Saturday, 31 May 2008
Organised by DQ Debs 10 runners met at 10pm on Wednesday at the magic Milngavie Station car park. Since I and also John planned to run to Drymen and back we soon let the main group pull away to go at a slower pace. Thank god for that since I did not feel too well. Just a few days after my 56 mile weekend my legs were not recovered and I struggled even with the slower pace we were going. Plus the head torch I was using was not up to the job. A Diamond with four LEDs (I believe the same one Ian B was using in the 2005 race). It was good chatting with John and it was good to rehearse the route in the dark.
Thankfully I was able to try out Marcos Myo XP since he joined us after a few miles. And that one does the trick. I have ordered one and will use that in the race.
We reached Drymen after 2:05 which was slower than planned (a bit of a new experience since usually we are ahead of scheduled). But even running that slow it was very difficult to place my feet properly and I had to concentrate hard not to slip or bend my feet.
On the way back Marco joined us (he gave us a head start since he was waiting for Debs to arrive). Running on tarmac was ok since this can be done even without head torch but as soon as we hit the track in particular after the beech tree inn I was struggling again.
I had the impression that John and Marco were pushing the pace and I had to concentrate hard to follow. Since the time back to Milngavie was not any faster than the first leg my impression was obviously wrong I was just knackered. Toast. My legs in agony we finished at last reaching Milngavie and finally the magic car park. A few photos and the last look at each other. We will meet again at exactly the same place in three weeks for this mad race...
I am too tired to change into dry clothes. Just want to get home and sleep.
Monday, 26 May 2008
I had planned 4 long runs for Saturday and Sunday and since I still have not received my "Stick" (ordered three weeks ago) and I was in desperate need of help I decided to create a massage device myself and invented
8x Inline Skate Wheels (90mm) threaded over the extension of a walking pole. Voila!
That works a brutal charm. At least I tried it on Friday night to prepare me for the long miles ahead...
However when running 15.5 miles on Saturday morning (wearing my Skins) the hamstrings were in agony as usual. I should be more patient I know but since I have seen several physios now and tried all sort of things to treat that plague I am desperate...
I decided to ditch my "Skins". They do not appear to help so they had to go. I was not running naked though when I went out at six for my second run. Planned was the same distance again. I started to enjoy that run a lot. First I could not really explain why but then I realised that my hamstrings were not sore as they used to be. I could also run much faster. Instead of running 15.5 miles I ended up running 19 miles almost up to the very top of the hills behind Loch Thom (at approx 1000ft).
The next morning I started again with 15.5 miles which went fine again and after a short break I called it a day with a hilly 6 miler since we had a BBQ planned for the night.
That adds up to approx 56 miles for Saturday and Sunday with ~3000ft of climbing.
The past week:
Monday 15.5 miles 700ft
Tuesday 5 miles flat
Wednesday 15.5 miles 700ft
Thursday 4 miles flat
Saturday 15.5 miles 700ft + 19 miles 1000ft
Sunday 15.5 miles 700ft + 6 miles 500ft
96 miles + several ft
Almost according to plan (I wanted to run 100 miles, but what the heck...).
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
Just a few words from myself (from a supporter's view if you like)...
It was quite a remarkable day. Only a couple of years ago this was just unthinkable but now it is reality. Silke has done it. After following her training plan (for a 4:20 marathon) inch by inch she had a great race.
Have a look at the profile:
This was not a fast or easy course as you can see from the profile. The newspapers were full of anecdotes about what can happen to the runners in the last stages of a marathon. In particular if the last quarter offers such a challenge.If you now have a closer look at Silke finishing (yes, that's me next to her waving a wee Scottish flag) you will notice she looks rather fresh. That is not a tired face you are looking at. She pushed all the last hard upphills. The last 2k she was flying. There was no shuffling no "wall" no torture no pain.
Let me conclude: I don't think that this woman has reached her potential yet. Sooner or later she will need longer runs than this...
Monday, 19 May 2008
For all those who are expecting an update on Tom’s WHW training, I have hijacked his blog for my report on my first ever Marathon. To all those I have met during his training runs a big thank you for asking about my training and wishing me good luck. I felt a bit weird and honoured at the same time that people for whom a Marathon distance is a mere training run and who are preparing for a distance like the WHWR, took interest in my 1st Marathon. So here is my race report.
At the beginning of the year Thomas finally succeeded in persuading me to try running the Marathon distance – rather than skating it (as that is what I usually do). After having completed a few 10Ks and 2 HMs I decided to go for it and chose the 5th Karstadt Marathon in Germany, a marathon that goes right through the city where I was brought up and where my brother was going to do his 1st HM. Thomas had decided early on that he was going to be my “pacemaker” and mobile drink station. I started with my 10-week-programme in March, taking a 4h:20min plan from “Steffny’s book”. Steffny is a former German Olympic distance runner we met on a training camp in Cyprus last year. His 10K and HM plans worked very well for me so I decided to use his marathon plan as well. This drives Thomas crazy as I try to keep to his plan rather literally, but somehow on race day everything seems to come together and I can run in the predicted race tempo.
We left for Germany on Friday and stayed with my brother and his family. I was very nervous and afraid of last-minute colds, coughs and other ailments. During the week before I even tried to avoid seeing sick kids in the practice and left them for my –understanding- colleagues, as these kids can cover you with viruses within seconds just by sneezing or coughing all over you when you try and examine them … On Saturday the whole family met for a pasta-party including my 89-year-old gran who planned to watch us on route, but the lack of public transport on the day stopped her.
Race day started at 7am with fresh crusty white rolls and a coffee. We then drove to my brother’s fire station where 11 other fire-fighters were planning to run the HM. Thomas and I squeezed into their bus. So there I was on my way to the start surrounded by 12 fire-fighters – and Thomas of course!- what more could I want?! The weather was perfect, dry, 16-17C. We lined up at the start, HM and M starters according to predicted times. At 10 o’clock the starting gun sounded – and off we went. Thomas carrying our energy drinks and gels in his backpack. The course immediately led up an incline, this was only the first of many more hills to come. This marathon is renowned for “the worst is to come after KM32”. So we took it very easy, I was still quite nervous thinking of the task ahead. At the HM point my whole family was waiting for us so I was aiming to get there in good form, hoping for a 2h:10 time or less. We reached KM20 where my sister-in-law was waiting for us with my wee nephew, then as we were getting closer to the HM point people were lined up very closely, Thomas was waving the small Scottish flag we had brought and was getting lots of cheers. And there were my parents, right after the HM finish and my brother-in-law and older nephew who had been instructed to pass Thomas new supplies. I could not see my sister and 14-year-old niece and we found out later that they were in the paramedic tent as my niece had fainted! Instructions by my sister to “hold on for 10min” as we were due to arrive did not go down too well and my niece ended up on a stretcher!
Unaware of the drama we carried on and climbed over 2 more bridges to reach the “Come- together-Point”. This was a city marathon that started in 2 different cities, came together at KM 29 to finish along the same route in another city. Unfortunately I had started to feel a bit dizzy at around KM 28 and had stitches on both sides. I did not want to admit this to Thomas too early so I asked for yet another energy gel as I thought I needed more carbohydrates. I had also drunk quite a bit so Thomas decided NOT to allow me to drink any more for the next 30min. Wise decision. I was feeling a bit rough and was worried as I thought that this was a bit too early to hit “the wall” and I had run 32KM in a training run before and had hoped to feel o.k. at least until then. My legs were fine though and Thomas reassured me and said, don’t worry, this is normal, would be a shame if you did not feel like this at some point, probably just your body switching over to your fat metabolism etc. So I carried on running as one of my aims was NOT to walk, even if I finished in over 4:30 (people had said you have to adjust the target time for your first Marathon anyway), but finishing without walking was one of my big goals. At KM32 there was another drink station and someone shouted “Coke” – now that was music to my ears. I grabbed a cup of coke getting half of it into my face and over my top as I still did not want to walk but I did not care. And I really think this did the trick. I started to feel better, the stitches slowly eased off and I was running easier. Now this was also the point where all the hills started. People were walking uphill, but I was determined not to and thanks to the Scottish hill training I felt o.k., slowly running uphill. Needless to say we overtook quite a few walkers which felt good. We were approaching KM35 and I thought o.k. 7KM to go, just concentrate on each KM as it comes. I pictured the KMs along our training route along the Gourock promenade until I saw KM39. Another cup of coke, another slight incline, my legs were still feeling fine. In fact I did not feel them at all while I was watching others nursing cramps or walking, limping. At that point I said to Thomas, I think I will make it and will indeed finish my 1st Marathon. He just laughed and said of course you will, I did not doubt it.
Then KM40, the route levelled out, the crowd was getting bigger and lining the road again. It was 4h:10min into the run and I knew even if I had to walk now I would be under 4h:30. I was ecstatic and could not stop smiling. Thomas was waving the flag, I was waving left, right and centre, shouting yeah, people shouting our names (the names were on the bibs), we were passing KM41 and I was floating along, tears dwelling in my eyes. I tried to keep them in though at this point and concentrated on my breathing. Then I saw the finish line 400m ahead of us and picked up the pace. And there was my family again, I saw my brother (who had a good 1st HM with 1h:50) with my nephew on his arm, Thomas spotted the rest of them cheering us on.
And then we ran the last 100m hand in hand to finish in exactly the same time of 4:23:33. Needless to say that the tears flowed on my part after I had crossed the finish line. I felt wonderful and proudly had my medal put around my neck. I have done it! My 1st marathon! Right on schedule, which was even more amazing! We then walked through the catering tent and –German style- were offered beer (alcohol free though) for refuelling. We collected our finisher shirt which I kept on all day and met up with my family. It was a great moment.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Although I have forgotten to calibrate the barometric unit at the beginning of both runs the altitude delta will be more or less accurate.
Please note only a gain of more than 5 meters will be recorded! That is small uphills and downhills of 4 meters and less will not add to the totals. That means the actual total climb will be somewhat higher than the recorded climb!
Altitude gain: 1683m