Three Things Thursday - the 'mileage' post

Opinions wanted Three Things Thursday!

Three different marathon trainingschedules and their mileage:

1. The marathontraining.com schedule wants you to log 18-46 miles a week in their 18 week program, averaging 36-46 miles a week in the last couple of weeks of marathon training.

2. The Hal Higdon training program (http://www.halhigdon.com/) gives you a weekly mileage of 26-50 miles a week in their 18 week program, averaging 34-50 miles a week in the last couple of weeks of marathon training.

3. The schedule I use for this marathon training cycle. I downloaded it at http://www.runinfo.nl/, a Dutch running website. According to the schedule I need to run 26-48 miles a week during 16 weeks. In the peak weeks (7 weeks) I log 35-48 miles a week.

What's the question? Well, I'm an active visitor of the runnersworld.com forum, and in the 'New York Marathon training' section every single visitor talks about a weekly mileage of at least 50 miles (most of them are running 55 miles or more a week in their peak weeks). And most of them have their hopes set on running a 4:15 or 4:30 marathon. I'm aiming for 3:50, or at least sub 4 for New York. Makes a girl wonder whether or not she should log more miles to even make that goal. On the other hand, missing three runs (19 miles) last week due to laryngitis and seriously considering skipping tonight's 6 miler due to knee pain (after yesterday's intervals), I'm just not physically fit enough at this point to log 55 mile weeks.

What training schedule do you use? How crazy is your mileage?


Squeeze me, baby!

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - intervals - running group
Due to my shin splints issues I usually wear compression socks or sleeves on my runs. Love them, wouldn't run without them. I have to admit the look of it is not very sexy, but matched with a runningskirt I might just get away with the catholic school girl look. ;) Just might.

And I honestly believed that these compression socks were the compression product of the moment. Boy, was I wrong! Apparently there's a whole world filled with compression products out there!

Saucony Amp Pro2

Saucony has this new line of compression products: Amp Pro2. They explain the 'how it works'of the Amp Pro2 line on their website http://www.saucony.com/, and I'll have to admit: it seems like it's worth a try. But then again, you could sell me about anything...
The training short sleeve for women; cute color!

Saucony states that the Amp Pro2 products improve oxygenated blood flow up to 32% more vs. regular compression. Also, the Saucony website says that the AMP PRO2 products increase the blood flow. Said benefits of the AMP PRO2 products to the old bod: it increases strength and builds endurance, promotes healing and reduces recovery time. Reduced recovery time = godsend as far as I'm concerned.

The training tights; cute color again! I can picture myself in these - paired with a pale blue runningskirt!

My favorite item: recovery tights! Dear Santa, I've been a good girl!
OK, sounds promising, but hold the old credit card for a minute, because the Amp Pro2 line isn't the cheapest product out there. Also not the most expensive, though, but still. The training tights go for $110 and the short sleeve for $90. Then again, if it works for you and you don't mind spending the pennies, why wouldn't you give it a try?

And while you're at it, you might want to give this recovery sleep suit a try. ;)

I'm not sure what to think about these. Does a sleep suit actually work? Or would it just make me look like a total dork? Then again, most of the time I already do.

For me, I won't order the Amp Pro2 line through the internet. I'll look for a store that sells the line and try it on.
What's your take on compression shirts and tights? And would you try a recovery sleep suit?


Confessions of a single runner

OK, this one is going to be brutally honest. But there's just no other way to put it. By the way, this is not a personal ad. Just to get that clear.
My household consists of my dog Lordie, my two cats and Me, Myself and I. That's it. No guy. Not even a friend with benefits. And the four of us couldn't be happier.
Ofcourse, it wasn't always just me and the fur balls. There was a guy. Heck, there were several guys, but at the moment there is none. Nada.
The last guy couldn't cope with the fact that I run a minumum of 35-38 miles a week. Work and running take up most of my time. Ofcourse I spend time with my friends, I'm not a complete weirdo. But you get the point. He figured that there wasn't enough time left to hang out with him. I had a choice: it was either him or running. So, he had to go. No-brainer.
With the guy gone, I all of a sudden had more time to run / work out, so I added strength training and extra miles (well, marathon training does that...I needed to run extra miles). Since I am really getting serious about this marathon thing, I don't go out clubbing / pubbing as often as I used to. And, that's why nowadays most of the men I meet are fellow runners. 'Perfect combo', wouldn't you think? Nope...not really.
For starters, 1. I'm not one of those flirty runners that's able to flirt her ass off while running 7 minute mile-intervals. 2. Running = sweating and I sweat a lot. A lot lot. Not very sexy, huh? 3. When I'm running, I'm running. It's my me-time. And I really don't feel like trying hard to get a guy to like me during that me-time.
Taken into account that I do fancy the athletic type (the chubby, not so athletic guys my friends meet in pubs, just don't do it for me), dating a fellow runner would be the way to go...But, considering 1, 2 and 3, that's probably not going to happen any time soon. ;)
And you know what, no matter what my friends and family say ('you're heading towards your thirties, shouldn't you marry and settle down' YUGH!), I don't mind being single! Honestly, I don't! I'm having a blast!
I'm very well aware of the fact that society feels that it's 'not normal' for a girl in her late twenties to be single. And that it's also a bit weird for this girl to be perfectly happy. And that it's definitely pretty strange that this girl has no intention at all to desperately start looking for a guy to marry at this very moment. Not to mention my aunts telling me that 'it will be my time soon' and 'such a pretty girl will not end up as an old spinster'.
I couldn't care less. Next year's calendar is filled with races. And training / work outs. And girl weekend's around these races. The thought of that full calendar alone makes me smile.
So, please, I ask you, do not feel sorry for me. Do not ask me whether or not my biological clock is trying to tell me something (I'm hitting snooze everytime that thing's bothering me). And most definitely don't try to hook me up with one of your boyfriend's pathetic friends.
I'm fine. I'm not a freak. I'm just a perfectly happy single runner.
Ran: 5.6 miles / 9 km - 51 min - easy run


Why not to race with Laryngitis - and 40 days till NYCM!

(i) Two reasons why not to race a 10K the day after a 20 miler and when still recovering from Laryngitis:

Can you tell that I'm trying to hide behind the chubby guy in the blue shirt? :)

I'm still playing hide and seek here, and it's pretty obvious that I'm in pain (legs were beyond sore...)

(ii) 40 days left 'til the New York City Marathon! :) Do a happy dance, y'all! :)
I've been checking the New York Marathon website on a daily basis now, because I can't wait to find out if all my favorite brands will be there at the Expo. The runningskirts.com girls told me that they are still awaiting confirmation for the expo, though. I would really love to meet them in person (and stock up on some skirts while I'm at it ;)), so fingers crossed! And fingers crossed that Garmin has a great Expo deal on their watches. ;)
What do you love most about Marathon Expos?


Lesson learned

Yesterday: Ran: 20 miles / 32 km - 2:57 h - weekend easy run
Today: Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - 51:06 - 10k race
This is going to be a short post. And a grumpy one. I will post a full 'weekend runs' recap tomorrow.
The laryngitis is less sucky at the moment and I have high hopes that it will be gone gone gone in a couple of days.
Despite of the laryngitis I decided to head out for my long run Yesterday. Took it slow. My throat is still sore, but the rest of my body does feel a bit less 'sick' . So, the scheduled 20 miler it was. And, I really can't paint you a happy picture on this one, it sucked. The first 12.5 miles killed my legs (apparently that's what laryngitis does to your body), and then I got the brilliant idea to take the dogs with me for the next 7.5 miles. Let's just say that they had no intention at all to slow down and -to make a long story short - they literally dragged me along the trails. My legs felt beyond sore afterwards. No fun. Enough said.
As for today. There was a 10K race in the city I live in. The startline is literally 800 meters from my house (Tha Crib). That's just too much race fun to resist. So, 30 minutes before the actual start, I decided to sign up. Brilliant thinking, since my legs were still feeling beyond sore from Yesterday's 20 miler (did I mention yet that that 20 miler sucked?). And the soreness did NOT go away during that 10K. They set a WR on that race: 26:44 min on the 10K. It wasn't me. Ha! I struggled through it in 51:06 min. Actually not that bad, considering Yesterday's 20 miler and the laryngitis... But knowing I could've been a couple of minutes faster without the laryngitis and the 20 miler, does not really make me a hahahappy camper at the moment. What can I say, I just love to beat myself up. ;)

Good news: since the NYC Marathon is in only 6 (WHAT???) weeks, I guess this was an OK weekend trainingwise.
How did your weekend long runs / races go?


Freaky Friday - The 'Why priests run' post

Most running commercials are inspirational, but this one is just downright funny! (Or is it just my twisted mind that thinks so?)

As for running: I missed three runs in a row this week (a total of 18.6 miles / 30 km) due to the laryngitis. And I'm still feeling grumpy because of that. I hope lots of rest will cure the laryngitis. Fingers crossed!

What's your favorite running commercial?


Three Things Thursday

1. Due to the Laryngitis running is still off for the time being. Oh, joy! Needless to say that I'm not just grumpy, but also getting a bit restless now. Running is in my system, and not running makes my legs and the rest of my body...well, restless. And since I am a PM runner (full-time job with 8 AM start...so, I really don't have a choice), I have a lot of extra time in the evenings now. In the last couple of days I have had the privilige of having enough time to watch too many bad movies. 'Just Friends' with Ryan Reynolds last night was a new all time low...

2. I just know that I'm going to get lost in the New York Marathon Start Villages. I'm clumsy enough to make that happen. Don't believe me? Check out the Start Map by clicking on this link:


Believe me now? I will have to print that map and take it with me just to get to the start. I just hope that I will be able to find the 1.500 toilets they promised us on the New York Marathon website.

To all the New York Marathon runners: if you see a confused looking Redhead in a runningskirt walking around in the start villages; please tell her where the start line / toilets / food stations are.

3. How many days are left until the New York Marathon? Well, since you're asking:


Larynwhat? - The grumpy runner post

Last Monday I had a bit of a sore throat. Not that bad, juts annoying. I felt tired, though, and my arms and legs were aching. I figured I might have a cold. Yesterday it was worse. 'No appetite and everything hurts'-worse. Went straight home out of work and hit the sack. Did not head out for my scheduled 5 miler. But felt too sick to feel bad about that.

And today is a new low. Apparently what I thought was just a cold and a bit of a sore throat is actually Laryngitis. Woopdiedee. Bring out the trumpets. Good thing I didn't go to med school. I would have made a terrible doctor.
So, not only Yesterday's 5 miler, but also tonight's running group run is off. And - probably - the same goes for tomorrow's scheduled 6 miler. Oh, and I'm supposed to not talk. Uhm...this one is going to be hard! I have a 20 miler scheduled for this Saturday, so my hopes are set on feeling a bit better by then. Blah!
Most important thing is that this Laryngitis goes away (preferably to never return again). Running won't speed up my recovery now. As hard to admit as that is. And I do feel grumpy about the not running and missing scheduled runs. Thoughts of not even running a sub-4 in New York, let alone a sub-3:50, are racing through my head now. The marathon IS only 6 1/2 weeks away, you know!
Could missing a couple of runs jeopardize my New York Marathon training? Have you ever been sick in the last couple of weeks of marathon training?


Race pics - The 'The world should thank me for not pursuing a career in modelling' post

Some race pictures from Sunday's 10 miler. Don't laugh at me, just laugh with me! ;) I know I look like I was on my long run and just accidentally stumbled upon this crowd of runners that were running the same route... Next time I will race this thing!

Those pigtails...You would say I'm too old for that, wouldn't you? Must admit that it keeps all the hair out of my face. :)

Nice heel strike, babe. And watch the goofy face...

I totally kicked Rocky Wannabe's butt later on! And the race shirt I got from the good cause I was running for was about 3 sizes too big...so I look a lot fatter than I actually am. Thanks... But at least it was for a good cause.
Here I'm just trying to hide behind Rocky Wannabe. Those abs aren't too bad to look at, by the way...

Do you have a worst / best race picture? And would you ever run a race in a costume?


Paris, Paris, je t'aime!

Last week I registered for Paris Marathon. Yep, that's right. PARIS Marathon! Oh La La! I love Paris! :)

Yep, that's right, April 11th 2011, just one month before Edingburgh Marathon...Wonder if my legs will still like me by then...

Registration opened on September 15th and I was adviced to register right away to get one of the cheaper tickets. And I got in! Only thing left is a medical certificate that I have to mail to the organization. France has specific rules for the registration for races, and one of this rules is that the runner has to show the organization a valid medical certificate. If you don't, you won't get your BIB number. Needless to say that I phoned my doctor about it right away!

It's a bit of work to get the certificate, because you need to get a medical check-up and ask your doctor to sign it. But, on the other hand, I think France made a wise decision here. Ofcourse the certificate will give you no guarantees at all, but at least the runners that are in no physical condition to run a marathon will know.
What are your thoughts on medical certificates pre race?
And do you know what the best thing about Paris Marathon is? The new and improved race course! Hello sightseeing!

All the sights are en route!

Paris Marathon is still 7 months away, and I'm already excited! :)

Who wants to join in the Paris Marathon fun and register?


The 10 miler that made me love running even more

Ran: 10 miles / 16.1 km - 1:23:20 h - marathon pace work out in a race

Today I ran the Dam tot Damloop. It's a 10 mile race from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Zaandam (the Netherlands...obviously). 35.000 runners! It's not a flat course, but also not too hilly. Great race to run in the whole training cycle for the New York Marathon!

My splits; as you probably already noticed, I usually start off slower than I finish. I'm a weirdo...

Since the New York Marathon is only 7 weeks (7!!! Yikes!) away, I decided the wise thing to do was to run this race at marathon pace, and use it as a marathon pace work out. And I followed my own advice. Well, that's a first. ;) I have my hopes set (hope, hope, hope!) on running the NYC marathon in 3:50 (being my first road marathon), so I had to pass the 10K mark at 54:30 and the finish at 1:28 h. So far so good. Remember those splits for a second.
I ran this race to raise money for the Lornah Kiplagat Foundation (http://www.lornahkiplagatfoundation.nl). A great cause that supports the build of the Lornah Kiplagat Sportsacademy in Kenya! The start for the runners running for good causes was at 11:40 AM.
The start was very well organized, and I had no problem finding my corral. As soon as the race started I tried to stick to my marathon pace, but I was feeling so relaxed that I stopped looking at my watch. It felt like I was running the marathon pace that I'd ran in training runs before. And then the 10K mark came by. After 52 minutes. Woops! My 10K PR is 51:28. Something was definitely wrong here. The thing was that it didn't feel like I was pushing myself. Well, what the heck. I figured, as long as it feels like marathon pace, I might as well call it marathon pace. I felt like I was walking on air. I chatted with fellow runners. Sang along with the drumbands. Gave high fives to the kids that were cheering. It didn't feel like long run pace, but it definitely didn't feel like I was racing. I had a blast! I actually felt sorry that it was over when I spotted the finishline. Finished in 1:23:20. 5 minutes faster than marathon pace. I'm very well aware that this doesn't mean that I can actually stick to this pace for a full marathon, but still...I had so much fun and felt great!
Congrats to all the runners that finished the Dam tot Damloop!
And that, my friends, is why this 10 miler made me love running even more!
How did your weekend long runs/races go?


Things that put a smile on my face

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - 53 min (too fast for an easy run...not good considering tomorrow's race!) - with dogs

This Mizuno commercial from a couple of years ago, put a smile on my face this morning. I'm sure it will put one on yours to. Enjoy your weekend long run!


It's not me, it's you - The 'Does your mental state affect your running?' post

OK, I did not head out for yesterday's scheduled 6 miler. I decided to skip it. And I am not known for skipping runs (I do not like to skip a run!), so something must have been really off. And something was. Extremely off.

Ofcourse now you want to know what was wrong. Well, you shouldn't have asked, 'cause here you have it. The whole *beep*load of it. This is Negative Nancy a.k.a. Debbie Downer speaking. I apologize in advance...

Reasons why I did not run yesterday's 6 miler:

a. I felt emotionally and mentally drained, and I had very good reasons for feeling that way (and I'm not known for being a Negative Nancy, but yesterday I was - a Negative Nancy);

b. my lower legs were still feeling heavy and cramped up (and I have a race coming up this weekend).

Debbie Downer illustrates a., and why I felt emotionally and mentally drained
As for a.. On an almost daily basis I have to deal with someone that has the tendency to make people feel bad (very bad) about themselves. And he get's to me with this behavior. You know the type that manipulates you in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself (and it seems like this person is being nice and trying to help you, but actually he's just kicking you down...that's the manipulating part of it), solely to make him feel good (terrific) about himself? The type that's spreading lies, and justifies this by saying 'he's just trying to help you' and 'you're just too young to realize that you're a troubled little girl that needs help...immediately'? The manipulating person that seems nice on the outside, but is actually not a good person on the inside? That's the type I mean. And I have to deal with this person on an almost daily basis. Needless to say that I would prefer not to. I actually have no choice, at this point I really can't choose not to deal with this person. We all meet this person once, twice or several times in our lives, but that doesn't make it less crappy. Unfortunately.

Yesterday I tried to do something about it (the mature thing to do...Ugh...), and let's say it totally backfired on me. Apparently doing the right thing isn't the same as getting things solved. I guess I'm just too honest and not into playing games. I do not like playing games (well...unless it's a board game, ofcourse...). It left me feeling terrible and insecure. Mentally drained. I hate that feeling. And to make things worse, I really couldn't get myself to run the scheduled 6 miler. I felt too emotionally and mentally out of it to run. So, there you have it, for the first time in 9 months of running, my mental state got me to a point where I was just not capable to go out there and run. And I did not like that!

Luckily I have a great friend like Bunny who came over to keep me company, listened to my Negative Nancy talk, drank Limoncello with me and *drum rolls* brought me Brownies. She deserves a statue for bringing those brownies alone.

And today, I'm actually feeling a bit better. And I have to feel better, because I'm supposed to race a 10 miler on Sunday (well...race...marathon pace work out)! And that brings me to b..

b. or why I think that Redhead's Leg Gremlins moved into my legs
(Redhead: http://cautionredheadrunning.blogspot.com/)

For the last couple of days my lower legs have been feeling heavy, tired and all cramped up. Blah. Apparently adding extra miles to your marathon schedule will do that. Today, they're feeling better. For my lower legs, yesterday's unscheduled rest day wasn't that bad. An easy loop around the block tomorrow, and then I'll decide whether or not I'll race Sunday's 10 miler. If I'm not racing it, I will run it at marathon pace.

OK, say goodbye to Negative Nancy now and HELLO THERE to Positive Pauline (and Paul)!

Did you ever feel so mentally and emotionally drained that it affected your running?

Days left until the New York Marathon:


Three Things Thursday - the 'dream job' post

Had a terrible day (terrible terrible 'makes me want to cry' terrible) at work today, and although I do love my job, it got me thinking 'What if I had chosen a different profession?'. So here we go. Since being Paula R. or Kara G. is my absolute dream job, but let's be realistic, that's not really going to happen, these are my three favorite dream jobs of the day!

1. Professional Traveller

Dear Mr or Mrs National Geographic Travel,

Could I please join your lovely company?



2. Chocolate Taster
Imagine me instead of baldie here.

3. All expenses paid cocktails tester and blogger

Hello, Mr. Caipirinha!

What is your dream job?


Wacky Wednesday: You know you're a runner when...

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - Running Group - intervals
... your vacation trips for 2011 are mainly planned around races. And even the one trip that isn't (skitrip), sort of is, because you figured out that hill work outs are perfect training for the Edinburgh marathon a month later. Ofcourse this means that you will only hit the slopes to ski for a couple of hours a day, because a. you'll have to do the hill work outs, and b. the skiing might leave your legs feeling tired.
... your 2011 calendar is almost completely filled with races - and it's only September 2010. You already have races planned for November 2011. Including 6 marathons and 3 ultra marathons for the year. Too much? You say 'Nah'...
... a good friend asks you if you would like to join her on a city trip and you convince her to go in a certain weekend. You haven't told her yet that there's a marathon in that city...that exact weekend. Such a coincidence!
... at the water cooler you're babbling along about your GI issues with your co-workers without considering how they might feel about your honesty. Later on you find out that they're officially using your name and 'ewwww' in one sentence now...
... you're seriously considering to not attend next week's office party, because you have a 20 miler scheduled the next morning, and they probably won't serve enough pasta / other carb food at that party. Plus all the dancing will make your legs feel tired. And now your co-workers tell you that you're 'just no fun'...and, frankly, you couldn't care less.
... you know skipping tonight's interval work out is the wise thing to do, but you still feel bad about skipping it...for the rest of the night. Thoughts of not finishing the New York City Marathon or not running a sub-4 are bouncing through your head.
... you find out that your favorite running shoe is discontinued, and you immediately call every retailer around to get your hands on whatever color they have left in your size. Even if this means that you will have three grey / pink pairs of the same running shoe. And you don't even like that color.
... you set the alarm for 6 AM this morning, just so you could register for the Paris Marathon in April 2011 (registration opened today). And then you started texting all your friends 'I got in'. At 6:15 AM in the morning. Needless to say that you received some very grumpy text messages throughout the day...
Please, confess on your 'you know you're a runner when...' behavior!


Two for Tuesday - Healthy eating: Grilled Tuna and Pea and Courgette salad

Ran: 5 miles / 8 km - 45 min - easy run

It's recipe time again! A friend of mine gave me two healthy ideas to start your meal with. So, this time no main course recipe, but two starters. Easy to prepare and Yummy in your tummy (OK...that sounds kind of lame...but they are actually Yummy)!

Grilled Tuna with cucumber salad

You'll need (serves 4):

4 Tuna steaks (about 100 grams / 3.5 oz. each)
9 tablespoons of Teriyaki marinade
1 cucumber
3 tablespoons of Soy sauce
1 tablespoon of vinegar
4 tablespoons of Sesame oil
1 tablespoon of sugar


How to prepare this dish:

Let the tuna steaks marinade in the Teriyaki marinade for about 10 minutes. Heat the grill. Slice the cucumber. Whisk together the Soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and pepper. Whisk until you have a dressing. Grill the tuna for 5 minutes (turn to grill both sides). Serve with the sliced cucumber and the dressing.

Personally I also eat this dish as a main course. I'll just add some bread and grill a larger piece of tuna.

Courgette and pea salad

You'll need (serves 4):

1 courgette / zucchini
225 grams/ 8 oz. of peas
1 spring onion
200 grams / 7 oz. of feta
some mint leaves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
6 tablespoons of olive oil

How to prepare this dish:

Wash and dice the courgette/zucchini. Boil the courgette and peas in bouillon. Drain in a colander and let cool (I usually use cold water to let it cool in a couple of minutes). Chop the spring onion. Dice the feta. Chop the mint. Make by whisking together the olive oil and lemon joice. Season the dressing with pepper. Add the mint, courgette/zucchini and peas. Leave for 30 minutes and serve with some bread.

Enjoy your meal!


ZZZZZZZZZZ - The Sleepy Runner Post

So, you're a runner. And your focus is on long distance running. Your weekly mileage is 35+ miles / 56 km in a rest week. In the peak of marathon training your mileage hits 50 miles a week or higher. You're no Paula or Kara, but your mileage is crazy enough. You work full time or are a full time mom / dad, you have a social life and you want to get all these miles in. Every single week. Plus, you do some strength training. And, if you get to it, some cross training.

That's at least 10 hours a week into your training. Plus the hours that are taken by work/parenting and having something that could qualify as a social life, your week is pretty much filled with work / activities / running / etcetera. That's one busy life! Sleeping becomes less important. You come home from your PM run on a weekday, and don't want to go to bed right away. You have a good book waiting for you. Let's read a bit in that one. Or, you taped your favorite sitcom and want to watch that before you go to bed. And before you know it, it becomes normal that you get about 6 to 7 hours of sleep, or less, in per night. Before you know it, it's day to day business that you wake up still feeling tired and not really revived.

And that affects your running. Having a busy life and being a runner isn't always easy. There you go, I said it. Heck, I admitted it. And apparently I could have known this (well, to be honest common sense could have done the trick...). This Runnerworld.com article explains how important it is for runners to get enough hours of sleep per night.


For me, this article is a true eye opener. I have been feeling tired lately, and besides that, easy runs seem less easy than they did a couple of weeks ago. I'll have to make sleeping part of my training plan. 6-7 hours of sleep per night is just not enough for this girl. That good book / cocktail hour / late night movie will have to wait. At least, for now. So, starting tonight I will try to get at least 9 hours of sleep in...per night. No excuses. No watching tv while already in bed. No turning the pages of that good book, because I'm desperate to find out who's that serial killer. Running means just too much for me.

Does a lack of sleep affect your running / training plan? How many hours of sleep do you need?

Days left 'til New York Marathon:

Yeah, RunningRonald, I know, I totally stole this one from you, but I just think it's a great idea! :) Consider yourself honoured. ;)


Why men don't listen and women can't read maps

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - Canicross Running Group - intervals

Why women can't read maps

Yesterday I was supposed to run a 17 miler. 17 miles, 27 km. But as good as I am with figuring out what's the easiest way to get from one point to another, without getting lost that is, I suck at mapping my run correctly. Honestly, how easy is mapping your run on mapmyrun.com? I just can't do it. Somehow I get more miles in than scheduled - every single time. And no, I'm not doing this on purpose. I just suck at it. And that's exactly why I shouldn't be surprised that yesterday's scheduled 17 miler turned into an 18.4 miler. 18.4 miles, 29.5 km. Just like that. Ofcourse, I did not know this until I got home and remapped my run. Good thing was, and that's the only good thing about it, that I finished the run believing that I was uber slow, but after remapping my run, my pace appeared to be right on schedule. Pfffeww!

My good friend Bunny (she's going to punch me for making this her Blogworld nickname...) came with me on my long run...on her bike. I tried to convince her of running being the way to go, but after seeing me sweat and in pain (The Hip...yep, she's back...), and seeing me eat Energy Gel (I say 'Yummy', Bunny says 'total nutcase'), I doubt if she'll ever pick up long distance running.... It was so nice to chat while I was getting my long run in, though, and she brought her camera! :)
Pretty, huh? And, nope, that's not my mansion...I wish...

Ahhhh, nothing like the sweet sight of home! And nothing like knowing that I only have a couple of miles to go!

Thanks to Bunny part of my run turned into a photoshoot. Starring: Me. Heidi Klum, move over. Here's Sweaty Long Run Barbie (well, her lunatic and not so model-like sister...).
Here I'm demonstrating how to GU properly. Don't try this at home...
And, I know, I should have bought those shorts a size smaller...good thing about it; in case I poo my pants on a long run, no one will notice.
How not to hydrate.

And how to look like a total Goofball while you're at it... Yep, I sweat like I'm paid to do so...get over it...
Thanks, Bunny, for taking such great pics! :) And thanks for coming with me at such an early hour. :)

Why men don't listen

And for today, I had a 6.3 miler (10 km) scheduled with my Canicross Running Group. Great fun, and as always nice to chat with the other runners in the group. Perfect weather; the rain was kind enough to wait until we'd finished our run.

The Hip was hurting again, so I decided to stick to a 'slower' pace. Only thing was, Lordie and Diddy took off like it was a 5K race. Too fast for The Hip! And me screaming that they had to slow down didn't help. They chose not to listen and dragged me halfway along the course instead. And then, at the point where my Hip was killing me, they decided to slow down. But by then my Hip was killing me. If only they would have listened to 'Easy', 'Slow', 'Slow down!!!'... Oh, in case you were wondering: Lordie and Diddy are both male dogs.

How was your weekend long run or race?


New York Marathon Course Strategy

Ran: 18.4 miles / 29.5 km - 2 h 53 min - weekend easy pace long run

This girl has a plan.

The plan to be prepared for the New York City Marathon course. The hills. The bridges. The hills. And the bridges. To not let these bridges and hills take her by surprise. That's the plan. I'll just have to wait and see if this plan works...fingers crossed.

And this ING course video (with elevation chart) should help me to prepare my legs and mind for the hills/bridges/hitting the wall. (I apologize in advance for all the ING spam in the video...I guess this is one of their ways to get through the financial crisis).

Do you believe that it's better to get yourself mentally ready for a hilly course, than to just go for it and see what happens (with the risk of hitting the wall big time)?


The Angry Run!

Did you ever hit the road for an Angry Run?

You know, the run you have when you're really pissed off about something or angry angry angry with someone? The run that get's all the anger out? That's the run I mean.

Last Tuesday I had one of those Angry Runs. I was completely pissed off about something (I will spare you the details...). 'Ready to punch someone' pissed off. But I figured punching someone wasn't really an option (not exactly worth going to jail for...), so I went out there for my scheduled run instead. And totally killed it! I was supposed to do an easy 5 mile run. Instead I kicked it into gear and just went for it. After two miles I felt a bit better and got into an easier pace.

And the best thing: after my Angry Run, all the anger was gone. I wasn't angry anymore...at all. Peace and quiet. Total serenity. Ohmmmmmmmm...

Who needs therapy (or anger management classes for that matter) when the road is open for an Angry Run?
I already posted this question on my Facebook-page, but I would like to know what you think!
Did you ever hit the road for an Angry Run? When is the last time you went out there for an Angry Run? Do Angry Runs work for you (to get the anger out)?


Three Things Thursday - the 'I'm in a New York State of Mind' post

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - 52:30 min (what? me?) - tempo run with the dogs
1. I've been asking around about what to wear for the New York Marathon, and I was told I should wear something a. with my name on the front and back, and b. that stands out in a crowd. OK, there's a dilemma to battle! It would be nice to not look like a total goofball, for a change, though. That said, I'll probably go for a skirt from the new runningskirts.com fall/winter line. And I would like to do something creative with either my nationality (orange or red/white/blue coloured shirt? Or wear a piece of Dutch Gouda on my head...too much? Yeah, probably...) or my profession (no, I don't intend on sueing people along the way...just looking for a creative way to add a subtle and fun hint).
All thoughts on this one are more than welcome! So, please, don't hold back, and blurt out your 'that would be fun' ideas. Please. :)

As long as you just don't suggest that I should wear this guy's costume. Not going to happen! Sorry...

How did he cross the finish line? He must have been exhaused! Wow!

2. I like (OK, love) to plan ahead! Especially when I'm as excited about something as I am about the New York Marathon! And I would really like to go to dinner the night of the marathon (Nov. 7th that is ;) :)), and have some good food. Doesn't have to be expensive or fancy, just some 'WoW! Perfect ending of a perfect day' kind of food in a nice restaurant. Let's just hope that I won't end up struggling to finish the marathon...and end up in my hotel room with GI issues and aching legs.

Which restaurants on Manhattan serve this kind of 'WoW' food? And also have a cosy ambiance. Just somewhere you want to go after finishing a marathon (I. Must. Finish. This. Marathon.) Which restaurant can you recommend?

3. 58 days 'till the New York Marathon!!! Yay! Oh, and be prepared to hear a lot of 'YaY! ...days 'till the NYCM!' in the next couple of weeks (8 1/2 weeks to be exact).

And for you to share in my 'YAY! New York Marathon!' excitement, a video of last year's marathon. Love the song, by the way!

In case you can't watch the video or it's not working properly, you can also use this link:



It's all about the beats!

Ran: 6.3 miles / 10 km - Running Group training - intervals

Let's talk resting heart rate, shall we?

My running group coach and my PT advised me to regularly measure my resting heart rate. Just to make sure that the engine that keeps this body going isn't exhausted and ready for three weeks on the Seychelles yet.

So, once or twice a week I measure my resting heart rate as soon as I wake up in the morning. Just a little piece of info on this one: due to the medicine that I have to take, my heart rate is higher than the heart rate of someone that's not on those meds. To illustrate this, before I picked up running my resting heart rate would be in the low 90's/high 80's, due to those meds. Before I was on this meds it was in the low 60's, and I was a total coach potato at that point. But that's just how it is. Stop taking them is not an option. Bummer...

Eight months into running, and despite of the sucky meds, my resting heart rate is now down to 54 bpm. Sometimes I meassure 50 bpm, and sometimes 58 bpm, but it averages 50-54 bpm. I was told it should be down to the low to mid 40's in the next year if I continue running the way I do. Yay!

But here's the catch...
My PT told me not to obsess over fluctuations in my resting heart rate. But ofcourse I do. I'm an official internet self-diagnoser (is that even a word?). Terrible habit, but that's just silly me. The positive thing about Googling my butt off, is that I've found this guite informative article on resting heart rate on completerunning.com: http://completerunning.com/archives/2006/11/01/resting-heart-rate/.

And by Googling (a lot), now I know that apparently your resting heart rate can fluctuate based on a number of variables. For example:
- caffeine (I'm a diet coke junkie...bad bad habit);
- how well you are rested (uhm...I might have the tendency to just want to finish reading a book, even if it means I won't go to sleep untill 3 AM);

- work related stress (HELLO, EYE OPENER!);

- whether or not you are over-trained (I sure hope not!); and, last but not least Ladies...

- the days before having your period you might have a higher resting heart rate (OK, I didn't know this!).

Overtraining is obviously something to be careful with. No-brainer! My doc told me that if you're resting heart rate is up with 10 bpm for a week or so, you might be over-trained. And you'll need to recheck your training regime. However, you might also be over-trained when your resting heart rate is significantly lower than it has been in the last couple of weeks. OK, I guess I have found something new to obsess over now..... ;).

Do you obsess over your resting heart rate? How often do you measure it? Do you believe it's the most important early sign of overtraining?