Archive for July, 2011

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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Tapering Time

As my next race – a small, local 6-miler – is already this Sunday, I’ve decided to reduce my mileage this week.

Today’s run wasn’t that great. My legs felt heavy, my stomach has been acting up, and I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the past few days. But I’m still glad, that I got another run in. I also plan to do another short-ish run before Sunday, and that has to be enough.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 3.8 miles (6,1 km)
  • Time: 43:40 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:29 min/mile
  • Feeling: Sluggish

I’m seriously getting nervous about my upcoming race. I surely haven’t trained enough, so my expectations are very low. But I still want to run that race and give my best! Yes, I’m stubborn, so what?!

My goal for this 6 mile race is to finish it running and with a smile. If I finish in under 1:10:00, I’ll be more than happy. After that race, I want to work on my speed. I’ve really had enough of my snail pace, that has to change!

See you!

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Puddle Slalom

Finally Friday! Woohoo!

In my opinion, the best way to celebrate the almost weekend is another Lunch Break Run. Co-workers Alex, Ben and I went to the nearby river trail, that was horribly muddy once again. We’ve been having heavy rain and thunder storms the past few days, so there were lots of big puddles, too. Don’t you just love July in Germany? Sigh!

The Stats:

  • Distance: 3.7 miles (6,0 km)
  • Time: 40:20 minutes
  • Average pace: 10:54 min/mile
  • Feeling: Muddy

Even though the guys slowed down for me, their pace was still a bit too fast for my liking, so after about two miles I told them to run on without me and turned around. I ran those first two miles in about 20 minutes! That’s a lot faster than my usual pace! Yikes! One day, guys, one day.

My legs felt kind of heavy today, and I thought that my pace was really slow, especially during the second half. Well, turns out I wasn’t that slow.

Isn’t it crazy that I want to count this as a short run? Seriously, since when are 3.7 miles short?! I guess I’ve really become one of those crazy runners. Oh my.

Have a great weekend!

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Only 12 days to go until my next race, a small, local 6-miler! I’m getting a little bit nervous, especially because I feel slightly undertrained. I really should have done a few more long runs, but I’ve been struggling with my motivation lately. Obviously, my lazy self won too often. Sigh! But I won’t give up yet! I still have a few days of training left.

So today I set out to conquer another long-ish run.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 5.4 miles (8,7 km)
  • Time: 1:02:00 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:28 min/mile
  • Feeling: Tired

That’s a new distance record! Ok, only by a few hundred meters, but anyway, it was my first ever run over an hour!

I seem to have some kind of mental problem with running for 60+ minutes. I really need to get over that, if I want to do more races in the future.

Finally I’ve learned to accept, that I need to slow down on my longer runs. After about 20 minutes I settled into a comfortable pace, that I knew I could maintain for quite a while. That pace is slower than my usual one, but I’m positive that I can cover 6 miles if I stick to it, and that’s what I’m going to do during my next race.

I try to squeeze in another long-ish run, preferably 6 miles, to be 100% percent certain that I can finish that distance. Let’s hope the weather will be on my side, just for once.

See you!

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The Bun Workout

Bike + Run = Bun! What did you think? 😉

We’ve been hit by a mean series of thunderstorms this week, so I moved my planned run indoors and decided to use my gym’s treadmill for a little speed training. But I wanted to do a bit more, so I hopped onto a stationary bike for a 20 minute warm-up ride.

Today’s run was quite tough and not quite as fast as I wanted, maybe my ‘warm-up’ was a bit too long? Well, I guess I enjoyed the TV program a little too much. Hehe.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 1.9 miles (3 km)
  • Time: 20:00 minutes
  • Average pace: 10:31 min/mile
  • Feeling: Speedy

That was the fastest run in almost a month! Guess I’m not a lost cause after all. Running on the treadmill has always been kind of tough for me, but this one went really well. I’ll probably do some more speedwork runs on the treadmill.

And now please excuse me, I need to tend to the zucchini cake I just made.

See you!

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Feed Me!

Oh boy, this run was tough! But I made it through! Ha! With a 6 mile race in less than three weeks (eek!), I’d better get some longer runs done!

Today we went back to the trail, which is still muddy, as it rained again last night. I’m starting to wonder if cleaning my running shoes is even worth the effort. A second pair of shoes for indoor workouts would be awesome, wouldn’t it? Oh how I wish I had some money …

The Stats:

  • Distance: 5.2 miles (8,4 km)
  • Time: 58:40 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:16 min/mile
  • Feeling: Hungry

Well, not bad at all! That was by far the longest run in quite a while, and I didn’t even stop once. The last mile was really hard, but I’m positive that I could do another 0.8 miles if I had to.

Lately I have significantly increased my workouts. I usually run 2-3 times per week, I do my strength sessions at the gym twice a week, and sometimes I add a short 20 minute bike ride. And now I’m so hungry! I’ve always had an enormous appetite, but lately it’s been even worse! It’s almost embarrassing. To avoid gaining weight, I try to eat mostly fresh fruit, vegetables, and salads, but to be honest, what I really want is ice cream, cookies, and chocolate in any form. Is this really post-workout hunger or just PMS? Only time will tell.

I mean, this is really weird. I don’t even train for a marathon, but my appetite is still out of control on some days.

How do you deal with post-workout hunger?

Have a great week!

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The Muddy Trail

What a wonderful day for a run! Nice and sunny, but not too hot, just perfect. Today my at-work running group and I went out to the trail along the river. As always, it was beautiful and shady, but as it had rained a lot last night, the ground was still very muddy. We did some serious puddle dodging. But I still need to wash my shoes tonight, they look awful.

Our new team-mate Robert just recently started running and it seems that his comfortable pace is quite close to mine. So we ran the entire distance together! Of course we used the opportunity to talk, talk, talk. Hehe!

The Stats:

  • Distance: 4 miles (6,4 km)
  • Time: 44:00 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:00 min/mile
  • Feeling: Chatty

I really felt great during today’s run, I could have gone on and on. That made me realize how much the heat affects me! I literally wilt in the summer sun, and run much faster and/or longer in moderate temperatures. That’s good to know, I think. So I need to make sure to adjust to that.

Have a nice weekend!

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