The weather in my area remains cold and the trails slick. A picture from last weekend that has been circulating around on the Internet shows how bad it was on the day I tried out my spikes (see last post).
The roads are now clear, but unfortunately my cold continues to linger, so I have decided not to run the 50K on the weekend. This will give me approximately 2 months to prepare for the next opportunity, a 6-Hour race on March 17.
Yesterday I took a night off from training and did some finishing work in our guest bathroom upstairs in the house. This is one of the four rooms that we remodeled in the shed that is attached to our house. Most of the remodeling is done, but there are dozens of little projects left to do, but these jobs can be spread out over the year, so I should be able to spend more time on my training.
From June to October I ran an average of 3 times a week, in November I increased this to four times a week, and started running my long runs again (i.e. over 12 miles). As my conditioning has been improving I have slowly added some faster mileage, using mixed in with my midweek run(s). I have to be very careful with speed workouts, I’ve noticed my pinched nerve in the back is easy aggravated when I do too much too soon. I have been slack on doing any core and upper body training, so want to slowly mix in some Crossfit/weight training and swimming.
For now I am going to try to continue to run about 50 miles a week for a while, slowly building up my training speed and endurance. On January 26 is my first race, a 50K race in Rodgau, Germany near Frankfurt. I finished the race last year in about 5 ½ hours, but was in slightly better condition, so this year it will be a good test of my fortitude.
Unfortunately my house remodeling is getting most of my free time lately, regular posting is pretty much on hold this summer. I did want to remark that I just completed my 30th marathon last Sunday, which brings my marathon/ultra race total to a golden 50!
My next event will be the 64.8 km Bärenfels Ultra in Neubruecke, Germany on July 14th, it will be especially challenging as I haven’t had any time to train for it. I actually let myself get talked into it (yeah, twist my arm) by Bastian from my running club, he just finished his first ultra, a 50-mile race, and has caught the ultra fever…and of course every ultra runner knows how to treat that…run another race! The Bärenfels is a trail race, 3 rounds, each with about 650 meters altitude difference, a good test to see what Bastian is made of, unfortunately I may not see it, I will probably be way behind the much younger man…
Based on a quick Google search it takes on the average 66 days to form a habit. So I guess if I want to use my blog as an efficient training tool again, I had better get started.
My marathon this past weekend was my 29th marathon and my 48th marathon or longer (19 Ultras). I state this not to ring my bell, but rather present my only planned goal for the year, which is to finish my 50th marathon or more. Number 49 is coming up on Monday night, a 12-hour run in Bad Dürkheim, Germany. The course is not very exciting, a 776 meter loop around the town’s salt works and resort area, from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., fun right. I picked this race because I knew that my training would be sporadic during this timeframe due to our house renovation. The race will easily allow me to accumulate at least a marathon distance without any real strain, at least if I don’t die of boredom first, or trip and fall on my face. Actually the run could end up being interesting, there are currently around 80 people signed up, I guess we will have lots of time to get to know another. And who knows, I may have a good day, or night as the case may be, and rack up some quality mileage.
In any case I am taking it easy this week, do only a few short recovery runs and trying to limit my remodeling activities, especially the few days before the event.
I also am thinking about my 50th marathon or more, as first choice I thought about doing the annual 50 mile race that is in our area in June, but my marathon last weekend showed me this may be a bit ambitious, I may stick to a 50 km trail race that I found that takes place at the beginning of June.
Hmmm, I’m still not doing well with the blogging, enough said. My running is slowly improving, I have crept up to about 70 km (44 mi.) a week, with 4 runs per week. On Sunday I quite literally headed for the hills, completing 28 km (17.5 mi.) on my hilly route near the neighboring town of Weingarten. Over the first half I added a couple extra hill climbs which successfully pulverized my legs and left me straining over the last 30 minutes of the run. Over the long term this type of training builds the endurance that I need for the longer ultras. I hope through my efforts this year I can rebuild a long distance running machine that will carry me over a 100K or perhaps even a 100-Mile race in 2013.
On Saturday I have a race planned, basically a dress rehearsal for the rest of this year’s activities. Planned is a 50K race in Rodgau, near Frankfurt (Germany). The course consists of ten 5K loops, about 3K of forest and 2K of open fields with every round, all flat and fast for those so inclined. My training has been far too little to be thinking of speed, my number one goal is to finish, and number two, to finish under the 6 hour time limit.
This race is actually a very poor choice for a first race of the year, the looping course makes it far too easy to quit and go home. My performance during the last two races I ran last year, both marathon, was very poor, I expect Saturday to be especially hard, a couple more months of training would have been better. So why I am running the race, you might ask? Simple, we are beginning a major house renovation in March and I don’t know if/how much time will remain for training or racing. When I can fight my way through to the finish on Saturday, then my next planned race (a 6-hour race) in March should be more at my peak performance, and my training up to then should be enough to run a marathon in April as well. Makes sense to me anyway
Another year come and gone, welcome to 2012 everyone, I hope you had a happy holiday season.
Looking back the running year 2011 began quite vaguely for me. After the 100 mile race in 2010, my body was worn out and calling for a rest. This, together with the implementation of a new system at work, left me running without a plan. After the first couple months I decided to limit my training to 3-4 days a week and run some races, but with no specific goals. I ended up running 2 ultras and 4 marathons, but all at a comfortable pace. With the exception of a pinched nerve in my back, which has plagued me for almost two years, I had an injury free year.
I am also beginning this year with rather vague goals. Last year was the year of recovery, this year will be the year of home improvement, with a long list of major home remodeling that needs to be done. I have several marathons and ultras planned, but am unsure on how much time I will have from week to week to train.
Several weeks ago I started running long runs on my hilly course in nearby Weingarten. I hope through regular hill training I can gradually rebuild my endurance that was missing last year. I also increased my running to 4 days per week, whereas at least one run is at a faster pace. I plan on adding regular speed workouts as my body adjusts.
So I guess my primary goal for 2012 will to rebuild my endurance and speed so that I will be ready for a good race year in 2013.
My next race for the year is coming up on May 8, the Stromberg Extreme Run, a 54 km ultra with at least 1200 meters of elevation gain. Normally this run would be just right for me, I love hills – but the 6 hour 45 minutes time limit has me worried.
For starters, I still have back issues that I have posted about over the last year, the physical therapy has not done much to help. Due to this and an extremely busy workload at work, I have been only running about 60% of the mileage compared to the last couple years in this timeframe. I have also not been pushing as hard during the training as I usually do, partly because I started training two months later than usual and I haven’t reached my normal level yet, and partly because I am trying to be careful so my back doesn’t get worse.
The 6-hour race that I completed was encouraging, my core fitness is still pretty good, I think the main problem I am facing is time, there are only 3-4 weekends left for long run training. My friend Birgit, who ran the 100-miler last year with me, is also running the race in May with her husband. From my point of view, they are in much better shape for the race, I have my doubts that I will be able to keep up with them – but with ultras you never can tell.
In any case I am going to try to run as many hills as my body will put up with over the next couple weeks, at quick look at the elevation profile will let you know why:
Race Website (in German): http://kirbachtallauf.de/
Yesterday I completed my first race of the year, the 6-Hour World Down Syndrome Day Marathon in Fürth, Germany. The helpers, visitors, spectators, other runners, supporters were fantastic and highly motivating. In particular the courage and determination shown by the many runners with Down Syndrome spurred me on to complete an unexpected 51.293 km (31.87 mi.)! I will try to get a race report together this week.
Gestern war mein erste Wettkampf dieses Jahr, der Welt Down Syndrom Tag Marathon – 6 Stundenlauf in Fürth. Die Helfer, Besucher, Zuschauer, andere Läufer, Unterstützer und besonderes die viel Läufer mit Down Syndrom hat mich hoch motiviert, ich habe ein unerwartete 51, 293 km gelaufen! Ich wurde diese Woche versuchen ein Beriech zu schreiben.
My first race event is coming up this weekend, I am woefully prepared, and I find myself wondering what I was thinking of when I signed up. In any case the 6-hour Worlds Down Syndrome Benefit race is for a good cause, so I will see it through. The race will be held in Fuerth, Germany on Sunday, March 20, not far from where my wife’s aunt used to live. My wife will have a chance to visit friends in the city while I making my rounds.
The organizers posted a Google image of the course, a 1.3152 km loop. To complete a marathon I have to run 32 loops plus 106.36 meters. Events include the 6-hour main event, a marathon, a half-marathon and a 1-hour volks-run.
My biggest fear is going stir-crazy running so many loops on an asphalt and concrete sidewalk, where the only scenery is 500 other crazy runners with the same problem. In any case it is something totally new in my running world, variety is the spice of life.
I will let you know how it goes.
I have been extremely busy at work lately, so something had to give, thus the lack of blog posts. I have managed to squeeze in 3-4 days training a week, with about 2/3 of the mileage on the weekend. This past Saturday I intended on running a 22 km run with two friends who are peaking with their marathon training, I felt good and decided to run the 20 miles with them, I made it through, was sore for a day, but am encouraged by the run.
I am signed up for a few races now, a 6-hour race in March, a 54 km run in May and a marathon in Fürth, Germany on June 5th. The 6-hour race is more of an opportunity run, we will in Fürth in Bayern on that weekend and there just happened to be a run a few streets away. The 54 km run in May will be a bigger challenge, the run has 1250 meters of elevation gain and a time limit of 6 hours and 45 minutes. In June its back to Bayern for hopefully a halfway decent marathon time. This coming weekend I will start my weekly long runs over the hills of nearby Weingarten, I will need to frequent these trails if I want to have any hope of completing the challenging run in May. I post more on that in the coming weeks.