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Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Before I start with today’s actual post, I want to point out that the Munich Airport Run guys (sort of) officially corrected the distance! The 10k was actually an 11.6k, which is 7.2 miles! An entire mile longer than originally announced! Considering that, my finish time is pretty awesome, with an average pace of 10:19 min/mile. Holy banana!

Now that my spring race is over, I’ve been wondering what I should work on next. While I sometimes enjoy just doing what I feel like, I’m a lot more motivated to workout regularly when I have a specific goal. There are so many fun ways to be active, like running, biking, Zumba, Pilates, but I don’t have the time or energy for everything I’d like to do, so I have to choose.

The next two weeks are going to be interesting, as I’m taking a little staycation. That means I won’t be able to run with my coworkers. How sad! I probably won’t go to my gym, either, as it is quite a long drive away (only 5 minutes from my office, but 30 minutes from home). So for the next two weeks I plan to focus on short solo runs around my neighborhood, bike rides with my husband, and maybe even some workout videos (via DVDs or YouTube).

I also want to bring back the one hundred pushups challenge. I really loved doing it last year, it’s short and simple and can be done everywhere. And my arms never looked better!

And then? Tough question! First of all, I want to maintain my current running form, by running either alone or with my coworkers 2-3 times per week. There’s a local 10k race on July 13th that I might sign up for if my training goes well. I also hope to do a few longer bike rides on Sundays with my husband. We love riding together, so I really hope for good weather this summer. My weekly Pilates class will also stay part of my workout routine, at least until summer break starts in late July.

What I probably won’t be doing that often this summer is going to my gym. They have no AC and it gets crazy hot in there. It’s just not fun working out there at the moment.

So, these are my fitness goals for the next few weeks. But wait, there’s more!

Cassey of Blogilates.com is hosting a two-week vegan challenge starting on Monday, May 28th. While I don’t intend to follow a vegan diet on a long-term basis, I do enjoy doing those vegan challenges once in a while. Sometimes I let things slide a little too much and need an extra kick in my booty to re-focus on a more plant-based diet again.

I’ll report back with details on that challenge and how I’m feeling once I’m a few days into it.

See you!

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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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This current training cycle is just not going well. First I was dealing with some mysterious food pain, that thankfully subsided after taking some rest and getting new shoes. But sadly, that’s not the end of the story yet. Last Monday, after this year’s longest run (for the record, 5.85 miles!), my right shin started to hurt. As the pain was still there two days later, I decided to take a week off of running. I really don’t need a case of shin splints right now!

What was the cause of the pain? I can only guess, but it was probably a combination of inconsistent training, increasing my mileage too fast (that means, too fast for me!), and a rather long run on hard pavement. Maybe it was also related to a little supplement fail during the past few weeks. Who knows?

My angry shin was also one of the reasons why I changed into sneakers half-way through Saturday’s wedding party. No, they did not match my dress, yes, people were making comments about my checkerboard sneaks, and no, I didn’t give a damn!

Anyway, my legs felt a lot better today, so I attempted a short treadmill run tonight after work to test things out. So far, my legs are feeling quite alright. In the next few days I’ll do a few more short runs either on the treadmill or on soft trails. That’s not exactly an ideal preparation for my upcoming 10k race, which is in less than two weeks, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive that race, but I’ll just hope for the best and try to finish it with a smile on my face.

Please, wish me luck!

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The Fine Art Of Fueling

During today’s run I realized again how important it is to eat the right kinds and amounts of food before your workouts. Apparently, I haven’t mastered the fine art of pre-run fueling yet. I’m not sure why, but my stomach felt totally off today, even before I started running. I really need to figure out what and how much I can eat before my runs, preferably before my next race!

The Stats:

  • Distance: 5.0 mile (8,0 km)
  • Time: 59:30 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:54 min/mile
  • Feeling: Nauseous & hot

Stupid me, I made another mistake today, namely choosing the wrong outfit. It was way hotter than I had expected, and I got way too hot in my long, heavy running tights and long-sleeve shirt. For a short moment, I even considered running in my underwear, or jumping into the river, but both options were not reasonable.

So far, the training for my next race is going quite well. To be honest, I did skip a few runs for various reasons, but I still have three weeks to go, and I’m fairly confident that I can finish the 10k distance. As usual, I don’t have a specific time goal in mind. I just want to finish and have a good time. I’m a little bit worried about the temperatures, though, as the race is supposed to start at 2 pm. We will see.

What is your favorite pre-workout fuel? How long do you have to wait before starting?

See you!

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Running On Bricks

No, this is not a post about triathlon training! My legs have been feeling like bricks lately. I guess it’s no surprise that after a 14-mile bike ride on Sunday, a three-mile run on Monday, and a four-mile run today, my legs are as heavy as they could be. Thank goodness I only have two miles scheduled for Friday, and then I’m done for this week. Yay!

(Please note that I do still enjoy running. Sometimes.)

The Stats:

  • Distance: 3.85 mile (6,2 km)
  • Time: 45:00 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:40 min/mile
  • Feeling: Hot & thirsty

Co-worker/running buddy Alex and I ran during lunch break again, and it was way hotter than we had thought! I was sweating buckets and my head was bright red when I returned. I’m so grateful for an awesome shower option at my workplace! And now I’m chugging water like it’s my job, desperately trying to avoid one of those nasty dehydration headaches.

See you!

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Cautious Comeback

You may or may not have noticed the recent lack of running related posts. A few weeks ago, my right foot started to hurt after a run. It was the same kind of pain that plagued me last summer after my second race. So I took a break from running for about two weeks and did a few bike rides instead. Now my foot feels a lot better, thankfully. Let’s hope it will stay that way, as I’m slowly increasing my running mileage again.

Last week I started training for my next race, the Munich Airport 12k on May 18th. I’ll probably skip the Landshut läuft 10k on April 22nd, as I’m invited to an epic bachelorette party the night before.

I’m loosely following this 15k novice training plan by Hal Higdon. This plan has me running three times a week, focusing solely on distance. As I only want to finish that 12k – I’ve never run that far – I don’t really need any speed work or tempo training.

I’ve modified the plan a little to better suit my schedule, moving the runs to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with Friday being my long run day. This plan also includes a lot of strength and cross training. Honestly, I’d be very happy to simply get those runs in, but I will try to do at least a little cross training, mostly in the form of walking and biking. I also plan to return to my weekly Pilates class next month. My back and shoulders are already looking forward to that.

Week #1 of my training went quite well. On Monday I ran one mile on the treadmill, to test my foot, and ran two miles each on Wednesday and Friday, also on the treadmill. It felt so good to be running again! Despite the fact that I also enjoy biking a lot, I really missed being able to run.

Today I ran three miles on the treadmill and felt amazing! Apparently, all that biking has helped me maintain my endurance.

Let’s hope I will stay healthy and injury-free in the next few weeks, so that I can conquer a new-to-me distance, finishing my third race with a big happy smile on my face.

See you!

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