Coming up next

It’s hard to get in the habit of blogging once you fall away, oh well, here is a short update. I rested for a week or two after my 6-hour charity run in March, then continued training, 4 runs a week, averaging about 60 km (37 miles) a week. I have also been going to gymnastics twice a week, a functional gymnastic course on Tuesdays and circuit training on Friday evenings. The latter have done wonders for my back, I rarely have backpain any more.

In any case on this coming Thursday I am running my next event, a 50K race in the Westerwald Forest. I have run this event 7 times in the past, it is an incredibly beautiful area, but rather hilly:

Elevation Profile Westerwald Run 2017

The course this year is supposed to have 1540 meters (~5000 feet) of elvevation gain/loss. Unfortunately most of my training has been on flat trails, this race could prove to be quite interesting.

Wish me luck!

Off to the races – 2017

With just a few days until my 6-hour charity run I am trying to mentally prepare for the event. My training is far from adequate for a good race, so I am approaching the race conservatively. The last couple years I have needed well over 5 hours for a marathon, so I am hoping to run around 45 km, if my legs hold out this long.

In past years the race was held in a park in Fürth, Germany (near Nurnberg), this year the race will begin at a local soccer stadium on the edge of the town. The race course is 1902.15 meters long, or just under 2 kilometers. As I write there are 108 participants for the 6-hour discipline and several hundred more for the marathon, half-marathon and 10K races.

My training this year has not produced the results I was hoping for. My conditioning is much better than it was at the beginning of the year, but it is not at a level that will make me feel confident as I toe the starting line on Sunday. In the past I have often had my doubts before a race, but in most cases my training was at a level that still produced good results. This year my training, or rather lack of training, leaves no room for mistakes, I need to start slowly and stay focused.

In any case I look forward to my first race since last June, and this event draws a large crowd of spectators. There is nothing like a cheering crowd to help squeeze out a few more rounds.

Oh those tired legs…

My training for the 6-hour charity run is not going as well as I would like, I have been really struggling on my long runs. Two weeks ago I ran 22 km (13.6 mi.), but my paced dropped off a bit from the week before that, I needed almost 10 minutes longer. Yesterday I had 24 km on my training plan, but my legs were shot after only 20 km, I actually had to stop and walk a bit. I ended up with 23 km, by the time I got back to the house, but I was not happy.

I attribute my less than satisfactory performance to two things, the first being the functional cross training that I have been doing on Friday nights. This training is tough, and my body has not adjusted to it yet. Several of the exercises in the aggressive circuit training are currently beyond my conditioning; I have to do modified versions of the exercises, for the weak and old. I also contribute my current performance to not having adjusted my training plan to my age. I will be 58 years old this year, and I am still trying to train like I did when I was younger and in good shape.

I am not totally frustrated though, I know that I have to tweak my race training each year, it only takes a bit to figure out what works and what doesn’t. As far as the circuit training goes, it is hard, but this is why I am doing it, long term this is going to keep me running longer. The veterans in this course said they all struggled the first few months, but it does get better. I only have the added challenge of being one of the oldest in the group.

Training Update

I signed up for my first event of the year, the six hour Down Syndrome charity run on March 19, 2017. I ran this event four times since 2011, running between 44-51 Kilometers. Most years I only ran the first five hours, the event being a bit too early in the season to run well. This year will probably be no different, since I am off to a slow start with my training.

I have been running four times a week, usually 12-14 km (7-9 mi) three times a week, and a long run. My last long run was 22 kilometers (13.6 miles), I hope I can gradually increase up to at least one 30 km (18.6 mi) run before my first event.

I have been also going to gymnastics training for the past month. On Tuesday nights I go going to a Functional Gymnastic class, which consists of a variety of aerobic and gymnastic exercises aimed at improving coordination and balance. On Friday nights I go to a Functional Cross Training class, which is basically high energy circuit training, aimed at strengthening the core muscles, especially the stomach and back muscles. These classes are important for me as I have been bothered by a pinched nerve in my back for several years. My therapist recommended doing exercises which strengthen the stomach and back muscles. In any case the training is tough, but a lot of fun, and I am making new friends.

Summer Weather and Nürnberg

My running last week started out much better than the week before, but a stressful work week eventually sapped my energy and motivation.

As I mentioned in my last post we travelled to Fürth in Bayern (Bavaria) over the weekend. We spent the afternoon with her on Saturday, than took the subway to the historic park of Nürnberg for Dinner. The weather was warm and mild, so we sat outside at one of the many restaurant beer gardens.

Bratwurst Röslein, Nürnberg, Germany

On Sunday morning we stopped by our friend’s house again before heading home. The time went by much too quickly.

Yesterday (Monday) I had vacation, so slept a little later, caught up on some paperwork, than headed outside in the afternoon to enjoy the summer weather we are having. I went for a 14 km run, than jumped on my bicycle for an hour ride.
Today I returned to work, but I look forward to a run after work, the sunny summer day are supposed to continue at least until Thursday, I want to enjoy it while it lasts.

Last Week in Training
Tuesday: 11 km (6:18 min/km)
Wednesday: 11 km (6:07 min/km)
Thursday:5 km (6:37 min/km)
Friday: 16 km (6:49 min/km)

Last Week in Running

Last week my running was really sluggish, the sudden jump in temperature to almost 90 °F may have something to do with it, or perhaps an extremely stressful week of work. On Sunday was one of the first sunny summer days this year where I didn’t have to work, so instead of doing my long run I opted to go bike riding with some good friends.

My Week in Training
Monday: 11 km (6:24 min/km)
Tuesday: 12 km (6:43 min/km)
Thursday: 13.3 km (6:41 min/km)
Friday: 7 km walking (9:16 min/km)
Saturday: 8 km with Running Club (7:46 min/km)
Sunday: 80 km with bike

This week is a bit cooler, I am trying to pick up the speed and distance, but it is too little, too late, to make a difference. I planned on running a forest marathon (literally through the forest) on July 24th, but I have my doubts at this point.

This weekend we are visiting a good friend in Fürth, Germany in Bayern (Bavaria), she lost her husband (age 84) a couple weeks ago and we want to spend some time with her. I am taking vacation on Friday and Monday so hope to get in a longer run or two.

Recovery and Running Club Event

My recovery from my marathon a week ago is going much slower than I would like, a sign that my conditioning is not what it used to be.

My week in running:
Wednesday: 10 km with Running Club (7:21 min/km)
Thursday: 8 km (6:24 min/km)
Friday: Walked for 70 minutes (about 10 min/km)
Saturday: 14 km (6:44 min/km)

On Sunday my running club sponsored their annual 5K and 10K run, the Asparagus Run. This met a bit of work, on Saturday afternoon I helped set up the tables in the schoolhouse where participants could pick up their start numbers. On Sunday I manned one of the water points on the 10K course with my friend Manfred. After the race I returned to the schoolhouse to take down the tables and help wherever else I could.

The award ceremony for the race was held in conjunction with the small street festival in Graben, which is the next town north of where I live. Most of our club that had helped out ate lunch together and cheered the winners of the race as they received their prizes.

Tonight I want to try to pick up my training again, I would like to run another marathon or two this year, maybe even try to run a sub-5 hour run if my training improves, but one step at a time.

Running for Charity

My recovery from the marathon at the end of May has gone much slower than I have liked, I really notice the difference from previous years when I was training optimally. With my next marathon one week away (June 25th) there is really not much I can to prepare other than keeping the running machine from getting rusty.

On this past Saturday a lot of my running club met in Weingarten for the annual B.L.u.T Cancer Awareness and Charity Run. Our sponsor pledged 1.50 Euro per 1.3 km round, so we did our best to accumulate as many rounds as possible. I originally planned on run for an hour or two, but ended up running the entire three hours, completing 21 rounds, approximately 27 km. I have been running soft trails most of the year, so the 3 hours of asphalt and dogging kiddies (there were >1700 participants) really pounded the legs, my legs are still sore.

In any case I need to let the legs rest, the marathon next Saturday is just for fun, but I’m not well trained, so need to make sure that I am at least well rested.

Counting Down to Race Day

This past week I began tapering for my first marathon, I still ran five days, but reduced the mileage from around 80 km per week (~50 mi.) to 58 km (36 mi). This week I will probably run just 2 shorter runs, my legs have felt really heavy and tired lately, I think the rest will bring more than running.

On this coming Saturday at 10 p.m. is the 3rd Durkheimer Salinen Run, this will be the third time that I am participating. According to Wikipedia, Bad Durkheim is a spa town in the Rhine-Neckar urban agglomeration, and is the seat of the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. “Saline” translates to salt works, the salt is won through a graduation tower, known locally as Saline, and is part of Bad Dürkheim’s spa facilities. With a length of some 330 meters, it is one of the biggest of its kind in Germany. The course is run around the Saline, this year the course has been lengthened to 929 meters, so I only need to run 46 rounds for a marathon 😉

The event is run every two years, the first time I was still halfway fit, I was planning on running at least 100 kilometers, but a storm knocked out the power and they had to cancel, I only managed 38 km. For two years I ran with only limited training, after 55 km and a drenching thunderstorm I decided I had enough. This year I have even less training, and I haven’t run a race for almost a year. My only goal is to run at least the marathon distance, time unimportant, this will be a test run to determine how the rest of my running year should go.