Log: February 6th-12th

Urgh. What a week. I had a lot of fun last weekend, but lack of normal routine, different eating, no running (though enough other activity!) and time to get things done made returning to normal life in Berlin on Monday a bit of a drag. I got in a quick run and went off to work. You know you’re a runner when running is a higher priority than unpacking when you return from a trip.

Anyway, Monday was a rushed run, Tuesday was a rushed run, Wednesday was a rushed run, Thursday was a rushed run… and by the time it got to Friday, I was like “f***  it.” I didn’t want to spend another morning squeezing in the run, shower, breakfast, and getting ready to go before another long day of school/work.I skipped Friday’s run and after a few niggles this morning during my long run, I’m glad I had that day off.

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I did have mostly good runs all week, and surprised myself with a new route and unexpected extra mile on Wednesday because I couldn’t use the trails, because they were basically single-line ice-skating rinks.

I can’t explain progression runs Monday or Tuesday except that I didn’t feel like doing intervals and it felt right to just keep upping the pace. Average paces for all runs were in the 8:30s,except for today which I finished in an 8:55 pace. I don’t know. I wasn’t totally feeling it. But things will probably be better next week with normal routine and no uni appointments. Barely  managed 36 miles this week: I’m looking for the 40 next week.

Marathon training is in effect as of this week, and next week I have a 16 miler planned. We’ll see how it goes!

As a final announcement: I am taking off the first marathon I had planned in April. I made plans to go home for Easter, so I’ll just have the one for this spring. I’m actually more comfortable for it and look forward to good ole-fashioned training. Though, after that, I’m cutting down on running for a while. My running discipline is stronger than my writing discipline for a while now, and something needs to change.

 

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Running Log: Jan 30th- Feb 5th

As I predicted last week, I came down with a cold. What better time than when I’m down for an easy week anyway? I figure that it was the 4 weeks of training before taking a break that caused my immune system to be a bit weak, and from now on, I will follow the 3 week-“on” 1 week-“off” training schedule. Sunday was terrible, but I felt better Monday morning in time to make it to work. I did decide to be responsible (a rare moment) and take Monday off. No running, no commuting by bike. I bought “cold tea” and it was a mixture of a bunch of herbs and flowers. I can’t tell if it worked, but it tasted nasty and I felt better Tuesday and managed an easy run in the gym before work. Same thing on Wednesday, day off Thursday (but I did bike-commute to work) and another easy run Friday and Saturday.

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I didn’t go to do strength work at all last week, and I really took it easy. I watched my heart rate and kept it below 145 the entire times I ran (with maybe a few strides to keep things interesting). I really didn’t feel like pushing it Tuesday anyway, and while the runs felt better as the week went on, I noticed my mind and body needed the break… especially taking the liberty of an extra rest day and not worrying about it messing up my training. See! I can learn things.

So, last week was easy and culminated in two days of So.Much.Snow. Adventure!

I added a lot of new verbs having to do with snow to my active vocabulary. My brother and I made up for 20 years of being in south Florida this weekend by sledding down a hill 20 times, building a legit snowman, and learning to ski! That was cross-training for sure. I had no idea how one rolls a snow ball, how heavy it can be, and how much butt strength skiing takes. We had a lot of fun and I’m a bit sad to return to a regularly scheduled programming this week.

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It’s not the most handsome snowman, but it’s ours! 

 

I did manage to squeeze in a fast 4 miles after arriving back in Berlin, before rushing off to work, and I’ll try to get 40 miles this week as marathon training needs to start happening soon.

I didn’t watch the Superbowl, but I also didn’t really miss it…

I will finally post to my actual blog again, soon! Just need to get a bunch of thesis work done and get back into routine.

Log: January 23-29

In looking through my logs of the past few weeks, one can notice a general trend of “this was a good week.” Of course, there had to be a break to this pattern and I had a harder week this time around, but I expected it. I accept it. And because I expected and accept it (and even have a reason for it), I can say I had a good week all the same.

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January marks the first month of consistency since my broken toe interrupted my marathon training end of July ’16. There’s not much difference between this week and the last one except for the kinds of workouts I did and a little mile on Thursday to warm-up for strength work (usually, Thursday is a mostly-rest [I’ll still commute to work via bike] day).

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The week started off decently with a fast set of mile intervals.I did one less interval than would be ideal in marathon training (3 instead of 4), but I did them about 10 seconds faster than the pace needed to be at this point in the training, so that’s a plus. Tuesday’s miles were split with a mile for strength workout in the morning and then some evening miles.I did not want to be doing those miles in the gym at 8 PM before dinner, but they weren’t going to magically get run, so…!

Wednesday was a similar situation to Tuesday in that I had to run after a long day of work and school, but while my back-up plan was to just get the six miles done and go home, I did feel moderately okay to push up to tempo pace, so I did four miles in 31 miles and was pleased with myself. Again, 4 miles tempo are a bit short for marathon training, but looking back at my training for Marathon 4, I wasn’t doing much different this moment in time in the preparation, so I’ll stick to what I know works.

Thursday was the mile freebie and Friday was the “quick” run before the weekend long run. I did have a bit of a problem getting out the door- motivation has been an issue for me this entire week- but I knew that getting the run done would make me feel better, so I ran. And I did feel better! Except I wiped out after about two miles on frozen ground. I lay front down for a few seconds feeling sorry for myself before realizing that the ground was cold and I’d feel it if I stayed like that much longer, so I got up… assessed a banged up but not injured elbow and side thigh, and ran home (albeit a little more warily… that will teach me to run around curves in winter). Getting home, I saw that I’d lost a bit of skin on my ankle and had a huge bruise on the elbow, but it could have been worse and I’m grateful. Throughout the rest of the day and today, I noticed with interest how the physiological effects of a fall will continue to make themselves felt throughout the rest of the body with time.

This morning, I discovered where some of my fatigue and lack of motivation this past week came from: I’m coming down with a cold. Still, the symptoms today weren’t bad enough to forgo the run, and I got in a few beautiful miles running the tourist route: Victory Column, Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Dom, Red Town Hall, Alexanderplatz, and back. The sun was out and I had a sunrise and several views of iconic Berlin structures that were almost enough to wish I ran with a camera.

Then I proceeded to spend the rest of the day exploring the International “Green Week” Convention currently being hosted in Berlin.

All in all, yeah, I guess I can say another good week. I did run the 38 miles I was hoping for and will now proceed with a pleasant 25-30 mile week of easy runs.

Hope you have a good week!

-Dorothea

Log: January 16-22

This, while a hectic week, was a good week. I got up earlier twice to go the gym before breakfast: Wednesday and Friday. Friday, I managed to get weights done as well, and this done fasted surprised me and reminded me that mind can work over muscle. Problem with those days and a general slight increase in mileage overall means that my appetite is lying to me all the time now. I may need to start logging my food again soon, to make sure I’m not overcompensating for my runger and stress.

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Slightly longer mileage for each day of running and higher speed overall. I figure my body is in the part of its “let’s go” cycle and that next week will be more full of easy runs.  I didn’t do intervals on Monday, so I never maxed out my speed, which may also explain my need for speed the rest of the week. Still, weights after a progression run with a 7:11 final mile did pull something out of me on Friday, but since I’m not injured, I figure it will only make me stronger.

Yesterday was my long run. I ended up losing the paperclip that allows me to toggle my display on my GPS watch after starting it, so I ran “blind”. I had set the watch for 13 miles, so I just turned around when the watch told me too and ran what felt good. Yesterday, fast felt good with 13.25 miles at 8:08 pace, and I managed to stay upright despite the slippery trails!

Pleased with this week and the 35 miles total. I’m looking to do one more week of building (maybe get to 37-8 miles) and then follow with a cut-back week to coincide with a trip to the Harz Mountains in Lower Saxony the first weekend of February.

Hope everyone had a good week of running and life. Enjoy a beautiful Sunday! Here, the sun is shining and I will take a walk after lunch, just to get out there and soak up some rays.

Running Log: January 9th-15th

Woot! Another week of running in the books. This was a good week in which I took Monday off, ran five days in a row, and figured out which shoes to wear and when. I may have a slight onslaught of plantar fasciitis, but I am confident that, since it didn’t hurt during or after yesterday’s long run, today’s rest day will leave me with a foot right as rain (or snow?) again.

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Didn’t run Monday, won’t run today. I had a nice un-timed interval session on Tuesday, and a fast few miles on Friday. Saturday’s long run was 13.2 miles at 8:18 pace. I had a nice fast mile in there at mile 6 and managed to stay upright through a bit of snow and a lot of slippery trails.

I ran 4/5 runs on the treadmill at the gym because the roads/trails were too icy this week and I’ve already paid my gym membership… while I’d have to go out and buy some yaktrak knockoffs to run outside. I’m not hugely opposed to treadmill runs as long as I’m not spending all my time indoors, especially since Netflix allows one to download shows, and Stranger Things is one of those shows (a good show!), and I can somehow deal with the scary moments better while running than from the safety of my tv chair. I still commuted 3/5 the five days to work on my bike and managed to wipe-out on only one commute. Thankfully a bruise, a scrape and some shin pain are all I have to show for it.

Next week, I hope to add three miles to the weekly mileage (this week was a solid mile increase) and remain healthy. I also have to start figuring out a new exercise routine, since my brother is coming to live with me in Berlin for a while!

Hope you enjoy a pleasant Sunday and have a good start to the week, -Dorothea

Log: January 2nd-8th

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This was a good week of running ; I got the mileage in that I wanted. I did sacrifice some time for friends and work, which I am a bit disappointed about, but I guess I justified it with the idea that it would help me get back to routine faster, which it did. It also helped mitigate the effects of jet lag.

On the other hand, not having a proper rest until more than 36 hours after the 5k and some wonky shoes meant I started having foot niggles by Wednesday. They threatened to cut my long run short yesterday, but I still manage 12+ miles, which I’m happy about. Next week, I’m going to try and do the same daily mileage with one extra mile on the long run and maybe an extra mile somewhere else.

Backwards and Forwards

Dear readers,

Happy new year. May it bring us all positive answers, a stronger sense of security, and some peace.

The days between the years were great. I went home to blue skies and lots of sunshine for Christmas and flew back to Germany on the 31st. Long flights leave room for thinking (if one doesn’t get too distracted by the onboard entertainment, this time including the pilot), and this time of year invites reflection in general. So I will reflect on a year of PRs, months riddled by injuries, and a much lower mileage than I had planned for.

First of all, if anything, I can appreciate my 10,000 lifetime recorded miles. Assuming I continue running, I can’t expect another 10,000 until 2023. But to run strong through 2023 is a good long-term goal! I’d love to not have any injuries until then, but to ensure that, I am going to need some assessments of my health that I hadn’t taken seriously enough, and age 25 is a pretty good time to start, especially if I want to continue to be a runner. I have a few doctor appointments planned.

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All things considered, I had a pretty good year running the majority of the time.

Not meeting my 1500 (bumped up in June to 1700) miles goal is not bad news to me. I accept that I was challenged by injuries (one major one not running related) and should have been smarter. I reached 1367 miles this year, which is a nice prime number if you ask me. As long as I’m logging more than a mile a day for a year, I’m in pretty good shape.

I guess not meeting a mileage goal (the first time I ever set one, actually) helped in the realization that I don’t have to take myself as seriously as a runner. I still have my lifetime goal of a sub-3hr marathon, but that’s not a priority, especially not now while I’m working on my doctorate. I don’t know if I’ll ever have time to focus on the training enough to dedicate mind and spirit, whole-heartedly, but for now I am grateful with consistency that will always leave a starting point better than square one, should I chose to reach that goal. Running is a part of my life and always has the potential to be more. Right now, that potential is enough, especially when I’m continuing to score age group (and super-occasionally overall) wins.

My training from 2015 paid off into 2016 with a PR in the half-marathon in January and an 18 minute PR in the marathon February. I didn’t race again until Fall 2016, but did fairly well (considering 6 weeks off due to broken toe) in a 10.7km, 8.6km, and a 20km in December. I never recapped that race, but I was 7th overall for the females and ran a 1:33:40. Not amazing, off my goal by about 3 minutes, but still a good race considering the injuries, etc.. It also probably prepared me to end the year on a positive note with a 5K race on New Year’s Eve.

In my race Saturday, I ran 21:32, placed 8th for the women, won my age-group and was off my 5k PR by only 18 seconds despite a hurting back, a freshly stubbed toe (race-morning wandering around the house in the dark, because I didn’t want to wake the whole household up) and not having trained specifically for a 5K nor training properly at all, due to a hurt tendon in the foot after the 20k.

My weeks (Dec. 5-Jan. 1st) since the last time I posted looked like this:

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One can see how I took a few days off after I hurt my foot (coinciding well with a scholarship application due on the 15th), and slowly ramped up the mileage the following week. I learned again not to do too much too soon following a race, and the graph shows I had a better month than I allow myself in my memory. In general, the stats always seem better than the reality in my head. I need to get out of my head more often.

One last running highlight of the year that I’d like to mention was volunteering at the Berlin marathon. I somehow missed signing up for the lottery for 2017, but may just volunteer again, anyway.

Looking forwards, I intend to keep logging my running and keep updates with my blog posts. I also am running at least one marathon that I’d like to PR at on April 23rd. I haven’t decided yet if I will do another one (I signed up for one on April 15th, but am not sure about messing up my chance to PR on the 23rd), but for now the plan is to just slowly start upping the mileage anyway. I will also continue strength training, since I noticed a huge shift in the effort in the fall after the work I put into increasing my core and upper body strength.

I plan to get to 50 miles a week by the middle of February and once I’m there, double-marathon specific training can still be decided. I can also use this time to address my nutrition without stressing about specific workouts, and in general focus on my academic life a little more. In February, it’s time to reassess and think about later in the year. But for now, I’m satisfied in my planning and excited about a lot of easy and long runs.

Wishing you all a great year of running- and otherwise.

-Dorothea

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.

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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: Nov 14-20

I currently have no motivation to write about anything other than my running and my dissertation, so I guess it’s a good thing that this is a site for the former. I have to say, I think a lot of my lack of motivation comes from still reeling from the results of the presidential election, and I’m still working through how I feel about being a US American in Germany right now, so my Wanderwolf site is going to remain a bit neglected.

But that aside, let’s talk running. This was a great week. Maybe it was returning to my M,T,W,F,S routine, not having a race on Sunday, doing less biking through the city because of awful weather, who knows.

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Since I signed up for the 5K on New Year’s Eve, I decided my goal would be to place in the women’s overall, and while I wouldn’t have to PR (based on previous years’ results that need to be taken with a grain of salt), I do have to pick off about a minute from my current “I’m trying” time. So, intervals and tempos are back on the menu. I did 3 x 1600ms on Monday, which were okay, but I held back too much and didn’t get the feeling of satisfaction of giving my best. Still, 6:55 average and only to get better from there. Tuesday was a necessary easy run, cut short by two miles due to lack of time. Wednesday I had 4 miles tempo on the plan, but didn’t feel ready to start after my mile warm-up, and made it a progression run. I did 4 miles in 30 minutes like I wanted to, but I failed to have a steady pace. This lack of steady pace is something that kept me from breaking 3:30 in my last marathon, so I really want to work on that.

I think my favorite run of the week was the long run (aka Chelsea Trot, since I also had my Thanksgiving meal yesterday). It just felt so good and I felt strong. All the knee and feet niggles disappeared within the first miles and I could feel myself carrying well and I felt like I was in control for the whole run, which is something I haven’t felt in a while. 11.1 miles in 1:26 is just the cherry on top.

Today is a rest day to recover and recharge.

So, there you have it. My running exploits of the week.

Hope everyone racing this weekend or throughout the next week as a part of Thanksgiving festivities have great runs. Shout out to Paula and James who are running in Tulsa! May the wind be at your back and the party be miles long.

 

Running Log: Oct 31-Nov 13

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I left you with my last update and a race recap, and now, two weeks later, it’s time to report that I ran another race and did my first “long run” since injury.

Oct 31-November 6

Following the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Crosslauf of October 30th, I was sore… like post marathon sore (though not quite as bad. I could still do stairs). I guess running a sustained fast-ish pace for a longish time when not having done that for a while will make you sore. Hills that I usually don’t charge up and down probably added to the lactic acid build-up and my DOMS. But I survived! I didn’t run the day after the race, but I went for a ride and the movement helped.  I realized on Wednesday, where I was still sore, that something was up- and then I foam-rolled (how did I forget that exists?) and then things felt better. Needless to say, all my runs that week were easy and I think that was a good move considering I had run a race and was about to run another one.

8.6 kilometer Long-Distance Running Club Crosslauf 

This race was fun. Many more people than at the last one… the number of women who ran on Nov. 6th were the number or runners overall at Friedrich Jahn, and the competition was much more fierce. Still, I’m proud of what I accomplished during that run, and I managed to score a shoe care set in the raffle afterwards! I’m lazy, so I’m copying my training log entry from RunningAhead here for the rest of the recap:

Should probably have not had the extra drinks yesterday and also not have done a full strength workout or cleaned the house yesterday. Still, a pretty solid effort and I feel okay about this: 20/133 and 5th out of the women, 40:03 for 8.6k

I used the power of music- but without the headphones. Had “You’re gonna lose that girl” for a while running through my noggin, because there was that girl up ahead I wanted to catch up to, but after she was long gone, I pulled up The Script and Katy Perry’s “Rise” for the extra oomph. After km 7, I thought I had a mile to go, but the GPS wasn’t really working properly, so I actually should have gone for the final sprint a lot sooner.
Went zooming through the finish line. Just barely over the 40 minute mark. Since the GPS is weird, I’m also not quite sure if I had a negative split, which was my goal. 5K in 23:11 and 4,3k in 20:05… so I think it’s a negative split? The whole thing was faster than last week by more than 10 minutes, even if it was only one k less… though that makes me also think the race was a bit short? Oh well.

November 7-13

Not much to report from the past week. While I took several days off running, I was on my bike everyday and could feel the need for a serious rest day today. Just having trouble sleeping while being fatigued was a sign that my body needed rest, not to mention the fact that I just mentally needed the break. In good news, I was a lot less sore after this latest race and my mile-trial (which isn’t really a trial, since it’s always just in the middle of a normal run) has dropped thirty seconds in the past few weeks. I’m slowly getting my old fitness back. And a solid 10 miler yesterday doesn’t hurt the confidence, either.

Looking forward, I signed up for a 5k race with my brother on Dec. 31st, so I’m looking forward to reviving the sibling rivalry.