex run a marathon in Tempelhof, but my running was basically over for 2020.

We moved to Bayern near the mountains in mid February 2021 and we did a few hikes and lots of walking. I decided after about 9 months of not being able to run, to give it another go. After a 6km run all was okay, but the real test was in the night afterwards. I woke up the day after – and everything was fine! I could run again! My achilles still feels a little sore to the touch, but it works for running.

So, with no races happening in 2021 either, I decided to try some trail running here in the mountains. I’m not very fit at the moment and a few kg heavier than I should be, but it’s been fun so far! I am getting used to walking up steep gradients, I basically have no other option most of the time around here, when the paths are uneven and 20% steep.

2nd from right is the Rabenkopf (Schwarzeck too)

So today I set out and wanted to run up the Rabenkopf. Its a 1550m high mountain (starting at about 600m in the valley) that starts 6km from where we are staying in Bichl. I ran to the start and hit the climb after a quick dixie break. Pretty damn quickly I was walking, but could jog sections. The climb is only 5.5km but with 900m climbing. The 1st km was done in 8 mins, all good I thought. The next part was also fine, I briefly took a wrong turn, I somehow missed the slightly trodden 20cm wide path that went off to the left!

Soon came an unexected flat section which I ran until I got to a hut. I looked to the right – fuck – did I have to go up there! I almost turned back immediately, it looked steep and getting progressively steeper, as well as being covered in snow at the top!

I set off anyway and apart from a few little slips and slides, it wals fine. I did lose my footing on a narrow section which gave me cause for thought, but nothing came of it. Soon I came to a cross and a plateau, I knew it wasn’t the top, but I thought it probably wan’t that much further to the top.

I asked someone coming down if that was the way to the Rabenkopf, they said yes, so off I went. There were plenty of sections where I had my hand down to help with getting up rocks or over roots. There were also at least two exposed parts where the wind hit and it was icy, I won’t lie, I was scared on those bits. I was overtaking a lot of people though and I felt calmed by the fact that some fairly old people were coming down the mountain, if they could do it…

I got to the top of the Schwarzeck and the view was great down into the valley, I mean I could see Roche off in the distance even thought it’s 20km away! The view to the Rabenkopf scared my though, I had to go down a little, then it looked very narrow and steep to the top. I hardly even considered it, I turned straight back the way I came (Mistake – I could have taken the easier other way down)

Going down steep, narrow exposed icy paths aren’t my speciality apparently. I fell on my arse at least 3 times, the rest of the time I was hanging onto trees and branches for dear life! Only after getting back to the hut was I back in the clear. I decided to take the MTB route back down so it would be runnable. After that it was all easy going, I mean it would have been if I wasn’t knackered, but I was safe, just tired.

MTB route down

I got home after 23.5km in 3h08. If you consider that I ran there and back (12.5k) in just over 1h, it means the other 11k on the mountain were done at 5.5km/h!

So – my conclusion – I like this kind of adventure running but should probably wait until the routes are free of snow. I think it would have been fine if there was no snow today. I have to get used to being underway longer than I normally would be. 3h08 is a long time, but I still ‘only’ did 950m of climbing. I fancy running up some bigger stuff or doing a few peaks some time in the future, so that’ll take a while longer!

I hadn’t blogged in over a year, and I am back to running and races aren’t coming back anytime soon, so I thought I’d check in. Actually it was that I read my old Liege Bastogne Liege repost a couple of day ago that made me want to blog again, so here I am. I am going to try to run the peaks of the Gipfel Cup in the coming months, I may blog my progress…

2020 Britzer Garten Lauf – 9.912km

I’m still fairly new in town and thus am running races that I have never done before. The Britzer Garten Lauf is apparently pretty quick though but possibly short too. After some discussion, Lukas measured the course with a measuring wheel and came back with 9912m, so it was short, but only about 18 seconds short.

The start was at 10:20, so I could get up at a decent time, eat, walk the dog and set off. I put the start address into google and ran from the station to the start. Or so I thought! I arrived at the entrance to the park but no one was at the entrance to let me (+ another runner) in. So we went clockwise around the park through some allotments to the next entrance, only to find that unmanned too.

The other runner decided to jump the fence, but I decided to run back anti-clockwise to find the right entrance, I mean I had 35 minutes until the start, no problems. After finding a group of people looking for the entrance, I continued on anti-clockwise but kept hitting dead ends. I decided I had to go to the main road and around to the main entrance. I also posted in our WhatsApp group to ask where I needed to go.

I was told that I was on the north side, but the south-west side was right. I reached a manned entrance but wasn’t allowed in, then another, then another. Time was getting tight by the time I got to the start, I had also run 8.5km at an increasing pace, far from ideal. Christoph kindly picked me up at the entrance and showed me to the start, I threw my extra clothes on the floor, got ready and went to the start… what a shitshow!

So – to the race! It was actually fairly uneventful. I started a few rows back and had a little trouble getting away. I soon caught up with Christoph and Lukas and I looked to my right and noticed that Carsten was also there, the Winterserie team back together!

Carsten pushed ahead with Christoph, I was hanging back a bit, not really feeling it. After about 3km Carsten fell behind and Christoph pulled ahead, only about 10-20m but pretty clearly ahead.

I passed 5km with 18:13 on my watch, not great. I felt pretty strong still though and after maybe 7.5km I felt like I picked it up a bit and passed a few people. I thought I say Christopher, another British Parkrunner just ahead of me, it was him, he was having a great race, but was struggling over the last few minutes.

I also caught back up to Christoph and moved ahead of him. The last couple of km were decent, I didn’t want to push too much too early, but I was hoping to get close to 36 flat, which was my goal from the start. I was very disappointed to see 36:30 on my watch as I crossed the finish line.

With the race being slightly short, that gives me a 36:50 for a full 10km, way off my PB and off my goal time too. All I can really think is that my stressed 8.5km run to the start hurt me a bit, but I think my weight was also a big negative.

I need to get back on my diet and not overdo the training. I don’t think I am overcooked though. Generally, I feel good. This was my first 100km+ week for 2 years with a race as part of a long run and VO2 max intervals during the week, all good. Maybe it was just a bad day, I hope so…

BSV Winterlaufserie – Half Marathon

2 weeks after the 15k race, came the final event of the BSV Winterlaufserie, the half marathon. As I mentioned last time, it was tight in the Hasenheide 2nd team for 4-7th places. We all managed to get to the start line fit again, which is an acheivement in itself in January!

I went to the S-Bahn this morning to catch the 10am train to the race, but when I arrived I found out that all of the trains had been cancelled and I was in trouble! I checked the buses, nothing useful, so I booked an Uber to Treptower Park and jumped in a Ring bahn to the start. Seeing that I would only arrive at the station 800m from the start at 10:45 (the start was at 11:00) I needed to get changed as much as possible in the train. I ducked down to swap T-shirts and I changed socks too. I couldn’t bring myself to change out of my jeans in the train, it seemed inappropriate!

As after carriage jumping to get to the best exit, I arrived and ran to the start. I changed, had a toilet stop and checked my bag and still had 5 minutes spare when I got to the start line! I dropped off a bottle and took a gel with me, there wasn’t anything provided by the organiser.

I met the super fast Alex D for the first time on the start line, he wanted to couchsurf at my place in Mainz in 2016 or so, but I was in Mannheim at the time so couldn’t. Our paths have crossed a few times since then, without us actually meeting, so it was good to finally have a chance to chat with him, if only for 20 seconds before the start gun fired (luckily more after the race too).

So off we went and I felt pretty good. Carsten started off ahead of my and I was with Christoph from the start. After about 1km, we caught a group and tucked in, but they seemed a tick too slow, so I passed them and went to the front. They all stayed with me though, and that would be my group of the day.

Carsten, unfortunately, fell away in the 2nd lap but our group worked well together. In the 3rd lap (of 9!) I felt like Christoph pushed the pace a little and I worried a bit, but I bridged and the group came back together.

It was all a bit uneventful with us passing the gps 10km mark at 37:30. I took my drink after 5 laps and after 6 laps I was still feeling good and when a guy in the group pushed on, I went with him. The group disintegrated but Christoph was hanging tough a few metres behind. He got back to us and we all took turns at the front. After going up the hill for the 9th and final time, I tried to give it a final kick to get away.

The guy in black hung on and Christoph could react too. I knew I had 19 seconds on him and felt confident that I wouldn’t lose that much, but who would finish first between us was up for grabs still. With about 1.5km to go the guy in black really went and I struggled to keep pace. The last few minutes were my fastest but I was really disappointed as I entered the stadium to see 1:20:00 on the watch. With more than 300m to go, 1:21 wasn’t going to happen, I had thought it was in the bag!

As I ran down the ramp, I quickly realised, oh, it wasn’t 300m around to the end, just the shorter way around, 100m or so. I really sprinted (for me) but couldn’t catch the man in black, Christoph wasn’t going to catch me either though so with the faster Parkrunners already finished and cheering me on, I crossed the line in 1:20:37.

I was really happy with that, my VDOTs for the races in the series were 56.2, 56.8 and 57.9, a nice trend over 4 weeks and with 2 weeks until my marathon, I have to be looking at 2:48 for my marathon goal time really.

Everyone in the team brought something to eat to bridge the long pause between the end of our race and the prize giving. It was great, we were a group of about 10-12 and had a bit of a feast all told!

AK35 – Gray pipped me for 2nd by 12 minutes!

To cap it off, I was 3rd in my age group, lots of the others placed in the age groups too, with Gray (who won the half marathon in a PB time) was 3rd in the series. Hasenheide Parkrun was 1st and 3rd in the team competition too, domination!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is WhatsApp-Image-2020-01-26-at-15.59.57-768x1024.jpeg

So that’s that for the series. I think it was my second best half marathon ever, but still 100 seconds off my best ever in Frankfurt. There are no points for being fast in January though, April is what will count. I need to lose more weight (I was 78.5km this morning) and get more longer endurance runs in without blowing myself up like last time. I don’t know if it will work out as I plan, but I am feeling pretty confident at the moment 🙂

BSV Winterlaufserien 15km

1 week after the first instalment came the 2nd instalment of the BSV Winterlaufserien. Last week was interesting and I was happy with my run, I was hoping for more of the same this week.

An equivalent run to my 10km time from last week over 15km would be 57:30, but I was aiming for sub 57 as I weighed in at 79.7kg instead of 81.1kg last week. My week of training was good, my Achilles feels a bit better and my only fear was that my 21min 5k Parkrun the day before might have been too fast and left my legs slightly tired.

Unfortunately, Lukas, who was faster of me last week, had a cold this week but started anyway. He didn’t seem too confident!! Everyone else who ran well last week was on the start line again.

We set off and I ran with Carsten from the get-go, our pace was good and were even with Gray for a while, who ran a sub35 last week, but it turned out he was doing a progression run this week.

I had worked out that the pace for 57:00 was 8:41 per lap, so that was my aim for the first laps. We passed the first lap in 8:36 and I was feeling good, but it was still early. After 2 laps me and Carsten were still dead on pace and I had seen that Christoph wasn’t too far behind us. (you can see him behind in the video below)

Slo-mo of me and Carsten – good form!

Nearing the end of the 3rd lap, I had the feeling that Carsten was fading and I was taking the lead, it was a shame, I wanted to run with people again this week, almost as soon as I had thought that, I heard someone catch us from behind – it was Christoph!

We went off together passing the halfway mark and soon enough the 10k (on my GPS) in 37:30. After another lap of pushing each other, Christoph started to open up a few metres gap on me, I didn’t feel like I could go with him.

I knew that after 6 laps my time should end with :06 seconds as it was 8:41 per lap for 57 minute pace, but I saw :18, so I was 12 seconds or so down with 1.25km to run.

I wasn’t dead yet though and I tried to pick up the pace for the last km. As I entered the stadium with 300m to go, I could give it another kick, even though I had convinced myself that sub57 was in the bag. It started getting a bit tight at the end and I needed a good sprint to finish with 56:58 on my watch, so I hit my goal time by the skin of my teeth!

Christoph was 15 seconds faster and Carsten ran about 58:00 and Lukas battled it round for a 58:15, that must have been tough with a cold! That means that the series standing must be pretty tight between us 4 still, I reckon I have 20 seconds on Christoph, 55 seconds on Carsten and 65 seconds on Lukas. Strangely our order of finish was the exact opposite this week to last week!

Team Hasenheide Parkrun – Konstantin, Carsten, Christoph, Me, Lukas and Andy – Gray was already gone

So next week is a rest week in the series, then comes the half marathon. I will be aiming for a 1:21 assuming that all goes well until then. Whatever I run, I’d like to be first from our little group if possible, but it’s still all to play for 🙂

BSV Winterlaufserie 2020 – 10k

Right, it is 2020, return of the comeback time! I haven’t been doing my race reports much recently, you may have noticed that my results over the last 18 months haven’t been great, really from Kandel 2018 onwards has been a shitshow! After a while, I started to lose the will to write up another bad race, so I missed my 39:30 10k run in Plänterwald and my 1:28 Mugglesee half marathon, both my worst times for the distance in the last 5 years I guess.

Anyway, there have been glimpses of light. My 17:46 parkrun 5km was a PB, I haven’t had one of those in a while! I have also ‘won’ 2 parkruns, including one where I wasn’t running at 100%! I have decided to concentrate on running in 2020 anyway, with me getting a puppy in November, time is a bit more limited and I won’t have the time to train for 3 sports to any decent level, so I will try to get a lot of miles in the old legs and get back on running track.

So to the Winterlaufserie. It’s in Wilmersdorf which is miles away, but pretty easy to get to from Adlershof. It’s a 10k, followed by a 15k a week later, then 2 weeks later a half marathon, pretty cool.

I weighed in at 81kg, so there is a lot of work to do there, and I ran 5 days in a row leading into the race. My calves are a bit sore and I am having a bit of an Achilles problem in my right heel, but nothing too bad. I was feeling a bit negative and thought I should run a 38:00 pretty easily, but 37:00 seemed unrealistic.

At the sign-in I met Lukas and Carsten, Lukas was aiming for a 37:30, I thought it would be a bit optimistic for me, but I could but try. Christoph was a bit less optimistic with 39 minutes.

The course is a bit shit, it was frosty and I was slipping on the uphill part every lap. The lap is about 2.25km, so it is 4 laps and change this week.

We set off and lots of people were ahead of me from the start, but I felt decent. I was with Lukas and Carsten was ahead of us, I hadn’t expected that as his PB was 38:30 or so. Lukas led the group for the first lap or so, then I took over and felt good. After 2 laps we caught Carsten and were keeping a good pace, I always saw 3:45 pace or so on the watch when I glanced at it.

Soon Lukas passed me again, and Carsten again, then near the end of the last lap I passed Carsten again, only for him to pass me again in the last couple of hundred metres! I got into the stadium after 36 mins and could run in a 37:22, which I was pretty pleased about! Carsten was just ahead in 37:16 and Lukas a few metres further ahead in 37:13.

The parkrun team

It was a pretty fun race, if the course were less slippy I fancy I could have run a few seconds faster, but I can test that hypothesis next week hopefully!

37:22 is still about 95 seconds off my PB, but given my weight and lack of training, I feel pretty good about it. There is a lot of room for growth and hopefully, over the next couple of months, I’ll grab that low hanging fruit and get back down to 36-minute shape.

Parkruns

So I haven’t exactly been keeping this blog up to date, maybe due to my string of bad races going back more than 18 months, and maybe because I have been very busy moving house and starting a new job.

Some of the things I didn’t write about include my worst half marathon for about 5 years. The Mugglesee Halfmarathon, I ran 14km the day before and had dead legs and ran a 1:28, dying from the start! I did a Tug-o-Run event, which was a 2 lap 6.2km run with weird short chicanes in the airport hanger where it was staged. It was a fun event with free entry, free food and free drinks!

Another thing I wanted to do was Parkrun. There is a Parkrun in Berlin so on my first weekend in Berlin, I got the train to the start and ran to set a benchmark time. It was the day before the Berlin marathon and there were 750 runners, I had lots of people to run with and ran 18:30.

I week later, I realised that the week of the marathon is a bit of a one off, as I finished first in a field of 110 in 18:40, having slowed down after about km as I thought that I was off course! I started knocking a few seconds off my time until I ran a 18:15 in my 4th week, not a big improvement, but something.

I met a few people at park run who are decent runners and found out that they were planning a paced sub18 group at the end of November, that sounded perfect to me, in a group and well paced, I thought I had a good chance, though it wasn’t guaranteed.

I’ve been running a bit more, generally with a session and a longer run each week, but I’m still not running lots due to work stress and the new dog. I did a proper prep for the sub18 attempt though, meaning a 6am alarm so I could eat breakfast and not cycling to the start (also as it was -2°C when I wanted to set off).

So after a little warm up, we set off. Andy was pacing in his 100th Parkrun, Lukas and Johannes were in the group as well as a few others that I didn’t know. At the start there were really lots of people in the group, I was surprised, usually it gets pretty lonely pretty quickly! Soon enough though the group fell apart and we were down to the 4 named before. I was tucking in as much as I could and felt good, but near the end of the first lap I did feel like I was breathing heavy and could fall off the pace.

I hung on though even though the little rise from km2- 3 wasn’t too easy. By the time we hit the hill, Johannes was gone and the group was down to 3. I passed Lukas for the first time on the hill and Andy was a few metres ahead of me, but after the peak I could catch him back up on the downhill.

Lukas started drifting off the back but I was starting to feel strong. After the downhill we were on pace and soon enough were at 4km. I saw 14:20 on the watch, so I had 3:40 for the last km, I was feeling very confident. After Andy told me that we had 500m left, I told him that it was in the bag, I could even raise the pace quite a lot at the end and finished in 17:46, much better than expected and my best ever 5km (I might have split a better 5km in a 10km, but probably not).

After a quick celebration, I saw Lukas cross the line, I reckoned it was close to 18 mins and it was, but unfortunately in the wrong direction – 18:01.

So after 7 Parkruns in 9 weeks, I improved my time from 18:30 to 17:46, about 9 seconds per kilometer. I had said that if I could run a 17:30, I would sign up for a marathon, well that still seems like a reasonable goal, even though the course is possibly a bit slowed than I had realised when I set the goal!

Nibelungenlauf 2019 – Half Marathon

I haven’t run the Nibelungelauf in Worms for years, I think the last time I was here, I was supporting Katja who ran her last half marathon ever. Anyway, after a decent Firmenlauf a couple of weeks ago, I felt like I could have a good run here in Worms.

I thought I should at least run a season’s best time, so better than 1:25. I thought around about 1:23 should be possible. I am pretty heavy at the moment, around about 82kg, which obviously doesn’t help too much.

So I set off early to Worms, meeting KDötz at the station and cycling to the start. She was a bit apprehensive too and didn’t think she was in form to run a PB. We got there as late as possible, which was good as it was raining and cold! The race started at 10am, I looked around and didn’t recognise anyone, which is a good thing generally, as I remember the people who always beat me!

Off we went and I was near the front, I was wearing my Astra Escalantes and was slipping quite a bit on the way to the train station. The first 1km was in 3:35, but I remembered quickly that the km markers are wrong in Worms, so it was best to ignore them and go off my watch.

The 10km and half marathon both start at the same time, so it isn’t always too easy to know where you stand, but after forming a mini-group with 2 other guys, we overtook someone who informed us that we were 2nd, 3rd and 4th – wow!

I couldn’t tell who was strong and who wasn’t in our group, but I was staying in the slipstream and feeling like I was running fairly easy from about km5 to 10. After the little out and back that the half marathoners have to do, I could see that 2 guys were close behind and 1st was well ahead. I started to struggle to stay with the group as they accelerated, but I got back in to end the first loop in about 41:30.

I was soon off the group in the 2nd lap and after about 3km of the 2nd loop an Italian guy overtook me. It was clear that he had run the 1st loop conservatively and was speeding up now, as my pace was pretty solid and he caught me up like I had stopped! A few km later another guy came past me, suddenly instead of thinking of the podium, I was looking at top 6.

I felt like I stayed strong and held it together well. I could feel a guy close behind me and at the out and back I could see that he was maybe 30m behind me. I wasn’t ready to give up my place though, so I kicked on to keep him at bay. I asked someone watching how far behind me the chaser was, he said maybe 40m, with only 1km to go, it was looking good. My legs felt decent and I kicked for home and managed to keep 7the place at bay, crossing the line in 1:23:30.

Now it wasn’t some super race, it was nearly 5 minutes slower than my best, but I enjoyed the race a lot. Being near the front and being competitive was so much fun after being shit on all season in triathlons!

It turned out that the guy I held at bay had started 20 seconds behind me, so he had a faster chip time, though my gun time was faster. I don’t care, I beat him!

KDötz ran a PB, but was unhappy as it wasn’t a sub 2. I can’t imagine running a PB and not being happy anymore! I am really considering running a spring marathon now. I will start doing some polarized training and see if I can get myself fit. If I can, then I’ll give it a go, I have some unfinished business with 2:50, or even maybe 2:45!

Neuwied 2019 – Olympic

Well I didn’t drop out of Neuwied, why not? I would say I am just that stupid! So instead of doing a longer run on Saturday and sleeping in on Sunday, I rested on Saturday and was awake at 5:45 on Sunday, ready to go to Mombach in the rain and race in Neuwied 4.5h later!

I’m going to keep it brief, as it’s no longer a shock when I have a bad race. We all went to Neuwied, got the bus upstream and swam about 3.4km in the Rhein. The water was really fast so the 3.4km wouldn’t take too long. Wetsuits were allowed. The race was pretty badly organised, the way into the water was dangerously slippy, then they wanted a water start, but as soon as you weren’t on shore, you had to fight against the flow to stay still.

Some genius decided to start the race themselves by starting a countdown from 10. Half the field started and had to be stopped. Then the race officially started by someone saying, naja, schwimm einfach los. Professional.

It was fun to see the kms click donw so quickly and I felt like a swam ok, but when I got into T1 I saw a TCECler ahead of my. I assumed it would be Robert, that’s fine. I dreamt it would be Micheal, it was Uli. Now Uli is a great guy, but a swimmer is he not!

Off I set on the bike, passing quite a few with a decent transition. I was again passing more than I was passed, but I was also pretty far back in the field. The course rolls generally uphill, but not steep, for about 10km, then back down and we do 2 laps. There was quite a lot of drafting, not from me, the number 79 ahead of me for a while was very blatent, and even when the ref watched him draft for a few minutes, he didn’t get a penalty.

After the bike I wasn’t feeling too bad and I put my socks on and set off. Uli and Heiko (not Heiko actually, it was Danny) had passed me on the bike, now was my time to bring them back. Except that in 2019 I can’t even rely on my run! I was ok, but far from fast. My guts were a bit sore, somewhat like in Zell, but not nearly as bad.

I trotted along anyway, passing some but also being passed too. I knew that I was our 5th man so wouldn’t count in the results (again). On the 2nd lap at the turn around, I saw a TCECler, who wasn’t Uli (he was about 100m ahead of me all the way). I thought it must be a masters or 2nd team person, but amazingly it was Matthias, our fastest man.

I thought he must be injured, he has had knee problems all year, but apparently it was just a day from hell for him, so I managed to overtake him and counted in the results one last time for TCEC.

I finished a good 9-10 minutes behind Chris, Peter and Michael, all aspects of my race sucked. It was just so 2019 for me. This time at least I knew in advance what to expect, so I was less disappointed and tried to stay positive. Form is temporary, class is permanent!

So that was my last TCEC race for the season and most probably ever. If I don’t start in a league next season, I could jump into a race at somepoint for TCEC, but I’ll assume that I am done for now.

In the next week I have the firmenlauf and the Vereinsmeisterschaft. I actually have a feeling that they won’t be too bad, lets see how it goes.

Firmenlauf 2019

Finally, the triathlon season is over, and I can start to run again. I am getting the inkling in my legs to run more, but I don’t have many miles in my legs at the moment.

With this in mind, I wasn’t expecting too much from the 2019 firmenlauf. I knew that no one in TRON would be close to me, but Peter Lang would be starting and I’d like to beat him to be the first from TRON/BioNTech.

I jogged to the start in town and that served as my warm-up. I had anticipated that I would run about 18 mins, maybe a bit faster as my best time inbreeding course is 17:06 when I was in marathon training and last year with anemia I ran 18:05 or so.

I wasn’t allowed to walk into the front of the start pen, even though I knew almost everyone who was there. I met Robert and we went to the back and pushed our way to the front, what a waste of time! Later when Lukas and the other real fast guys turned up, they just ignored the marshall and walked to the front, much more efficient.

I was thirsty before the start but felt decent. Christoph, Robert, Lukas, Timo, Markus and Flo from TCEC were all there, pretty crazy, a few years ago no one else from TCEC was there. We set off and Christoph bolted out of the gate, going with the front group. I thought he was a bit optimistic and I’d be seeing him again soon!

Peter was just ahead of me, as was Robert. The first km is always a bit crazy as people set off at 800m pace and start to die pretty quickly. The rest of the race ticked pretty uneventfully away, me just behind Robert and Peter, not really gaining and not dropping off either.

I seemed to be moving well and when I was out of the curves and onto the home straight, I saw 16:xx on the watch. I picked it up a little and crossed the line in 17:14, better than expected!

I was happy with my performance but a bit disappointed to be behind Robert Peter and Christoph, although to be fair, they all raced damn well! I think the race sets me up for a run season and it’s good to know that I’m not starting from zero, in fact, my run fitness is half decent, I should be able to pick it up again pretty quickly.

Frankfurt City Triathlon 2019 – Middle Distance 2-80-20

This was to be my A-race, I would really train and go for it. Around 4:00 was the goal, I could do it! Well that was the thinking when I signed up for the race ages agon, but as you may have read in my posts this year, I suck!

I just can’t get it together so, although I would be giving my all, I wasn’t expecting the race of my life in Frankfurt. So, I went and signed in on Saturday in Frankfurt city centre with a (for basically no reason) pissed off Katja. I then headed to my hotel in Langen and she went shopping.

The race started at 6:30, which meant I had to leave the hotel in the dark and ride 4km through the forest to the start. Luckily I didn’t crash or get a puncture so all was good. I met Robert and we started pretty close to each other.

The start was rolling, the pros went off at 6:30, I started at 6:39. Luckily the water temperature had fallen a lot in the last week, it was 26.9°C last week but on race day was 23.2°C, so I was in my wetsuit. I felt like I swam pretty well, I overtook lots of people and felt ok. My arms still felt a bit full after 1km, so I tried a few strokes of backstroke, that didn’t help at all!

So after finding some legs, I got out of the 2km swim after 37 mins, not great. I took the transition far too slowly and had a 500m run to my bike. I got going quite quickly and after maybe 2km passed Lisa from work. I was generally overtaking rather than being overtaken, which is something!

The first lap is the longest, but I felt fine and my average was about 36km/h. I actually managed to increase that over the laps to about 37km/h, which was a bit better than expected, even though the route is completely flat and 40km/h should be possible.

Soon enough I was done with the bike and in T2. I felt quite alright, but started thinking negatively pretty early on. I realised that I haven’t run 20km in a single run since Mainz Half Marathon in May, and even that was a nightmare! I quickly decided to implement my run 9m15, walk 45 seconds plan from Roth 2017.

The first lap was fine, the 2nd also ok, but I knew things were getting worse. In the 3rd lap I needed the toilet, but my zip on my trisuit was broken. I couldn’t open it during my walk breaks, so I decided that when I finally reached a toilet, I would just try to wriggle out of it.

Well I tried, but I failed! I then went to a helper and asked if they could open the zip, they couldn’t. So I told them to rip it open. The female helper couldn’t do that, so a guy came and tore it open for me. After the toilet break, it had cost me more than 3 minutes!

The last lap was slow as hell and I wasn’t having fun anymore, but I got around and finished in 4h27.

Robert had had a pretty good day and did a 4:12, which he was happy with. Mark passed my on the run in the 3rd lap and Heiko had started as a pro and stayed ahead of me all day.

After the race I was done, I wanted to drop out of Neuwied in 2 weeks and really reconsider my triathlon hobby. I just suck so bad this year! The season is nearly over anyway, so I can see it out and keep on delivering crappy results, but next year either I’ll be better, or I won’t being doing triathlon!