Half Marathon – Training Week 36

I started off into the week with being exhausted, and just on Wednesday (13.06.2018) I got going with a session at gym, a lot of cardio and a bit of stretching and weights. I really needed to do something else than just running, see something else, stimulate the mind a bit. And I felt refreshed also mind-wise!

On Thursday (14.06.2018) I did my first 5km run – I had started to take some medicine the evening before so I was a bit worried that it might come with negative consequences for my running. But the opposite was the case – I felt good, and was able to run my race pace as average time –  after the first 2 km were at around 6:00min/km, I had to slow down, had overestimated my current power. But with this outlook, some positive feels are back again that I will be fully back on track in time for the half marathon!

I hadn´t planned to go running on Friday (15.06.2018) already again, but as my stress level had been rising, I grabbed my shoes and went for another 5km run. At the start it felt good and my heart rate was extremely low, and then did a jump up. Wtf was going on? But at least it felt rather good, just the weather somehow is odd – I cannot put it into words, but it felt like it was too humid. But I am just having a problematic body.

Last but not least and finishing off the week – Sunday (17.0.2018) is runday! I still had my 10km run left and totally didn´t feel motivated to get this going. The weather wasn´t promising either, and I was expecting rain. And was blessed with humid air and a bio weather that made you wonder why you started running in the first place. The firdst 3-3,5km were bloody hell and I thought about quitting, nothing worked, legs hurt, brain said no. And then I took a break, 2min with closed eyes, refocus, gain will power, get going. And it worked like a charm – before I had an average pace of <7min/km, the final pace was nearly race pace with 06:37min/km. Still surprised how something had turned the switch there…

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Half Marathon – Training Weeks 34 & 35

Week 34 – 28.05.2018 – 03.06.2018

Let´s be honest – not only was I tired, exhausted and worn out, but also my mind was just so not willing to get me going for a run before my Thursday run of 5km. My legs were sore from my personal best, the high-feeling was there but still. The couch was more tempting instead. But at least I also went swimming a bit, so let´s count this as an alternative training 😉 Especially in these temperatures it´s far more fun than running ^^

Sunday – fun run day and running 10km. Not sure of it was really fun, but it was a race and good for training purposes and a good exercise for the head to keep my body pulling through and not giving in. But somehow my legs and my body felt so terribly tired, it all started after the amazing 15km race in personal best…from then on, my legs seem to get slower and slower instead of more steady…

Week 35 – 04.06.2018 – 10.06.2018


Wednesday
and a run in nearly race pace of 06:30min/km – just 5km, and a lot of struggling, but at least I managed to be running this pace which kinda surprised me. My head is more and more struggling and blocking my body, and everything seems to be a fight – even those hilarious 5km. And I have no idea what is wrong and why this all is happening.

Instead of Friday and because I felt like needing to free my mind, I did another 5km on Thursday – a relaxed run, just below 7min/km, and it felt good somehow even though fighting emotions and running don´t go well together at times. Plus, all the pollen shit really makes my lung struggle more and more. I need to think about how to get this fixed in the future…

Well, I had that plan to run 10km on Sunday – but let´s be honest: a terrible pace, a lot of frustration and 8km later I gave up and was happy to be home. Nothing worked, my head was totally blocked, my muscles blocked and I just couldn´t manage to really be running properly. I was back to old pace from last year, all of a sudden. Frustration, desperation, breathing problems and a spinning mind were what was left. And the thought about simply canceling the half marathon.

Run: BKK Mobil Oil Run Fun Day (03.06.2018)

I woke up after a 6 days week due to some additional education, and felt anything but not up for it or fit. Yesterday I still had stomach pains, they were luckily gone but I was tired and exhausted and to be honest – I had hoped that it was raining so I could just wake up and ditch the run. But no, it was just grey, no rain. Nothing. Damn!

So I packed up my few things, got dressed in my running outfit and started my 1h fun time aka time on public transport to get to the start. I as tired, and also the engery booster I took didn´t help much. I didn´t feel it. Not the tiniest thing – but damn, I had paid for it and maybe it was gonna be fun in the end!

At least I was there early enough to not need to rush – no queue for picking up my starting number and no queue for getting rid off my bag after I had warmed up and zoomed out a bit with my music. I saw a couple of known faces but…couldn´t bother to be social, I did my thing – stretching, warm up exercises, a bit of running to get going. Worked well, I felt at least warm – until the start was postponed and I started to get more and more cold again. Annoying.

I was happy when it started, and annoyed that they chose a route where it was on the first kilometre pretty much impossible to run the own pace, simply because the path was too narrow. And during kilometre 2 I started having pain in my left ankle, had to stop, had to re-stretch and slow down. It didn´t feel good, every step was like a struggle – and it didn´t get any better anymore, every kilometre was a pain in my legs.

Plus, the route was not too nice – a lot running on the street or next to it with cars passing by – hello asthmatic problems, hello lung, I am sorry I am doing this to you. Instead of using the beautiful possible paths, we ran a route that was not nice at all and didn´t feel like fun at all. The last 2 kilometres I spent with another random runner, and pushed him on the ast metres to keep going – because stopping is no option, no matter how shitty it is going.

So the round in the Jahnkampfbahn I tried to mobilize my last bits of energy, and to push through at least and it hurt and hurt and hurt but…felt good. And then it was done. With a pace of 6:30min/km – slower than on the 15km race, and that really made me upset. The whole fact about it having felt like torture and like a massive thing to get done made me frustrated. I got something to drink and to eat and then hopped onto the bus to get home.

In the end all that counted was that I pushed through and finished it – nothing more and nothing less.

Conclusion?

Nice medal, nice event as such because it felt rather well organized but the path we were running was not one of my taste.

Yes, I could have checked the route before signing up but with a nice park just around the corner around there I kinda expected that we´d be making use of this all. But nope.

So I am not really sure if I will be part of this next year again or will rather run another race.

Half Marathon – Training Weeks 32 & 33

Week 32 – 14.05.2018 – 20.05.2018

It´s tough to really get back into working out and running again. My body is still on vacation mode, and doesn´t want to leave this mode. Damn.

I really thought that I would be totally fit because of relaxing so much and everything. Instead I feel like a sloth that has never even considered moving fast.

My first run felt like I had never been running before, and to not torture my head and motivation even more, I went to workout at gym next, to slowly get back into it. I haven´t felt so unfit what feels like ages. Gained weight, didn´t work out, feel exhausted. Nope, no good mix.

Ended the week with yet another smaller run, but my heart rate went nuts, up and down and up and down and…nope, I am not back at it yet.

 

Week 33 – 21.05.2018 – 27.05.2018

Started off the week with my first long run afte rthe vacation – 9km, an hour – I am getting back at it, my hert rate was more normal than before, and I felt much better even though my feet felt swollen in my shoes which was not too comfy.

Two more runs – and then two runs with time check and stuff. First the B2B run (5,7km) without warming up and thus suffering and struggling a lot – totally smart and believe me, I have learnt my lesson more than I had wanted to. I will never again even only attempt to run without any proper warm-up, no excuses, nothing.

And because the run brought so much pain in my muscles with it, I couldn´t exactly do any more training runs until the Wandsetal run of 15km. And that run went surprisingly well – despite allergy issues, and the sun being there all of a sudden after a rather fresh start. New personal bets once again and this time with feeling really well and warmed up.

It´s overall going well, though I notice that my head is getting tired. It´s planning my runs every week and discipline and everything, of course I enjoy my runs but doing a few less would be nice. With less pressure and everything.

Run: B2Run Hamburg (23.05.2018 )


No, my company did unfortunately not participate in that, though it would´ve been really cool – so I had to look for another team to be part of. And on Facebook I found out that the Runner´s Point Running Club was raffling places in their team – and I managed to snap one of those places!

So right after work I hurried up to get to the train to get to the Volksparkstadion in time to pick up my starting number – it was terribly stressful, and already during the daytime I had forgotten to be drinking properly. And there was sunshine. Much sunshine. I like sunshine, don´t get me wrong, but sometimes it´s contraproductive. And that´s been the case today.

I kinda ditched my normal warm-up, I´ve been chatting away and then had to queue extremely long for the toilet – and then it´s been time to team up and go to the starting line. But I thought that it wouldn´t be too bad – and was soon learning that I was totally wrong.

The first few kilometres I was still able to more or less keep up with the team´s pace of around 6:60min/km, but then they just ran off – and I was left behind simply because the cramps in my left leg just made it so terribly hard to keep running. The dusty air and unstable ground didn´t make it easier, but pulling through was what actually counted for me on this short distance of not even 6km.

The finish line was in the Volksparkstadion – which was really cool to run into the stadium…even though it´s been the wrong club´s stadium, it was a goosebumps feeling!

And I felt as done as I usually feel after more than 10km of running, so no good day and paying the price for the lack of warming up. – also the days after I had to pay that price.

But I enjoyed the mood and met many nice people – and that´s what counts the most! … and I got a medal for my currently permanently and finally growing collection haha

Run: Rahlstedter Wandserunde (27.05.2018)

Another weekend, another run – and let´s be honest: after totally not feeling it and feeling awful during and after the B2B run, I was skeptical if it was making any sense at all to go to the run. But I wouldn´t be me if I wasn´t at least gonna give it a damned try.

And for this try I had to ge tup early and I was totally not awake when I was picking up my starting number. Got some fitness-energy-drink into myself, and started to feel more awake – and somehow nervous.

It´s become less bad, but I still feel it every time. Maybe it´s also excitement, I am not sure if I am at the point of being able to differenciate those two when it comes to running.

So I picked up my number, went to the changing room, and the bath room and went back and started my little warmup – as always, having “Biikebrennen” by Versengold on the play. It´s a track where I can totally lose myself in the music and zoom out.

So I am all with myself only and can focus on what is important right in this moment. And it did the trick once again.

Dropped off my bag and my jacket (yes, it was rather cold still at that time) and then continued with a little warmup, rushing to the bathroom again and some more warm-up. I have learned from the mistakes I did before the B2B run to say the least.

At the start I already had to face the fact again, that it´s not just average runners in the field, most were starting off with apace I will possibly never even come close to.

So I was with one of the last ones until maybe kilometre 5 where I more and more started to pass by those that started off to fast.

And I managed to keep my personal best pace of 6:16min/km throughout the run, and simply kept going and going and going. Only walking breaks were when grabbing something to drink.

I cannot drink and run at the same time, it makes me want to throw up every time I try.

I felt really good during running, even if my heart rate was higher than it should be – I felt good, and that´s all that counts.

The last 2km were torture, the muscles in my upper left leg started to block and I couldn´t run as I was used to. But I made it, and even reached my goal – I wanted to at least have 10 other runners behind me.

So yes, I was 100/110 hahaha But I made it. And at my age group for the women on this distance I was 4th. could be worse, I suppose, right? 😉

Half Marathon – Training Weeks 30 & 31

 

Week 30 – 30.04.2018 – 06.05.2018

So after I went to gym last Sunday already for some active recovery, this bank holiday I had to hit gym again – it´s been stormy outside, and rainy. No combination of weather traits that make me want to do my running. So instead I worked on weights, also on my legs, and on strengthening my core area. I ditched that too often, really. I need to be more disciplined with gym. Just have I no idea HOW I am supposed to fit this into my week still somewhere…

The rest of the week – well, I overdid gym, did a  stupid move at gym and ended up having pain in my usual muscles – so I had to cut down and fous on active recovery. So all I tried was a 5km run later on this week – and it ended up to be all fucked up because my lung was acting up thanks to all the pollen that caused the allergic problems. Worst run in ages – I was so desperate and upset. Awful.

Week 31 – 07.05.2018 – 13.05.2018

Actually I had that plan to go running 3 times when in Abu Dhabi – I´ll be honest and you were also able to read this in my Abu Dhabi blog posts…with this kind of a weather, that was a mission I had to be failing. But I at least made it once – and these 4km to the beach, a little swim in the sea and then 4km back were the longest distance I ever felt I had ran. It´s been over my limits, the most exhausting thing I ever done at 30°C and burning heat and humidity.

Besides that I had alternative training aka swimming in the sea, and did a lot of walking – but nothing else. So it probably is a week with a couple of steps back, but ease for the mind what I needed – not focussing on running and always thinking about it.

7 months in – Half marathon training


…and yes, I am still learning. Learning a lof of things, many are small tiny things about how my body works or rather how it also should be working when it isn´t. But also many still bigger topics 😉

Skin meets skin

…and that hurts, and looks awful. I managed to have sore skin on my inner legs, and yes, you might laugh: one of my boobs also has an open wound now from one of my long runs. I´ve always been shaking my head about runners using vaseline or whatnot to be safe from that but guess what, I invested quite some more for a product that is supposed to be like a second skin ove rthe normal skin in order to protect you from blisters and soreness and open wounds like the ones I currently battle.

Drinking whilst running

…wait, what? Yeah, that´s what my body is currently still thinking when I give it a try. It doesn´t work, I feel stomach sick after. But I need to get this working before the half marathon, as I am not keen on wasting time on walking simply because I need to drink somehow. I am clueless though about the “how”…

The mind is the key

Especially on the longer distance, the mind is the key. You need to have that will to pull through, no matter what – and developing this attitude is not always easy. And sometimes I simply fail with that because my mind gets tired and then I am in the “why am I doing this again?” mode instead of the “the better I keep going the better it feels and the faster it´s done” mode. Let´s see if I get this fixed without needing to stop, close my eyes and refocuse.

Active recovery is for me

…is the way to go for me. Biking, some stretching, some light weights. I noticed that when I went into that mode after one of my long runs and did not expect it to feel sooo good and make my sore muscles so much quicker alive again. But everyone is different there, everybody reacts differently.

Half Marathon – Training Weeks 28 & 29

 

Week 28 (16.04.-22.04.2018)

Monday and Wednesday, both two good runs of around 10km and both times I felt like being able to run even further but had to stop myself from doing so, because it would´ve been too much. But running felt good and I feel like it´s less and less of a massive exhaustion even during the weekdays and after work.

And after the two migraine days, I didn´t expect much of power from my body – and was surprised. I had planned to be running 17km, and checked the route in advanced to finally see some different areas around my place. And then got lost on the way back, and had no idea anymore where I actually had been. Google Maps for the rescue, and with bad news: I had been at kilometre 13 and my google maps told me that I had like 6km left. And I was dying. It got warmer and warmer, no shade, and I was without water, and sweating like hell. But I pushed and pushed and finished the 19.22km in 2:14:58 – a pace of 7:02min/km. Though I really was on survival mode on the last kilometre.

So…time for new goals I thought. There is a pace maker for a finish time of 2:14h – which makes it a pace of 6:30min/km. Makes 30seconds of differece between my current time and that pace. Time to work on my speed then and on stabilizing my shape on long distances.

Week 29 (23.04.-29.04.2018)

After my first time running of 19km, my legs needed time. Much time, to be honest. And too much for my taste, but my physiotherapist brought me down to earth again and ensured me it was normal. especially at the start I need a lot of recovery time because my muscles and joints are simply not used to this. I gotta be more patient. A lot more patient, but it´s hard.

If you combine this with a really stressful week, you know how my body was doing. Overly stressed, I didn´t sleep well and I felt weak. So I did what I had to do: rest, and recover mind and body just at the same time.

Just on Thursday I went for a run, which went okay. And I still felt my heavy legs – I don´t know if it was all the stress or still the exhaustion from the weekend or maybe just my mind. But those 8km went okish, not too well, not too bad, but I had to push myself to keep going. Had planned 10km but – I listened to my body!

And then it was weekend time and after a night of good sleep, I started my weekend with yet another long run into the green areas of Hamburg. And I am really stunned what great places I discovered – and then on the way back had to even think of how to run (thanks Google Maps for failing on me) even though I was already braindead. And bodily dead. No surprise that this was how I felt after checking my clock: a bit more than 20km, in 2:24h. So I nearly ran the half marathon distance. Let´s not talk about the time, I really gotta work on improving that but I am more and more becoming confident. And I really do have the feeling my body is getting used to it more and more, though I was exhausted and my body sent me signals that showed it probably had been too much.

And there is one thing I need to do though it´s annoying: take water bottles with me on my runs. I cannot always be lucky and ask for water at a truck stop..

My Top 10 running songs

I had a phase where I ditched music because “during the half marathon I also won´t be able to listen to music” – and to be honest, it killed my will to go and run – I was exhausted, it was dark outside and most times it was cold as well. Not exactly the things that really get you motivated to put on your running shoes and rock down the kilometres.

Especially when you are worn out from a long day at work, you simply need something to boost you and kick your ass on long runs.

A couple of days ago I checked which songs I was actually listening to most, and here they are!


  1. Versengold – “Biikebrennen” (**MUSIC-Spotify**)
    It´s THE song I listen two at two points when it comes to running – right at the start and before actually starting to get all boosted up and ready to go. And then literally on repeat during the last maybe two kilometres, because the melody and sound just keeps me going and going and makes push until the very last second!
  2. Nothing More – “Don´t stop” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    When I have motivational problems, this is the track I listen to before I even put on my shoes. Usually I sit down in my little hallway and close my eyes where I just listebn to the song. Don´t move. Just let loose and find some strength.
  3. Versengold – “Ablasstanz (live)” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    It´s violin. And violin seems to be majorly doing a good job for kepeing me running. The fact that it´s another instrumental shoudn´t be surprising anymore, no distracting lyrics and no lyrics that tend to make me want to sing along..and then lose my breathe again xD
  4. Katy Perry – “Dark Horse” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    It´s one of those braindead songs that make a good mood anyways. I need to have these songs in between all others
  5. Kings of Leon – “Sex on Fire” (**MUSIC**)
    Actually a song where I sing along. Every time. And it´s just a fun song to sing along to when running alone in the dark and you are not overly motivated as such…not really improving my running but at least the fun factor.
  6. Apocalyptica – “Cold Blood”  (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    Franky´s voice and the powerful cellos, an aggressive song that simply has to be pushing you through runs in the dark. Nothing to add right there!
  7. Versengold – “Niemals sang- und klanglos” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    Funnily enough the song usually came on with my player when I was really struggling during running – and it really tells me to kick ass and keep going. Also nice rhythm and melody to keep me going in a proper speed.
  8. Nothing More – “Christ Copyright” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    I just like the track because it´s having quite a bit of power in it – it´s another track I simply like during running for no apparent reason.
  9. Versengold – “Weinfass Tune” (**MUSIC-Spotify**)
    Aaaaand take a guess…Yes! It´s another instrumental piece with…VIOLIN! A track I love dancing to when the play it at their live shows, here in this context it keeps me going and going and…going 😀
  10. Versengold – “Kopft ihn” (**MUSIC-YouTube**)
    It´s all about the rhythm – if I feel like I lost my rhythm with running and my steps are short, long, short, something in between and a total mess, I put on this song…always helps me to get back into the right rhythm.