I run. I eat. I travel.

Posts tagged ‘running’

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.

gatschentenlauf2014-2236

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.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 21.20.54

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.



Gatschentenlauf_581

Advertisements

Mediterranean couscous

This is one of my post run favourites – warm, easy to make and absolutely delicious. Do those 5 minutes of prep work as soon as you’re back home and while this goodness is simmering hop into the shower, get back to life and food is almost ready. I mean, how great is that?! No runchies with that one, I promise.

 

IMG_0583

Ingredients

(serves 2)

1 cup couscous

1 cup fresh baby spinach

1 small onion

 1 garlic clove

1.5 cups cherry tomatoes

2 rosemary sprigs

1 bay leaf

salt, pepper

sage leaves fresh/dry

optional: feta to sprinkle on top, 1/4 cup white wine to add with the water

 

 

Chop up the onions, rosemary and sage, grate the garlic and heat olive oil in a pot. As soon as the oil is hot, add the tomatoes and sweat until the skin has almost popped and has some color to it – just be careful not to burn them and stir. A lot. As in: stir more than you’d think is necessary to keep the tomatoes moving. Add the herbs as soon as the tomatoes are almost done, sweat lightly and add 3 cups of water (and the wine, if you’re using some), also add the bay leaf.

Simmer on very low heat for about half an hour until the tomatoes are super soft and the water has completely infused with the herbs. When the water has reduced a little – if it really did reduce too much, add a bit more and wait until it’s simmering again, then add the couscous, spinach, salt, pepper, stir for some 3-4 minutes until the couscous is cooked. Voila, ready to serve!

 

If you follow a certain diet – pale0, vegan, no wine (sorry, but who in their right mind would do such a thing?!), the optional ingredients may not be for you – just keep an eye out, you’ve been warned.

 

Enjoy!

 

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!

1959762_10152353313224083_837191727_n

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.

IMG_0644

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

 

IMG_0648

 

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.

IMG_0650

 

Enjoy and kick ass in that race!

 

Golden miles

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 14.10.52

 

Whoop whoop – the 100km in March look more than realistic with a 10k coming up tomorrow and only 10k left for the last week of the month. I’m super happy about the progress after being out half of January and February. Hooray!

Also: I’m super curious how my 10k race will go tomorrow after another 10k and strength training today. Recommendations, anyone?

Now I just need to find the patience for my long runs. Ugh.

It’s not all about the food

One of the biggest reasons that made me commit to #40daysofeatingclean is the half marathon that I really want to run mid-April. The past 2 months of training have not quite gone so well – nasty colds and being clumsy apparently doesn’t result in the very best race prep, who would’ve known?

1782157_10152312456444083_274524178_n

But just as I’m starting the 40days project things start to look up. The first week of March is closing in with some 35km, a little bit of speed work and lots of cross training. Since mid-February Berlin has its own Nike Clubhouse and I’ve tried to make it to 3 courses per week, which usually results in some very sore muscles and very happy moments trying out new workouts. I’m completely in love with the studio, the trainers are more than amazing and I love coming back again and again.

1911816_10152316075019083_97904811_n

So here’s some additional sports goals for March to get half marathon ready:

Chomp down 100km.

Do the speed work. Despite it being speed work.

Yoga. At least once a week.

NTC. Minimum 5 workouts per week, either in the studio or at home.

Stick to the training plan. It’s awesome. Pay it some respect.

 

 

Brb. Just freaking out a little because the half is only 5 weeks away.

International Women’s Day Run

Spikes and Heels and Run like ‘elle started something amazing for Women’s Day: get your crew, eat some miles and celebrate. We’ll meet at noon at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with Club der Töchter Berlin and Berlin’s Run Pack, but wherever you are, there’s a run for you:

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 12.16.45

Who runs the world? GIRLS!