running

Reflections

Today was a perfect morning for a run. The wind still and reflections on the water nearly as crisp as the morning air.

wp-1480493575273.jpg

As I had decided to include more strength training, I wanted to run the stairs leading up my hill, or at least see how many I could run before facing a heart attack. Let’s just say there is loads of room for improvement! The view from the top of the stairs is worth it though:

wp-1480493610227.jpg

When I got back down I was treated with spotting the ship behind the rock!

wp-1480493645177.jpg

Today’s run reminded me of how far I’ve come and I thought about the book I am reading right now. “Running to the top” from Arthur Lydiard was my original inspiration for “becoming slowrunnergirl”. I had read it back when I started running again and his training plan just seemed so incredibly far away that I went to create my own “plan” in the hope of getting to his mentioned durations at least. “Speed will come with time, it is just a matter of running consistently and without injuries”. This is what I told myself back then and forgot all about it.

Now the year is ending and at the end of the year I wanted to make the decision if I run an ultra next year or not and I got back to read his book. I was blown away by the fact, that when I read his beginner marathon plan I thought “hey that sounds doable”. When I now read about running 6 times per week, it doesn’t feel like a distant vision. It’s reality. I just ran 50 minutes and feel like I finally recharged my batteries and am ready to tackle the day.

So will I run an ultra next year? Probably not. I think I could, but not the way I want to. I don’t yet have any concrete plans, but I think it would be clever to get some more experience in shorter distances before I tackle anything big. Of course the temptation is there, but I have the rest of my life, so I shall do it properly. Another reason is that there is i.e. the perfect “first ultra” for me, just around my cliff, but one of the starting conditions is to have run a marathon.

What is next? I will continue what I have been doing, but won’t increase the duration. I will include faster segments. To transfer from my typical “MAF” paced run to more Lydiard style “Steady” runs. 80/20 fits right in there and I think December and January at least will be good for this. I plan to include more of the hills and stairs stuff to prepare my legs. It will be a nice mix-up, for my legs, my brain and you as you follow along and read my ramblings!

Got an opinion? Give me your best!

running

Minus One? Bring it on!

Today I wanted to run again. I checked the temperature and it said -1 Celsius. “Bring it on” I thought, added a couple of layers including my “wind shield jacket”, grabbed my headlamp and headed out there. I found magic at the park. Never has my track looked as magical! So I left it alone …

wp-1480409662448.jpg

Found fog lingering around the river.

wp-1480409690224.jpg

Despite a PR for 10k (1:17:something thanks for asking) I missed the sunrise at the beach and got there when it was already up.

wp-1480409718856.jpg

Loved today’s run and now I gotta catch up with loads of work, but I surely have the energy now.

running

Greyish

Finally went out for a run again, just a short one, but a run nonetheless. Felt like it has been ages. Probably because it has been ages. Weather, sky and sea was all greyish.

A boat was out there being blow around like me.

wp-1480321554814.jpgG

running

… and then it became pleasant

No run yesterday, but loads of work. Today I tried to find a possible excuse to not go run …

Weather? Not even ‘real feel’ was below 0°. No rain in sight … and not even the wind was playing along.

Stress level? All green … resting HR in the low.

TrainingPeaks to the rescue?! Not a chance … Form super high and fitness falling …

So I had to get out. It took me over 1 hour to get into it, but then it finally clicked and it was smooth sailing from then on. Even finished at the sea which was just spectacular.


1.5 hours easy running done and finally I am in a good mood again. 

running

3 PRs and no photo

Today was uhm speed workout. The tide was high. Alerts for severe rain and wind on my phone. 

I nearly crawled back into my warm bed. 

Instead I found myself being blown around outside. About 2.5k in I decided I could just run faster, because I felt great. 

I got 3 PRs and my legs are not dead. I wonder if I should switch to a phase in which I focus on including some faster bits … 

running

Real Feel!

My weather app which I obviously don’t trust, shows me what they call “Real Feel”. Today it had shown -7 Degree Celcius when I headed out and so of course I was doing the bank robber style running wardrobe.

Let me show you … the colors were just so amazing:

wp-1479457704483.jpg

I’m so glad I left my warm blankets and got to witness today’s sunrise. 50 minutes easy done.

running

Half is better than nothing

It started out fine … I left the house, walked up my hill and started running. Wearing my headlamp and feeling cozy due to my nice lovely thick running sweater. No clouds were promising a beautiful sunrise …

wp-1479370933080.jpg

Then the rain started … it soaked my sweater full of water, my glasses were unusable and as I took them off I promptly step into a puddle.

Gear failure par exemple. At least I made the right decision to turn around and head home which made my 100 minute planned run into a 50 minute run. Note to self: Don’t trust polls or weather apps!

running

Why Ultra?

During today’s easy 50 minute recovery run, while listening to the waves and being blown around by wind, I reflected over the question why I feel such an attraction towards running an ultra.

In the end I came to the conclusion that it’s not so much about the event itself. In contrast to other runners, I don’t have a specific dream race or event I want to be doing. Surely there are some stunning events out there, but that isn’t what attracts me to the idea of running for hours on end. For me it is about problem solving. To reach a state where I can be at the start line of an event that covers more than 50k and honestly think I’m capable of finishing so I am proud of myself, that is my dream. I’m fascinated by all the challenges (aka problems) I have encountered and solved so far and I am looking forward to many more challenges.

It’s simple things really … but it seems like a never ending pool of possible challenges. Taking care of my feet for example. Until one year ago, I would have never thought about topics like “pedicure” or thoughts about the right type of socks. Or take today’s run. During those 50 minutes, I had wind blown at me from the weirdest angles and there was rain. I had to stay dry, manage heat and heart rate. All those little things keep me in the moment during my run. There is constantly something I can work on and improve – which is what I love. I can work on increasing my stride rate aka cadence, my breathing, my stride length, relaxing my arms.

wp-1479284771437.jpg

To get me to the point where I am now, running 6-7 hours per week, has taught me so much about myself. Even if I never get to the start line, I am sure there are loads of amazing challenges awaiting me on the way there and loads of puzzles to solve.

What attracts you to running for long (no matter what long is)?