dinsdag 30 november 2010

Month Total 1768min = 29hrs+28min

Bit of tapering this month, followed by my Longest Marathon Ever + a few good recovery days with good snowy running meant that I slipped behind a bit and then almost caught up with myself in the last few days of the month. Taking 32 minutes off my 65 minute lead means that I'm still 33 minutes ahead of schedule for the year.

Dusty Snow

51 min
Start 13.30
Picked up Dusty and went for a middle of the day double circuit - Harry's Bar and then the other side of the Eem.

maandag 29 november 2010

First Snow

117 min
Start 15.30
Wanted to get out before dark and set out to the Soesterduinen with snow falling lightly. Really enjoyed running about on the white dunes and through the trees.

Came past this picnic table while listening to the RunRunLive podcast.

The snow got heavier on the wayhome but I wasn't cold at all and decided to put in some extra running time as I felt fine and may well need all the extra I can do now to reach my end of year target.

zondag 28 november 2010

Week Total 506

Yesterday's epic run fair chalked up the running hours...

Lazy Beavers?

55 min
Start 16.00
Went out to see if the beavers had felled their tree yet but not much progress has been made this week. Too cold? Change of building plans?

It felt much colder than the day before as there was a fair wind coming off the water and after about 5 minutes I realised my ears were freezing so pulled my buff up into semi-terrorist mode. (It doesn't look quite as scary as the black one, which I seem to have misplaced - I could really do with one round my neck and one on my head now that it's around freezing.)

zaterdag 27 november 2010

Zuiderzee Marathon #2

306 min
Start 11.00
For every race that is run there can only be one person who is first. And one who is last. And since I'm never going to be first I must say I rather enjoyed the glory of being the last one home... In my head I wAs Paula Radclyffe (though luckily without her famous sanitary stop) as I ran the last kilometers with the car with the big digital clock in front of me and the bike escort behind.
But first things first...
The temperature was just under zero when I arrived in Zwolle. With a very light sprinkling of fine needle points of threatening snow when we were in the bus to Urk. But once there we had a dry wind free start and nothing else fell out of the sky for the rest of the day. The sun even made a brief watery appearance at one point.

I'd decided that I should try another approach this time. My (the...) standard mistake is to go out too fast so I'd told myself I was not going to try to keep up with anyone at the start, I'd just take it really easy and then be able to feel strong and catch up later. Ha, well thAt didn't happen now did it?! Ah well, it's all about trying to learn what works best. I'd also taken mYpod with me for the first time ever in a race. I knew from last year that there would be long stretches when I was on my own so thought it was a good idea to have some sort of soundtrack to keep me going. I'd planned to listen to talkprogrammes for the first half and then go over to some speed-inducing music in the second half, in the hope of finally achieving the mythical Negative Split. (Ha, well that cErtainly didn't happen either...)

So what did happen then? Well, I certainly did what I planned, and ran at a very easy pace to start with. Talked briefly to a man with a dog on a lead. (Hmm, not sure any of my lodgerdogs would be up to doing the full distance. I remember when I took Sproet with me for only a part of my run across the Afsluitdijk I got a complaint that it wasn't fair to inflict my distance daftness on the dog...) By the first 5k marker I was in last position and that's the way it stayed for the whole distance. (Though I think I did hear that someone had dropped out along the way at one of the drinks posts, so maybe that makes me not quite last after all?)

I made 2 photos along the way - bit grey and dull but ach, I like to think I didn't take my camera with me for nothing. I decided at about the 15k point that I should try some music to get me speeding up a wee bit as I couldn't even see the person in front of me any more. I must say I enjoyed listening to the Scotland Introducing podcast which has some brilliant stuff on it but although I fElt as if I was going faster it's not noticable in my time splits. (See lower on the page.)

Found these pics on the site, from the bit through Schokland.
Although I was running alone it still felt very different from my normal lone training runs. No cheering crowds along the way as in the big city marathons but still I was definitely aware that there was a whole organisation there to support me. Always an encouraging word at the drinks posts (where there was also very welcome lukewarm tea). Familiar faces popping up at different points along the way - cars tooting and people waving as they went past on their way to the next stopping point. Traffic stopped where necessary.

All in all it was for me a very enjoyable long run. I never felt (as I did briefly in Eindhoven at the half way point) that maybe a whole marathon was too far. I kept going easily. No cramps or pain of any kind. No walking (except for a few steps to drink without spilling at the refreshment stops). I had 2 Powerbar gels on the way and drank some Isostar mix from my bottles. And half a pack of Dextrose tablets spread out over the second half.

Here are my time splits as far as I can remember them.
5k 33min
10k 1:05 32min
15k 1:36 31min
20k 2:17 41min
25k 2:55 38min
30k 3:33 38min
35k 4:10 37min
40k 4:48 38min
When I saw that I only had 12 minutes for the last 2k I knew I wasn't going to make it within the official 5 hour limit. Although I can run this speed easily in a 5k race my legs refused to do it after first running 40k, no matter how hard I willed them to.

Riny was waiting at the finish and helped me get my warm trousers over my shoes. Went into the canteen for a very welcome cup of erwten soup (green pea - traditional Dutch winter fare) and talked to a few people in there. One man who'd also read Chris McDougall's book and a woman who said that she and her son had been trying to work out why I ran so slowly, because I look as if I'm running really easily. She said I run like a ballet dancer. Ha, that'll be the forefoot landing then I suppose. Too much upward and not enough forward movement? Have to see if I can do anything about that, but ach on the other hand, I have no ambitions to be a fAst runner. I enjoy my runs and I never have any injuries so I really have nothing to complain about. And I'm far too lazy to be one of those runners who pushes till they have to throw up - if running became painful I'm pretty sure I'd stop...

So that was my second (and last - the organisation has stopped this year after 10 successful years) Zuiderzee Marathon. The 2nd medal (silver this year as opposed to the bronze colour of last year) is hanging alongside all the others in my growing collection in the bathroom. Many thanks to everyone who made this unique small scale event possible. (And thanks to Riny for the use of her shower afterwards and the leg massage.)

vrijdag 26 november 2010

Last Sprint Session before The Big Day

30 min
Start 10.00
Did a short Eng circuit this morning to test the new compression socks I bought in Bever Sport yesterday. Think I'll wear them tomorrow, see if it helps my legs hold up any better in the last hour or so. Old shoes and new socks is the widely recommended practise for race days and a bit of calf compression may well help combat tiredness.

Also tried out a new brief 'explosive' training session I read about in the latest Runner's World. 20 second sprint followed by 10 second walking recovery, repeat 8 times. Did it on the first bit of my fast circuit and then jogged the last uphill bit slowly.

The weather forecast for tomorrow looks ok, possibility of snow only on the coast. Hopefully inland it should be dry and maybe even bright like it is now.

dinsdag 23 november 2010

Sunset Sprint

43 min
Start 16.30
Round the Eng. One sprint circuit, but at 6.15 no speed records in the offing there.

Tried to keep up a little faster than average for the rest of the time as the idea of a good taper is to do quality rather than the usual quantity.

maandag 22 november 2010

Open Air Board Game

75 min
Start 9.00
Out to the dunes at 'rushhour for dogwalkers'. I think a lot of people must drop the kids at school and then walk the dog because if I go out at this time it's always busy there, whereas if I go earlier, at my favourite sunrise time there are always fewer people and dogs about.
I took a slight detour from my normal routes as I didn't want to follow in the heels of a man with a nervous Kooijkertje and came across this board game about nature on a picnic table.

Running wasn't as good as on Saturday but a lot of it was on soft sand and I generally tend to feel better running later in the day than earlier. Still, was good to have a decent length easy enough run, even if I didn't feel up to any interval stuff.

zondag 21 november 2010

Week total 224

Decided to do some 'proper' tapering this week in preparation for next week's Urk/Zwolle marathon. Well, as 'proper' as it can be when I don't actually follow any 'proper' trainingscheme except what I cobble together as I go along from listening to various podcasts made by runners and what my legs and lungs tell me.

Beavering Away

62 min
Start 16.00
Wonderful run, my feet were flying along. Was able to do a few calculated interval sprints on the way home.

As well as the actual running going surprisingly well the surroundings were more than usually interesting too. Saw the highland coos in the distance, which is always a wee added bonus, but the highlight of the run was real visible evidence of the beavers that the information boards in the park claim have been sighted there. Didn't see the beasts themselves, but they'd certainly been having a good chew at this tree... I wonder if they'll have succeeded in felling it by the time I get back there next weekend.

This poem has recently been added to the side of the building which regulates the water that goes through the lock gates I pass on the way back from the park.

vrijdag 19 november 2010

Sunny (not early) Morning

58 min
Start 9.00

Shame I didn't get out the door earlier this morning as I'm sure the sunrise must have been worth seeing, with clear skies above a layer of mist. Running wasn't wonderful, my legs felt a bit heavy but I kept going easily enough really, listening to Desert Island Discs with some Italian woman who's apparantly famous for her book on pasta (obviously I'd never heard of her). Plus the Extra Mile Podcast with Kevin's succesful completion of his 2nd-attempt Galloway RunWalkRun marathon.

Sproet had a grand run, playing with various dogs. The usual braces of retrievers and lab types, plus a young dalmation on the dunes and a bulky but very cheery American Staffordshire on the home stretch over the Eng. He's well used by now to being constantly on call as a photo model and always poses nicely when I ask him to.

woensdag 17 november 2010

Short Eng Circuit with Sproet

25 min
Start 16.30
Decided to try a bit of tapering before next week's marathon. So actually letting my schedule of an average of one hour a day get a bit behind. Maybe my legs do need a bit of a rest to be at their best for another go at the whole distance. Certainly when nearing the end of a year with so much running in it.

(Not very good) photo is of one of my favourite Big Black Dogs that I often meet on my runs.

dinsdag 16 november 2010


79 min
Start 11.45
Met up with Impish from the Runners' Club from the Archers Messageboard as she was over here for a few days for work. I'd asked her if she could
bring her trail shoes as I'd never seen a proper pair close up, the local specialist shop in Utrecht doesn't 'do' trail shoes, though I've heard that PK Running in Dodewaard possibly has some. We set off along the beach with the sun behind us. When we were almost at the next village I looked at my watch and saw we'd been running for 36 minutes so we turned back. Tiny bit more wind on the way back but we couldn't have asked for more perfect (November!) running weather.

So my Halve van Egmond t-shirt has finally had a run along the beach it should have been on in January, when the famously tough event was cancelled due to the treacherous weather conditions.

I do so like it when my running occasionally brings me to people and places I wouldn't normally meet/see.

maandag 15 november 2010

Week total 465

Today's long run brought me back up to target for this month.

zondag 14 november 2010


210 min
Start 14.00
Hadn't really planned such a long run but it probably isn't such a bad idea to remind my legs what running for more than 3 hours is when they have to do 4+ again in less than 2 weeks. So my not getting up for yesterday morning's run wasn't such a disaster for my week's total after all. And it also meant that I had time to run out to Eemdijk to take a photo of the stocks there for one of the women in my online reading group who we've been threatening with some punishment for not finding any time to read recently...

Weather was very dull, fine drizzly rain for most of the run, around 12 degrees so actually a pretty ideal temperature to run in.

I felt my right ankle complaining a bit on the way home. Not sore exactly but a vague niggling on the inside just below the ankle. I've thought of a strategy to help get closer to a negative split in the Urk/Zwolle marathon. Talk programmes on mYpod on the first half and music on the second half. I tend to play more music on the home stretch and it often gets my speed up in an easy way.

My hair coped with the damp run slightly better than my feet did...
Afterwards had a bath and a bento. Luxury.