I run. I eat. I travel.

Posts tagged ‘race prep’

Race recap: Gatschentencrosslauf

Well, here’s a powerful reminder to actually think about the race choices I make. Monday night before my half marathon I got asked whether I’d like to replace a team member at an obstacle course. An easy 8k. Nothing too bad. Not that any of the team members had done that race before.

I thought about how I’d actually like to make it through my 21k on Sunday and then did the thing that any runner running for pure fun and enjoyment would do: I said yes.

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So here’s what I thought I’d do: let’s say the running takes me around 50+ minutes, throw in a few obstacles and a hill, maybe some waiting time and we’re at a duration of 1:15h max. Didn’t sound too bad or strenuous before my half. All good then.

 

Aaaaand here’s what really happened:

That was the toughest race I’ve ever done. Ever. No matter the distance. Oh. My. God.

It started out easy enough. Crawl under some obstacles, climb a wall and jump off, get into a pool filled with freezing mud, all good to get the heart rate up but nothing too bad. The run around the other half of the court was great and then things started to get… jungle-y. It was all hills up, hills down, here’s a rope so you don’t tumble down that slope and use your hands to climb up the inclines and hold on to roots to get yourself up there. I think I actually ran less than a kilometre, the rest was up and down and up and down all over again.

 

At km 1 I literally wanted to cry. A frickin kilometre has never seemed as far is it had that day.

At km 2 I cut my hand.

At km 3 I was more than excited to see food and drinks.

At km 4 I was not entirely sure I was ready to do a second loop.

At km 5 I was doing it. (Here’s to being stubborn and not giving up.)

At km 6 I heard the winners were safe and sound back at the finish line. Great for them.

At km 7 my left knee was over it. It was painful at every step that I took downwards.

At km 8 – and a crazy 2:11h later – I made it to the finish line. No pauses, no energy left and no spot on my body not covered in mud.

Also: I was super proud that I fought through it and excited about the medal that was also covered in mud shortly after.

 

Apparently, one of the girls on our team won the race in an incredible time of 1:21h – training for an Ironman gives you supersonic speed as it looks like. I’m totally in awe and incredibly impressed.

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That night, I joined my running girls for a pasta party and was so exhausted that I wasn’t even hungry anymore. Whoa. That was new. I’m never not hungry. Seriously. The gloriously sweet panna cotta brought some life back though.

At home, my knee got some nice tape work after my shoes and I enjoyed a loooong hot shower. The start of my half marathon was less than 12 hours away by that point and looking as unlikely as ever.



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We Own The Night – 8 weeks to go

On Thursday, just as every week, it was time for the trainer run at the new Nike Store on Ku’damm in Berlin. But this time around, we were told that we’ll be accompanied by some music (hello faster pace!) and would face a surprise mid-run. Well, way to motivate the girls – I was stoked!

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Nike did an amazing job in picking the route, mostly scenic views either of Berlin sights or along the Spree river with some 50+ girls in great spirit.

We stopped right across from the Bundestag and were surprised with a bunch of balloons with the WOTN logo printed on them, where we could write down our name and our goal for the race. Clumsy as I’ll ever be, mine was: DON’T FALL! I mean it.

I can’t wait what’s in store for us until the race comes and I’ll make sure to put in the training kilometres.

Pre-race pasta: Fennel, honey mustard and salmon

It’s crucial to fuel up well before a race – eat something that you like and that you’ve tried before. You want butterflies in your stomach at the starting line because of race excitement and not because of something you ate before.

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Ingredients

(serves 2)

1/2 fennel bulb

1 garlic clove

1 tsp honey mustard

1 tbs greek yoghurt

1 tbs fresh orange juice

100g smoked salmon

pepper, salt to taste

1 handful pasta per person

 

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Prepare the pasta – I love mine al dente, but choose whatever you like best. Also: please note that if you choose to make this on the evening before a race, you may want to opt for ‘normal’ white pasta since the wholegrain version may (!) contain a little too much fiber an upset your stomach. Give it a try on another evening before a run and you won’t face evil surprises on race morning (I mean, who wants to stay in a porta potty longer that they absolutely have to? Yeah, right. I figured, I’ll warn you!).

 

Chop up the fennel and remove the outer layer if necessary, peel and grate the garlic. Heat a tablespoon olive oil and roast both until they color a bit. Add a quarter cup of water and stir in the mustard until it dissolves well. Reduce the heat and add the orange juice, the salmon and the greek yoghurt, season to taste, give everything a good stir and leave on the stove for another 2 or 3 minutes. Make sure the sauce doesn’t boil anymore and most of the water has evaporated when you stir in the yoghurt, so it won’t flake.

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Enjoy and kick ass in that race!

 

Race day

Oh. My. God.

Race Day.

The early bird…

…catches the fish. Apparently. There’s plenty of those in there.

 

 

Today was my first swim at the new location – and except for getting tangled in a few water lilies it went really well: the weather was amazing, the water is clear enough and sort of warm enough, that one lone swan kept far away so we could get some distance covered. I practiced orientation, probably got some few hundred meters done and tried how the running in a neoprene suit works (funny, strange but doable).

This whole thing might actually work.

I’ll TRI to tell you a funny story

…without too many bad puns like the above.

So… I wanted to sign up for the sprint distance (sprint distance, this is key here!) of Vienna’s City Triathlon – but just as I got my sh…shivering nerves together, the women’s spots were sold out.

Oh well, I figured a nicely pleading email can’t hurt anyone, and so I was put onto the waiting list. Without too much thinking (obviously) I opted to be put on both waiting lists.

A week later, my confirmation for the OLYMPIC DISTANCE arrived.

Since then I’m unsuccessfully trying to tell myself not to panic.

But… AHHHHH!!!

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After the wonderful training camp with Lothar and Nicole Leder I’m incredibly motivated, but the distance still freaks me out. Also… the race is in 3 weeks.

THREE! WEEKS!

Just as I’m writing this, I’m having one of those ‘what the hell was I thinking’ moments – but they seem to come around pretty regularly since the race registration. Oh well.

On the topic of ‘what am/was I thinking’ there’s also this weekend’s plan, that fits in pretty perfectly with the ‘am I completely or just partly crazy’ issues I seem to be having.

Tomorrow at 5AM I’ll leave for Nike’s ‘We own the night‘ race in Berlin – and I am beyond excited. We’ll run a 10k together, enjoy a fun concert by Cro and head back at night to arrive back in Vienna around 10-11AM next morning.

That day, however, I’ve signed up for a cross run starting at noon in Vienna – before I knew about the Berlin race.

And to top it off, there’s the huge Women’s Run on Sunday.

 

On a completely unrelated note: I wish I hadn’t caught a cold this week with all the exam stressing.

Keep your fingers crossed. I need it.

Winner, winner…

…well, it wasn’t chicken for dinner, but it turned out, that I was indeed the lucky one to win an Endorphin Warrior bracelet (check out their awesome stuff HERE) at the RUNiverse giveaway.

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Look! The bracelet’s so pretty!

I chose the one that says ‘Breathe’ just as a small reminder to not take things too seriously and take a deep breath before possibly loosing all my nerves – be it running related or not. Also: If I’m stressing about my pace or my distance or getting back from an injury, it’s always good to have such a nice reminder to let things go their own way and just breathe.

I’ve almost finished my playlist for Berlin and by the looks of it I won’t actually run the half marathon but more or less dance through those 21k.

Here’s a few highlights:

Martin Solveig & Dragonette – Hello

Parlotones – Life Design

aaaand I took a trip down memory lane ( I mean… how can that song be already 15 years old?!):

 Chumbawamba – Tubthumping

Also: I’m actually thinking of wearing a Santa hat to the run on Sunday. Just because it’s still snowing off and on and I might as well dress for the occasion 😉

What do you think? Santa hat yay or nay?