Back from Dresden

I’m back from Dresden, I have lots of interesting stuff to blog about. My friend RB sucessfullly completed her first marathon in 4:49:39 and lived to tell about it ;-)
I took lots of pictures, had several great days of vacation in and around Dresden, and made it back just in time to set a new PR for the half-marathon! I’ll try to catch up over the next couple days, stay-tuned.

Don’t underestimate the importance of good food and sleep

Yesterday I was feeling really tired, the two long runs on the weekend, followed by a run on Monday evening, really emptied my tank. However, I concentrated on my eating and got some extra sleep last night, so this morning I am feeling normal again. I am looking forward to a run with my running buddy after work, followed by the monthly gathering of my running club afterwards.
Gestern habe ich echt müde gefühlt, die zwei lange Lauf an die Wochenende, folgt bei ein lauf am Montagabend hat mein Tank leer gemacht. Aber ich habe ein bisschen mehr gegessen als normal und auch langer geschlafen, heute fühle mich wieder fit. Ich freue mich auf ein lauf mit meine Lauf Buddy heut Abend und nachher Stammtisch mit der Lauftreff.

Choosing between friends and running

I love to run, running has become such a part of my life that I really can’t imagine any better way of spending my free time. I love racing too, although “racing” is relative, I race against my own best times rather than trying to “win”.
This coming Saturday I am signed up for my first race of the year, a 50K race in Rodgau, near Frankfurt, Germany. I have been training hard and the plan has been to try to set a new PR for the 50K distance.
However this past Friday night my wife reminded me that a good friend of ours has her birthday on the same day and we are invited for dinner. A quick calculation made it clear that there was no way I could run the race and make it to dinner on time. My wife said go to the race, she’d go to our friends alone.
I didn’t say anything and thought about it for awhile. Later I was on the phone with my running friend Uli and I asked what her and Birgit had on the running plan for next Saturday, it turns out they wanted to start an hour earlier and run 30 km, which would have me home in enough time to make the dinner. I also mentioned to Uli about the birthday and she said when her and her boyfriend were training for their Ironman last year they often had to choose between friends and training, it put a lot of strain on friendships.
After this conversation the fog lifted and I had my answer, I would stay home from the race, there are more then enough other races on my schedule.
I was reading an article a few months ago that talked about people who become “addicted” to running, that is running is no longer their sport or hobby, it becomes an obsession. Clearly, many (most?) ultra runners are obsessive, but as the article went on to say it is the attitude that determines when running becomes an addiction. One of the signs was that you put your running and training before family and friends.
I think it is important that we control our running and not let it control us. In this case it means that my friend’s birthday celebration has priority over a race. Although my wife remained nonchalant when I told her I was not going to the race, I know that it was a positive sign for her that my “addiction” is not totally out of control.
Have any of you guys had to decide between your training/racing and time with family and friends? Where has your priority been?

Taking a Rest – Ein Ruhetag

Last night I pretty much took the night off from training. I just finished three weeks of intense training, so want to back off on the mileage this week. I did take about 10-15 minutes and do some light crosstraining in the form of 4 minutes on the stationary bike, and the rest of the time in my weight room in the shed. I finished off with some sets of push-ups and sit-ups, followed by some stretching. After a good night’s sleep I feel rejuvenated and ready for a run after work.
My running buddy is can’t make it for our run tonight, so I will probably head to the local research center and run a few loops on my own. The weather is beginning to warm up a bit, so it should be more comfortable than it has been the past couple weeks.
On Thursday night I am meeting one of the gals training for the Bienwald Marathon (in March) for a run. Our other running partner usually runs with her on Thursdays, but is on ski vacation, so I offered to fill in. They usually do speed work on Thursday, so I guess I’m in for a workout!
Gestern Abend habe ich mehr oder weniger kein Training gemacht. I habe gerade drei Wochen intensiver Training abgeschlossen, so ich wollte ein bisschen ausruhen. Ich habe doch ein bisschen Crosstraining gemacht, in form 4 Minuten an die Crosstrainer, und 10-12 Minuten Krafttraining und Gymnastik. Nach eine lange schlaf ich habe viele besser gefüllt und vorbereitet vor eine schöne Lauf heute.
My Lauf Buddy kann heute Abend nicht laufen, so ich wurde ein paar Runden rund die Forschungszentrum allein laufen. Das Wetter ist etwas warmer geworden, es sollte etwas mehr bequem so laufen als die letzte paar Wochen.
An Donnerstagabend ich will mit eins von die zwei Frauen das Trainiert gerade für die Beinwald Marathon laufen. Die andere Freundin von uns mach gerade Skiurlaub, so ich habe gesagt das ich kann mitlaufen. Normalweiß macht die zwei Tempotraining an Donnerstags, so ich glaube es wurde ein gute Workout sein!

How do you train for a 100K race?

So, I have convinced myself that I will run my first 100K race in 2009, so how do I train for one?
My normal marathon training, plus some hill workouts, has been enough for the 50 mile race that I do each year, do I need to do more?
My thinking at this point is that I probably don’t need to train too much more, only a little more event specific. The 100K events in May and July are much more hillier than I am used to, so I need to do some serious hill training the couple months leading up to the race. The 100K race in Biel is about the same as the 50-mile race that I run.
Any thoughts from your experience/knowledge?

Going through the cupboards

Last night when I got home from work I spent some time poring over some of the material that I brought back from the trade show last week. My wife didn’t show up from work, so I figured she would be late, so took a quick trip around town on my new bicycle that I bought a couple months back. I rode by a friend’s house just as he was getting out of his car, so stopped and chatted a few minutes, then rode by my running friend’s apartment so I could show her my bike. The lights were off, so I kept going, arriving back at the house just as my wife drove in.
My wife asked if I wanted to go grocery shopping, which I know translates to her wanting me to go with her, so off we went. She was totally stressed out from work, so I let her wander around as much as she wanted, no sense wrestling with a tornado when I don’t have to.
Later my wife sat in front of the PC and tried to chill out, I decided to try to earn some points with my wife and do something productive around the house. I sorted out some old clothes for the Red Cross, then decided to go through the cupboards in the kitchen. Once a year I like to go through and check the dates on the spices, baking stuff, etc. – I ended up throwing out quite a bit as neither one of us have baked much for quite a long time.
As I worked I also tried to sort out my thoughts that have been clogging my head. This morning I feel better, so I guess I was somewhat successful here too.
I also thought a little bit about my racing next year. I definitely want to run several marathons and a couple ultra’s, but the intensity and distance remain open for now.
I am still hoping a friend will decide to run her first marathon in April and we can train together. I am totally convinced that she can run a marathon and probably much faster than she thinks is possible. In any case I am making myself available for her training. If she happens to be reading this, then let me just say I know you can do it, believe in yourself!

…for those tears I died…

I’m having one of those “I miss you mom” mornings, where my emotions are being tried. I have been extremely busy at work since I came back from vacation and I have been feeling the strain. Running has helped, but not completely.
As I write I find several thoughts coming to mind. Since my mother passed away I have stayed really busy, helping my dad, travelling, working, running, etc. I sense inside what my mother would say to me if we were sitting again in her living room. She would probably say “You know Jesus wept (John 11:35). He mourned the loss of a loved one. Everyone needs to take some time and let the tears flow.”
I had watery eyes at the funeral, but I haven’t settled down long enough to do my weeping and mourning yet. I’ve read that often people go through some sort of denial phase after they lose someone they love. Am I doing that?
Maybe I need to take some time and concentrate on the memories of my mom, maybe the tears will come. My mom always believed that God feels every teardrop that trickles down our cheek and holds us in his arms and lets the healing begin.
And Jesus said,
“Come to the water, stand by my side
I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied
I felt every tear drop, when in darkness you cried
And I strove to remind you,
That for those tears I died”

At a Conference

I have mostly sitting on my butt the last couple days, attending various technical communication workshops, seminars and such at the annual Tekom conference in Wiesbaden, Germany. I am at least doing a lot of walking in the evenings, Wiesbaden is a really beautiful city, even in the dark.
On Saturday I have an 11.8 kilometer mountain run in Neckargemuend, Germany. That’s 11.8 km uphill!

Running with a brother, not giving up hope

My mother’s condition continues to improve, but she has a long hard journey ahead of her. On the possitive side she has been moved out of intensive care into a specialiyed care unit, which is a step forward. On the down side they are having problems maintaining her blood pressure, which interfered with her dialysis yesterday. So we remain in prayer and hope for the best. We are very thankful that we can be with my father during this time to help him as best we can. Although he still drives a car at age 87, the 45 minute trips to the hospital wear him out.
My youngest brother was up from New Jersey this weekend, which saved us the trip, and was nice as he could visit my mom several times. He also surprised me on Saturday by going for a run with me. Although he is in great shape he normally doesn’t run, so I was quite impressed when he ran over 4.5 miles with me without a complaint! I went on and ran a total of about 7 miles (12 km). This morning (Tuesday) it is raining, but I might head out for a short run later, or tomorrow. The running is helping me to keep my head clear, particularly important with all thats going on.
Thank you everyone for your kind comments, thoughts and prayers!

Mom Update

We have safely arrived in Detroit and spent a nice night with friends in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. My father said that my mother’s condition has stabilized and she is talking and doing better. She is still in critical condition due to a combination of difficulities including a bad heart valve, kidney failure and a condition called atrial fibilation. Each condition alone is medically treatable, but combined they present a challenge to treat. The next days and weeks will remail difficult to predict.
Other family members report that she enjoys receiving visitors and is responding positively. My father felt that there is no sense rushig to New York, so we will probably spend the weekend here and drive on Monday. In any case I am remaining in contact with my family.
On the running front my friend Brian showed me a 4 mile loop around St. Clair Shores this morning, I look forward to running a couple loops in the morning.
Thank you everyone for your thought and your prayers, they are felt and appreciated. I will try to keep you all posted on my mother’s condition and our vacation. Have a great weekend!