September 2007 Archives

Last post on this side of the Atlantic

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On Saturday afternoon I headed out for a 10-mile run around the flat trails surrounding my town. My legs still felt quite stiff from the marathon two weeks before, but as I ran my loop they loosened up and I was able to increase my speed.

Today (Sunday) I again headed out for a run, enjoying the warm, sunny 70F weather. My legs felt much better then the day before, as I cruised around a 7.5-mile loop. I ran along the edge of the neighboring town of Spoeck and another runner turn onto my path and caught up to me. He asked if I was training for a marathon and I mentioned my upcoming 50-miler. It turns out he is running the Amsterdam (Holland) marathon in a few weeks. We ran together for a few minutes before he turned off to head home. Before long a passed a young lady from my running club who was coming from the other direction, accompanied by a friend on a bicycle. I guess the nice weather motivates everyone to get off the couch :-)

I kept the pace down today and had an enjoyable run. Tomorrow I want to run for about an hour, my last run in Germany before my 50-mile race.

Tuesday I will be flying to Syracuse, NY via Philadelphia, at least hopefully…you see the German Bahn (train) employees are threatening to strike this coming week – I won’t know until Tuesday morning if my train will be affected. I do have a backup plan just in case, so I lord willing I’ll still make my flight.
I am hoping to meet a friend (a longtime RBF’er) on Thursday night for a short run, the last before the race on Saturday. The race starts at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, so I will stay overnight in Canandaigua the night before.

My internet access will be sporadic in the rural back-country of central New York, but I will try to post the results of my 50-miler as soon as I can.

In the meantime I wish everyone who has a race coming up a good race, I look forward to reading your race reports. Have a nice week!

Counting down to Canandaigua

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Last night I ran a 11K/6.8M loop with my running club group. It was dark and stormy looking, but the rain held off through the run, for which we were all grateful. Afterward I stayed around a bit to chat with my friends, it will be at least 3 weeks before I see them again. This time next week I will be in central New York!

So I’m tapering down to my 50-mile race in Canandaigua, NY on October 6. I am excited, but nervous – it is my first race in the USA! But after reading the numerous race reports from the RBF over the last few years, I think I am going to feel right at home. Of course I was born and raised just 3 hours from Canandaigua, so this will be a coming-home experience!

I have mixed feelings of how my performance is going to be on race day. On the one side I missed a few key long runs due to my knee injury in August, so do not feel as fit as I was for my June 50-miler. On the other side, the results of my marathon that I ran on Sept. 16 indicate that I am still in pretty good shape.

So I guess it is a mental obstacle – one that I need to remove before I line up at the start. Otherwise, when I get to the top of Bopple Hill and cast a glance over the beautiful Canandaigua Lake and valley below, I may just decide to sit down and enjoy the view…hmm, would that really be so bad…

canlake.jpg

Slacking off...

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…with the blogging that is. I have good excuses: Recovering for a marathon, my wife’s birthday, trying to clean off my desk at work before I fly to the USA next week, planning for the 50-mile race that I’m running when I get there – stuff like that :-)

I went on an easy 10-mile run on Sunday. The weather was beautiful, around 80F, sunny and warm. I was stiff a little stiff from my marathon, but I couldn’t complain.

On Monday night I was late coming home from work, so decided to do a shorter, faster run. I ran approx. 7.5K/5M at a roughly 5:20/K (8:30/M) pace. This was well below my 10K pace, but one of the faster paced runs since I injured my knee in August and not bad for 8 days after a marathon.

I want to run a couple more times this week, but probably not more than 10 miles at a time, I need to concentrate on my recovery/taper for the 50-miler (Oct. 6). I am flying to NY on Oct. 2 and hopefully can get in at least one run before the race. I am curious how jetlag is going to affect me – for me this is unexplored territory.

Have a great week!

A 2-Hour Recovery Run

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I decided to take a vacation day today, my company is closed for our annual company trip, and I decided that it was more important for me to stay home and take care of some housework. Yesterday was my wife’s birthday and we are celebrating with friends on Saturday night – lots to do before then.

I decided to do my long run this morning instead of Saturday morning, I know this would ease my wife’s mind as we prepare for her birthday celebration. My recovery from the marathon last Sunday is going well, but as I began running my hilly route in nearby Weingarten I knew that I was not ready for the 3-hour run that I had planned on. I settled into a comfortable pace and decided just to do what I can do.

I did a long loop, which takes around 1-1/2 hours, then did a short out and back which brought me back to the car for a total of just over 2 hours. My body did not ache, it was just tired – a general weariness from the race 5 days before and a busy couple weeks at work.

With my 50-miler two weeks away I am placing myself in tapering mode. I would have like a longer run today, but I know that it really won’t make any difference as far as the race goes – actually the extra rest may be more advantageous.

Recovering for the Canandaigua 50-Miler

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My recovery is advancing at an amazing pace! I remember the first couple marathons that I ran, it was 4-5 days before I even considered going for a run. This time I went for a 9K/5.5M run the DAY AFTER the marathon and last night went the same distance at my normal easy running pace. Today I feel great, ready to head out for a long run this weekend!

I attribute this to running the marathon at a slower pace (even though this was my second fastest marathon). In any case this was the plan, as I have a 50-mile race less than 2-1/2 weeks away.

The Canandaigua 50-mile race in Canandaigua, NY will be my first race in the USA! I grew up about three hours east of there, so am really looking forward to the run. The event kicks off at 7:00 a.m. on October 6th, and the course takes a loop around Lake Canandaigua, during the heart of Indian summer in Upstate New York, I can’t wait!

Of course there are a couple little hills that I will need to traverse - the total ascending and descending on the 50 mile route is approximately 3500 feet total:

2006-canlake50-profile.jpg

Oh, and it is a road race, e.g. look out quads, asphalt here I come.

A 9K Recovery Run and Some Race Stats

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Last night I went for a nice easy 9K/5.5M recovery run. My legs felt surprisingly good for just having run a marathon the day before. Of course this is what I had hoped for, as the real event that I am training for is coming up on October 6, a 50-mile race in Canandaigua, New York. I plan on going on another shorter run on Wednesday, then probably wait until Saturday morning and run a 2-3 hour run at ultra pace, practicing my walking breaks etc..

Here are a couple race stats from the marathon this past weekend:

My chip time: 4:23:53
My overall ranking: 1097 out of 1688 finishers.
My age group (M45) ranking: 240 out of 307.
First half: 02:02:47
Second half: 02:21:05
Average pace: 6:15/K (10:04/M)

Winning male: 02:14:36
Winning female: 02:39:01 (course record)
(both are from Kenya – is anyone surprised)

I am still processing/searching for pictures, I should have some in the next day or two. Here are two of yours truly:
jack_1.jpg
Beautiful day for a run, right ;-)
jack_2.jpg

Race Report: The Baden Marathon 2007

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The weather forecast for the 25th Annual Baden Marathon in Karlsruhe, Germany yesterday were almost idea…25C/77F, sunny and windless. As I lined up with the almost 10,000 runners and walkers who had signed up for the marathon or half-marathon, it was still a fresh 14C/57F. But the excitement and energy of the runners had a warming effect as we waited for the countdown that would set the mass into motion.

As is typical for this event, the starting words were sounded and the veterans continued to visit with one another, we towards the back knew it would take up to 10 minutes before we were under way – we all wore chips so it didn’t matter.

I took off with a couple from my running club, but after 8-10 minutes let them go on ahead, their goals were much faster than mine. I fell into a comfortable pace and tried to enjoy the ride. I only had one goal for the race, to run a comfortable pace and save my strength for my 50-miler on Oct. 6th. Actually this was a dress rehearsal for the 50-miler, which is also a road race – I haven’t trained on asphalt at all in the last 3-4 months.

I passed the 10K point in 57:23, an average pace of 5:44/K (9:14/M), which is about what I planned on. The first 10K wound through the city of Karlsruhe to Durlach, then passed over the Autobahn into the Oberwald towards the town of Rueppurr. This bike path section is kind of cool as some of the local musicians set up along the way and support us with music. I particularly appreciated the dude playing the bagpipes, he had a good upbeat tune flowing from his pipes - he understood our needs!

We passed through a couple towns then wound our way back into Karlsruhe around the 20K point. I completed the second 10K section in 58:57. The path ran by the stadium near where we started and the marathon and half-marathon split. I resisted the temptation to cut my run short and headed on to finish my marathon. I passed the half-marathon band in 2:02:47, a bit faster than I had planned on.

As the course headed through a long park section that winds its way through Karlsruhe I could feel my quads rebelling against the flat, asphalt, course. I do much better on diverse terrain with some hills and a mix of trails – it keeps my quads happy. I ignored the increasing soreness in my legs and continued on, passing the third 10K part of the race (30K/18.6M) in 01:04:56, a noticeable decrease in speed. This section of the race took us through a long park as I mentioned, then ran near the Rhine River port and refinery located in the northern section of Karlsruhe. From here we headed back towards the center of town where the Palace and market area are located.

From kilometer 30 to about 38 we wound our way around the palace gardens, fountains and crowds of cheering people who had parked themselves there – then through the main shopping mile in the market square before the palace. The crowds were welcome as runners fought to keep going as the temperature began to rise. I had been walking through the aid and water stations and by now my walks grew longer, but I still barely lingered more than a minute or two before running on. My pace had slowed, but I was still steady. I passed the 4th 10K section in 1:08:16.

With just a couple kilometers to go my only thoughts were to get the race over with. My legs felt banged up from the hard road surface and my stomach was not happy with the new sports drink that the organizers switched to this year. But I was still running which is more than I could say for many dozens of runners that I passed. As I rounded the last curve before the stadium a couple people from my running club spotted me and cheered me up the small hill into the stadium and the finish. My official chip time 4:23:53, which is my second fastest marathon time – not bad for a “training run”.

This morning my legs are a bit sore, but I am walking fine and don’t look at stairs like they are an obstacle to cross. I probably go for a short recovery run this even to loosen the legs up, then a longer one on Wednesdy. My goal is to be able to complete a 2-3 hour hilly long run on Saturday, which will be my last long run until my ultra on Oct. 6.

Have a nice week!

Baden Marathon: Preliminary Results

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This morning was the 25th annual Baden Marathon in Karlsruhe, Germany. According to my watch I finished in just under 4:24:00, my second best time for a marathon! I'll try to get a full report written in the next day or two.

I friend from my running club was taking picture at the finish line of the Karlsdorf-Neuthard 10K Street Run on September 2. Here is a sample of his work:
august_2007_10k_neuthard.jpg

I finally got around to looking at some pictures. Here is a picture around the 10K point of the July Hornisgrinde Marathon in the Black Forest:
hornisgrinde_marathon_july_.jpg

And a picture at the finish line:
hornisgrinde_marathon_finis.jpg

Tapering Down for the Marathon on Sunday

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Last night I was home on time and decided to meet my friends from my running club for a run. There maybe 25-30 people assembled as we mingled and caught up on the news. Many of the runners will be running the half or full marathon in Karlsruhe (Germany) this Sunday – 45 from our club are signed up!

I fell in with my normal running group and we began an easy run around the loop. No one was in a hurry, they were saving there strength for the marathon. Just past the 5K point everyone turned left and back to the start except Maria and I. Maria isn’t running a race on Sunday and I, well, I guess I’m just nuts – we ran the entire 11K loop, confirming that we indeed were running a pace where we could easily converse with one another :-)

Tomorrow I am running a short half-hour run, then its rest until the marathon on Sunday. Weather for the marathon is very promising, sunny and around 70°F. I plan on running at a comfortable, but steady pace – my goal is to finish in around 4:45, about 30 minutes slower than my personal best that I set in July. My “real” race is coming up on October 6th in Canandaigua, NY – a 50-miler.

I’ll let you know how the marathon goes, have a nice weekend!

Running Through the Weekend

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Friday after work I drove to Weingarten (11K) for a run on my hilly route. This was the first time in almost a month that I had run any hills and the first time since my knee injury, so I wasn’t really sure how my legs would hold up.

I started out over my normal route, warming up for 6-7 minutes on a relatively flat section before heading up the hill. I could tell from my breathing that it had been a while since I ran hills, but I made it to the top with my legs hardly feeling the effort. I continued on around my loop finishing the roughly 15K/9.5M loop in the normal time as always, roughly 1:35:00. My knee felt fine, the hills didn’t seem to have any impact whatsoever, so I headed out for another loop. After about 2 hours and 45 minutes of steady running I finally took a short walk break to put my running jacket on, it was getting quite cool outside as the sun began to dip behind the horizon. As I began running again my legs felt stiff and tired, so I decided to head back to the car, arriving there shortly after 3 hours – for about 28K/17.5M. With a marathon a week away I figured this was enough.

Today (Sunday) I went for an easy 12K/7.5M run around the flat trails surrounding my town. I was kind of stiff from my run on Friday as I started out, but after awhile my legs loosened up and I was able to cruise along at a comfortable pace.

I want to get in three shorter runs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, probably around 5 miles each. On Sunday is the Baden Marathon in Karlsruhe, Germany, about 30 minutes from where we live. It is a city road race, flat and asphalt – but 45 people from my running club are signed up for either the full or half marathon – should be fun!

An 18K Run at Marathon Pace

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On Wednesday night I was a bit late getting home from work, so realized I would be too late to begin running with the running club at 6 p.m.. However, with a little quick thinking I figured out that if I ran to the trailhead and ran the shorter 8K loop I would probably bump into one of the groups for the last 15-20 minutes of their run. So this is what I did, and sure enough I caught them about 20 minutes from the finish of their run.

Afterward I stayed and chatted awhile with some of my friends, then headed back to the house, taking a slightly longer route to make up for the kilometers that I missed by taking the shortcut on the running club trail. My total mileage was around 18K/11M, with an average pace of about 5:45/K (9:15/M), about what I had planned on for the evening.

My next run will be this evening (Friday), a longer run of up to 3 hours. I say that a little vaguely because I am going to base the actual length of the run on how I feel. I have a marathon in 9 days so don’t want to push too hard.

A 9K Recovery Run

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On Monday after work I went for a nice easy 9K/5.5M recovery run. My legs were tired from the long run and race from the weekend, I resisted the urge to run farther. As I finished the last few kilometers I knew this was the right decision, my legs were pretty trashed.

I had intended on doing some upper body training last (Tuesday) night, but got caught up in answering a pile of e-mail concerning my genealogy research (another hobby of mine) that it was well past bedtime before I shut the computer off. I think the rest was a good thing anyway, I feel good this morning, ready for a good running workout this evening.

Have a great week!

Last Wednesday night when I ran with my Running Club they had a sign-up sheet for a 10K race today. It was a local race in a nearby town and our group normally shows up in full force. At first I declined, but they twisted my arm and talked me into it.

Well yesterday I ran my first long run in several weeks, so when I woke up this morning I started looking for excuses not to go. I had myself talked out of it, thinking that I shouldn’t miss church, but then my wife reminded me that I said that I would be there and living a Christian life means keeping my word – ouch!

So I ate a quick breakfast and got ready to go. The race started at 9:30, I left the house about an hour before and arrived about 45 minutes before the start. As I went to pick up my race number our running club leader handed it too me, she said the club was paying for the race today, cool!

I chatted with some of the club for 15-20 minutes, then went to find a bathroom and warm up for the race. I was quite stiff and sore from my long run the day before, but as I jogged around the track at the sports club I began to loosen up a bit. As I ran I tried to figure out a strategy for the race – I knew that it was too soon after my injury to even think about running a fast race, so it was more a question about what sort of pace I could maintain.

As I lined up at the Start I cleared my head of any time stress and decided to just run how I felt and see what happens. I noticed a few of my running club farther up front, but they were looking to set personal records, so I stayed more towards the back. The weather was almost perfect, clear skies, mild temperatures (around 19C/56F), the only problem was a slight wind.

As the start pistol went off I inched forward with the crowd, but was able to speed up fairly quickly as the crowd surged forward. The sport center is located in an open field between the towns of Neuthard and Karlsdorf, and we headed out over a bike path towards Neuthard. I passed the first kilometer marker in 4:52 (7:50/mile pace), better than I expected.

The race course entered Neuthard and wound its way around the town. Dozens of residents were out lending there support to the runners. The course wound its way back out of town and over bike paths to Karlsdorf. Again crowds were out cheering us on as we wound our way through town. From Karlsdorf the course again headed out over a bike path back to the sports center, end of the first loop.

I finished the first 5K in 25:20, a bit slower than I hoped for, but not surprising. Over the next couple kilometers I started slowing down, my legs were tired from the long run the day before. As I passed the 7K marker several people started passing me, so I tried to pick up the pace a bit. By kilometer 9 I had managed to pass all but one of those who passed me. As I headed out across the field towards the finish line I tried my best to at least maintain my pace. As I ended the stadium I broke into a sprint and almost caught the person in front of me as I crossed the finish line.

Catching my breath I walked it out, then joined some of my running club near the finish line. After hanging out for awhile I made my way back home for a shower and some lunch. I ended up finishing the race in 51:25, not bad for barely having my stitches out for a week – and completing a 20-mile long run the day before.

My legs are a bit tired as I write, but my knee seems to be holding up really well. In two weeks is the Baden marathon in Karlsruhe, this weekend has shown me that I can make it over the finish line.

Have a nice Sunday!

A 20-Mile Long Run

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This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. and just about rolled over and went back to sleep. But then I remembered I have a marathon in two weeks, so dragged myself out of bed. After finishing my morning routine and eating a little breakfast I suited up, grabbed my stuff that I laid out the night before and drove to the trailhead of my running club. I wasn’t sure if my knee was up to running hills, so decided to stick to the flatlands.

I really didn’t have a specific goal in mind, as I was not sure if my knee was recovered enough for a really long run. I decided to try to run at least two 11K loops and see how I felt. I started out at an easy pace, running the first 5K in 31 minutes. My body was stiff and achy, we had to move our office at work the last couple days and this left me sore enough to want to go home after 5K! I resisted the temptation and kept going, finishing the 11K loop in around 1:11:00, much slower than I would normally run a flat course.

I stopped at my car and filled up my water bottle, grabbed a clifshot, my MP3 player and headed out for the second loop. My body was stiff like a board, I popped a couple aspirin and turned up the music. I loosened up again as I dropped back into my groove, my pace was slow, but consistent – I really didn’t give a hoot how fast (or slow) I was running, I just wanted to get through it.

After what seemed like an eternity I finished the second 11K loop and again stopped at my car to resupply. I stretched a bit then plodded back out again hoping to add a few more kilometers before I collapsed. As I fell into my groove again I decided to keeping going and see if I could finish an 8K loop, which would give me a total of 30K. About halfway around my MP3 battery died, which upset me and kept my mind occupied as I put a couple more kilometers behind me. Finally I realized that I only had about 10 minutes to go, so did my best to pick up the pace back to the car.

I arrived pooped, but highly satisfied. However, as I started stretching I started doing the math and realized that 30K was only 18.6 miles. For some insane reason this just rubbed me the run way and next thing I knew I was out running an out and back to bring me up to 32K for my 20 miles. I figured if I am going to be all achy and sore, it might as well be for 20 miles, right!

Anyway, my knee didn’t bother me at all for the entire run, I know it is still healing and slowing me down some, but it isn’t stopping me. Bring on the marathon, I’m ready!

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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