April 2009 Archives

Off to Dresden


My bags are packed and I'm ready to roll, I'll soon be meeting RB and off we'll go!

To Dresden that is, to begin her first marathon adventure. The Oberelbe (Upper Elbe) Marathon begins in Königstein, southeast of Dresden, and ends in the World Trade Center in the middle of Dresden. RB has trained hard, I know she will have no problem crossing the finish line, and I'll be running along with her to add encouragement when the going gets tough.

The weather is looking really good for the race, which begins at 9:20 a.m. on Sunday. Clear blue skies, around 55°F at the beginning of the race, warming up to the lower 70's.

We are traveling with three running club friends, it should be fun. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures and get my race report posted soon after we get back on April 30th.

My first 70+ Mile Week

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Last week I completed my first 70+ mile week, with 71 miles (115 km). Maybe that is one reason I didn't find time to write for my blog. Another reason might have been because I was trying to catch up at work so I could go on vacation two days' earlier this week. Or perhaps it was the beautiful weather that we have been having that has drawn me out of the house. In any case let me try to catch up.

On Friday I hurried home from work, changed, and drove to Weingarten to run my hilly route. It had rained most of the day, but let up as I arrived. I had planned on running 3 hours, but decided to shorten it to 2 hours and add some hills. I ended up running what was more or less hill repeats, accumulating 1300 meters (4265 feet) of elevation gain and 1234 meters loss (4048 feet). My quads were definitely not happy by the time I was done, but that's the point!

On Saturday I met friends at my running club about 45 minutes before our normal starting time and did a short loop. Afterward I joined RB and a few other friends for another short loop at a slightly slower pace. I ended up with 14.3 km (9 miles) in around an hour and a half.

On Sunday I met RB for our last longer run of her training for the marathon on April 26th. It was a nice sunny day so I took her over a route that I tried out the week before that let us enjoy the sunshine. We ran a bit faster than our normal long run pace, but were both feeling great afterward, a sign that her training has really paid off!

Tuesday was the first day of my vacation, RB began vacation on Monday. We met some of the retired members of our running club for a run, including Marianne and Holm who invited us to the marathon in Dresden. We cruised around a sunny loop at a nice recovery pace, enjoying catching up on each other's lives and making plans for our trip to Dresden on Friday.

Last night I met my running club at 6:00 p.m. for our mid-week run. RB was running with a few friends in the reverse direction, so I decided to run with some of the faster runners in the normal direction and meet her along the way. This way worked out well, I was actually able to add a kilometer to my run this way.

Today I'm home packing for my trip to Dresden tomorrow. On Sunday is the Oberelbe Marathon (Upper Elbe - the Elbe is a major river in Germany). My friend RB is running this as her first marathon, I will be escorting her. Our friend Holm, 74 years old, will also be running the full marathon. His wife Marianne (71?) ran the marathon last year, but will probably only run the half this year. Marianne and Holm are originally from this area, so in the days following the marathon will give us a good tour of the city and surroundings. I will try to take lots of pictures!

Last night I met RB and we ran to our running club trail and did a loop. It was dark and gray as I ran over to RB's house to pick her up. The temperature hat plunged several degrees in the short time that I had been home, I decided to stay with short sleeves and shorts, but threw on a running vest. RB was smarter and wore long running pants and a running jacket.

The first five kilometers were dark and it was a bit windy, but at least it stayed dry. The woods were beautiful, spring was in full bloom! We stopped for a couple minutes to talk to a couple guys from our running club - as we started out again it started to sprinkle, the first rain for almost a month! It didn't take long before it was raining steadily. I normally love to run in the rain, particularly with a pretty lady by my side, but I was in short sleeves and shorts and it was getting colder. RB normally prefers to avoid running in a strong rain, so I think she just wanted to get home.

We took the fastest route back and I left RB on her doorstep and kept running. We were both soaked and knew we had to get out of the cold as quickly as possible.

I ran on home and jumped in a warm bath and some dry clothes. After some hot food I felt revived and was able to enjoy the rest of the evening.

Gestern Abend habe ich RB getroffen und wir haben zum die Lauftreff Strecke gelaufen und ein Rund gemacht. Es war dunkel und grau als ich habe drüber zum RB gelaufen um sich zu holen. Die Temperatur hat von 18°C auf 16°C abgefallen in die kurze Zeit das ich zuhause war. Ich habe für kürze Hose und Hemdentscheidet, aber dann doch ein Laufweste getragen. RB war schlauer und hat lange Hose und ein Jacke getragen.

Die ersten fünf Kilometer waren dunkel und etwas windig, aber mindestens Trocken. Das Wald war wunderschöne, Frühling in voll Blüte! Wir haben kurz angehalten und mit ein paar LT Mitglieder gesprochen. Als wir haben weiter gelaufen hat es eventuell angefangen zum Tropfen, die erste Regen in fast eine Monat! Es war nicht lang bevor das Regen hat richtig unter gekommen! Normalweiß ich laufe gern in die Regen, besonderes mit eine hübsche Mädel an meine Seite, aber ich war etwas frisch angezogen und es war immer kalter. RB läuft gar nicht gern in starke Regen und ich glaube sie wollte nur heim.

Wir haben den schnellsten Weg nach Hause genommen und ich habe RB vor ihr Haustor gelassen und weiter gelaufen. Wir waren beide durch nass und haben gewusst wir müssen so schnell wie möglich aus der kalt sein!

Ich habe weiter nach Hause gelaufen und so schnell wie möglich geduscht und trockene Klamotte angezogen. Nach ein bisschen warme essen habe mich wieder fit gefühlt, und könnte der Rest von der Abend genießen.

Last night I ran with five lovely ladies from my running club. We ran the 7 mile loop at an easy pace, around 10:15/mile. Before this I ran the 2.6 miles to the trailhead and afterward took a 3.5 mile route home, picking up the pace to around 7:40/mile. When I got home I changed quick and spent the rest of the evening digging up another garden bed. I slept really good last night!

Tonight I am running with RB, probably around 7 miles or so. Friday night my wife has school so I want to run about 3 hours on my hilly route in Weingarten. I need to start adding at least one hilly run to my schedule each week!

On Saturday I am meeting friend Conny and probably a couple other for a small loop before our normal 7 mile group run. On Sunday I will be running approximately two hours with RB, our last weekend run before the marathon on April 26th!

Gestern Abend habe ich mit fünf schöne Damen von dem Lauftreff gelaufen. Wir haben die 11+ km Rund mit ein lockeres Tempo gelaufen, rund 6:24/km. Vorher habe ich die 4,2 km nach dem LT gelaufen, nachher habe eine etwas längere Strecke heim gelaufen, also 5,6 km mit eine durchschnittliche Tempo von 4:46. Danach habe ich im Garten bis die Dunkelheit gegraben...ich habe sehr gut geschlafen!

Heute Abend laufe ich mit RB, wahrscheinlich rund 11-12 km. Morgenabend hat meine frau Schule, so ich habe es vor ein 3 Stunde hügelige lauf in Weingarten zu laufen. Ich muss unbedingt anfangen mit mindestens ein hüglige lauf am Woche!

Am Samstag treffe ich Conny und vielleicht ein paar andere für ein kleine Rund vor der Lauftreff, danach die normale 11 km Rund. Am Sonntag will ich ungefähr zwei Stunden mit RB laufen, unsere letzte Wochenende lauf vor das Marathon am 26.4.!

In eight weeks is my first ever 100K race, 62 miles, on June 12th. I have a good base established, almost 1500 km (930 mi.) thus far this year, the most accumulated by running five times a week, averaging around a 100 km (60+) miles a week.

Next week I will reduce the number and distance of my runs, in preparation for a marathon on Sunday, April 26th. I want to chill out for 3-4 days after this, because I will be taking the training up a notch beginning the weekend after this. My average week up to the first of June will be approximately as follows:

Monday: 20 km (13 mi.)
Tuesday: 1-2 hours on hilly route
Wednesday: 20 km (13 mi.)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 3-4 hours on hilly route
Saturday: 2-3 hours
Sunday: Rest or cross-training

I have several races mixed in to add some longer runs or speed workouts:

April 26: Oberelbe Marathon in Dresden
May 3: St-Leon Rot Half-marathon (fast run)
May 9: Mannheim Marathon (sub-4)
May 21: Westerwald 50K
June 1: South Pfalz HM (fast run)
June 12: 100K in Ulm

And a nice "recovery run" planned:
June 27: Fidelitas 80K (50 miles)

Most weeks I hope I can average around 105-120 km (65-75 mi.), we'll see.

As part of our bicycle tour last Friday we stopped in Bretten, whose historic center still has many timber-framed houses and stores. Here's a picture of the market square from Wikipedia:


Here's part of the group chillin' in the same square:


Jack the cyclist:


Sorry, I know it has been almost a week since I posted, somehow my busy life got, well...busier. If daily life, work, and training for a 100K race weren't enough, well now we are renting a garden on top of it. A neighbor went into the nursing home and her family didn't want to keep up on the garden, so we answered the ad they posted in the local paper. Normally we won't have considered it, especially with my wife attending classes on Friday nights and Saturdays until July, but the garden is a stone's throw from our front door - almost as good as having our own backyard - so it was hard to pass up. Lot's of work though until I get it in shape, oh well I have been neglecting cross-training, garden work almost qualifies.

We just had a four day Easter weekend, one of the reasons I enjoy living in Germany. On Friday I joined five members of my running club for a cycling trip. We took a hilly route to Bretten, one of the older towns in the region, famous for a Middle Ages festival in the summer. They have a lovely town square we stopped for lunch. We ended up with around 60 km (35 mi.), not bad for just having dusted off the bikes from the winter.

On Saturday I spent the majority of the day cleaning up the garden, no easy task, it hadn't been cleaned last fall so was full of weeds. My wife and a friend of ours put in some time, so we made good progress. Tonight my neighbor is coming by with a rotary-tiller and saving my back.

At 5 p.m. on Saturday I met my running club for a run. I was early as usual so ran about 3 miles before the group assembled. I then ran the 11 km loop with Birgit and a few others from the midpack group. My legs were stiff from the garden work, but I managed to hold out.

On Sunday I ran to RB's house and we headed out for her last long run before the marathon on April 26. She had a couple day's rest behind her and we quickly fell into a steady pace. The weather was extremely beautiful with a clear, blue sky, and around 24°C/75°F. The landscape was painted with spring, budding trees, green, all in all a beautiful day to run.

Our conversation flowed easily, RB is for me a perfect running mate, the kilometers seemed to melt away. We stopped a couple times to drink and eat a quick sport bar or gel. We arrived back at RB's house, after 3 hours and 51 minutes, having covered 36 km (22.5 mi.). RB was tired, but not dead on her feet, and I think very satisfied with the run. Now she can begin her taper, knowing that she will reach the finish line on the 26th, I am happy for her and very proud of the training she has accomplished.

I ended up with a total of 39 km (24 mi.) on Sunday, and didn't feel wiped out. I did enjoying relaxing the rest of the day, the body needs this time.

I attended the Monday Easter service on Monday morning and afterward headed out for a run. My wife wanted to study for a couple hours before we headed over to friends for dinner, so I headed out in the noonday sun. It was another beautiful day and a couple kilometers turned into 10, then 21, and that at steady 5:30/km (8:51/mi.) pace! I could feel the effort in my legs as I made it back to the house, but it was extremely satisfying.

This week I will be training the same as always, tapering only one week before the marathon. With my 100K event only 8 ½ weeks away, I need to keep up with my training.

Last night I ran over to RB's house and we ran a 7 mile loop. My legs were a bit stiff from our long run on Sunday, but loosened up after a mile or two. RB was a bit tired, but good in form, our pace was brisk and the conversation good. It was really a beautiful spring day, warm (75°F), sunny...the countryside bursting in Spring colors.

The run came much too quickly to an end for me, it was only with great reluctance that I dropped RB off at her house. She has really become a good friend and running companion, I hope that sometime she will decide to run another marathon (sigh).

Afterwards I decided to do some speed training, or more correctly I wanted to run another short loop, but was so motivated that it didn't take long before I was up to my speed training pace. I felt good, so kept it up covering almost 4.5 miles, at an average pace of around 8:10/mi. All together I ended up with about 12.5 miles. Tonight I am running another loop with RB, than we have our monthly running club meeting!

Ich habe Gesternabend drüber zum RB gelaufen und wir haben ein 11,3 km rund gelaufen. Meine Beinen war etwas steif von der lange lauf am Sonntag, aber ab die erste paar Kilometer könnte ich locker laufen. RB war ein bisschen müde, aber gut in Form, unser Tempo war flott und die Stimmung gut. Es war wirklich ein sehr schöne Frühlingstag, warm (24°C), sonnig...die Landschaft in frühlingsfarben gemahlt.

Für mich war die lauf viele zu schnell fertig, ich habe nur ungern RB bei ihre haus gelassen. Sie ist wirklich eine gute Freundin und Laufpartnerin geworden, ich hoffe irgendwann sie will doch ein zweite Marathon laufen (aufseufzen).

Nachher habe ich entscheidet ein bisschen Tempo Training zu machen, oder richtig gesagt ich wollte noch eine kleiner Rund laufen, aber war so motiviert das es hat nicht lang gedauert bis ich habe in dem Tempolauf bereich gelaufen. Ich habe mich gut gefühlt, so haben 7 km gelaufen - mit einem Durchschnittlichästempo von 5:06/km. Also, insgesamt habe ich 20 km gelaufen. Heute Abend laufe ich noch mal mit RB, wahrscheinlich die gleiche Distanz, dann nachher Stammtisch!

Counting down to marathon #2


With 2 ½ weeks until my next marathon and 9 ½ weeks until my first 100K I have been looking over my training thus far.

Over the last week I have shifted my priority from building endurance for my 100K to trying to get well before my next marathon. I have been hindered by a cold the last couple weeks, whereas I have been forced to reduce my mileage has somewhat, and where I have seen my performance fade significantly. I have at least managed to sustain good long runs with RB on the last couple Sunday's, but only by reducing my mileage and pace on Saturdays.

When I can shake this cold over the next few days then I should still be in good shape for the marathon on April 26. I will be running the entire marathon with RB, who is running her first marathon, and am predicting around a 4:45-5:00 finish. I should be able to keep up with her all right.

I plan on spending the four days after the marathon in Dresden with RB and other friends from our running club doing some sightseeing and relaxing. This will be of particular importance for me, because as soon as I get back I need to start the core training for the 100K race. This will include high mileage, night running, hill training and at least another marathon and a 50K race...all in the span of less than 8 weeks!

I'm actually looking forward to it, I just need to shake this cold.

Running Through a Sunny Weekend

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On Saturday I met a friend from my running club for a run. We arrived at the running club trailhead a good hour in advance of our club run in order to try to get a loop in before the group arrived. It was an incredible 22°C/72°F, sunny and bright day. We cruised around the normal 11 km/7 mi. loop in the reverse direction at a slightly faster pace than normal, probably spurred on by the warm weather. After five miles or so my friend said it was too warm for her, she needed to take a break. She sent me on ahead so I could run with the running club, and she walked for awhile. After a bit she was able to run again and she passed our group soon after we got under way. I ended up running just over 21 km, about a half-marathon, the last part with RB.

On Sunday I met RB an hour earlier than normal and we headed out on our longest run to date, 33 km (20.5 mi.). The sun was again our companion, with the temperature already in the mid-sixties, eventually reaching 22°C again. We settled into a comfortable long run pace, around 6:30/km (10:30/mi.), and cruised over a new route that I laid out on my bicycle on Friday night.

The new route took us by the local research facility and headed toward the Rhine River roughly 12 km (7.5 mi.) away. Once we reached the Rhine we ran along the river for a couple miles. The sun was beating down on our backs, and we enjoyed watching the barges float down the river.

Eventually, we turned and ran along a dyke for several kilometers, the landscape was really tremendous, fields, forests, old farmhouses, I wish we had found the route earlier in our training.

After about 20 km we turned and started heading over various field-ways, farm paths and bicycle trails toward home. We passed by the edge of Dettenheim, then Linkenheim, and finally over the bridge to our running club trails and home.

I think the last 5 km were increasingly difficult for RB, it was much warmer than we were used to and I can imagine this was having its effect. But RB is tough and she kept the pace up, I was beginning to wonder if I was in worse shape than her...I was getting pooped.

After dropping of RB I continued on, covering the last 1.2 km (.75 mi.) to my house at an easy pace. After stretching a bit I flopped down in a chair in my yard and chilled for a bit before hitting the shower. My still lingering cold continues to sap my energy. Still we completed the 33 km, maintaining an average 6:29/km (10:26/mi.) pace.

After some drink, food and an hour in my easy chair I felt good enough to work in the garden for an hour and half...wonders never cease.

An Easy Recovery Run


Since last weekend I have been fighting a cold, no fun when the temperature is rising outside. Last night I felt better so met my running club for a run. I ran about 2 miles to warm-up beforehand and was surprised that I managed an average 7:40/mi. pace.

I still felt the affects of my cold during the warm-up, so decided to run a bit slower with RB (my Running Buddy). RB was also feeling a bit under the weather, so this turned out to be a good decision. We ran the first 5 km with our friend Manfred, on of the Seniors from our group, he is a good conversationalist and the time passed by quickly. RB and I finished up the rest of the 7 mi. loop by ourselves, averaging about 10:30/mi..

Today I feel better, I hope the worst of my cold is behind me before the weekend.

Seit dem Wochenende kämpfe ich mit einen Erkältung, bestimmt kein Spaß wenn die Temperaturen steigt außen. Aber gestern Abend habe mich besser gefühlt, so habe mein Lauftreffgruppe getroffen. Kurz vorher habe ich drei Kilometer zum aufwärmen gelaufen, mit 4:45/km durchschnittliche Tempo!

Durch die aufwärmen habe ich gemerkt dass ich war immer noch Erkältet, so habe entscheidet etwas langsamer mit RB zu laufen. RB hat auch nicht so fit, so es war ein gut Entscheidung. Wir habe die erste 5 km mit Freund Manfred gelaufen, eins von unsere Senioren, er ist immer gut zum unterhalten und die Zeit hat schnell gegangen. Der Rest von der Runde hat RB und ich allein gelaufen. Wir haben die 11 km Rund mit eine durchschnittliche Tempo von ungefähr 6:30/km gelaufen.

Heute fühle mich besser, ich hoffe bis die Wochenende ist der schlimmste von mein Erkältung hinter mir.


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This page is an archive of entries from April 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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