It’s oh so quiet – #8 Oslo Diary

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Something is off and it’s leaving me restless. I miss the cool dark evening air, with my feet on the ground, stumping a beat to the rythm in my heart. Moonlight dimmed by some hazy clouds. It makes me feel like a swift dark night creature, ready to howl at the moon.

The feeling of being on my own, on my terms, in my strength, no one else to rely on. Just me to depend on. I just keep on moving, even with those nagging little aches. I won’t stop running, even when my lungs hurt. Each step at the time, I put aside my fatigue. Drifting in a foggy daydream, about what could’ve been and might be one day.

The feeling what will be, gives me strength to keep going. It puts a smile on my face. I can conquer the world. Wether I run or lifting heavy, I feel strong and happy.

But right now day 6 without any exercise. I just don’t know what to do with myself. My mind is not focused and my body feels restless. Taking hundreds of hot baths and tons of yoga sessions. For the first time in ages I just have regular clothing in the laundry. My running shoes are waiting for patiently at the door. This week made grateful that I have a strong healthy body despite of my asthma. After my week of recovery my cold is still not entirely gone, but I decided from tomorrow on green light on exercise! I wonder how it feels after a non-exercise week.

Time for my last bath of my recovery week!

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Try again & again – #7 Oslo Diary

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Me curled up on the couch wrapped in two blankets watching TV with a gallon of home made tea with lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper

My week schedule consists of 3 runs and 2 or 3 Crossfit sessions. If you plan ahead all your activities with a bit of discipline, it hardly can go wrong. But sometimes no matter how hard you try, and how well planned your schedule is, it just goes wrong…

Take a look at my week:

Sunday: Weekly long(er) run planned. In the second week of my fast 10K plan I was supposed to run easy pace for 50 minutes. No biggie, even I can do that! So I went running, lovely weather, no rain, sunny, about 7 degrees Celsius. And all of a sudden I got this painful itch. I’ve had this last winter a lot, so I didn’t run during the cold months. It seemed to be some sort of cold allergie. This winter nothing at all, except Sunday when it wasn’t even cold… So I had to quit after 15 minutes. I just couldn’t ignore that kind of pain and itch.

Monday: I went for the scheduled Monday run, 50 minutes pick me ups. That’s even easy, even for me… But crap, I forgot my pre workout snack, a banana with yoghurt and some nuts. Unfortunately I was a bit hungry. So halfway my run I got so shakey, even more hungry and moody, I had to go back earlier. So that one didn’t turn out great either.

Tuesday was a restday, my throat was a bit sore and I got a small cough. Wednesday I did some weight lifing, no PR’s, just a bit practice to grease the movement and a bit more cough. When I woke up Thursday my lungs hurt like hell, a nasty burning feeling. Coughing was really painful and icky. It felt like I got bronchitis. Bronchitis is a real b*tch having asthma. It sets you back 3 months of practice easily. Friday I felt a bit better, but I decided to skip my favourite weight lifing hour, just to get some more rest.

Saturday I did some easy weight lifting, but my lungs started to hurt in no time. Not a good idea. So today (Sunday) with a heavy heart I decided to take the next week off from running and weight lifting, well at least until Friday and even Sunday if needed. I need to give my body a break, let it heal and recover properly. Since December this is my 3rd cold. Before that I haven’t been ill in 2 years. Crazy, right?

I changed my asthma medicines radically a week ago, maybe that could be the cause or maybe a virus, or maybe both. I just don’t know. Either way I want to be strong and healthy again. I have to prepare for my marathon and I want to get better at Crossfit and get so much stronger. Besides that I hate being ill!

What I’m trying to say, is that life happens and it will ruin your plans all the time. I could stress about this or just go with the flow. I’d better take a break now and get well, than keep coughing and having colds all the time. Of course I hate not running or weigh tlifting for a week! But I have to see this in the long term. The sooner I get strong and healthy again, the better I will perform for my goals. And I allowed myself to do yoga, but just easy yoga, lot of stretching and breathing.

It’s okay if it doesn’t work out as planned.  I will get a bit behind on schedule, but luckily I scheduled some room for stuff like this. Just watch me, I will come back even better! 😀

What do you do, when life happens? You get ill, or really busy with work, your kids, or whatever?

Me hungry!

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Since a week of 3 I started training a little more often and  a bit more intense than before. Now I’m hungry all the time. I try to eat enough protein and (the right) carbs, foods with a lot of minerals and vitamins and calories. Yes a lot of calories, because I need it.

Last week I just ate half a casserole. The entire thing is meant for 4 people and I ate half of it. I never ate that much in one time. My body tells me what she needs, but I’m wondering if I’m not overdoing it. It kind of feels like I’m a food monster, a wolverine. I don’t skip meals, I eat (healthy) snacks, I try to eat a lot of veggies and fruit and to make recipes with lots of healthy and filling ingredients. But still, I eat a lot of food.

Maybe I should eat more for breakfast, or bigger snacks, or other types of food? Or just eat more? I don’t know. I really don’t know! Are there any other people like me? You workout about 4 – 6 times a week. Lifting heave and maybe running. I just can’t be the only one who eats half a casserole! Please?

The photo is funny story by the way. This was my PJ, movie, Christmas dinner for just 3 people.  I cooked al the dishes myself. I really like food and I also like cooking.  Not a big fan of Christmas, but this one I liked! Of course it was way too much. I had left overs for more than a week. Gave away a bunch of it. That was a bit overdoing it.

Can you imagine I’m a bit afraid I’m overdoing it again? By being hungry all the time. I’m getting a bit hungry right now, thinking so much about food. I hope there’s a ripe mango in the fruit basket. Or maybe some home made oven baked chips of a sweet potatoe?

Ps. If you want recipes, I can e-mail it to you.

Systematic Vol. II – #6 Oslo Diary

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So, okay, I finally figured it out how to prep for my first marathon. It took me a while to figure it out, but I think I have it coverd now. I cut my prep in two pieces. Each piece or phase has a goal on its own. I think if you cut your prep in smaller pieces, it’s easier to stick to. From now till September seems really really long. If I divide it in 2, it’s only half as long. And it will keep me more focused. When I think, oh September, that’s still far far away. I’m getting lazy. But if I have to reach a goal in April, I think; Oh, I better get started right now!

Phase 1: Get my pace up! (or down?)

Phase 1 is to get faster. My goal is to run 10 sub 60 minutes. The magic time cap! My fastest 10K ever was 1:04. But under 1:10 only happened 1 time. To reach this goal already is a huge deal for me. I just want to be able to do this. And I hope this will make me faster for my marathon. I just gotta run this 10K sub 60! I have to! And I will.

For my super fast 10K I’m using the intermediate running plan from Coach Jenny. It’s a 10 week plan, based on 4 runs per week and on 4 different types of runs (pick ups, tempo, relaxed and long runs). You run on different levels according how easy or heavy your breathing or heartrate is. I let my breathing dictate how fast or slow I’m running, because I don’t have heart measure thing. Maybe one day I will get into all that, but not now. I started last Sunday and it will take until

I decided to do 3 runs each instead of 4 runs each week. I skip the easy run before the longer run, the third run. For my Glasgow adventure I also ran 3 times a week and it turned out just fine. Do I really need that fourth run to get faster? I hope not. Why only 3 runs, if the plan says 4 runs? Because I still want to do Crossfit 2 or 3 times a week. I noticed it thoughens me up in a good way and that’s just what I need for Oslo. I know it will be painful and I know I will suffer and I need to deal with that pain and get shit done! And of course I like to do Crossfit! 🙂

Phase 2: Go for the distance!

Phase 1 ends half of April. The second phase starts at May 4th. I gave myself some room for 2 weeks. You never know if you get ill or injured. The second phase is simple; beginners schedule for a marathon! Based on the same principles as my intermediate 10K running plan. The only difference is this plan takes 20 weeks instead of 10. I haven’t decided yet if I will do 3 or 4 runs each week. Maybe I could switch it up each week, 2 times Crossfit, 4 runs and the other week 3 times crossfit and 3 runs.

Most important is to listen to my body carefully and keep doing yoga and stretching. My body really benefits from it. It I notice I get really fatigued, I will skip a run or a crossfit session. I believe pushing too hard will do more harm than good and I read it somewhere. I really don’t know, if this is the best approach to perform well on my first marathon. But it sounds pretty solid. There’s only one way to find out! JUST DO IT!

And if it doesn’t work out, I can tweak it a bit, till it works perfectly. As simple as that. I love to run or to go the gym 5 to 6 times a week, but sometimes life happens. Work, relationships, ending relationships, getting sickd or other crazy stuff that will occupy your mind and turn your life upside down. Though running helps for the last options, it clears the brain. Like therapy, but for free.

Oh and I better don’t forget to ad some hill work in my prep… I will be fully prepared this time!

How did you prep for your first (half) marathon? Was it easy? Or not?

Systematic – #5 Oslo Diary

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I have been giving it a lot of thought how to prepare for my first marathon. And I think I figured it out somehow. Of course I had 2 half marathons to test some running plans. Let’s talk about that journey first.

For my first half marathon I used an Asics schedule based on pace. For me personally it was really frustrating. First 3 weeks were easy, just running at a really easy pace. Even I could do that. After that the pace got much faster and I couldn’t run that fast (bad case of asthma). So from week 4 I couldn’t run the schedule properly and it felt like I failed everytime.

Can you imagine how frustrating it is for someone who wants to do her runs properly? And that you can never run the pace you’re supposed to. But okay, I stuck with it, even though it annoyed the hell out of me. My first half marathon time was 2.31-ish. Not bad, but I hoped to do it faster than 2.30.

My first half marathon was awesome by the way. It was in Amsterdam, the course was awesome, the crowd is awesome. The finish was at the Olympic stadium. My finishers photo sucked, because I cried. Really. It looked damn ugly! My crying face just looks ugly. So I didn’t order the finish photo, obviously.

Pace based running plans can be really awesome, but not for me or maybe other people who don’t run that fast. If you can run faster than me, it might be a good one. You can use the app on your smartphone and just go running. Easy as that.

But for my second half marathon I was looking for a different running plan. Not based on pace! I searched on Google and I found a perfect one. The Busy Girl’s Half Marathon Plan. I’m a busy girl. And the best thing is, the plan is based on breathing zones, not pace! It just worked perfect for me. This plan is suitable if you just want to run a half marathon. If you really want to PB on your time, there are other plans more suitable for that specific goal.

I decided to not focus on my pace, wich was really hard for me. I really want to see progress in my pace and there wasn’t any, because the focus was on my breath. I was a bit worried, because my pace was even slower than previous year’s prep. I really didn’t want to be slower than 2013.

But when I landed in Glasgow I even got more scared… Scotland has a lot of hills. Wait, what? Holy crap!  I should’ve and could’ve known. Lesson learned for the next time. Always check the course and train for it. I didn’t do any hill training at all. Day before race day I was a bit struck. I doubted myself, I really didn’t know for sure if I wouldd maken it all! I didn’t train for a hilly half marathon and I have asthma. So it went on and on in circles in my mind. A negative circle… How to get out of that?

Of course my lovely friend told me I would make it for sure, even it would be a bit slower. So what? And she was right! On race day I decided to just run the race, no matter what. Just run those hills and make to the finish line. It was a great race, I loved the scenery, those hills were beautiful (though sucky to run them), great people, just awesome. And the best thing was, I only finished a tiny few minutes slower than my first half marathon! With all those hills and no hill training. I was actually really proud of myself.

What I learned from all of this, is to have faith, even for the unexpected situations. Your body is capable of way more than you think. I’m the living proof. Second, do some recon on the race course before the plane lands on your destination. 😉

No! – #4 Oslo Diary

My best pals during a cold

My best pals during a cold

Early December I told someone I haven’t been ill in two years and how proud I was of myself. I’ve never should’ve said that, I jinxed it! The other day I had a cold. Asthma, colds and allergies go pretty well together. They’re like some sort of synergy to make your body deteriorate within days. And when the cold is gone, it takes about 3 to 4 weeks to run without painful lungs and to run my regular pace.

So I was running fine for about 2, 3 weeks, suddenly last Saturday my throat started to hurt. No, no, no! I took extra vitamins, fruit, thee with ginger, lemon and cardamom. But it was too late. Down with a cold again. My lungs are sore, just can’t get enough air.

Now I’m actually really worried. If this is the new thing, to get ill each month, Oslo is never gonna happen! After this it will take me at least 3 weeks to get my lungs back in shape to run without pain. I’m just really worried.

How do you deal with colds and other stuff when you have a fitness goal to reach?