Monday, December 26, 2011

My next Ultra Trail (230 km, 5 days, 35-45 degrees, lots of climbs and no shadow)

I'm currently training under the guidance of one of the best ultra trail runners in the world. Mentally we are very similar and I'm a little sad that I didn't start running earlier but that is life ;) It is not often that I meet someone who I trust without any hesitation.

The training so far has been hard but great and I'm sure it will become even harder. Running full throttle in the dark with a dim head light on a slippery wet forest trail by a lake is a very revitalizing feeling.

This is my only target. For now all other races have been cancelled for the next 6 months.

I've had a set back though. My right knee is constantly sore. I've hurt it 3 times (1 running, 1 sleeping and 1 at work) the last 1.5 month and now it tells me that it needs a break. Sadly this comes at a time where I'm totally hype about running but as my mentor said "If it hurts STOP and call me right a way!"

I'll do what ever it takes .. even taking a break.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interval training - Just lost my virginity

I've never really tried interval training. Speed has never been a priority for me other than I've constantly improved it little by little simply by running 'normally'. Another thing is that I've found it extremely complex actually I still do but yesterday I decided to read up on the subject and give it a go.

SO many variables and people saying different things. I'm the binary type that likes stuff that are black or white, I'm not really fund of fuzzy gray stuff. These are the steps as I've understood them (

Step 1 (option 1) - Find the zones in your heart rate reserve. My resting heart rate is 37 bpm and my max is 185 bpm. Which converts into these zones:

Step 1 (option 2) - Find your VDOT value and let that be your guide finding the correct pace for the training you want to do. For this I've used my 5 k @ 23:22 as a source for the VDOT:

Step 2 - Decide what you want to do with your training. Do you want to go for VO2max training or AT training.

Step 3 - How far do you want to run / how many repetitions do you want to make. Here you also need to take into consideration that you shouldn't be running more that 8% of your weekly distance as part of VO2max training.

Step 4 - Estimate how long your resting repetitions should be. It needs to be long enough for your heart rate to drop to 60% of your heart rate reserve. As a guideline the length of your resting repetitions should be between 50-90% of your working repetitions.

Step 5 (optional) - Program your GPS watch to aid you with the training. My Garmin 310XT didn't have the heart rate zone based interval training option that I had hoped for but instead let me choose between distance or time based repetitions.

A little confused? I know I was.

Anyway, I decided to aim for 4 repetitions of 4 minutes running at a pace of 4:33 with 3 minutes resting between each repetition.

So today I dressed up and went for a fairly flat path around a local lake. First some warming up and then hitting the 'lap' button to start the repetitions. The path was more crowded that I'd thought it would be and I had to evade both other runners but also 'normal' people out for a Sunday walk. I quickly realized though that the 4:33 pace wasn't fast enough for the zone 5 training I had hopped for so I ignored the pace limit and focused on keeping a pace that keep to borderline to zone 5 instead. The Garmin 310XT have a display field specifically for this so it was easy to monitor. I welcomed the first resting repetition but realized that I wasn't sure if I was meant to stop, walk or just slow down. I decided for some slow running and just reached the 60% limit when it was time to start running fast again. A few repetitions later I was done.

The result for my first interval training
Next time I'll add one more repetition and aim for a slightly higher heart rate but overall it went smoothly and I had no problems of any kind with the arm, knee or anything else for that matter.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I LOVE running! :D

It's been three weeks since the accident and today was my first chance to REALLY run again! The sling is history and the arm is nearly back to normal! Today's track was the same 7 km track as last which is a city course involving some traffic and a lot of pavements. I was eager as a little child the night before Christmas to get back in the running game! Plus I really wanted some redemption ;)

Just as last I ran with a colleague of mine who is a fair bit slower than me so the first 6.5 km wasn't that speedy but the joy of using the arm again and being able to focus on technique and feeling that you really ran was great! The real climax though was the final 500 meter sprint! The last 500 meters are run on a badly lit, narrow and very bumpy pavement with large trees on one side and houses on the other. It was there I tripped 3 weeks ago and fractured the elbow joint but I really really really felt that I had to redo the sprint and prove that I could do it without falling \o/ :)

With 500 meters to go I went all in and running even faster than last time keeping my focus on the pavement in front of me. I had to evade a bike cycle at one point but I kept the pace well below 4:00. Man what a feeling! Being in 'the zone' feeling like a hawk diving on a prey cutting through the dark as a beam of light feeling that no energy is going to waist but feeling nothing but perfection reaching the finish without being even close to falling .. man I LOVE running! I'm back :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I've had a little treadmill action since my half a marathon a week ago (see Failure) but nothing more. Looking forward to get out there again. My right knee has been a little sore and I would like to test it soon to seen if it is OK

The arm is hurting less and less. Funny how a small fracture can totally make your arm unusable. I still can't straighten it all the way out but its getting there I can feel it :)

I've signed up for a little local marathon on the 26th December. If my knee is okay it will hopefully become my 8th marathon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Yesterday I attempted to run the 'Gløgg og Æbleskriver' marathon. My arm is still swollen from the elbow fracture and even though I can use it more and more it is still very weak and hurts when used. BUT I had decided to run this race back when November started and I felt that I had a chance to make it through. The marathon is arranged by Mogens Pedersen a Danish Marathon icon and is my favorite marathon to run.

I had to run with my arm in a sling tied close to my body. I could probably have run without the sling for a few km's, but I knew that my arm was far to weak for running without it for the full marathon distance. I hadn't run since last weeks accident so I wasn't sure how my overall condition was. I knew that my knee had hurt a little but I hoped that it wasn't more than the impact of the fall that had made them a little tender.

As I stood there fully suited and my right arm totally immobilized I did feel quite out of place. A few of my fellow runners came up to me and asked what had happened and asked me if I could run like that. I told them my story and that I would run as far as it felt OK.

The race started.

Within a few hundred meter I knew that it was going to be a hard one. Running with only one arm loose felt totally wrong and I had to use a lot of energy to compensate. Normally the first 10-15 km just feels like a warm up but yesterday I had to battle even the early km's. My legs as such didn't feel bad but the muscles I had to use to compensate for the 'lost' arm made their present evident.

Photo: Jens Buhl Christensen

After 13 km's I had to make a road side stop. I had taped one of my toes before the race to prevent blisters. The tape had the side effect of working like a sandpaper on its neighbor toe causing a big ruptured blister on that one instead. The pain was to annoying so the tape had to go and instead was moved to cover the ruptured blister. I used no more than a few minutes on the procedure but it was hard to get started again. A few km's later it was time for a water post again. I had a cup of energy mix and a cup of cola and headed on. The next km felt like an eternity and I knew that going 42.2 km wasn't going to happen. Hitting the wall at 16 km is far to early for a marathon race. I felt like turning around and just walk back to the water post but decided that I really needed to run at least the half marathon distance before quitting. 

Photo: Ove Kvist

The last km's before the water post felt better but my speed had dropped to a point where I knew that even if I made it all the way through it would have to include some amount of walking and that didn't feel right. Everybody can walk a marathon. I hadn't walked at all at that point and I really didn't wanted to either. Plus I totally didn't wanted to go relive my Copenhagen marathon!!

I quitted the race at the water post after ~21.2 km headed for the shower and had me some gløgg and æbleskiver which I totally didn't feel I deserved.

I really really struggled with the decision to quit and I still do. Part of me know it was the right thing to do but part of me also think that is was cowardly to quit a race not crawling. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fractured elbow joint :(

Yesterday was Wednesday and that means running with my colleagues. My legs felt great even after the Sunday marathon and I had a lot of surplus energy. So while the others ran on the pavement I took every chance I could get to run on every bumpy surface I could find, around trees, over boulders and through leaves and alike. What a great run that was! The group pace had been a little slower than I liked so when a colleague said lets speed up the last 500 meters I accelerated and kept running faster and faster on the pavement getting closer and closer to our finish. The pavement was dark and badly lit but I didn't think anything of it I only thought of getting to the finish as fast as possible. My guess is that I was running at about 20 km/t when a tilted tile surprised me ... big time!

Seconds earlier I had had my eyes focused on the finish like a cheetah hunting its prey but suddenly my focus shifted to the pavement wanting to make out with me. I managed to take 2 or 3 steps before finally diving into a somersault. Right away I knew what had happened. Placing my right hand on the pavement I had felt a strong energy wave moving up my arm and into the elbow joint. Shit .. Shit shit shit. I got up and ran the last 100 meters. The group asked me what had happened but I was thinking more of getting a bleeding injury in my hand cleansed and tested my arm for broken bones. The cleansing part was quick and painful using alcohol from a bathroom dispenser. Then checking my arm .. hand and fingers were ok but when I tried to push the wall I felt a sharp pain just below my elbow. Shit! I have broken several bones in my lifetime so I knew what that meant. Something in my right arm had broken.

A few minutes later my arm started immobilizing and by then all doubt left me. I headed for the local hospital :/

The Copenhagen emergency rooms have a rumor for letting you wait for hours and hours but within 5 minutes I was being looked on by a nurse and 5 minutes after that I was heading for the x-ray room. All in all it took about 20 minutes before a doctor gave me my verdict. I had a fractured elbow joint. My first question was "Can I run with that in 10 days?". The doctor looked at me surprised and said "No!". That was not the answer I was hoping for. I told him about my 21 days 3 marathons plan and that I had already run 2 of them and was only missing the last one in about 10 days.. He left the room gave it some thought returned and said "in 10 days you can run your marathon!" The nurse stared at him and objected but the doctor said stuff like "he is obviously in great shape" which I confirmed eagerly ;)

I was given a set of instructions: "keep your arm in fixed angle of 90 degrees" "If you fall you have only one option .. go left" "keep your arm close to your body and keep it still" ...

When I later informed my wife it went something like this "Hi dear, I've broken my elbow but the doctor said I can still run my marathon in 10 days!" .. Needless to say she wasn't as cheerful about THAT fact as I was ;)

Will I run? I don't know. The arm still hurts and is swollen. I'll test a short run next week before making the final decision. If it doesn't hurt I'll run. If not ... hmm

Never focus so much on the goal that you loose your sense of the road.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Not for me

Today I ran Rudersdal Social Marathon. It had 3 groups you could choose to run in a 4 hour and 4.5 hour and lastly a 5 hour group. I had chosen to run with the 5 hour group. It was described as a hard marathon and the race director wrote to the participants that they should pick a group that ran 30 minutes slow than their normal marathon pace. You had to run with a water belt or water cell since you were expected to bring your own supplies with you with the exception of 2 water refills here you could fill your bottles and get a cup of cola (love cola) and perhaps some wine gummy.

I don't have a water belt that is usable so I brought my Salomon s-lab 5 backpack filled with 3 gels, my Iphone, 2 pre measured boxes of energy mixture, some chocolate and of course some energy drink in the water cell.

Left the house at 7:30 AM arrived just before 9:00 AM. The race director had asked people to come a little early (the race started at 10:00 AM) so that we could join in the celebration of a Danish marathon icon who would be running his 500'th marathon today. He and his daughter who also run a lot are 2 well known and respected members of the danish marathon runners society. I think they have run close to 200 marathons together. I'm really impressed :) We also had a 100'th marathon runner today but it kinda stood in the shadow of the 500'th celebration.

My bag felt heavy as I lifted it from the ground but once on it wasn't that bad. I've been hungry for this race all week so when we finally started running I was ecstatic :) I knew that my group was meant to keep an average pace of 7:06 min/km but we set out quite a bit faster than that. The couple of km's was averaged with 6:08 min/km and the pace remained in that neighborhood. I heard a few people questioning the pace but the race director (who also was a pace maker) said that we were supposed to run a little fast until the first water refill (16 km in) and since my legs felt great I didn't think any of it.

Photo: Tor Rønnov. You don't get better company!

On the way to the water refill we passed some beautiful landscape, lakes in fog and so on. We also got mingled with a MTB race on a very narrow path which the bikers didn't really seem to appreciate :) Proves to me that running makes you less stressful than biking :)

We arrived at the water refill at the same time as the 4.5 hour group who had taken a wrong turn somewhere. I started looking for a refill bottle and only just got around to add the mix and water to my water cell when the group took of again to my surprise. At that point our average pace was 6:34 including the water break. Hmm .. I kinda concluded that I didn't share the 5 hour target with the pace makers. Keeping this pace we would only hit the 5 hours mark if people started getting problems later on and that was plain stupid in my book. I would have preferred that we had targeted an more even split.

In the kilometers to follow the group started breaking up. The front part still maintained a fast pace but 2 of the 3 pace makers was in the back picking up the people who couldn't keep that pace. I was starting to wonder what to do. Should I keep the fast pace or should I slow down to the pace that I'd planned and accepted for my 3 marathons in 21 days plan? My biggest concern was that the route was poorly marked and I was pretty sure that I would get lost without a pace maker. The only pace maker I could see was the fast one right in front of me so I decided to match his pace as long as possible. I did speak up about my view of the set pace to one of the others who seemed to be a semi official. His counter argument was that if people couldn't keep up with this pace they could just slow down and get picked up by one of the other pace makers in the rear. Not really what I thought running in a 5 hour group was meant to be about...

When running marathons my biggest problem is the kilometers between 22 - 30. After 30 km my second stage engine steps in and I'm running on endorphin, body fat and will power. For that to happen I need to be in the zone though. Today that didn't happen :( I had only just reached the zone and had run in it for a few km's when we reached the last water refill. I tried to be as quick as possible refilling my water cell but before I was ready to start running again the last pace maker insight had already left. Shit! I had only 10 km's left but I felt lost and alone. The signs marking the route was only 10 by 10 cm and was really really easy to miss. Luckily I managed to team up with another runner who had run out of energy. He had run the race 3 years earlier and had some idea of the route but only vague. We weren't a perfect match though. When he was running he liked to run a lot faster than I did but he often needed to take breaks so we were always in reach of each other. Let me point out that by now I welcomed the breaks and happily walked with him. The constant looking out for missed signs meant that focusing on being in the zone was impossible and every negative feeling in my body flooded my brain instead.

We got lost 2 times one of then only a km from the finishing line. Hadn't I had my Iphone and a map application on me we would have run in the direct opposite direction of the finishing line for some time! That little detour added enough minutes to our total time to make us just pass the 5 hour mark but only just. Had we had a pace marker to guide us we would have had NO problem reaching the finishing line in time or even faster.

My mood wasn't the best in the minutes afterwards but getting something to drink and eat and getting out of the wet clothes greatly improved it :) There was a reception for the 500'th marathon runner and I sat down and enjoyed the atmosphere of like minded people. Ahh :)

I DID have a great time with some great people today. I DID have some interesting talks .. especially with one of the pace makers. The only let down today was MY idea of running in a 5 hour group was different than that of the pace makers. Since this was MY first social marathon I will conclude that it was MY expectations that was wrong. On the other hand I will also conclude that social marathons is not for me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I .. hunger!!

Currently I'm sitting on my arse and letting my legs and joints recover before my marathon on Sunday. All I'm thinking about atm is running. I've set 3 PR's the last three weekends (10k, 30k, 42.2k). I'm in the shape of my life. I've visited the fitness center today for some weight training and biking. I skipped my normal 14% gradient 1 km treadmill warm up run and biked 5k instead. Added a little extra on the weights and ended with a high pulse biking. Didn't help, I'm still hungry ..

Yesterday driving home from work all I could think about was how great it would feel to just stop the car and start running instead. It's no secret that my legs have given me some 'pain pleasure' after the latest marathon but when I've had to make a short sprint down the hall to open a door for someone they have felt great and I've just wanted the hall to go on and on and on..

It doesn't really help me that I'm currently reading 'Extremløberen' by Jacob Juul Hastrup. It is a book about how he became a extreme runner and a day by day report of all the extreme races that he have run since he started. Jungle Marathon, Raid Sahara, Gobi March, Yukon Arctic Challenge, The Track .. just to mention a few. The non running chapters aren't that great but the once about running puts you right inside his mind and lets you share his battle not to give up and to continue to do what he does best. Running brings order to his chaos. The harder the struggle the better the effect. That is something that I think most 'serious' runners can relate to.

My legs have felt almost normal today and I hope I get some time for a short run tomorrow. I really need it ;)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Redemtion :)

I've had a cold for a few days and had hoped that it would be gone before todays marathon but noo .. it has just become worse and worse. I had planed to set a PR today aiming at 4:30 but coughs and a snotty nose made me wonder if it was doable.

I got up at around 5 AM after a night with multiple trips to my youngest bed giving her her pacifier. Not really the ideal night before a race. A few hours later my wife got up and took care of the childs so I could reach the race in time. Sunday is her day for sleeping late so I felt kinda bad that she had to get up at 7:30 AM.

I hadn't registered for the race online so I had do be there a bit earlier than most. The registering part didn't really go that well and my mood was getting lower. I went back to my car to change clothes. When done I headed for the starting area. On the way I meet a colleague and her husband. They were running a half marathon today. Time was short and I had to run a little to make it in time, since the parking was nearly 1.5 km from the starting area. 

Once I reached the starting area I ran into SLG and her husband SR. I have the greatest respect for the two. We said hi and talked a little about the route. SR was going for a PR today and so was I. SLG was a little nervous about the route but I told her not to be. We had both run the skovløberen marathon recently and I told her that this was much easier.

The race started and off we went. I had planed to keep a average pace of 6:23 but I couldn't help myself. My legs felt great and a few kilometers in I found a great running partner. At first I took the lead but later he took his turn. It was great to have someone to run with but I knew that the pace we kept would bite me in my arse later on. After about 18 kilometers we got mixed with the 10k runners and it was a great feeling overtaking them one by one. At times we were running close to pace 5:00 and after 21 km I could feel that I needed to slow down. The good thing about parsing 21.1 km was that there were going to be cola at the water post! At least that was what the website said. I really felt like having some cola for a boost. For some reason the hills from 22 km to 25 km felt really really hard and my pace dropped to something like 6:30. Auch .. now I got nervous. Had I pushed myself too much in the first half. Was I going to be able to make a PR after all?

My running partner had understandably left me when my pace dropped but at 26 km my friend from last weeks 30 km PR was waiting for me on his bike. He asked if it was okay for me that he biked along. I was more than thrilled to have some company :) The paths was wide and there was no other runners close by so it wasn't going to be a problem for anyone. When I reached 30 km after 3:02 I stopped to walk a little. I tried to calculate the pace I needed to keep to reach the finish line in 4:30. My brain was numb. After having walked for 100 meters I started running again I could see the next water post and hoped for some cola. By then I had passed 2 water post with no cola .. and reaching this water post I added one to the count. I grapped some energy drink instead and took my last Gel. The next 3 km was a mix of walking uphill and running flats and downhill. But then I started feeling good again. Well .. 'good' might not be the correct word but I was able to keep running even uphill. I started overtaking people again and I was focused on reaching the finishing line as close to 4:30 as possible. Time for the next water post .. still no cola. I did notice some empty bottles though and I concluded that there had been cola but there were nothing left by now, doh. By now I kinda figured that I would never see a drop of cola before I reached the finishing line. Have a banana someone said. I didn't feel like having a banana. I wanted cola ;) Normally I DO like eating bananas when racing though I prefer apples or oranges. The pattern repeated itself at the two remaining water posts .. empty bottles, no cola. Cola or no cola, I felt like a tank. Uphill or downhill didn't matter I was 100% focused on reaching the finishing line in time. Anything between 4:30 and 4:40 was acceptable to me. I met and passed less focused runners that didn't look like they were in worse shape than me but they didn't wanted it as bad as I did. As I got closer and closer to the finishing line I ran faster and faster. THIS is running, this is was a marathon is about. Giving all you have and then some, passing people that have 'given up' and settled with what ever time they get.

The last 600 meters felt like a sprint and I was quite sure that I would pass out when I passed the finishing line. I didn't. Instead I was handed a bag by a girl who said I had own it as a sprint price. Thanks I said and sat down. I had made it. 4:36. A 25 minutes improvement of my last marathon PR. I sat down and shed a tear or two.

Friday, November 4, 2011

1 month, 2 feets, 3 marathons

I'm going to attempt to run 3 marathons this month plus setting a marathon PR .. twice. I had already planned to run 2 .. but I've added one more this Saturday.

I won't be going safe on this one. I aim to make a new PR and test my current strength. Next week I have my second one. That one is a social marathon which means that you are a part of a group that runs together all the way to the end at a fixed speed. The last marathon is this years version of the first marathon I ever ran. It is a small 8 rounds marathon in which I aim for breaking my PR once more.

The next 3 weeks it will be me against November.

6/11 - Skovmaren
13/11 - Rudersdal marathon @ 5 hours
26/11 - Gløgg og æbleskive marathon

Should I get into trouble I will stop but in any case I WILL make the attempt. I'm NOT trying to injure myself I'm trying to test my own abilities.

"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." - T. S. Eliot

Sunday, October 30, 2011

PR: 30k. Videos included :)

Today I headed for the Dyrehaven park north of Copenhagen to make an attempt on a new 30 k PR. My target was going below 3 hours which would be a 20 minute improvement. I've been dissatisfied with my marathon times lately and I've been suspecting that I was simply running to safe (=slow) after an injury at the Copenhagen marathon which broke me mentally. If I managed today's target I would feel sure enough of myself to aim for marathon time about 4:15-4:30 at my next marathon.

Dyrenhaven is one of my favorit places to run. It has some really step hills but the settings are great and there are a lot of stags (kronhjorte in danish) walking around the fields. I've set my halv marathon PR here earlier this year. I usually go there with a good friend who follows me on his MTB.

Today I asked him to film me at different stages of the run to see how my technique looked especially late in run were I would be tired. I hoped that the plank and side plank exercises that I have doing had improved my lines.

Today I was running in my old Kayano and compensated the gnawing problem by taping my foot at the problem area. They feels much better for me than my new Nimbus.

To reach my target I had to keep my average pace below 6:00. I started a little fast but I didn't wanted to end up in the same situation as my last marathon ;) Everything went great. I had an energy gel at 10 k and at 20 k. I didn't bring water at all but brought a energy mix instead.

Below are my videos and my final picture which reveals that I DID make it in time with a few minutes to spare actually :) 30 km @ 2:56 :D 

Now I'm looking forward for my next chance to set a PR at a marathon ;) 

@ ~15 km

@ 20 km

@ 27 km

@ 30 km :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Forests Rocks!

My daughter had a lot of surplus energy today so I thought I would take her for a trip into the forest where she could run about and play. We left the house with her in the baby jogger and headed for the forest. I live next to a lake and only a few minutes from a large forest. It been sometime since I've visited it and looking at it today made me wonder why. The fog today gave it an extra spiritual atmosphere. I really wished that I had suited up and we were going for a forest run instead of a forest play.  

My daughter ended up not wanting to leave the baby jogger more than a few minutes where we looked at extremely large rock and a little purple mushroom :) Passing a marked MTB trail I thought 'why don't runners have the same kinda marked trails?'. The MTB trail looked far funnier to run than the larger trail that everybody else are supposed to use. Later on when I passed the MTB trail again I turned the baby jogger down the path and tried it out it was greeeeat ;). When I was a kid I won a lot of BMX races included some championships but I've never taken on MTB as an adult but those MTB tails really really looks inviting even without wheels :)

Tomorrow I'll be going to one of our major parks in Denmark to try to make a 30k PR. I have a good friend that will pace me on his bike. I'm really looking forward to get running it will be my first real run all week.

Couldn't help but taking a picture of this little purple thingy

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My App is taking shape :)

I've coded since I was 13 years old so naturally I had to code an app for iphone to help me easily calculate pace, speed and duration for a given distance in combination with one of these factors. It even has a 'miles' mode. I've been following SeaLegsGirl for some time and she tends to write her pace as minute/mile now I have an even better idea of how fast she really is :) The app isn't fully tested yet but I plan to release it in the iphone app store when it is done. Simple, fast .. and free of course :)

Tuesday in plane building night. My planes inner structure is nearly done. I've been working on it for some time so it is nice to see it start looking like a plane. As a head of development in a IT security company it is nice to get creative and work with your hands after a long day in front of the computer.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

New PR @ 10k

It has been sometime since I've tested my form on a short distance race and after having watched a documentary on James Cracknell's Marathon Des Sables race I REALLY felt like running fast today. I used my old Asics Kayano instead of the softer Nimbus ones. I've used Asics shoes since I started to run for real which adds up to 4 pair of shoes of mixed Kayano and Nimbus. I really like the softness of the Nimbus but the stiffer Kayano is really what my right foots pronation need. The only thing about the Kayano is that for some reason my left foot big toe pad hates it. After a few kilometers it feels like it is on fire. I've never had that problem in the Nimbus. It might be time for me to try another brand of shoes.

Last week I made my first iphone app which is aimed for calculating the pace you need to run a given distance in a give time.

My first homemade iphone app :)

To reach the time that I wanted (below 48:00) I knew that I had to run at a higher average pace than 4:48. Out the door I went and the straight back indoor again. Brr.. to cold to run in shorts so I changed to my 3/4 tights instead. Out the door again and off I went. Love the feeling of running on fresh legs. The first 5k of my 10k route goes uphill. Not by much but just about 6-70 meters in total. Legs felt great and I wasn't looking as much on my watch as I am used to. I more or less just ran as fast as felt right. When I reached the 5k turn point I noticed that I had nearly broken my 5k PR. Impressive on a uphill run as part of a 10k event. I knew then that I really was in better shape than ever before. The last 5k I focused on keeping the pace. I knew that my average pace had to stay below 4:48 and the last 3-4 k it more or less stayed on 4:47. With 1k to go it suddenly said 4:48 and I responded by going all in. "Faster faster faster. Give it all you got". Soon my average pace was showing 4:47 again and it stayed there all the way to the finish. Once I reached  my front yard I threw myself in the grass. After a minute (or two) of recuperation I looked at my watch and confirmed my new PR :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Come on .. seriously!?

I just sat down and looked at my PR's. What is up with that 5:01:03 marathon time. Seriously I run 21.1 km in less than 2 hours. I could then walk for nearly two hours and still make it in less than 5 hours running the rest of the race in a fairly slow pace. Do I aim too (s)low?

By now I've run 5 marathon including my ultra race:

1.) My first marathon. Was run in snow. I just wanted to finish and had to change to dry clothes halfway through the race. Average moving pace was 6:55 min/km.
2.) *Sigh* Got an injury early on. Shouldn't have completed the race. Average moving pace was 7:21 min/km.
3.) A spontaneously marathon with no preparations. Took my time at all the water post to compensate for an empty stomach. Got hip problems halfway through and lowered my pace to ease the pain. Average moving pace was 7:12 min/km.
4.) Ultra race 50 km. Just wanted to make it through. Took my fair time eating and drinking at the water posts. The race was great but in no way fast. Average moving pace was 7:34 min/km.
5.) Aimed for 5 hours and 'got it'. Made only short water post stops. Didn't walk or had any other problems except freezing ;) Average moving pace was 6:59 min/km.

5 hours .. bah! ;)

The weakest link

This year I've run 4 marathons and in most of them I've been rather sore in my hips during and afterward the race. It usually starts in the late 10s and I stop thinking about it in the 30s. I didn't really think about it at my last race but I think I was focusing in it being cold instead ;)

1-2 months ago I started doing weight training because that I had noticed some pain in my lower back when running and that has helped a lot. So when I joined a lecture about running injuries a couple of days ago I hoped to gain some insight in my 'hip problem'. Was it something that potentially could become an injury or could I ignore it.

It was a great lecture by Tomas Pilsborg (physiotherapist, runner, ..). It seemed that based on his knowledge and values I did nearly everything right except 2 things.

1.) Currently I don't run often yet I run long distances = high risk for injury.
2.) My hips aren't strong enough to run these distances = high risk for injury.

I dunno what to do about the first problem yet but I guess it involves running more often and shorter distances. I just have to find the time.

The second problem I did some googling about and it seems that there are some great excises for this specific area. The plank and the side plank. This was the best public video I've been able to find for you.

I tried them out yesterday and they are HARD :) But I guess that that means they are working!

I hope that with a strong core my marathon time can get cut a lot and I'm confident that my 100 km race goal for next year won't be possible at all without these exercises . I have my next planed marathon in about a month I hope to test my new hips there.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Soo close ;)

My youngest daughter woke up at 4 AM Yay! But she was sweet and we had a nice morning :) I never got around to get any breakfast (for myself) but at 8 AM I left for todays marathon. It took me an hour to arrive and the moment I got out of the car a strong cooold wind hit me in the face .... brr. The race was taking next to the Baltic Sea and the wind was coming from the sea.

Foolishly I was convinced that running would give me the heat I needed and set out without the warm tights and jacket that I HAD brought with me. Stupid stupid stupid.

I had planed to run at my new long distance favorite pace 7 min/km. Which would mean that I finally would go below 5 hours for a marathon. With me was a good colleague doing her first marathon! She had signed up for a half marathon but last weekends success and me gently pushing her made her taking the jump for full distance ;)

10 meters after the start my right compression sock went for the foot and I had to stop to fix it. My running partner continued and it took me 3 km to catch up with her again. I had to run pace 6:20 since she got caught in the vacuum of the faster running main group. I have made the same mistake often but these days I'm fine with starting last and overtake my way through the race at the targeted pace.

The first 25 km went great at a steady pace. I had expected that my hips would give me some pain from 14 km and up till about 30 km but they didn't. Guess that fitness training on the side is paying of :) After 25 km I started getting cold. My colleague on the other hand was looking great! When I stopped to have a drink at a water post and she weren't a 'split decision' was made. I would continue in my targeted pace and she would continue in the pace that she felt was right for her (6:40-6:50 at that point). She was clearly in better shape than me today. I couldn't help smiling, this was the girl that a little more than a week ago didn't think that she could run more than 25 km.

The next 10 km was really really cold to the point where I was thinking about stopping. The thing stopping me from taking the decision was that I was able to keep my pace and I didn't wanna stop with a PR insight. I had placed a half a little coca cola bottle as a treat for myself at the last water post before the finishing line and it gave me a welcomed boost. The last 5 km I was calculating as a mad mad to try to make sure that I was reaching the finish line in just less than 5 hours. I didn't feel that I had enough energy to just go full throttle and I knew that I was cutting it tight. With 2 km to go I felt confident that I was gonna make it plus my legs felt good. With 1 km (based on my GPS watch) left I knew I was gonna make it. Then 400 meters later I meet the official 1 km left sign and my heart dropped. Shit, I had made the fundamental error in trusting a device with an known error margin. For some time I prayed that the sign had been wrong but as I crossed the 42.2 km on my watch in 4:49 I still had the 400 meters to go. I gave it all I had was running pace 4:?? at the end but it wasn't enough. My finishing time was 5:01:03 which is still a PR but sadly a tiny bit slower than I had aimed for 1:04 slower in fact ;) I had made a plan which I had followed and I should be really happy .. but I really wanted to be just that tiny bit faster ;)

I received a fine medal but all I really wanted at that point was a blanket. Man was I cold. Luckily my colleague brought me some hot chocolate :) She had been smart enough to run in winter tights and hadn't been freezing like me but it seemed that a lot of the slower marathon runners had had freezing issues. Brr. She had finished in 4:55 which she understandably was very proud of. I too was/am VERY proud on her behalf.

New PR :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where did my fear go?

Until last year when I ran my first marathon (look at my header logo), 42.195 meters seemed like a distance that only super humans could run. I remember how I as a young kid sat in front of the TV at looked at the marathon runners at the Olympic Games and stared in awe.

I started last year barely being able to run 2 km. 6 weeks later I ran my first 20 km ever. As the year progressed I ran a number of half marathons and as my last event I completed my first marathon in snow, -5 C and 10 m/s. I remember how I cried a number of times during the race due freezing in soaked clothes, the pain from fighting my own limitations and feeling really alone (though I weren't). Is was in somewhat disbelieve that I finally in the dark crossed the finish line. Ohh what a feeling!

My next marathon was nearly half a year later namely Copenhagen Marathon. I sadly got an injury after 7 km but the expectation of my friends waiting for me later in route made me keep running though slowly and in pain. When I finally reached the goal I hated everything about running. It took me several weeks to accept the medal I had received. None of my friends had shown up and I knew that I should have stopped instead I had an injury that meant I was grounded for some time. Actually one colleague DID show up just I as reached the finish line. She ran in front of me cheering but as she told me later my eyes were empty and I didn't see her at all. That race weren't worth it and I never wanted to run a marathon again.

Time passed and I started thinking about giving it another chance. A couple of months ago the Sea Legs Girl and especially a good colleague talked me into signing up for a marathon 10 minutes before it started. I hadn't prepared for a marathon at all but that fact also meant that I could relax mentally. I had nothing to prove and no one to disappoint. I did in no way make a perfect run but I completed and without any kind of injury. My appetite for running marathons was back.

I've had a number of races since then including my first ultra! I haven't feared any of them and they have all felt great. Realizing that I could complete a marathon even on an empty stomach and not having gone through weeks of carefully planed training runs and diet gave running a whole new dimension of .. freedom.

My next marathon is on Sunday and I have 2 more planed before the end of the year :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Runners highs and lows

I haven't run for nearly 2 weeks. I really haven't felt all the great. I've had no injuries but after my last two runs I have had a period of 'runners low'. My usual runs felt too short and not worth spending time on. I'd even lost my appetite. Strange and unwelcome feeling.

Luckily I got out there today.

A little more than a week ago I was sent a link to Marathon Des Sables I was sold right away! That and Badwater Ultramarathon seem like the ultimate races. Don't worry I'm not nuts enough to think that I can run either of those races here and now. But after my 2012 goal which is a 100 km race I now know what to aim for. The ironman goal has officially been deleted.

Talking with a very good colleague about doing long distance runs I asked her when she was going for her first marathon. She told me that she had never run a longer distance than 25 km but she was fascinated that others could. Knowing that she had been running for a far longer time than me and that she does so far more often I was quite convinced that she could easily run at least 30 km if she set out at the right speed. She like me and many many others have a tendency to set the bar to high from the start and then struggle at the end. 

I convinced her that we should make a 30 km attempt today and claimed that she wouldn't have any troubles finishing if only she kept the pace I had set for her 7 min/km. She did agree to make the attempt but didn't seem confident that she would make it all the way. I on the other hand knew that she would :) 

The trail used was the same trail as my recent 50 km run but with a turn around point after 15 km so that we would finish the same place as we had started. I had placed one water post at 10 km with water, lemonade, bananas and apples which we would visit twice. 

The weather today was rainy, windy and felt cold. Luckily the trail runs for the most part inside forests which acted as a great shield though parts of the trail had become rather muddy.

We set out and at once I had to tell her to slow down! 7 min/km feels really really slow when you got fresh legs but I knew that 25 km later she would thank me ;) All the way out she did everything I had asked and expected of her. We walked the steepest hills and kept the targeted pace. After 18 km though she started running a bit faster than I had wanted her to. I was getting a bit scared that she wouldn't make it all the way to the finish line. We had our second water stop at 20 km and even though we got rather cold from standing still she kept the slightly higher pace afterwards. By now I was personally getting a bit sore and was wondering when she would start getting tired. It wasn't until 27 km I started seeing signs of her being tired but at that point I was confident that she could keep this pace for the rest of the race and I took the lead keeping the pace that she had set. She looked a little tired but she kept up and I was really impressed. 200 meters before the finish line I sprinted and found my camera so that I could take her picture as she reached the goal.

That is a nice feeling :)
She had done really really great. Excluding the water stop she had kept an average pace at 6:49! Congratulation on your first 30 km run!! I don't doubt for one second that you would be able to run a marathon.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Å til Åsen - half marathon and hunt ;)

Didn't really sleep all that well tonight. Had to go to the toilet with my eldest at around 2 AM and at 4:21 my youngest couldn't sleep any more due to getting new teeths. Until then I had had a very sweaty night from my body rebuilding itself.

At 9 AM I headed south for the Å til Åsen run. I had desided to wear the same suit armor except the long sleeved shift. That meant the I could bring both extra water and my phone for taking pictures. I expected it to be a very pretty run.

Having landed and having gotten my race number I made a short stroll to test the legs. They felt much better than I had expected. Tracy and her husband Rasmus gave a short briefing before the race started. I really like the couple. They are sweet, very good at what they do and they share the passion for running. They seems to always have their kids with them which is great!

I decided to run with a 6 min/km pace and placed myself last in the group of runners which were mixed 5, 21.1 and 42.2 km runners. The race started and off we went. Everybody else wanted to run faster than me it seemed. My legs felt great but I kept to my targeted pace. After a few kilometers I passed 2 women on a hill. They were walking already and I was a little disappointed on their behalf since they were both wearing marathon shirts. If you bring a guitar I expect that you can play.

Soon after I passed a couple more. I think that steepness of the hills in the first part of the route had surprised them. At this point all marathon and half marathon runners turned left and the 5 km runners turned right. For a few kilometers I ran close to a woman but she made a classical mistaken by running up a very very steep hill and need a break when she got to the top. I on the other hand walked the hill and used the time to get a little water. She only reached the top a few seconds before me and I flew past her as she found her water bottles to have some water.

My legs still felt great and by now I knew that today was going to be a serious run for me. No time for taking pictures. I reached the water post and had a bit of cola to drink and a bit of water to cool the head and cleanse the face from sweat. Still keeping my pace when not going uphill at least. A few kilometers later I meet the leading runner on his way back. He was flying! Soon after number 2 and then number 3 and then number 4 with a few hundred meters between each. I was nearing the turn point myself when I got to another set of very very steep hills which forced me to walk. On the top I meet a man with his youngster in a baby jogger also heading back. The kid was sleeping and I was very impressed by both his speed and that he had gotten the baby jogger up that hill.

A little later I meet a man and a close to him the woman that I had left on the hill but she was also heading home?! What the F***? I hadn't even hit the turn around point yet and I became confused. Had I made a mistake? Had I actually already passed the turn around point without even realizing it. Noo .. I couldn't have! True enough a few hundred meters later I found the turn around point, passed it and was slightly pissed. She must have taken a short cut and quite a good one because the few times that I had had a good long look back she was no where to be seen.

I decided that I had to find her and pass her once again. She was in my spot ;) From that point on I didn't really look at my gps watch for checking my pace I just gave it all that felt reasonable. I had a few long stretches before the water post where I had expected to be able to see her but didn't see her anywhere. When I reached the water post visit I tried to make it a 'quicky'. Cola for energy, water for cooling and cleansing the face. The hunt went on. I finally saw her with about 3 km to go. She had a lead of 3-400 meters on me. The route turned right into a forest and I lost sight of her. 1-2 km later out of the forest I saw her again by now her lead had shrunk to 1-200 meters. The route took us uphill for some time and I kept gaining on her. I really felt I had a fair surplus of energy and I really wanted to overtake her before the finish line. When we reached the top her lead was only about 50 meters and with about 500 meters to go at the max I decided that I had enough energy for a sprint. 100 meter later I passed her flying. I felt great and had no problem keeping the speed all the way to the finish line with lots of energy and a smile :) 2:15:02 my clock said.

My 'nemesis' reached the finish line a little later but didn't want to cross it. She had made a mistake on the route and only run 19.5 km. She was given an official time anyway which was very nice of the man with the clock but not really fair against the others I think. The missing 1.6 kilometers would realistically have taken her 8-9 minutes to run. But after all her mistake meant that I was really 'turned on' for my second split and had a far better experience than any other race I can remember. So thank you, whoever you were. You really gave me a great experience  :)

Thanks to Tracy for arranging this race! It was great and I actually think it was her first as a race director!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

My first Ultra race!

My wife woke me at 7 AM and I quickly got ready and headed for Kongskilde. Once there I got a surprice the race wasn't a turn around and it would end 50 km from where my car was parked. It used to be a turn around race but not this year .. *bummer* The race director said that it was OK for me to run a turn around version so that was my plan.

We set out at 8 AM and the 100 km runners quickly disappeared in the horizon. I was running my planned 7 min/km pace and they ran at 6. I quickly paired up with a woman that had actually overtaken me a few kilometers before the end of the Skovløberen marathon a few weeks ago. Her pace fitted mine perfectly. After 10 km hitting the first water post we agreed that I could get a ride with her and husband back to my car after the race \o/ I SMS'ed my wife and the race director that I WOULD end the race in Jyderup after all. I was rather happy that I would have the same race as the others.

We were joined on and off by a swedish 100 km runner. He was generally running a little bit slower than us but we were using more time at the water posts. Actually while I writing this at 8 PM he is still out there and probably first will be done at 10 PM. That is a 14 hours race!

It was nice to have someone to talk to during a race that long even though the most of the talking ended after 35 km where my female companion got nausea. From the start we had walked all the major hills from this point on we were climbing the smaller ones also (which was fine by me).

I had a small crises myself from 38 to 40 km. I became really hot and that is my nemesis when running. I became dizzy and had a hard time keeping my speed. I had started the day in a long sleeved shirt plus a t-shirt. At the 40 km water post I took off the long sleeved one and after that I was flying again. We parted at 44 km. I really felt flying and she was really nausea. At this point I started meeting all the 6 min/km 100 km runners who were heading back to the start/finish area. They looked in great shape. A little later I passed a woman out on a walk and man she was smelling nice! Hadn't I been running I would have asked her for the name of that perfume for my wife.

44 km to 47 km went by fast but the last 3 km couldn't end fast enough. I was a little confused that the route actually left Jyderup again crossing a rather large road. Had I missed a sign? I really hoped not because at this point I was rather thirsty and hadn't a drop of water with me. With about 500 meter to go the route turned south and reentered Jyderup again. On the top of a hill I could see a young woman and a small boy clapping and I knew that that had to be the finish line. It was :)

She was the race director daughter and she had made some soup for us which was great on top of running 50 km. Her son was a little chatty fellow that really put a smile on my face :)

About 5 minutes later the swede came and after a quick pit stop he continued back the way he came. I really hope he is okay. It is dark outside now and not all the signs was easy to see even in the daylight.

A little later my female companion also reached the finish line. She was sadly still very nausea but had done really great after all.

So that was my first ultra race. A 50 km trail run by the Jyderupsti. Tomorrow I have a 21.1 km race in Næstved. I have no idea how it will go. I'll have to take it slow my big toe nail is getting very loose and I'm rather worn down by today's race ;)

Btw. BIG thanks to the race director Kåre and his family for arranging this run. It was by far the most beautiful race I've ever run. I hope some day to run the 100 km version :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Okay .. I'm nuts

I found out that there was a 50 km trail run in my 'back yard' this saturday. I already got a 21.1 km run on sunday but I can't ignore the running urge .. I simply have to run both. I'm nuts.

saturday (50 km) :
sunday (21.1 km) :

My plan is to run the 50 km in less than 6:30 hours which should be doable. I'll start out in 7:00 min/km and I'll try to keep that speed through the race. If I feel any problems I'll bail or simply walk. I want to be sure that I can run sunday!

I've caught a cold which makes me rethink at least the 50 k especially becauce the start has been moved to the morning which sux familywize.

Family situation is fixed. I WILL make the 50 k attempt :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Building a plane

I've been building a new plane for a couple of weeks now. Every Tuesday I go visit one of my friends and while he is working on a very large seaplane I'm building a small aerobatic one. I've been flying an ElectroStik for the last two years and I like it alot but I've decided to try to build a FunAir which is more maneuverable and can fly a lot slower.

The FunAir plane is originally a fuel plane but I want to fly it with an electrical engine. At first I build the traditional short nosed body but I realized that the lack of a fuel tank would put place the center of gravity to far to the rear. I've therefor started on a new version which I given a longer nose. I'm not sure that it will fly this season but that is okay .. I've got 3 ElectroStik's in my garage :)

FunAir body
Finished body to the left
The longer nosed version

Monday, September 19, 2011

Something blue

I'm 1.97 meters tall and weights nearly 100 kg. That means that my shoes doesn't live long. I've just bought my fourth pair of shoes in 20 months. I really like Asics shoes and having run in kayano for nearly a year I desided to try the new Nimbus 13 for the extra softness. I've used Nimbus 11 earlier and loved them. The first thing I noticed was that the shoelaces is almost 20 cm shorter on the Nimbus 13 than the Kayano 17. That means that it is very hard to perform the lace lock that I'm used to. So when I ran the skovløberen marathon I decided to just skip the lace lock. During the race I did notice that the big toe hurted but thought nothing of it. The pain went away shortly after the race. A week later when I ran the Griseløbet half marathon I noticed the same pain but this time it didn't go away after the race .. at all! My big toe nail became really sensitive to touch and after a few days I noticed it had turned slightly blueish. A bit of googling told me that blue color + pain = new nail. I can already see how it has become loose at the root when I press it at the front. *Sigh* that wasn't part of my plans and really not the kinda injury I saw coming ;) I've run a few times with a lace lock afterwards and that seems to do the trick .. I'll try to remember not to ignore pain in the future :P

Sunday, September 18, 2011

When you don't ..

.. feel like running get your arse out there! The last two weekends I've done a marathon a duathlon and a half marathon. I've been feeling like laying on the couch all weekend but now I'm heading out in the rain. You gotta do what you gotta do!

~10 km @ 5:06 min/km. Felt great :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Runners food

Yummy! Pasta!
"I don't eat so I can run. I run so I can eat." I've often said that and it is still true .. Almost true that is. Generally I have given more thought to what I eat since I started running but I still like my pizzas, hotdogs, burgers .. not really your typical health freak kinda food. Then only time I like to stay on a diet is before a marathon. For a week or two I eat a lot of chicken, pasta and fibers. I have run a single marathon totally unprepared dietwize and I'm not sure that it made a big difference but every little thing counts ;)

Friday, September 16, 2011

The road

When I started running last year I could barely do 2.5 km after 6 months of training I ran my first half marathon and 5 months later I ran my first marathon. A little more than a week ago I ran my third marathon and I have planned 2 more before the year is over. I have a stressful job and running helps me unwind. It is not that I don't dream about being able to run a marathon in 3 hours but .. but there is something great about being out there doing a 5+ hours battle against your own limitations. Nothing else matters but you and the road. I luv it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Why a blog?

I've been running a private RC plane blog for a few years, but it has been strictly for RC plane related posts. This blog will combine post for all parts of my spare time which consists of running, biking, RC plane flying + building, coding and simply being a dad :)

I can almost garantee that the design of this blog will change alot as I get a feel of how Blogger is working. I've been using Wordpress so far ;)