Tag Archives: Berlin half marathon

All alone in Berlin

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!

 

 

New Year, let´s go!

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.

2 mil på nyttår
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!

Happy New Year – and always run happy!

Happy new year

Me-

Week 3/23 – Nov 9 through 15

Time issues! I almost screamed the F-word yesterday, when I realized that 2 days of this week had passed without getting a run in. I hardly ever scream the F word, but you know the feeling.

I finished off week 2/23 with a 19,2K run Sunday afternoon, making it a total of 55K. Pretty pleased 😉 I had to postpone my Saturday run for one day, due to a wedding on Friday. Being my age, I recover slowly from party activities and desperately need my sleep. Hence Sunday, and a longer run than first intended. That made me skip running Monday morning, planning to run Tuesday morning instead. But came Tuesday, I had too many deadlines at work, so I got up extra early and jumped on a train to get some extra work in. Little did I know that I would extend my working hours in both directions.

I actually spent 15 hours in the office yesterday – life in my line of work can be hell right now, with everyone needing their budgets for next year. 28 clients, 28 budgets. Say no more. 15 hours, with only lunch at 11am, then two biscuits in the afternoon, before going home late in the evening and not eating anything, being so eager to sleep.

Result? I ran this weeks first 14K to work this morning, with absolutely no energy in my body. Slow got a new meaning. But hey, I ran. If I had not, my week of minimum 50K would have been in danger. The schedule for the rest of the week will be rather full, but I will get there. Intervals tomorrow Thursday, run-to-work Friday, long run Saturday. This means 4 days in a row, but only one session with speed work, so I am pretty sure I will be safe. I am a bit more worried about my planned visit to IKEA on Saturday, I have to admit 😉

I need to make this happen, and I will. Hell yeah!

me-

Planning for Berlin half

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!

Not so young woman about to run her second half marathon.
Maybe not so young woman about to run her second half marathon 😉

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!?

Me-

Week 7-10

Week 8-11

Week 12-15

Week 16-19

Week 20-23

Well hello there!

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.

At the start.Smiling on the outside, at least ;-)
At the start.Smiling on the outside, at least 😉

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.

I got my bib, and the official shirt & cap, although the website said "sold out"
I got my bib, and the official shirt & cap, although the website said “sold out”
The night before the race I wanted proper fuel - and had this wonderful burger at a lovely little restaurant close to our hotel. The chips made of sweet potato was the best ever!
The night before the race I wanted proper fuel – and had this wonderful burger at a lovely little restaurant close to our hotel. The chips made of sweet potato was the best ever!

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!

Just entered the bus - still a bit of rain in the air.
Just entered the bus – still a bit of rain in the air.

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.

View from the bus, crossing Ponte Vasco da Gama
View from the bus, crossing Ponte Vasco da Gama

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.

Waiting in line. Lots of nervous runners.
Waiting in line. Lots of nervous runners.
I have got the rain poncho on, but the sun is getting out. The poncho was still nice protection against the wind, so I kept it on until the last minutes.
I have got the rain poncho on, but the sun is getting out. The poncho was still nice protection against the wind, so I kept it on until the last minutes.
I did not wear the official shirt - I never try out a new singlet on race day. I used the opportunity to promote a local Oslo race ;-)
I did not wear the official shirt – I never try out a new singlet on race day. I used the opportunity to promote a local Oslo race 😉

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.

We got ice cream in the goodie bag afterwords. Nice!
We got ice cream in the goodie bag afterwords. Nice!
I love the medal <3
I love the medal ❤ and I now know that Meia is Portuguese for Half 

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.

I am back!

Me-

…and then, too many days later:

Back on the blog, back on track. I hope. After my race in Porto, I felt so empty, but managed to stick to my training all the way through nov/dec – until christmas vacation. First day off work, I woke up with a terrible cold, and the next three weeks turned crap. Don´t get me wrong – christmas was wonderful, spending time with my hubby, my mother-in-law in Kiby (Vadsø/Varanger), my parents in Tromsø – and my sister and her family, also in Tromsø. Great family time, but no running for three weeks is NOT a good feeling. Form is fresh. Not kidding.

But finally – January 8th I started my way back into my training plan. I am not yet back to 50K per week, but getting close – I did it last week, but this week has been too busy. The weather conditions is not making it any easier – the temperature is going up and down all the time, one day the snow is coming down heavy, the next day mild weather, then cold again – making it almost impossible to stay on your feet. I´ve had a couple of morning runs to work (14K) that has been really hard, both physically and mentally.

Running in spite of conditions can make you feel on top of the world (although really tired;))
Running in spite of conditions can make you feel on top of the world (although really tired;))

Today I did intervals with the regular gang from Friskis & Svettis – and it felt great. 4 x 3min uphill. I kind of hate that hill, but love being able to push through. And afterwords, hitting the hot shower before being served a nice dinner – I love my hubby!

I do think I´m back. I am pretty sure I´m back. I know I´m back. My head is now again spinning on where to travel next – maybe the Berlin half spring 2016? I will be running a 10K in Oslo in April (Sentrumsløpet) and a half marathon in Oslo in September – but I need to plan for another trip abroad. I really want to figure out if I will be able to finish a full Marathon in 2016, but I kind of have my heart set on Berlin – and how does one qualify for Berlin, when it is your first full marathon? Please let me know, if you have any tip on the matter.

Now I am tired, but happy. And it feels good to be back on the blog, as well. This might not be such an interesting post, but my heart needed this, as well as my head. I need to run, and I need to write. I do hope you will want stay with me on this blog, and please – do comment. I want to get to know other runners, and would love to know more about YOUR running life.

Berlin, hey? Maybe I will go for it.

Run safe. Run happy.

Me