Ebersheim Adventslauf – 2nd place

So this was the one I was aiming for. I wanted to win a race for the first time ever, no age group win, just first over the line.  I have followed the Jack Daniels plan very closely and really feel like I am in 36:30 or so form for 10k.  Ebersheim is a bit hilly but there is a long downhill too, so it kind of levels itself out.  Last year I ran a 39:45 and was really happy with that, I fancied that I could beat the winning time from last year of 37:21, and then just hope that that is good enough to win it.

I got there well in advance and once Andre and Ronald were ready we went for a little warm up jog.  The wind was pretty strong and in the wrong direction, i.e. against uphill and with downhill, but it had dried up a bit since yesterday when it rained for most of the day.

I got myself on the start line and was straight into the front group when the gun fired.  I wanted to run behind someone into the wind and soon enough 1 person went forward to take up the pace.  I was in a 3 person group just behind.  After the first 1km the 2 others in my group started to fall back, but the leader was slowing stretching his lead too.  After 3km the route goes by the start area and an ecstatic looking Katja was there cheering me on!  KMs 4-5 are slightly uphill and on paths that were pretty muddy.  I had to run up on the field twice to avoid the massive long puddles on the route.  There were also a couple of dodgy corners that were slippy that I cautiously jogged round.

Then comes the downhill.  I tried to push the pace a little, hoping to bring back the leader, but my legs weren't quite fully ticking over, with the wind and downhill obviously I was travelling quickly, but not making in-roads in the leaders advantage.  On the long downhill there are 2 sharp left turns that then go steeply uphill for about 100-150m, before the downhill continues, they were killers, but also a good chance to see how much lead I had over 3rd place.  I could see that 3rd was further behind me that I was behind 1st, so I had a fair lead.  Soon enough I got to Harxheim and turned left up the big hill of the day.  It was a really hard slog up there, I did have it in my head that I was overtaken on an uphill in my last hilly race, and that worry wasn't helped by the fact that the guy who passed me last time also had moved into 3rd place behind me this time!

I finally got to the top and was pretty confident of making it home without being caught as it is generally downhill until the last few hundred metres.  I got onto the home straight and gave the peace signals / 2nd place signs everyone as I crossed the line in 38:57.  I can't complain too much as that is all I could give, I guess I underestimated the toughness of the course.  The result, though not what
I wanted.

I waited to see Andre cross the line in 48minutes, a great time for him as he had been working with 50 mins as his dream time, then came Ronald who was pointing to his knee, and seemed happy to have got around the course in one piece.

I might do a silvesterlauf somewhere, depending on where we are and if they fit into our silvester (NYE) plans.  I do have a few goals left on my 2015 list that I can try to take down, for example an 18min 5km and getting to 2500km running in 2015.  I need 114km more to get to that mark, which in 2.5 weeks should be easily doable, even with Christmas in the meantime.  The 5km might be a bit more tricky.  Somehow I had thought that my goal was 18:30, so as I have done splits in 10km races at that pace, it was essentially done.  18mins is actually quite a tricky prospect, it is obviously doable but it is pretty much full race pace.  I think I will head down to the track some time soon when I am feeling good and give it a go.

Otherwise I expect that I will write a 2015 wrap-up post and a 2016 goal setting post.  I'll see you then!

Jack Daniels 10k Plan – Week 2 – Feeling good!

Into week 2 of the plan.  I started the week with a real long run this time, though long might be an exaggeration!  I did 17km to Gau Bischofsheim and back, so it was quite hilly. I ran at exactly 5:00/km pace and felt pretty decent, even with a bit of muscle ache still.

Although I was feeling ok, I stuck with my plan of having Monday free, so I didn't run and went to the pool instead.  Tuesday is workout day.  On the menu this time was 4 sets of (200m R 200m jg, 200m R 200m jg, 400m R, 400m jg).  I stupidly did all of the intervals too quickly, especially the first 400m interval in 75 seconds instead of the prescribed 81.  That made the last set a bit harder, but I could have done another set had it been required.  My calves started to seize up pretty quickly after the run, but no where near as badly as last week.

On Wednesday I ran straight after work, I trusted my stomach so much that I ran in the clockwise direction of my normal 11,5km loop, something I rarely do!  I did 9 sets of strides and had a 4:48/km pace with a 149 HR, not too bad.

On Thursday I ran in the evening as the sun was setting.  In wanted to do more than the 7,3km I did last Thursday, so ran to Klein Wintersheim and back.  It worked out to be 9,3km and a nice run, all slightly uphill on the way out, then an easy cruise home.  My new Skechers Go Run Ultras had arrived so I used them for the first time, just like my old ones, they didn't rub and fit nicely.  I really enjoyed this run it was 4:56/km with a HR of just 138 ave.  It was made all the better by a mention on the Rob Watson show podcast that I was listening too, I couldn't help but laugh.

Friday was workout day 2.  Last week i had made these intervals easier, this week I was going to do it as close as possible to what was described.  I ran to Willy Wacker straight after work and after a quick pitstop did my 3×1 mile T intervals.  They are supposed to be 6:20/mile, I was running 9 metres less, but ran them all a little too fast, but in control too.  6:11, 6:15 and 6:13 were the splits, followed by 6x200m R which were at almost perfect pace, 2 were 40.xs but the others all about 39s.  The whole run ended up being 12.3km at 4:23 pace and a 158bpm average HR.

Yesterday I ended the week with an easy run.  I ran to Bodenheim, which is a hilly route for me.  I completely forget about the strides until I was quite close to home, so only managed 6 sets, though I think the 10% inclines must count as a stride too, so I won't lose any sleep over that.  Again my pace was good at 4:52/km for 11.8km with an average HR of 146.  It was definitely a bit harder due to the inclines, but probably better specific training for Zornheim and Ebersheim as they have a hill or 2 en route too.

All in all I did 71.8km this week.  The next 2 weeks could be a bit tougher as I am going to Ukraine on Wednesday.  I will run everyday until then, have Thursday as a rest day, and see what I can manage when I am away.  The general plan is to get up to at least 80km per week, that would be a long run of 20km and 12km 5 days a week, that doesn't sound too stressful.  I feel great at the moment, I am running sub5/km pace all the time very comfortably.  I want to lose weight as I seem to have settled at 82.5kg, at least 4kg more than I want to to be. I'll see what happens in the next few weeks, if I don't start crawling towards 80kg, then I might have to make some dietary changes 🙁

Jack Daniels 10k Plan – Week 1

I've decided to start doing the Jack Daniels 10k plan to try to get some structure to my running, and, hopefully, be on top form for Ebersheim Adventslauf on December 13th, where I want to try to go for the win.

I haven't followed a running plan before, but as I have the Jack Daniels Running Formula book, and I have heard good things about it, I chose that one.  It will also be a stepping stone towards Rotterdam marathon in April 2016.  The problem was that I have to select my VDOT.  My garmin showed that my 5k time recently was 18:20 (VDOT 55), though the course was long so I actually finished in 19 (VDOT 53). I also ran a bumpy 10k in 40:08 (VDOT 52) but I was tired post Ironman and it wasn't so flat, so I have decided to go for a VDOT of 55.  My PB half marathon scores best on the VDOT system, and that would be a 57.

Now that I have selected my training paces, I can follow the plan.  The week starts with a long run, but only up to 25% of the total mileage I run per week.  This week I just did a normal 11.5km run to ease into things, in the future it should be a 16-20km run at easy pace (about 5:00/km pace).  On Monday I had a day off as I was climbing for several hours during the day and was pretty tired.  Tuesday was the first workout day: 2 sets of 8x200m in R pace, i.e. 40 seconds for 200m.  I went to the Willy Wacker track to do the workout and was consistently under 40s for the intervals, apart from the first interval, where I was basically guessing the pace needed!

I felt good post-workout, but I had really bad muscle ache in my calves for a few days afterwards (along with arms, chest and shoulders from climbing!!).  On Wednesday I did an easy run with strides, 10.9km with 8 strides.  My guts weren't happy with the gap left between eating and running, something to remember for future runs.  On Thursday I was exhausted, but got out to run 7.3km, it was actually at a decent pace, even though I was planning a really slow run.

Friday was workout 2. 4x200m R pace, then 2×1 T pace, then a final 4x200m R pace.  I had seen this in advance and knew that Jack meant for me to run 2x1mile at T pace (3:56/km) but as I am easing into the quality sessions, I went for 2x1km instead.  I also messed up the paces so ran 3:41 and 3:46 for the 2km.  My legs were still feeling tight before the workout, but actually felt better afterwards!  The T pace was ok, though I was still happy to cut it short this week.  Next week I will have to push through.

Today I ran an 11.5km route at E pace with 8 sets of strides.  I feel like I am getting into my rhythm already as today was much better than the other E days.  I ran at a decent pace (4:55/km) but my HR was quite low at 145.

I plan to follow the plan as closely as possible for the next 11 weeks.  I did 62km in the first week, that will rise to at least 66km this week, maybe 70km.  I will keep the day off for a few weeks, then add in a 7km run, then increase it to a normal run, so I'll be up over 80km by that point.  I don't want to do too much too fast, so increases will be gradual.  I want to try to lose a bit of excess weight too.  I have started well this week, my appetite isn't so high when I just run, cycling always seems to be the killer!

Tomorrow I will run 16km or so at E pace. I think my calves are recovering well, my Skechers Go Ultras are on their way too, so I am confident I will start hitting all of the prescribed workouts in the very near future.