Home / 2008 / June

Berlin Marathon Training in Stadtwald Giessen: 13 Weeks Out

Just three runs this week… This cannot keep happening! But if there is one thing I learned from my first round of failed marathon training, I need to be able to balance between work and running if I want to finish. I knew these first few weeks would be the hardest since school is still going on, so I don’t feel too bad cutting corners this week. I don’t expect it to happen again, though. Hold me to it!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

run type: training run
route: from Seltersweg to the 1-mile marker in Stadtwald Giessen
feeling: :)
time: 53’56”
distance: 5 miles
pace per mile: 10’42”

additional notes: Pretty good run.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

run type: long run

route: same as last week‘s long run, but at the end, we ran to 1-mile marker instead of the 1/2-mile marker.
feeling: :)
time: 2’34″08
distance: 12 miles
pace per mile: 12’48”
additional notes: Not a bad run by any measure, but not as great as last week. I haven’t been sleeping as much as I should be, and I think that must be the reason for the general lack of oomph today. I walked twice just for the mental break, and the weather was pretty good, alternating between cool shadiness and sunny warminess.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

run type: recovery run
route: start at Seltersweg, out to 1-mile marker in Stadtwald Giessen and back
feeling: :|
time: 1’01″49
distance: 5 miles
pace per mile: 12’22”
additional notes: We were both hurting on this one! Rob didn’t even mind walking (and usually he does because he so much more fit than me). My right Achilles tendon has been and was achy, both my knees were complaining, and Rob’s right knee was giving him some trouble, so we walked for 4 minutes. We took it easy and finished the mileage for a good recovery run. We were even serenaded by some bagpipes on on the way!


Total Weekly Mileage: 22 miles
Total Minutes: 270 minutes
Overall Mileage: 84 miles
Overall Time: 16.58 hours

Why I’m a Runner and How I Knew

As my first contribution to Runner’s Lounge Take it and Run Thursday (posted a little late, sorry!), I’m going to briefly finish this sentence: I knew I was a runner when…

I knew I was a runner when I…

  • started going to bed early so that I could be sure to get enough rest for my run (I am a terrible night owl).
  • started waking up regularly on Saturday mornings at 5:00 a.m. to beat the heat for long training runs (summer 2005).
  • started craving pasta.
  • stopped craving Dr. Pepper and started wanting more and more water.
  • talked about running even when I could see the other person was bored.
  • did the water test to find out what kind of running gait I have
  • didn’t feel guilty paying full price for running shoes I knew wouldn’t hurt/cause blisters/were right for my gait.
  • learned why hyponatremia is, how to spell it, why I should be more afraid of it than dehydration (no marathon runner has ever died of dehydration, but several have died of hyponatremia).
  • stopped “fitting in” runs whenever and started scheduling my life around my runs.
  • bought my first pair of “biker’s shorts” and wasn’t afraid to wear them in public.
  • woke up before the sun 4 days a week during the summer to beat the heat (summer 2007).
  • actually admired my legs in the mirror (instead of being disgusted).
  • dropped two dress sizes (summer 2005).
  • stopped being disgusted by sweating.
  • graduated from Vasoline to Body Glide.
  • started to understand why athletes sat funny in class.
  • started wearing tennis shoes to walk from my car to the English building because I had to go up and down lots of stairs (the underpass on Grand) and I didn’t want to risk injury during training.
  • finally understood why people might wear sweatbands and considered buying one for myself.

Okay, so slightly more than the 13 words that Runner’s Lounge asks for, but once you start, you just can’t stop. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ll keep adding to this list as I think of other signs that I told me I must finally be a runner.

Check out Kevin’s list too!

EDIT: I just looked a little further down on the Runner’s Lounge blog and discovered that maybe I misunderstood. Just to cover my bases, here is a 13-word statement about why I run.

Running makes me feel more alive than anything else I do in life.

Berlin Marathon Training in Stadtwald Giessen: 14 Weeks Out

A pretty good week, mostly because of the great long run, which I haven’t had in a while. We ran in Berlin on Sunday because we were up for a birthday party (which was really fun!). It was… an interesting run.

Monday, 16 June 2008

run type: training run
route: began on Seltersweg, ran to the 1/2 mile marker in the Stadtwald and back
feeling: :)
time: 40’24”
distance: 4 miles
pace per mile: 10’06”
additional notes: Both Rob and I were surprised at how fast we were going. Even though I’m getting faster, it never really feels like it.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

run type: training run
route: Up to 2-mile marker, down to the blue arrow, out to Other Forest and back, back down Main to beginning.
feeling: :)
time: 1’14″48
distance: 6 miles
pace per mile: 12’30”
additional notes: Pretty slow today, but it was a great run! It started raining after 2 miles and it rained hard! So fun!

Friday, 20 June 2008

run type: long run
route: Up Main to 2-mile marker, down to blue arrow (BA), 2.1-mile loop, back up Main to BA, out to Other Forest and back, 2.1-mile loop, up to 1/2-mile, back to beginning, finish at the bridge.
feeling: :)
time: 2’13″18
distance: 11 miles
pace per mile: 12’06”
additional notes: Not super fast, but man! did it feel good to finally have a long run that wasn’t awful. When I was done, I felt like we had only fun 3 miles, not 11. I barely noticed the distance. I hope it’s 60 and cloudy on race day…

Sunday, 22 June 2008

run type: training run
route: wander around the forest between Schönow and Waldfrieden for about an hour…
feeling: :(
time: 56’00”
distance: 5ish miles
pace per mile: 11’12”
additional notes: I was dehydrated and something else happened on this run that I’m just going to keep between me and Rob and Sarah. Sounds like a little club? Well, then here’s our motto: “We’ve got the runs.” Believe me, you don’t want to know.


Total Weekly Mileage: 21 miles
Total Minutes: 305 minutes
Overall Mileage: 62 miles
Overall Time: 12.08 hours

Tuesdays with Linden’s Favorite Links | 17 June 2008

As I mentioned in my weekly marathon training report, we had a guest this past week. What this means for my weekly favorite links list is that my Internet-surfing time was really reduced to a few minutes at night to check my feeds and email. I actually “declared feed bankruptcy” on Saturday and just marked alllll my feeds as read so I wouldn’t be tempted to spend hours upon hours catching up. So that I would grade instead. Wahoo.

*ahem* Sorry. Anyway, what that means is that this week’s list is rather short, but as I have slightly less grading to do this week, you can look forward to a fuller list next week. If you really need something else to browse today, check out one of my favorite websites, Lifehacker. It’s all a-buzz with Firefox 3 release (can’t wait!) articles.

  • I love taking pictures, especially of my friends! I’ve taken lots of group photos through the years, and I try to make them as fun as possible, so this article gave me some ideas that will make group photos even more memorable than before.

    tags: photography, photos, groups, tutorials

  • “All of our false perceptions about money have one common flaw – they identify money as something external to us, they identify money as the tool to accumulate abundance to please others by accumulating possessions.

    What money can’t buy mostly lies within us. Nonetheless, trading our life energy for money can deprive us from inner nourishment that can eventually lead our lives into a downward spiral.”

    I’ve started a before-now quite secret blog called 100 Things That Make Me Happy Besides Money where I chronicle—you guessed it!—the 100 things that make me happy besides money, and this DLM post confirms that we need to focus on things other than money and what it can buy us to find happiness.

    tags: money, happiness

Berlin Marathon Training in Stadtwald Giessen: 15 Weeks Out

Finally a good week. We pretty much just took it easy this week so that I could fully recover from the awful 8- and 9-mile runs I had in the last two weeks. And it worked. I had three really good runs, all at good paces, too.

Yeah, you read it right: I only ran three days this week. We had a guest, my dear friend Mara, all week, and just couldn’t fit in one run. Luckily, it was the 3 miler.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

run type: recovery run
route: started at Seltersweg, out to the 1-mile mark in Stadtwald Giessen and back
feeling: :)
time: 59’13”
distance: 5 miles
pace per mile: 11’51”
additional notes: Just took it nice and slow. I’m hoping to make up for the last two horrible weeks.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

run type: pace
route: beginning of Stadtwald Giesen out to 2-mile marker and back
feeling: :)
time: 43″53
distance: 4 miles
pace per mile: 11’00”
additional notes: Good run! I had to walk for 2 minutes during mile 2 to reset my lungs basically, but I hoofed it on the final downhill 2 miles. Here are my splits.
Mile 1: 11:10
Mile 2: 12:50 (incl. 2 minutes walking)
Mile 3: 10:08
Mile 4: 9:45

Sunday, 15 June 2008

run type: long run (cut-back week)
route: Start of Stadtwald Giessen, up to 2-mile marker, back to intersection 5, out to Other Forest 1 mile, back to intersection 5, down Main to beginning
feeling: :D
time: 1’08″53
distance: 6 miles
pace per mile: 11’30”
additional notes: What a fun run! It started pouring rain right after we hit the 2-mile marker and just kept coming down the whole time. We loved it. We saw something really sad, though. Right before we crossed the road, after Eulerbrunnen, there was a fawn running along the path. At the particular point, there is a fence that runs along the path. Apparently the deer couldn’t see the silver-gray of the fence because it kept jumping into the fence trying to get away from us. Over and over again. I’m surprised it didn’t get hurt. When we passed back by, though, it was gone, so hopefully it found its way out safely.


Total Weekly Mileage: 15 miles
Total Minutes: 172 minutes
Overall Mileage: 36 miles
Overall Time: 7 hours

Tuesdays with Linden’s Favorite Links | 10 June 2008

Everybody’s doing it: Sarah has her For-the-Love-of-Links Fridays, Vanilla has his Weekend Splits. I decided I need to throw my favorite links in the ring. So I’m starting “Tuesdays with Linden’s Favorite Links.” (I like links and books about spending Tuesdays learning from some old guy dying of ALS.)

Anywho, I hope you enjoy my favorite links, which I find during the week and collect and publish via Diigo.

Berlin Marathon Training in Stadtwald Giessen: 16 Weeks Out

This week started off good, with two runs at 10″00 per mile and 10″42 per mile. But it ended with two hard runs with over 12″00 per mile and one very upset tummy afterwards. I hope I can get this figured out before the long runs get even longer.

Runners, I have another question for your at the end of this post. Let me know what you think.

Monday, June 2, 2008

run type: training run
route: started at home, out to beginning of Stadtwald Giessen and back
feeling: :)
time: 30’06”
distance: 3 miles
pace per mile: 10’00”
additional notes: Nice! I didn’t feel too hot, and I was sure that I was going to be hitting 12 minute miles. Again (I know I just said this a few weeks ago), It doesn’t get any easier, you just get faster. More proof.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

run type: pace run
route: started from home, out to 1/2-mile mark in Stadtwald Giessen and back
feeling: :)
time: 43’00”
distance: 4 miles
pace per mile: 10’42”
additional notes: Another great run. I was scheduled for 5 miles, but time constraints made me do 4.

Saturday, 7 June, 2008

run type: Long training run
route: out to 2-mile marker, back to 48-37 [4], Schiffenberg-Bridge loop, up Main to 48-37 [4], out and back to Other Forest, down Main to 1/2-mile marker, left to end, right, next right, end at Main.
feeling: :(
time: 1’54″00
distance: 9 miles
pace per mile: 12’42”
additional notes: What is my problem? First it was the hill between miles 1 and 2. Then it was the heat between miles 3 and 4. Then my right ankle, knee, and hip. I walked almost 3 minutes. I am trying to figure this out, because the last two long runs were not good. After I was done running, my digestive track started. Not fun. I even felt like throwing up.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

run type: training run
route: started at home, out to the 1-mile marker in Stadtwald Giessen and back
feeling: :|
time: 1’01″00
distance: 5 miles
pace per mile: 12’12”
additional notes: Again, not a good run. More pain in my right-leg joints. I just felt not-good the whole time. Walked quite a bit, but never more than 2 minutes at a time. I even alternated between running 1 minute and walking 30 seconds towards the end. No running bowels today, but same nausea. What’s wrong with me?


Total Weekly Mileage: 21 miles
Total Minutes: 248 minutes
Overall Mileage: 21 miles
Overall Time: 4h8m

A Question for Runners

Do your hands swell up too? It seems like when I run anything over 5 miles, both of my hands swell up quite a bit. I just want to know if others experience this too. Know what causes it? I’m curious.

Today is the First Official Day

Me in front of the Brandenburger Tor with the Berliner Bear last August. This is about 200m before the finish line.

That’s right: Today is 16 weeks out from the Berlin Marathon and official training has started. I am warily excited. I’ve tried this before and didn’t make it. But I am stronger and more prepared physically and mentally.

Thankfully, I’m not alone. Rob has committed to training with me and cheering me on during the big race (what he doesn’t know yet: I’ll have a map with places he and his family will meet me, complete with estimated times that I’ll pass the spots), plus my Springfield training partner just announced that she’ll be training for a sprint Tri during the summer (not as good as training together, but better than nothing!), and a new-found running blogger buddy starts training for his marathon two weeks after I do (although under rather mysterious conditions).

The Goals

I have read several blog posts recently (by Vanilla and Nitmos) that sorta give me the impression that runners are supposed to post race goals on their blogs a few days or weeks out from the race. I’m just going to do it now. I know I’ll revisit these goals closer to the race, but I just want to share what I’m thinking at the beginning of my training. Might be funny to read later.

Pie-in-the-sky Goal: 10:30 miles for an overall time of 4h 35m 18s
Seemingly Realistic Goal: 11:30 miles for an overall time of 5h 01m 31s (I will cross that finish line in under 5 hours!)
I Like Shiny Things Goal: It’s my first marathon: I’ll be satisfied with finishing on my feet and not crawling. (Even crawling wouldn’t be bad as long as I finish…)

We’ll see…

The Training Program

I based my training program on a combination of Hal Higdon‘s novice and intermediate marathon plans. I’ve scheduled 10 pace days during the 16 weeks, and this time around, I’ll be doing some “weight training” on the side as well (more on that in a bit). Here’s what it looks like. You can add my calendar, which I’ll be updating after each run, to your feed reader here or view it here.

The “Weight Training”

I have committed to strengthening the rest of my body during the 16 weeks by competing against myself in a fitness test. My original plan was to do the initial test today and then re-test myself 8 to 10 weeks in. Unfortunately, I was in a bike accident last week (nothing major–just fell up a curb, as only I can do, into another biker) and I have a nasty, painful bruise just under my left kneecap. It hurts to put any weight on it, so the girly push-ups I do (no laughing!) are out for at least one more week.

Which means… there is still time for you to join me in this fitness challenge! Charity was the only one to take me up on it when I made the initial offer. Is anyone else out there interested? If so, check out the original post and leave a comment to join in the healthy action!

That ends my first post from the marathon training season. I’ll be dreaming of the finish line tonight.

Pre-marathon Training in Stadtwald Giessen: Final week

This was my last week of “pre-training” before I begin the 16-week countdown until the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, September 28. I only missed one 5-mile run (last time I’ll not feel guilty about missing a run!), and ended with a *cough* “strong” 8 miler.

Monday, 26 May 2008

run type: Training run
route: Stadtwald Giessen, out to intersection 4, left and around, right at intersection 17, past 7, first right to Hirtenbrunnen, right, left at intersection 6 and back to the start (map coming soon to make all this clear)
feeling: :|
time: 35’33”
distance: 3 miles
pace per mile: 11’48”
additional notes: Did not feel like running today at all: It was warm and muggy out on my ride home, and I still felt achy from yesterday. But I did it anyway. Could have been 3.1 or 3.2 miles since we ran on a trail we haven’t measured yet. Had a hard time breathing (doctor’s appointment next week!) and some pain in my right knee at start (no thanks to today’s bike accident), which went away, but the lower buttocks/hips muscles (ligaments? tendons?) are pretty sore. My theory is that it’s from the hills, which my muscles aren’t used to. My theory is based on the increased pain I felt on today’s hills.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

run type:
route: To the end of Stadtwald Giessen, right at intersection 8 to 18 and back, then to the beginning.
feeling: :|
time: 56’28”
distance: 4.9 miles
pace per mile: 11’30”
additional notes: Hip pain again when running up the hills. I even walked for 1m10s up the steepest hill and still made it in 11’30” per mile. Not the best run, but not bad either.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

5 miler scheduled: skipped in lieu of hanging out with the Baileys, Moira, and Jessica in the Philosophenwald and then playing side-splitting hilarious games of Swap and spoons. Later, I watched Deckchairs 4 (+ A Wedding Story) with Jessica and Lea, followed by beers at Paprica.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

run type: Long run
route: out to the 2-mile marker, back to the beginning. Repeat.
feeling: :(
time: 1h48m
distance: 8 miles
pace per mile: 13’30”
additional notes: What a terrible run. I think it was so bad because of the combination of lack of sleep (didn’t get much Friday night), heat, and hills. The “out” 2 miles are hilly, then you turn around and run down hill. At the 4-mile point, I was just focusing on finishing the run and totally forgetting my pace. I just handed the watch off to Rob when he passed me. Rob, on the other hand, felt great and ran the 8 miles in 88 minutes, a nice 11 minute per mile pace.