Diary of what followed after I finally succeeded in completing a marathon just in time, before my 50th birthday.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Staying on schedule

As my goal is to finish the Brussels 20k, five weeks from today, in under two hours, I am paying particular attention to my average speed. The Runkeeper app on my iPhone comes in very handy for this, as it will tell me, after each kilometer, my average time per k. For the Kasteeljogging in Perk (yes, that is a village name!) I set out for 5:50 per k. The first bit was much faster, but then the average started crawling up. Most of the track was through forest, where the soil was a little bit soggy because of the recent rains, making it feel like a light cross-country run. Heavier than the paved roads I take normally. Four kilometers before the finish, Runkeeper told me my average was up to 5:52. I struggled to accelerate, with some success as I finished with exactly the average I planned for. It still needs to go down a bit, so I have a margin for the heavy route that makes up the 20k. But mainly, I need to work on distance. Today, I will be aiming for a gentle 18k training. On 5 May, I should join the 21k nearby. On 13 May, I could follow up with my traditional preparation for the 20K: the 14.7k in Bruges. After that, I'll be tapering.

Monday, 27 February 2012


Exactly on schedule for a two-hours finish up till 15k. Then I collapsed.

Still, it's faster than my time in Paris...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

On times

I have done one official semi marathon before. That was last year in Paris. I collapsed in the last five kilometrs and finished in 2:05:33.

In Dilbeek, near Brussels, I ran a 21k in 2008 and finished in 1:51:30. Not convinced the distance was measured precisely enough. More importantly, it was two weeks before I did the Amsterdam marathon and I was better trained than ever.

In Amsterdam, by the way, I completed the first half of the marathon in 2:00:06. Only to fall to pieces in th second half.

So all in all, my 1:59:59 target for Barcelona is both realistic and ambitious...
That was good

Temperatures are above zero again. It was very nice to be out running with bare lower legs and no gloves. Did my 11k round this morning nicely at my half marathon race pace. Strangely, part of it I cannot recall at all, including the second-last and most of the last climbs. Runner's high, the best thing on the planet. I was designing a powerpoint presentation in my head (don't ask) while listening to a shuffled mix of my favorite songs. Was not tired at all when i finished after 63 minutes.

If I can repeat this next week, I may just be able to cruise to my target: a time under 2 hours.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Last big training

Two weeks to go till Barcelona. Just ran most of 20k (my legs hurt so much that I needed to walk for a couple of minutes after 1h46). Not bad, considering I did not load any carbs and it's still too cold to breathe easily. Tapering time now: just little trainings to allow my body to build up reserves. Time also to pay a little more attention to what I eat and drink.

Good music helps big time. My current top 5 running songs:
1. Mira Como Viene - Jarabe de Palo
2. Hi-a-Ma (Pata Pata) - Milk & Sugar ft. Myriam Makeba
3. The Russians are Coming - Val Bennet
4. Cherie Coco - Magic System ft. Soprano
5. Peter Gunn Theme - West End Orchestra & Singers

All of them are instant energy boosts. Better than muesli bars.