Well, that is not all true – there are thousands of runners here. I heard 34.000 mentioned. And then me. What am I doing here?, I thought to myself just a few minutes ago. I have not been able to train f the last 2,5 months, so I will not run strong, like I was planning for. My plans all went out the window with an everlasting cold and a much to busy line of work. I am counting on “routine” to finish tomorrow´s half marathon. (If anyone had said to me like 1-2 years ago that I would ever claim routine on a 21.1 km run, I would have called them crazy, but hey…)
It is not routine these days. If you want to push yourself pace-wise it is really hard to run a half marathon. But when you just want to finish, run the city to look at the surroundings and tourist attractions, just like a normal weekly long run, then it is less hard.
Like I said – I have not been running much. My plan on minimum 50K weeks is long gone down the drain or out the window. I will be getting back to it, but as it is, I have only been doing the odd run once in a while. Easter vacation made it possible to get in 2 runs – staying at our country cottage in Jeløy (Moss, Norway) is excellent as it provides great surroundings for running. I had two good runs, 11K each, with “rolling hills” that demands both breath and muscle, me lacking both these days 😉 I decided that the flat 21K in Berlin would be easy breezy compared to it.
Well, it won’t. I am sure.
Running aside – I am feeling a bit alone. I spot runners everywhere – we get this green band around our wrist when we pick up our bib – but they are all in pairs or bigger groups. I never thought I would go to Berlin all alone when I first signed up for it, but as it was – none of my running buddies was able to tag along. So today I have been walking the streets, skipping out on my pre paid massage, have tried out some puma shoes which I did not bye – and had the most boring club sandwich for lunch. Back at the hotel, I tried to get comfortable in my tiny room, but #thesmallesthotelroomever does not have anything but the bed. Sorry Monbijou hotel – the room is nice and all, but a chair would be nice.
After some time on the bed and on Facebook, I brought my mac with me to the lobby, where I sit by the fire place and drink sparkling water. I should have been out having dinner, but I don´t feel like it. Not good for my energy levels tomorrow, I know, but I think I´d rather go to bed soon. Will be getting up really early to have breakfast. All runners are supposed to be at the starting area around 8:45 and I prefer using the bathroom at the hotel before heading over there.
So this is it for now. My feeling of loneliness is worse than the idea of running 21.2K tomorrow. If you are in Berlin right now, running tomorrow, please take notice if you see a lonesome runner. We might be desperate to talk to someone!
I am currently making a lot of fast choices – just booked an airline ticket to Tromsø (Northern Norway) to go run the half marathon at Midnight Sun Marathon in June. This will be a combined trip – my parents live there, so I can make one of my much too rare visits. They are getting older, but are still so busy, so they are not totally sure if they will be at home that weekend. I do hope so!! 😀
This means I have 3 races in my calendar for 2016:
Berlin Half on April 3rd
Ecotrail Oslo on May 21st (18K)
MSM half (Tromsø) on June 18th
If I am ever going to complete 100 half maratons, I desperately need to add to this list. And, I have to say – running the 18K ECOTRAIL in May is kind of stupid: First; it is not a half marathon. Second; it is much harder than a half marathon. Third; I hated it so much in 2015, that I blogged about it! I need to say – everything around the race was perfect, brilliant experience in the finishing area, and the weather was wonderful. But the trail part was too rough for me. I am not a trail runner – more like an asphalt junkie 😉 The last 10K of the race are more my stuff, but the first 8K broke me completely.
My goal for 2016 – the too much talked about 2500K over 366 days – might not be compatible with attending too many races, since I always cut down on mileage the last week before the race. So for every race I want to run, I need to add extra milage in other weeks. But races are so fun!
Usually I would attend the Oslo Marathon in September, but this year I have not registered yet – there are so many races that month, so maybe I should try something new? But Oslo was great last year – a lot of music and fun along the course. Much more music than when I ran the Rock ´n´roll (Half) Marathon in Lisbon, strangely enough.
A race I have been registered for earlier, but did not run due to injury, is Kystleden half marathon – in 2015 it was arranged on August 22nd. There is still no info about 2016.
The last 2 years my son (17yrs in Feb) has attended a Viking Race on the same date, and I really love to see his great results there – in 2015 he finished number 18 among almost 500 participants, mostly adults. If these races are not on the same day this year, I might attend Kystleden.
But the first race will be Berlin. I love Berlin, and cannot wait for my first ever run in this beautiful city ❤
Please join me in running the new year – run it slow or run it strong, but always run happy!
(and sorry for borrowing all photos from “the world wide web” – I couldn´t help myself…)
How did I ever decide to run 2500K in 2016!!?? Oh my. I am overwhelmed by a strong feeling of “this can never be done by me, I can never do this”. Then I calculate again, and find that it is possible, after all.
I have to laugh – only 3 -4 days have passed since I set (one of) my goal(s) for 2016, and I am already doubtful. But let´s see what I have done so far – on the first 4 days of this year?
January 2nd – 16K
January 4th – 12K
This adds up to 28K over the first 4 days. If we divide 2500K with 366 days (since there are 29 days in February this year) I need to run 6,83K per day, on average. 4 days equals 27,32K. I am right on schedule, and with absolute no stress. Hey, it´s only been 4 days, mostly weekend, so how ever could this be stressful!? I just need to be confident that I will be able to find enough time during the work week, and if so, this is possible.
I need to focus on why I set this goal: I want to find a way to make sure I don´t drop out after small setbacks. I need to get back into the game real quick after colds or other interruptions in my plans. One week off is OK, sometimes even two weeks can be necessary, but the way I usually fall out for maybe 4-5 weeks, is totally messing things up. With this goal, I will add 10-20K some weeks, and then get ahead of schedule, making room for the necessary pauses that most likely will be needed – due to illness, aches and pains, holidays etc.
My main goal is therefor not really the 2500K in 2016, but the steady work of building form and strength through consistency. The number is merely my dangling carrot.
And now it is 89 days until the Berlin half. I am getting a bit excited now – I might not manage to PR with 10 minutes, as originally planned for, but I will find some kind of speed and strength before the race, that I am sure of. If anyone reading this blog is planning for Berlin on April 3rd, please let me know!
Today´s run? It was cold and slow. This winter has been so “warm” up to now, with few days sub zero. Usually I kind of enjoy running in minus 10 -12 degrees celcius, but today I felt all frozen at minus 7. I should have added another layer – my winter tights from Adidas was clearly not warm enough today. I had planned for a bit shorter run with maybe some speed work added, but I could not bring myself to push hard – I was so cold that it might have led to injury. So I took it easy, added a couple of Ks and that is that. Jumping in the shower, and being served dinner by my hubby afterwords, felt wonderful. Starting good, this year. I might get optimistic, if this continues 😉
I hope you have plans, goals and dreams, and will try to achieve something special this year. Maybe not very special for others, but for yourself. This is what running means to me, at least – my own progress, the struggle to make it fit into everyday life, the joy when you sometimes get that wonderful feeling of speed and endurance – when you feel that you can go on forever and ever. I love it. I bet you do too.
Dear reader. Happy New Year! May 2016 be the year your dreams will develop and grow. Fulfillment is never the only way ❤
I spent 2 hours running yesterday – 2 hours with my thoughts drifting off, laying plans, thinking back. What has happened in 2015? The underlying feeling is that I have missed out on all my goals – I wanted to train consistently and strong, to get to be as strong as before my injury in 2013, and even stronger. If that is all, I have failed completely. Still, when thinking back: I have run my first two half marathons. Not fast, not pushing hard, but I did it. And considering how little training done ahead of those races, I should be pretty pleased with my performance.
Motivation is everything. After the second half marathon I signed up for Berlin Half in April 2016, and 23 weeks before Berlin I started a training plan that was supposed to bring me back to my old speed and strength. I was highly motivated, did my morning runs happy as ever, and could feel the steady effort paying off. Just a few weeks out in the program I got a bad cold, and had to stop running. I hoped for just a week off, but suddenly two weeks had passed and I was still not feeling well. Since then, I have been running less, not pushing myself, no plan and no structure. I have just taken a run now and then, to keep on moving. What the hell happened?
Yesterday, on new year´s, I went out to run the last run of this year. I did not decide how far, but thought I might exceed the couple of 16K runs I did earlier this christmas. After a while I decided on 20K. A good number for the last day of the year.
On such a day, it is hard not to start laying plans for the coming year, and so I did. My head started spinning on the major challenges of my running life: how to get the much needed consistency in my training. How do I find the motivation to get back on track after any kind of stop in my training? If I get a cold, and the brake gets too long, the problem grows because I cannot make myself get back to the program as soon as possible.
Ok, I got it. I will try to make my goals more long termed. I will run a minimum of 2500K in 2016. This means that I have to run an average of 50K for 50 weeks, and have only 2 weeks for “that annual cold”. And, for being able to cut down on mileage on holidays, I have to do the 60K and 70K weeks that I need to build my capacity as much as I want.
Can I do this? Is this a too tall order for a much-too-busy woman in the year of her 50th birthday? I have no idea. But the idea came during a 20K run, while enjoying myself, so my instinct are – hell yeah, let´s do it!
So listen, good people. I will run a minimum of 2500K in 2016. Please check in regularly to see how I am doing.
What are YOUR plans for 2016? Please let me know, and I will cheer you on!
Today was the first day of week 2, out of 23. 23 weeks with motivated running will make me PR in Berlin, for sure. Week 1 – 40K. Week 2 – going for 50K. Should be no problem, I have done it before. Last fall I ran 50K almost every week from beginning of October ´till Christmas. My plan is to run a minimum of 50K week 2 through 22. I did 18,5K on Saturday, and 14K this morning. Feeling good! The next weeks will be as follows:
Week 3: same as week 2 – a total of min.50K
Monday – run to work at 6am, 14K
Tuesday – rest
Wednesday – run to work at 6am, 14K
Thursday – interval with my buddies, usually about 7,5-8K
Friday – rest
Saturday – long and slow run, a minimum of 15K
Sunday – rest
Week 4: same as week 2 and 3 – a total of min.50K (same schedule)
Week 5: get another training session into my schedule – tempo run or longer intervals on tuesday evening. This means adding another 10K (minimum) – all together a minimum of 60K.
Week 6: back to 50K
At this point I will have done 6 weeks of motivated training. I am all eager to get to it. I have an idea on how to plan for week 7-23, but for now this is what I will put down in writing. I find it important to be able to adjust as I go along, since I need to get som answers from my body as well. After all, I am a 49 year young woman!
What I have been lacking in motivation the last 2 years, is back in full – and then some. If you are planning for Berlin half in April, please let me know. I have registered and booked airline tickets, and will be there for sure. Why don´t you come along?
To let you in on a secret – when in Lisbon, I heard about the 100 half marathons club. Some people had actually run 100 half marathons. I started playing with the idea, and realized that with 4 races each year it would take me 25 years to make it. So now I am thinking more like – how many half marathons can I do in 12 months? I thinks this might be a whole new chapter of my blog.
For now – Run strong, run long, run happy. Get yourself out there, will you!?
I finally feel like blogging again. I guess it is because I finally feel motivated to run.
What has happened since I left? Well, I have finished 2 half marathons. Not fast, not strong, but I finished. And just 4 weeks apart.
It started with Oslo Marathon, half, september 19th. Not at all prepared, I got to the start with one thought in my head: I will just go for a slow run, maybe 10-15K, then I will get out of the race. Why?
Well. Three weeks ahead of the race, I had a really bad run. I went out to do 19K, just a normal slow run. I did not bring any nutrition, ´cause I never do. That has never been a problem, but on this run my body just broke down. I did not understand anything, and I took some stupid choices on where to run, so it ended with 19,5K running, and 8,5K walking to get home. I was so hungry, tired, and cold, and did not understand until later what had happened: I got out of the house too late, about 3 hours after breakfast, and should have filled up on something before running. It is easy to explain, but anyhow – the next three weeks I was not able to get into my running shoes and go out for a run. I did manage to train intervals with my buddies, but no way was I going for a run on my own. Scared, I was. Stupid.
When the weekend of the race came, I picked up my bib and decided this was a good time to get myself out there. I needed to run, and now I would run in a huge crowd, and get both water and nutrition regularly. Perfect.
And so I did. I started really slow, and walked through all the drinking stations having both water and nutrition. I was discussing with my selv (in silence, that is) when to get out of the race, but with all the music and fun along the course I really did not want to quit. So I decided to get myself to the finish line, allowing myself to walk also on the few uphill stretches on the last half of the race. I finished in 2:03:14 and it felt good, strangely enough. Just last year I did a “long-and-slow” 21K run all alone on a random Saturday, finishing in 1:56, but that was last year. I have not trained enough, and was not prepared or even trying.
So I was tired enough, and actually happy to have completed.
But I mentioned 2 half marathons in the intro, didn´t I?
On my birthday in July I got a present from my hubby – a trip to Lisbon, Portugal, on the weekend of the Rock´n´roll Marathon. He told me to sign up for the race (half), but I never did – thinking maybe to just spend a nice weekend in a lovely city. Well, I could´t help myself: although the website said it was all sold out, I went to the Expo and asked. And they let me register. So on October 18th I was to run my second ever Half Marathon Race.
The Half Marathon in Lisbon starts at Ponte Vasco da Gama – the Vasco da Gama Bridge. To get to the start, you need to use the transportation provided by the race – buses that leave the finish area 1,5 – 3 hours before the start. With a weather forecast that said heavy wind and rain, I was not very keen on going to the start in only my race outfit, leaving all clothes with my hubby at the finish area. Hubby was going to be just fine – there is a shopping center there, and he did some serious shopping while I ran – but I was so worried to be standing on the bridge for an hour and a half getting wet and cold. But when I realized that they handed out rain ponchos on entering the bus, I was thrilled! Perfect, thank you so much!
The bus ride was really nice – they actually drove all across the 10K long bridge, just to turn and go back – letting us off some hundred meters from the start.
Then we walked up the bridge until we met the crowd getting there before us. There were several toilets on the bridge, but I should have guessed there would be a serious lack of toilet paper. A nice girl standing in line with me saved me – she had brought some paper in her sack. I did not even have a sack with me, just my phone to keep in my Flip-Belt. Next time I´ll stash some paper as well in my belt, for sure. Rookie mistake.
When the race started, the crowd started moving slowly, but I was soon able to establish a 5:30 pace. I was not going to run fast, my goal was to run all the way through, slow and steady. There was a lot of people going a lot slower than me, so I had to run and tip-toe around people – that continued for many, many kilometers. It was not until my own pace dropped, around 17K, that I stopped passing runners.
From 17K I got serious stomach problems. Not to be talked about, but it surely made it hard to keep the steady 5:30-pace. I have to say I am pleased to get to the finish line. I even tried to sprint the last 100m before the finish line, just to realize that what I thought was the finish line was no such thing. So when the actual finish line got closer, I was concentrating on just getting there. The time? During the race I was hoping for around 1:56, since it felt ok running at the 5:30 pace. But with the last 4K being troublesome, I was happy to finish at 1:58:50.
It was a nice race. I have to say that Oslo has more music and entertainment happening along the course, although Lisbon is a part of the worldwide “Rock´n´roll” running events. Strange. Maybe there was more going on along the full marathon course, that could be it. And the weather? It turned out just fine. No rain, just a bit windy, but not as bad as predicted.
I am very pleased with actually running two half marathons this fall. So what next? I am strongly motivated now, and have started on a “23-weeks-to-Berlin-half” plan. This week I ran 40K, and from next week starting tomorrow I will be back at minimum 50K per week. My goal is to PR with 10 minutes in Berlin. Will I make it? I have no idea. But am I eager to do it? Oh yes. I am happy and running again, and looking forward to a new season of winter running. I know for sure that the mere thought of Berlin half on April 3rd will keep me going when the weather gets rough. I will run strong and happy this winter.
After this week´s 2 crappy sessions, I was in no way sure on how I would handle today´s task – finishing a long, slow 16-18K.
Oh, the pleasure! I ran 11K before I turned to go back home, and only the last 3K felt hard. I managed to keep a somewhat steady slow pace, and clocked in at an average of 5:55/km. This is slower than my usual long runs, so I am pleased with that – it might sound strange, but my usual problem has been to not differentiate enough in speed.
The feeling from Wednesday, when every meter was a struggle, was gone. Now I just ran, and didn´t even think much about it. I am so happy – I was a bit scared to experience another crappy run this week, and worried about what that would do to my motivation. Now I feel calm and collected, and ready to move on.
I need to lay plans for the next 7 weeks – it will be important to get plenty of mileage to build capacity to run my next race strong. The race is in september, but in July/August I will spend 3 weeks on summer holiday, and I am sure it will be difficult to get enough training done when the weather is hot, and the family is lazy 😉 I get lazy too, you know!
So the next 7 weeks are important, and again – after the holiday there will be another 6 weeks before the race. I need to do some hard work to accomplish what I want – to run a sub 1:50 half marathon on my first try. For a (kind of) old girl like me that would be wonderful, I think. I am not sure I will get there, but for now I would like to focus on trying.
If you have any tip for me, please comment. If you want to support my efforts, please comment. If you have run long (and maybe even strong) today, please comment. I did not run all that strong today, but I did what I set out to do, and that makes me feel great!
Run long, short, strong or slow – but alway run happy!