Week 14 Training (April 2-8): rests, birthday run, and a half marathon

There were a few highlights this week, but overshadowing the whole thing was generally feeling crummy. Didn’t I say I probably wouldn’t run until Thursday? Should have stuck to that… But who knows? Maybe a half marathon race was what I needed to reset and get back into gear for these last two weeks before the marathon.

graph

If you recall, I’ve been struggling through runs since the 22-miler. Really, I think it started when I ran a 1:41 half and then eight miles the next day (stupid, stupid!). But I took it really easy in week 13, and this week was a continuation. Despite having some decent runs every other day, none of them were the kind of effortless, fast runs I’ve had through week 11 of the cycle. Either I’m feeling marathon fatigue, feeling the taper, or warding off an injury. It’s probably the latter, but I keep telling myself it’s the former.

Still, all things considered, this was a good week! Or so I keep telling myself. This close to the marathon, positive self-talk is the best weapon I have against a breakdown in body and spirit. :-)

I traveled from Florida to Berlin on Tuesday and purposefully pushed the pace a little on Monday, knowing I would take a day off. I landed on Wednesday (trips from US to DE are usually overnight) and after unpacking and a nap, headed out for 8 miles. They were tired miles, but still felt decent. 9 mpm are normal after an international  flight, right?! On the other hand, I probably should have just used the extra day off, because Thursday, which was supposed to be a glorious birthday run celebrating 27 years of life, I couldn’t wait for the run to be done. I ran paths I hadn’t run before, though, and felt okay about it afterwards, but it was the slowest run I’ve done in a while.

Still, sushi and quiet celebrations seemed perfect afterwards.

Then came the shocker (though I anticipated it):  The Berlin Half-Marathon was happening on the 8th of April, and my brother wanted me to run in his stead.

So Friday and Saturday were standard pre-race fare: day off and 2 mile pre-run with strides.

See, my brother had expressed an early (October) interest in running the Berlin Half-Marathon, since colleagues were running it as well. Since he is not normally the active instigator of running or races, I held myself back and followed his cues on registering and training. Well, the registering never happened in time. By the time he got around to wanting to do it, the tickets were sold out (December?). So plan B: look on E-bay. I had switched my entry to the Munich Marathon in 2016, so I knew there were always people looking to buy or sell entries online. However, the annoying thing about the Berlin Half-Marathon (and I imagine the full that happens in Sept.) is that the entries are non-transferable, which means that what we were doing was kind of illegal. Apparently, the costs of having someone manage all the changes are too high for the SCC race-organizers. Psh. Whatever. It’s lame, because people can’t run for legitimate reasons and the race in also non-deferable, so if people can’t run, they are forced to either lose the money or, well, have someone run for them. The organizers even have a no-tolerance policy for packet pickup: the person registered MUST be the one picking up the bib. This means that a certain amount of coordination is needed as well. At least the SCC Event organizers got rid of the color-coded race bibs. The non-gender specific bibs would make it easier to find someone to race for (it also helps to find someone who has a name that is given to both boys and girls).

At any rate, since I was also interested in maybe running, I put out the call for me and my brother, got a few replies, and then decided I actually wasn’t keen on paying 60 Euro for a race two weeks before my “A” race. So I found a nice young lady who couldn’t run because of a confirmation happening in North-Rhine Westfalia, got everything organized for my brother to exchange starting packet and money on April 6th, and then watched my brother plan to train, fail to train, and wind down to race week with a pitiful look on his face. He really figured until last weekend he could maybe wing-it. But it’s 13 miles, I kept reminding him, The longest he’s done in the past two years was 5 miles. So he took my offer to run it for him after all. I’d pay half. So I ran the Berlin Half for 31 Euro.

map of Berlin half marathon

The course really is as advertised. If you recall, I’ve actually done the route from the TV at Alexander Platz through the Tiergarten to the Golden Else many a time, and I live in Berlin now, so some of the sites the race boasted for internationals were pretty standard for me. Still, it’s not everyday I get to run on the streets themselves! With other runners! And the weather was gorgeous!

It wasn’t all sun and awesome sites/people though. Since the girl I was was running for my brother for hadn’t done a half before, she/he/I ended up in block F, which was the last group to run. So while my net time was 1:51:26 (more on that in a few lines), my total time was 2:30:51!!! Seriously, I spent over 40 minutes standing around/slowly walking forward. My tracker had me at 17 miles for the day, and a lot of that was the small steps forward. But I could live with a delayed start. I could also live with the human obstacle course. I forgot that ending up further back meant ending up with runners with slower paces. I added 400 meters to the race by doing diagonals across the course, looking for gaps. I haven’t done a run like that in a while- and honestly, I don’t have to do that again anytime soon. I like being able to catch my stride and keep it, early on. Also, I was annoyed that the race took 6 hours out of my day… but I shouldn’t complain about that too much. Volunteers spent 5-6 hours on the course (I should know, I almost volunteered). It was a good last harder effort before my marathon.

The race itself was okay. I ran about an 8:10 pace with one restroom break and, as I mentioned, did a lot of lateral running, which I felt today in the legs. I can’t explain why I feel worse today than I did after the 20 and 22 mile runs, but I’m chalking it up to probably coming down with a cold and the post-jet lag and the continuing battle with sore butt and hamstrings. I used kinesio tape for the first time on my back and right leg, and got some weird looks because it’s not really a thing in Germany. I still haven’t decided if it actually works or if it is a placebo, but it worked as a placebo for me!

And the race atmosphere was on point yesterday. The people were happy, the sun was shining, and no attacks happened… though, ****. It’s a pretty dark world if one of the thoughts during the pre-race jitters in a crowd of happy, life celebrating people on a glorious sunning day is “what if something were to happen?” Thank goodness nothing happened yesterday. Though it’s not that it didn’t run through my head- and I had prepared for it. Five years ago, especially before Boston, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the dangers of running in someone else’s name. Yesterday though, one of my concerns was being able to be identified should anything happen. There was a space on the back of the bib for personal information and emergency contact info- you can bet my name and bro’s contact info were there is clear, bold letters. Okay, okay. I think it’s enough with the negativity, already.

If the Berlin Half-Marathon had been my goal race, the energy yesterday would have carried me to a PR, probably.It was incredible! But since I was using effort to not go fast and not injure myself, I was more mellow than anything. Had a few great moments, though! I am a little concerned about the effort it took to hold even a 8:10, if I’m aiming for 8 mpm for the marathon, but I won’t worry about that now. Now, it’s two weeks to the marathon, serious taper time and I’m going to try and get these niggles taken care of and out of the way by then. No stupid business!

Medal and Daffodils

I wonder, if marathons had been a thing in the 18/19th century, if Wordsworth would have run.

Cheers, and happy running,
Dorothea

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Running Log Nov 21-Dec 4: In which I log 10,000 miles

Of course, I didn’t log 10,000 miles in the last two weeks alone, but this morning I reached a a milestone, almost literally (it wasn’t a stone, but at least it had to do with miles). Logging my run today marks 10,000 recorded lifetime miles. It’s not totally impressive. It doesn’t include all the miles I’ve ever run, but it’s still not beating some ultra-runners’ five year totals. Still, for a 25-year old, I’d say it’s a pretty good number and it’s a beautiful realization for me to see my body and know that it has taken me at least that far, and I recorded how it did so.

The first run I ever recorded was April 2008 during junior year of high school- four miles  after a disappointing track season. The next run was during August of 2009, first run at my new college and the beginning of a self-guided running adventure since then. During high school, I had a coach and just ran what I was told, running on weekends and holidays when I felt like it. Once leaving high school, I realized I needed to take charge of my running and where I wanted to go with it, so logging became a habit and a necessity (sometimes). My 10000 miles don’t include weeks where I ran “naked” or only timed the run without counting distance. But the point is, it’s been a long time that I’ve been logging, and it astounds me that I have these records for so long… only to keep going.

Speaking of going, I went places these last two weeks.

runs

The scheduling was a bit off and I took an extra rest-day after last weekend’s activities in Hamburg, but this week was mostly good and I feel tired. This comes just in time for a mini taper for next weekend’s 20k.

I debated a few times in my head about whether to step down to the 15k distance for next weekend, since I can tell that there is more competition among the 20k runners, but then I realized I was backing out of a challenge and I shouldn’t go the easy way out. The 3rd place in Oct. made me a bit ambitious and now I want to place at all the races I run, but I have to tell myself that I only just started running regularly two months ago and my fitness is not at the level yet to where I can expect such awesomeness from my body. What my body is capable of doing now is already awesome, and I need to remember that. I will push myself next weekend, but I will keep my expectations reasonable.

Hope you are all are also enjoying winter running. I alternate between miles on the treadmill and on the trails. So far, being warm has its perks, but the frost on the pines make my heart leap up, so both options have been good. I may need to go invest in a new pair of thermal tights, though.

Happy running -Dorothea

Running Log Oct. 17-23: Full Circle

So, it’s been a while, but I’ve decided I can finally be cautiously optimistic.

This is the first week where I’ve managed five days of running, and I had my first three-day block this week as well.

I’ve been a little more patient and a little more careful, and so far, I’m being rewarded with a slowly, but surely increasing mileage and fast speeds. Mind you, I’m not doing workouts yet. I’m just running fast when I feel ready to go fast. I’m not forcing my legs or feet to do anything they don’t feel 100% ready to do yet.

A little more than a month ago, I ran a 7 mile tempo run that was the straw to break the camel’s back, or rather, run to cause a stress reaction in the left foot. That run included an easy warm-up and the worst cool down hobble ever. It was an 8:23 overall with a 7:24 second mile.

Fast forward five weeks later, and I ran my first 7 miler of this new start. I started slowly like I have for all my runs since returning from injury, and slowly built up to a 7:12 for the last mile. Overall pace was 8:06 and while I’m a bit more tired today than these past weeks, things are feeling good. Even this little piggy *wiggles pinky toe* went all the way home.

sept-oct-2016

5.6  miles per week to 13.7 to 17.4 to 24.1

So far, so good.

Now, I have a few races on the horizon.

I know, I know; I wrote that I wouldn’t give myself the pressure of a race this side of 2017, but I couldn’t help it. I miss having a running club and the social aspect of races. I also miss the motivation of having a race to prepare for.

Still, I know it can be dangerous to have goals too soon, so I chose races that have new distances (not hard to do when everything is measured in kilometers rather than miles). I’ve got a 10,6k next Sunday on the 30th, an 8,6k on November 6th, and a 20k on December 11th. I was a bit worried that a 20k is too long of a race, but I have more than a month to build up to that distance. If anything, I just run it as a training run. That’s the plan for all these races, and honestly, I am not ambitious about these races at all. I have nothing I need to prove, these are automatic PRs, and I’m just going to do the best I can on those days.

Sound good? Thanks for following! On to a comfortably fun end-stretch for 2016.

 

Look! I caught a fish. Or, Ft. Lauderdale Marathon recap

Run strong. Run fast. Do not settle.

These were the words I wrote on my hand right before leaving the house at 4:20 this morning. I meant to leave at 4:00, but I got carried away with mental prep. Still, I was lucky and traffic was so glorious that I made the distance in 45 minutes anyway. This meant I had 55 minutes to pee and get to the starting line.

I woke up at 3:18 when the alarm rang. I woke up surprised that I had actually slept last night. The last thing I remember was thinking “well, if I can’t sleep, at least I’m resting.” In fact, it was such an unusual situation for me that I forgot to turn off my alarm, and had to run to my room when I was already in the kitchen ten minutes later so that the alarm wouldn’t wake up the rest of the house. Then I went back to the kitchen, toasted my two waffles, boiled my water for coffee, and took it to my desk to look up again how I would get to the race.

My morning was a bunch of pluses and minuses: woke up on time, but left later than intended; made it to the finish line (near where I wanted to park) in record time, but had to park somewhere unplanned, because I didn’t think I’d get a parking spot in time. I thought the rate for the garage that I found was 10$ for the day, but later I was to find out that it was 10$ per hour, and I’m really glad I had my debit card on me to pay it. That was maybe the only thing I regret about this run. The line for the shuttle from finish to start line was super long, but I made friends with the runners in front of me, and they saved my spot so that I could head into the nice resort bathroom next to where we were all standing. Porcelain bathrooms with toilet paper and soap on race morning? A luxury. It was a relief to not have to wait in line at the porta-potty at the start line (though by the time the bus made it over, I could have gone again- just didn’t have the time, which came to nip me in the bud later). I found gear check and dropped my bag with three minutes to spare, but couldn’t find the 3:30 pacer, and lost the pace-band I had made for myself. My iPod shuffle wasn’t following the playlist I had made for it, but my starting song was still “Fanfare for the Common Man.“The best way to start a race, if I may say so. It kept my pace at around the 8:19 I was planning for (though I did go out at 8:17).

That was  the beginning. It was a pretty good race from there. I met all my none-time goals: I reveled in the beginnings of the sunrise on the ocean- it was so beautiful. I had a flash-back to running my marathon in Hamburg when I saw the Port-of-Everglades (reminded me of the docks on the Elbe river). I connected with the two runners while waiting at the shuttle, found another runner at mile 8 who was also aiming for 3:30 (we rooted each other on throughout the race whenever we saw each other again… she went on to make her goal, I think! Even with a potty break). I was throwing good karma all around, waving to the good souls who clapped for me, nodding at all the policemen and women who were along the course, thanked all the volunteers. I cheered on anyone coming at me in the opposite direction. I like to think I made their run a little more pleasant… I know I appreciate it! One of the lead runners that I clapped for recognized me again at the finish line and congratulated me on a fine race. So that’s all good.

But I’m sure you want to hear about the time goals, and so let me just say that I’m so glad I set myself a “B” goal within a few minutes of my “A” goal… because without that, or say I had next gone for the 3:50 PR, I would have quit trying. I knew about mile 21 that I would no longer make sub-3:30. But after that, I kept trying, and when I knew I wouldn’t get it for sure, I still kept trying for the 3:33. And I made it!

3:32:54

You may be interested to know that this is a BQ time for girls ages 18-34, so there’s that. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be asked to run next year, because I missed that “extra” time cushion of 2:28 by 18 seconds. I’m okay with that, though, since Boston is not my goal…yet. I’m thrilled enough with the sub-3:35, sub-3:33 even, and I can’t wait to see what I can do with my next race!

See, this is my fourth marathon, but the first one I ran like a legitimate race. Last April, I ran a PR, and ran a marathon for the first time without stopping to walk, but I was having way too much fun taking in the experience of the Hamburg Marathon. I didn’t really understand fueling, starting off slower, but not too slow so that you’re catching up for the rest of the race, etc.

I still don’t think I figured out that part quite perfectly yet. I started off slower, but my 2nd and 3rd miles were sub-8mpm when they should have been in the 8:00-8:10 range. Then, as I feared all during the taper, I didn’t know how to keep myself at the pace I should have kept, a more conservative 7:56-7:58 versus the 7:45/8:00 flips I was doing. Overall, my pace was already at 7:56 through mile 10, when it really should have been 8:00-8:02. The other mistake I made was to get too confident at mile 14. Maybe it was the Gu kicking in, maybe I was glad to be at the halfway mark,  but miles 14-19 were 7:46, 7:51, 7:44, 7:44, 7:43 (fastest mile of the race) and 7:48. I totally did not have the consistent pace I think I needed to meet my “A” goal for today. It’s a weakness I knew about beforehand though, so I’m not terribly mad at myself. At mile 20, when they say the race really starts (something I was chastising myself all through those middle miles when I was feeling high on air), I started to slow down. Minimally at first, so that the 7:56 became a 7:57, then 7:58, then 7:59 overall pace… which I held for a while, but at mile 22 I was barely holding it together, counting down each quarter mile, and then, after two 8:21 splits for 23 and 24, I could barely keep myself running.

dalmatian.jpg

101 Dalmatians, anyone?

Here is where I pulled all the tricks for the last miles that I could remember out of my bag (I forgot that counting trick from Deena Kastor, though). It didn’t help that I had bladder issues, and I was struggling to just keep running, especially after my pace got into the 8:03 overall pace. I got lucky when “Hall of Fame” came on from The Script; it really got me going, and a few scenes from Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil came to mind (I kid you not). Maybe those words on my hand were what did it… maybe seeing the girl from mile 8 pick it up and look damn amazing at mile 24. But I kept thinking to myself, “stay strong; don’t settle.” So I listened to myself the best I could. When I could see the clock with 150 meters left to go, I picked it up for a “sprint” through the finish. Can’t wait to see what that looks like. Definitely not like this puppy, the mascot for my overall place this race.

Somehow, I also managed an age group win, and I scored all the swag post race. I’m glad I parked by the finish line, and getting myself cleaned up and ready to go with a very short, mini cool-down run so that I wouldn’t cramp up in the car was alleviated by the fact that I could dump everything in the car. I didn’t get to stay for awards, so I’m sorry I can’t show you what I would have gotten for the age group win. From experience at this race though, I think it was “just” a plaque. I don’t really need those, and maybe they gave it to the next finisher.

So, did I miss anything? A detail I left out that you really wanted to know about? Let me know! I can say that I had a few knee and feet issues, but nothing that warranted dropping out of the race and the knee things went away over the course of the run. Also, this is a really good race, touted as a “fast” race because it’s so damn flat (most of it is at or below sea level, with one incline near the start to go over the Intercostal). The wind can be a problem, since most of the course is exposed by the ocean. There’s a fair amount of spectators, but not the cheering, loud, clapping kind that will carry you like in major city races. Still, I found the support enough. There were people giving out Gu along the way, so I actually didn’t need all my Gus, but still had them when I struggled in the later miles. There was also a group giving out beer, which sounds like so much fun, but awful consequences when running at the end of one’s limits in a marathon… I actually don’t get that trend. Post-race beer? Sure… but during? The finish area is really well organized- many sponsors giving out all kinds of free-samples: drinks, Muscle Milk, coffee, burgers, enchiladas… . The Ft. Lauderdale marathon and half is also known for its sweet medal and a sand sculpture at the finish to take a photo with. I opted out, but got another photo in all my nasty post-race glory that I’ll share when the pictures are made available.

2015-2016 seasonAs for where I go from here (because it’s always good to have ideas for “after”), I am taking a break from training. I had a very successful season with PRs in all the distances I attempted, and I’m mighty content with where I am at this point in my fitness. I will say I could have worked better on my nutrition… something to work on for next season. But I’m ready to not take my logging so seriously, and to run when I feel like it and skip it when I don’t. My GPS is going to hide for a little while, too. I may do a race in  early April if I feel like it, and a race or two during the summer in Germany. I have a soft goal of building my mileage off-season to steady 45 mile weeks, but right now, I just want to relax.

And in south Florida, even with all the work I have to do, relaxing is made so easy.

IMG_0002 (2)

Check out my medal: see, a fish! Two fish, actually.

Cheers, all.

p.s. Thank you for all your support, both the silent and the extremely open. It means a lot to me! I did want to say though, after thinking about what I wrote yesterday, that my parents do support me in everything I do (including running)… they just don’t understand much about running. Still they are mighty proud of me, and I felt the love today. Happy Valentine’s Day, all around!

 

A tale of two logs- Running Logs 12/6-12/20

Really? I couldn’t think of anything less cliche for a title?

Short answer: nope. Long answer: also nope. Sorry folks. It already seems as though I can barely blog… with a post once every two weeks. But I have pictures this time!

Obviously, life was normal enough the last time I wrote. It was, after all, only the first advent and I knew I’d be done with grades and university obligations by the 13th… or so I thought. Unfortunately, I underestimated my obligations and yesterday was the first day I could breath deeply. Seriously, international freshmen are a different species of student.

But it’s all good. My running actually went well.

log

I won’t break it down like I normally do, but I will say that I had two tempo runs, two interval sessions, two long runs, and a race (that was more like a cool-down for my long-ish run yesterday) to fill the past two weeks, with three rest days and five easy days. Actually a solid cycle of training, other than the fact that I always wish I could do more miles. But those weeks will come. 12/7-12/13 was 40 miles, which is more than I’ve done in a good long while. 12/14-12/20 was 36 miles, which isn’t shabby for a down week.

The best runs of this cycle were the long run last Saturday and the runs yesterday.

Last Saturday, I set out for 16 miles. After how I felt during that week, I thought 15 would be okay too, but I also thought 16 were reasonable (even if I only did 13-14 the week before…). Turns out, the route I took brought me to near 16.7 miles, so I ended up with a solid long run at a pace that’s surprising even for me: 8:36. I did some miles at tempo (8:00-8:15) and some at something slower. I feel confident that I’m going to be able to do 8:30 at my next marathon, but I’d like to be able to do 8. We’ll see.

While I felt good during and following the run, I felt kind of tired this entire week. I don’t know if it was because of the psychological stress I was experiencing or the long run, but I was glad to just head out for 4-6 miles every day. I’m looking to do two 40+ mile weeks through New Year’s, with a 19-miler and a 20-miler, so there was no point in pushing this week.

The other special run of this cycle was a Jingle Bell Jog 5K. It was the slowest race I’ve ever run (that’s including my first ever 5K): 27:19 . I did it on purpose, though.. I really had to reign my self (and tongue) in, but I wanted to run the race with my brother, who is a tad out of shape (his PR beats mine by quite a bit). I wore the full Santa get-up and since this is in South Florida, it was quite warm. I also ran a long warm-up of 9 miles (met my brother at the race) so that I wouldn’t feel tempted to run too fast. It turned out to be worth it, as we both sprinted into the finish and have the first (and likely last) finishing photo of both of us together, and I’m waiting for those race photos to come in and share them.

So that’s coming up! As well as some serious post catch-up (I mean, I don’t always just need to talk about myself, I have some great running advice I’ve collected these past few months). Yesterday’s race (such a fun, holiday-themed run, the first I’ve ever done!) rounded out the 5K season for me, which brought my erhofft für (hoped for) PR. Now, it’s onward to a marathon PR (hopefully) and serious marathon training. I have a tune-up half marathon in January to look forward to, but I’m looking to building mileage these next few weeks to carefully get me to peak training condition.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and/or days off (if you don’t celebrate it). :-)

-Dorothea

 

Remembering Trotting Through a Turkey Trot

I’m going to open up with this photo that makes me laugh each time I see it. This is definitely what I look like while running:

Running hamster

Photo credit goes to Julian Rad from Austria, who submitted it to Die Welt photo-contest.

But I really don’t have the time I’d like to dedicate to this post.

I just need to get this down before I get consumed by the finals haze and forget everything except for my name and the date. Wait, today’s still Saturday, right?

Let’s get started by saying today was not an ideal race to PR at.

First of all, this is what the weather looked like:

Temp (°F) 73° 74° 77° 78°
RealFeel® 78° 76° 78° 84°
Humidity 94% 88% 85% 83%
   
   5 AM  6 AM  7 AM  8 AM
Rain  

47%

 

51%

 

51%

 

47%

Snow  

0%

 

0%

 

0%

 

0%

  5 AM 6 AM 7 AM 8 AM
Wind (mph) 4 ESE 4 E 6 SE 6 SSE
UV Index 0 0 0 0
Cloud Cover 65% 62% 100% 96%
Dew Point 71° 70° 72° 73°

The race started at 7:31. On the plus side, there was 0% chance of snow, so that’s nice. Also, more seriously, 100% cloud cover is nothing to complain about.

But the dew point was no fun. If you recall this chart that I’ve talked about before, a dew point above 70 degrees is “very humid and uncomfortable,” and one should “expect pace to suffer greatly.” At least the chart isn’t telling me that I should skip the run, but I’ve run a race like that before, and it isn’t that much worse than it was today. It was raining off me already after my 15 minute warm-up, so I was already not thrilled about how this race was looking to go.

Then, let’s also consider that there were no course markings at this race, and my GPS watch has been broken for a few weeks. The race organizers are a good group, and I’ve run races with them before. I’ve never experienced a run with them without at least mile-markers though… if not the huge mile clock timers.

So yep. I basically ran this race “blind.”

At least I had my stopwatch on me, and I figured out that it was an out-and-back course at the turn-around point (which I reached around 10:38), so I was able to kind of know how I was in pacing… but not really. And I had none of the positive feedback that could have picked me up during miles two and three. I really struggled during minutes 15-17. It was getting even harder to breath- and that’s saying a lot since I started the race already trying to suck out the oxygen from the water in the air. I guess I’m lucky that part of the course was what I run every Saturday with the running group, so I knew the course to some extent. Otherwise, this race would have had three ingredients for a recipe of disaster.

But it wasn’t. It wasn’t a stellar race, and the weather makes me think that I could pull off a faster time in better conditions, but I did-in the end, after all the sweating and fretting and killing myself to get to the end without knowing if the end would even ever come- PR.

21:13.45

If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that this is breaking a nine year record. A new era of Dorothea running is beginning. I don’t even know what to do with myself today.

That’s all I have to say about that, really (and if I had more to say, I don’t have the time [and you probably don’t have the patience]).

Thanks for the support during the training leading up to this! This past week after the last log consisted of a rest-day, another rest day, a short, hard workout of 4x400s at race pace, an easy 4.2 miles, another rest day, an easy 21 minutes, and today’s race. I won’t have time for a separate post for my log this week, but I know some of you were rooting for me, and so I wanted to let you know that the support was well-placed; I appreciate it, and I have you to partially thank for this PR. Part of my motivation was “what would Paula, James, Harold, Chelsea and everyone else reading WordPress this weekend say?”

Official Results (if you’re interested in that sort of thing… or just don’t believe me ;) ): here  Sorry, but I have no splits or mid-race information… just the time. But that’s okay, too… once in a while. When I had my 21:15 PR, most running technology that we have today was not around.

Hope everyone having a run today had a great run, race, or anything in-between. Good luck to racers tomorrow and those who have Turkey Trots on actual turkey day. ;)

 

WWWP5K

Wednesday 5K_WWWP5K

For a while after I first saw the Sherlock series a few years ago, I was obsessed with the character (and a bit with Cumberbatch, who represented him). It went so far as to think that had some sort of super deductive skills, or was facing dangerous situations like he was. Out of this arose a question for myself, and-no lie- it worked for a while: WWSHD? What would Sherlock Holmes Do?

This WWWP5K acronym reminded me of that… there you go; now you have a random fact about me that you didn’t ask for.

TO get to business, the Never a Dull Bling blog featured a WWWP 5K post today (or yesterday? How time flies!) and I’ve been inspired to participate, so this is my post.

5K for the World-wide WordPress 5K completed. It was a part of my daily run, after the circuit training circle I did at the park. I made it home just in time before a thunderstorm hit.

Now, the challenge is on. Between Monday, October 26th to Sunday, November 1st, make it your challenge to do a 5K. Whether it be planned anyway, or is an extra run, find a way to share your run with a group of like-minded runners … rather than posting it all over social media for people who really don’t care ;) Have fun!

A little idea of my runs in Hamburg

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A short photo essay of my runs in Hamburg, especially now that it’s Spring:

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The first picture is of the hill I run down to get from the street to the path straight on the Elbe. It’s about 1.6 miles to this point where I can look out across the river and see the clock tower, the second image.

Often, I’ll be accompanied by a freight ship on my way down the Elbe (I usually run west, towards the outskirts of Hamburg). The freight ship is sometimes helped by a smaller ship, but when it’s riding free down the river, I’m usually running right alongside, trying to keep up. On a good day, I can.

Finally, I am delighted by the images of spring popping up all around me. The daffodils makes me a little more giddy than other flowers (since I have to think of how I “wander, lonely as a cloud”), but the pink, yellow and white blossoms on the trees, and the blue, red and purple buds on the ground make running right now absolute color fests.

A Green Runner

Despite being done in the outdoors, in fresh air, often in some of the most beautiful, remote natural locations possible, running is actually not a very green sport. Just the failure to have recycling cans at the races are an example of how much waste runners produce. There’s also the resources put into running shoes and our technical devices, not to mention the fact that the more natural a running shirt is (100% cotton), the less enviable it is (especially in 90 degree, south Florida weather). Yet, there are ways we can give back to the community beyond our running one, and be good citizens on a smaller scale.

Off Flickr, not my property. But this image is def. what I thought of when I thought “green runner”

 

This challenge for myself and for all you other runners was inspired by my last run before my running break. I obviously haven’t been able to act on the inspiration yet, but plan to do so when I can run again.

Basically, along my run I ran into a woman walking her dog. She had two large plastic bags on her that were filled, and she was bending over to pick something off the ground. At first I thought, “what a lot of poop that dog must produce.” Then, as I drew closer to the woman, I realized that she was picking up trash. I couldn’t help, as I ran by her, to say “I like what you’re doing.” “Thanks!” She said. “I do this everyday.”

For the next few meters, I noticed how clean the paths were along which I was running. Then, even further, I saw a plastic water bottle and a wine bottle. It took me a split second to recognize that I could carry these, while running, over to the nearest waste receptacle. And I did. It was even a can that had a compartment for trash as well as recycling. While they were only two items out of dozens that line our paths, it took little effort on my part and already made the route a little cleaner.

When I can run again, I resolve to take at least two trash items off my routes for every run. If we all did that, imagine how much trash we could get of our routes?

Moin, Nachbar

In Hamburg (as in the rest of northern Germany), the traditional greeting is “Moin.” Sometimes, it’s “Moin, Moin,” but it basically means “hi.” So, “Moin, Nachbar” means “Hi, Neighbor.”

Everyone and his/her neighbor was out on Saturday. The stretch along the Elbe that I’ve staked for most of my runs since being here was filled with pedestrians–old, middle, and young couples with or without children or dogs were clogging up the walkways along the river. I don’t blame them though, because I enjoyed the feeling of sun upon my skin too. The light made the river sparkle even more beautifully than it usually does, and the sun shone through the leaves that were still green or had already turned red, yellow, and orange. The blue sky and the colors all around made my heart sing (a bit like this song http://en.musicplayon.com/play?v=782017).

Sunny and mild (65 degrees Fahrenheit), I didn’t want to stop, even after covering more than 13 miles.

Life was truly in color, in motion.