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Yesterday I finished my third race, the Munich Airport 10k. You may or may not remember that I ran the 5k distance of that race last year, as my very first race ever. But you have to know that this year’s race was totally different! They changed the location of the start and finish, which meant we ran a totally different course.

Munich Airport 10k Course

Click to enlarge!

Yes, we ran right through the entire Munich Airport! Unfortunately, this course map does not tell you that we had to run through several tunnels, over bridges, and up and down a few stairways! In short, this course was a beast, and I had no idea.

Munich Airport 10k

Still clueless and optimistic

At exactly 2:15 pm our pack of 10k runners started the race. I had found a former co-worker (he transferred to a different department), who offered to stay with me for a while. So I had somebody to talk to. Yay!

Right after we started I realized that this race was much tougher than I had expected. It began with several long climbs that took us straight to a stairway that we had to run down. Are you kidding me?! A freaking stairway?! And that was just the first mile. I tried my best to ignore the thought that I had to get back up that stairway at the very end of the race, but I was getting a little worried.

After a little more than a mile, my running buddy left me to find his own stride, and as I was going quite slowly, I was practically alone at mile 2. There were very few distance markers on the course, but as I knew the area I had a rough idea where I was.

At about mile 2.5 I saw a very fast guy running towards me. He was already on his way to the finish! In my opinion, that’s the not-so-fun part of an out-and-back course.

The sun had come out a few minutes before our start, and it was getting quite hot. I was really looking forward to the water station, that should have been at mile 3.5, shortly after the turning point.

When I finally reached the turning point, I looked down at my watch and saw a time that was much slower than what I had expected. I was going at a moderately challenging pace, so I was a little bummed, but blamed it on the hilly start.

And then I finally reached the water station. I was handed a cold (!) cup of water and quickly realized that I simply can’t run and drink at the same time, so I walked for a few seconds. Those few sips of cold water were exactly what I needed at the moment, and gave me a little boost to keep going.

At around mile 4 I heard someone huffing and puffing behind me. I was one of the half marathoners, that had started 15 minutes before us. He literally flew by and left me in the dust. Wow!

A little later I saw two women in the distance in front of me. I was determined to catch them! I didn’t want to go all out as I still had more than one mile to go, but I tried to run just a little bit faster. And I did get closer to them! After the dreaded bridges, tunnels, and stairways (grr!), I had almost caught up, and I knew that we had less than half a mile to go.

I stayed right behind the two ladies, and shortly before the finish line I tried to pass them. But they wouldn’t let me! So I crossed the finish line right behind them. I was done!

Munich Airport 10k

I got my medal!

Official time: 1:14:20 minutes

My #1 goal for this race was to finish strong and not come in last, and that’s what I did. But to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed with my time. It was a very, very tough course, I know, but still!

After the race, I heard some rumours going around that the course was actually longer than a 10k, and I somehow felt the same during the race. So when I got home I mapped out the race course with a handy little tool, and it ended up being around 11 kilometers! That’s almost 7 miles! I’m not entirely sure what the exact distance was, but I’d like to believe that I’m not that slow.

Anyway, despite my lousy time I’m quite proud of myself. I kept going even when my legs were screaming at me to stop, and I finished strong and left a few people behind me. And I even had fun! I will surely race again.

Munich Airport 10k

Cheers!

See you!

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This Friday I will toe the starting line of my third race, the Munich Airport 10K. (Not really, I’ll probably start from the back of the crowd, as usual.)

That’s only five days away! Dang, I’m getting really nervous!

To be honest, I feel a little unprepared. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been struggling with some minor injuries in the past few months, so I skipped more training runs than I feel comfortable with. While I do believe that I can finish that distance, I’m a little worried about being the last one to cross the finish line. That almost happened to me in my last race, and I was really bummed about it.

Why do I even care about that? Actually, I’m a very ambitious and competitive person, and while I know that I will never ever win a race, I do care about my performance and want to be proud of myself.

Anyway, I’ll try to stop worrying about my upcoming race and instead focus on having a good time running with my buddies, enjoying some free food (yay!), and giving my husband lots of sweaty hugs.

And I do hope for a little more luck and health the next time around. Yes, there will be a next time. I’m stubborn like that.

Please, keep your fingers crossed for me on Friday!

See you!

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Now that the new year is already three weeks old (um, what?!), I’ve started to think about my race plans for 2012. (Somehow I feel so cool writing that!)

As I’ve mentioned in my New Year’s goals post, I want to run a half marathon this year, preferably in fall. Actually, I’ve already found one that I’d love to do, the Munich (Half)Marathon on October 14th! There are several reasons why this is my favorite: it’s a really big race with several thousands of runners, the course is very scenic and totally flat, the half marathon starts at 1 pm, it’s just a 60 minute drive from where I live, and it’s in October, which gives me plenty of time to train for it. Sounds awesome, don’t you think?

Honestly, finishing a half marathon is quite a lofty goal for me, as I’ve never run more than 6 miles. The thought of running more than twice as much makes me a little nervous. I have no idea if my body can handle this, but I’ve decided that I want to give it a try, simply hoping for the best.

5k Race

But this is not the only race for me this year. I also want to do a 12k in early May. The official site isn’t up yet, but it’s the same race where I ran my 5k last year. There are a few more local races that really look great, but I’ll have to wait and see if I can really squeeze them in. Somehow I enjoy racing, even if I’m still a really slow runner.

Now that I’ve picked out my ‘A-races’ of the year, I need to think about some training plans. There are so many fun activities besides running, like biking, Zumba, Pilates, squash, strength training (ok, that’s not fun, but very important for general fitness and health), but I’ve realized that I can’t fit in all of that into my already busy schedule. I know that if I want to make any progress with running, I need to run at least three times per week. While some people can easily workout six times per week or more, even twice a day, I just can’t. I’m also not one of those badass runners who happily wake up at 5 am to get their long runs in before work or before their families wake up. I won’t do that. Instead I’ll make sure to give my body plenty of rest and sleep to avoid injuries and mental burn-out. In the end, this is still meant to be fun!

Hirschbachschleiferl - 6 mile race

And that’s why I’ve decided to quit Zumba. Even if our weekly class is lots of fun, it’s just getting too much for me, considering that I also want to get back into Pilates, as I’ve really been missing it. In spring and summer I also want to go on a few Sunday bike rides with my husband. Oh, and some strength training would be really good for me, too. You see, my plate is getting quite full. So I have to set some priorities and focus on the things that are most important to me, which is running and Pilates.

My last Zumba class is on February 15th. Until then I’ll just take it easy, doing what I feel like. After that, my official training begins, and it’s time to get serious again. I’m actually really looking forward to it!

Do you have any race plans for this year? Or other workout plans?

See you!

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First I want to apologize for the weird post title. But I can’t help it, that’s the official name of today’s race. It literally translates to ‘Deer Creek Loop’. Makes more sense now? Fine.

The Hirschbachschleiferl was my second race. I chose it because it’s close (just a 20 minute drive from my home), small, and cheap. I knew I didn’t really train enough for this race, so I decided to take it easy and run just for fun.

Hirschbachschleiferl - 6 mile race

Here we go!

At 11 am the gun went off, literally, and about 200 runners started moving. I positioned myself at the back of the crowd, as I knew I wasn’t as fast as most of the starters. And I was right! After only a few hundred meters I was the last runner of the entire race! But I tried not to panic and maintain a comfortable pace. Six miles are a lot! At least for me.

After about one mile I passed the first person, a middle-aged lady. Go me! For the next few miles I tried to hang on to a tall guy with knee sleeves. Most of the time he stayed a few hundred meters in front of me, so I was basically running alone.

This race was an out-and-back course that went mostly on a closed road through a few small villages, but after about 1.5 miles we entered a trail that looped through a small forest (hence the name of the race). Oh boy, that trail was no joke! I really had to watch my steps all the time. There were a few steep ascends and descends that were really tough, but I actually enjoyed running through the quiet, shady forest.

After about 2.5 miles I saw a young lady sitting on the ground. She had obviously twisted her foot. As another runner was already taking care of her, I went on.

The first three miles were a slight but constant uphill. Can you believe it, three miles uphill?! On the other hand, as this was an out-and-back loop, the second half was a constant downhill!

At around mile 4.5 we left the forest and were back on the road. That was when I started to get closer to the knee-sleeves-guy. At mile 5 I tried to pass him, but he was stubborn! He hung on for a little while, but then I sped up and left him in my dust. You got chicked, dude!

I was surprised how good I felt after five miles, so I tried to go a little bit faster. Almost there!

Hirschbachschleiferl - 6 mile race

Chasing the lady in front of me

My goal for this race was quite modest, I wanted to run the entire course, and finish under 1:10:00. I totally killed that time! The official times are not online yet, but my watch showed 1:03:45 at the finish line! That’s a 10:37 pace! Not bad for six miles! Oh, and did I mention, that I’ve never run six miles before? So it’s a personal distance record, too!

Hirschbachschleiferl - 6 mile race

Six miles - done!

And with that time I was the third last finisher. Bummer! Even though I’m really happy with my time and overall performance, I have to admit that I’m a little bit disappointed that I was almost dead last! I really want to become a (slightly) faster runner!

Hirschbachschleiferl - 6 mile race

Sweaty, tired, and proud

As you can see, I’m not wearing my glasses in those photos. I finally got contacts! I’m still getting used to them, but so far I’m doing fine. Of course I tried to push my glasses back up a few times during the run, but they weren’t there! Brilliant, Sue, brilliant.

And I also got new shoes! Meet my new love, my Brooks Adrenaline. Swoon!

Brooks Adrenaline

Aren't they gorgeous?

They did a great job during the race. I’m really glad I finally spend some money on decent running shoes. My knees are glad, too.

My guy asked me to mention that he took all the race photos. Thanks so much, honey!

And now please excuse me while I rest my legs.

See you!

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Now that I’ve successfully finished my first 5k, it’s time for a new goal. I want to run a 10k this fall! I also know which one I’d like to do, but I won’t sign up until I’m sure that I’m ready.

After vegging out on the couch over the weekend I just had to run today. Time to increase the distance!

The Stats:

  • Distance: 4.5 miles (7,2 km)
  • Time: 53:40 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:55 min/mile
  • Feeling: Exhausted

This was my longest run so far, but also the slowest in quite a while. You can’t have it all, right?

See you!

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