Saturday, 23 May 2015

May 2015

Monthly total: 113km over 6 runs
Yearly total: 202km over 16 runs (2014 total 944: 2013 total:808 km)

31st May, 2015
The training continues apace - plugged out two runs this week to end the month on a respectable 113km. This last week, my post long-run recovery time was pretty quick so I squeezed in an additional 11km run. I'm now, slowly, wandering into having to carry nutrition and water so I'm considering splashing out on a Salomon pack (my brother has one and rates it). If I get it, I'll whack up a review. Food wise, a few cabanassi, some pretzels and boiled sweets seem to be seeing me through for now but I'm pondering Tailwind as my mileage steps up. Elsewhere, my shoes (Hoka's) are doing their job, I'm bracing my dodgy knee with tubigrip and the vaseline's doing what the vaseline should do.

My plans for June (which I'm writing about now because it'll let me reflect) are basically one more 24km run and then 3 x hill runs (that's the tough run from home to Kahlenberg and back). I'll try and squeeze in a few 11km run mid-week, or maybe, and preferably, go blading. 'Nuff fer now. Later peeps.

23rd May, 2015

So I've been a bit remiss in updating this blog ...a bit he says...over a year. I went through a period where it seemed impossible to run without picking up an injury - my foot, my knee, torn muscles, groin - it was ridiculous so I took an extended break and got back to running in February of this year (2015) with a brand new, spankingly shiny, training plan - 1 run a week! That's right...just one, but a long one. So every Sunday I'm off out, pounding the streets. I've worked my way up from 11km to 18km and this week I shift things up to 22km. The 6 days of rest, whilst a tad frustrating, really seem to be helping (although I do supplement the run with squats, pushups, lunges etc). I feel stronger every week.

I'm still pushing to run marathon distance and beyond and, as usual, have entered the lottery for the London Marathon  - I'm not hopeful though - almost 10 years of trying unsuccessfully - I'd probably panic if I actually go in.

So I've set another, slightly more realistic -geographically realistic - target - to run the 50km from Bratislava to Vienna. It seemed perfect to me - take a €15 train ticket there and then run back - it's a gnat's chaff over marathon distance so it ticks that box as well - only one minor issue - it's not's 80km...but I've already set my mind to it....*bugger*.

My training plan, such as it is,  has been altered to allow for the extra distance so now it's a 12 week training plan that adds on 3km every week (starting from the 22km run this coming Sunday). That'll take me to, roughly, 60km in 3 months time. If I make it that far, then I'll be buying that ticket.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

April 2014

Monthly total (each run is rounded down to the nearest whole): 56km over 4 runs
Yearly total: 467km over 36 runs (2013 total:799 km)

24th April (11km)
Did a "I'm single and have too much energy" run today. 11km in just over an hour. None too shabby for me. Got a wee bit sunburned though, so need to start slapping on sun tan lotion from now on.
Left leg wise it was a rocky run, I need to give it a decent rest but honestly, I don't have the patience, or the GF, that'd allow me to not run for more than a few days.

20th April (18km)
Well, a week had gone by and, contrary to my promise, I found myself doing 18km. Was slow though as I was running with someone else who's pace is less than mine, but I still managed to work up a good sweat so all's well that ends, slowly, well.

In other news, I've bought a motorbike.

April 13th (21km)

T'was the morn' afore the day after the night before and ...well, you know...thousands of runners, including little ol' me, were standing at the start line of the Vienna Marathon. I'd been toying with 2 hours as a target (to beat my HM PB of 2.29) so when I saw the 2 hour pacer balloons in the starting block just ahead of me I made my mind  up...I'd keep up with that balloon or die in the attempt!! As it turned out the balloon popped after about 15km, I didn't make the 2 hours and I didn't I got that badly wrong.

Anyway, the gun went off at 9 sharp and we were off...sort-of. They actually had 3 starts, in order to stagger the runners a wee bit, so I crossed the start line at about 09:20 and we were off! again...and for the next 21km it was like close quarters combat with sweaty people. Bear in mind this was my first big race, it was at least 4 times bigger than the Night Run, so maybe they're all like this, but man alive! people can't run in a straight line can they...or even at a constant speed. I'd be over-taken by someone, who'd then cut in front of me, and who'd then slow down, forcing me to slow down or over-take. And so on it went, all rather frustrating. To be fair, part of this is me, as I really don't like crowds, I find them annoying, stupid creatures, full of smelly people but this..this was extreme. And now back to the positive. The course was great, full of local support, with refreshments every 5km or so and a real positive atmosphere the whole way around. Having a pacer (remember that balloon?) really helped me to keep my speed up, and the supporters and other runners helped make it one of the most enjoyable races I've done (I've only done 2, including this one, so far but hey!).

Somewhere around Schonbrunn the balloon popped and I was left to pace myself but I knew that I was on the home straight now (well, the last 5km) and, every now and then, I could see the tip of Stephansdom, so I was able to keep the speed up. I could feel my left foot (I suspect my metatarsals are bloody wussies who can only run 20km) were starting to complain by now but no where near as they do after a 25km run so I wasn't overly concerned - and then we were running down Mariahilferstrasse, and on to the Ring, and turning the corner into Heldensplatiz and then we were done! My final time was 2 hours, 1 minute and 40 seconds - down from my previous PB of 2 hours 29.

Below is a a wee review that I wrote for
What's goodAn almost flat course (was won, in 2014, with a 2.05.41 compared to VLM 2014 of 2.04.29) with water every 5km or so, real scenic, lots of local support so so far so good.
The not so good
There were just too many people - now, granted I started at the back of the back pack but I spent pretty much the whole 21k duckin' and divin' my way through other runners. It was shoulder to shoulder a lot of the time with a fair few crush points along the way. At no point did I have to walk but it got close more than once. Also - the price - not so good - €80 for which you get to run and get a medal but no real goodie bag, no t-shirt, nuffink!
Value for money - poor. Experience good. Overall impression - glad I've done it, but I'd not run again unless they made one significant change - and that's halve the price.

April 3rd (0km)
Bugger! Tried what should have been a real easy (16km) run back from Rennbanweg but ground to a half due to pain after only 2km. Ended up taking public transport home again. My left left's to blame, again. I'm gonna take recovery a little bit more seriously this time - no more running for me until the half marathon in 9 days and then I'll play the recovery card again. Looks like April's gonna be a slow month, well, slower than usual.

2nd April (6km)
After my last long run (to Kahlenberg and back) my leg (same old same old) was hurtin' some so I rested up as long as I could but come 10pm I'd run outta patience which is why I found myself runnin' round the Ring . It helped that the temperature was nice, almost perfect for a night run, as it was knocking on 15c, maybe a wee bit under. Anyway, the leg still hurt, I could feel it twinging underneath me as I ran but I ran a reasonable run - did the full ring in 42 minutes which knocked off 3 minute from my previous personal best (ran in October of 2012). I am getting tired of my left leg though. I'd like a new one.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

March 2014

Monthly total (each run is rounded down to the nearest whole): 166km over 10 runs.
Yearly total: 411km over 32 runs (2013 total:799 km)

30th March (25km)
Another tough run but at least I made it back home again this time. I've been focussed on carbs all week and started off the run with half an energy bar and tried to scoff a half a bar every half an hour. Energy wise it really helped (at least I think it did). My hydration was also good as I took my Kriega with 1l of water and 2 Capri Suns. Still, come the end my feet were/are pretty sore, especially my left foot. Hopefully it's all part of "breaking in" my feet.

As this was the first time I've completed the whole run I'm calling a course PB - 3 hours 20.

Oh, and I ratcheted up another type of PB today - total elevation - 2589 metres.

Meanwhile, in other news, the Vienna Marathon folks told me that I'd be able to run the half instead of the full - I just have to cross the HM line at Heldenplatz. I'm determined to treat it as a normal run, rather than a race, and just enjoy the day.

25th March (16km)
And the running continues - did the Rennbanweg to home via the Island run today and ran a new course PB of 1 hour 46. Made sure to keep the pace real easy (averaged 6 mins 30 ish) and had no real problems other than a slight ache in my left knee. Am still fighting off a cold that I picked up during Saturday's run but I don't think it's affecting the run. It is affecting the post-run recovery though, as life with a runny nose ain't fun.

In other news - I'm becoming more convinced that my recent bonks are diet related (specifically a lack of carbs) so I'm working hard to double (or more) my carb intake (from about 150g a day to 3-400 a day). I'm using to help me monitor food groups etc.

22nd March (20km)
The Kahlenburg Climb - Wow! OK, that was tough going. The climb up to Kahlenburg was long, tough but not as hard as I thought it was going to be. That said, I felt fresh all the way to the 20km mark and then I totally ran out of energy (again). In the end I only made it 21.5km out of the 25km (stopped at Spittalau)

Oh, and it wasn't exactly quicker either - 2 hours 50. A bloody nice run though, some technical bits, a lot of hill, with a flat warm up and cool down. I'm looking forward to running it again and reckon I can beat the time pretty easily.

Lessons learned - I have to be willing to stop and buy drinks along the way or carry more with me, same for food. I took 1 capri sun and 2 energy bars with me, should have carried one more of each.

20th March (16km)
Ran back from Rennbanweg via the river and canal today - final distance was 16km. Took me best part of 2 hours (2 hours 3 minutes even). I met John the Scotsman about 7km in and we ran together for the next 6km for so - it was his first run of the year so we took it super easy. A day off tomorrow and then I'll run again on Saturday.

Oh, and I've more or less decided to drop out of the marathon - I was way too knackered after my last long run and I'm just not prepared. I need to be able to run at least 20 miles (32km) without total exhaustion before I'm ready.

17th March (28km)
Well, I just got back from a 28k (and a wee bit more) run where I ran out of energy, utterly, at 22km. I'm reasonably sure that I beat my HM PB but my iPhone battery ran out so I've no official time. The silver lining is that I'm pretty sure my dodgy leg was less it being dodgy and more it being down to me needing to get used to the new shoes. I've a feeling I'll know a bit more tomorrow. I also warmed up a wee bit more than usual, nothing fancy, just a few minutes on the static cycle. I ran it super slow (between 6.30 and 7 per KM) and I reckon that also helped keep things more comfortable.

As for the route - I sort ran "free" aiming for the SE corner of the Canal where I hoped to find a bridge onto the Insel but I found myself on the "wrong" side of the Canal so had to turn back and cross using a bridge I'd passed a few KM back. Next time I'll know but at least, well, at least I know. I did manage to eyeball the bridge I want to use though, but it's at least another 2km more down the river. Next time.

Had to fight my way through the woods at times, some pretty rough going.

and then I saw a tree....

13th March
Am meant to, and want to, do a 14.5km run today but my leg (left as usual) is still twingy so I think I'm gonna be sensible and run tomorrow instead. Today I'll focus on playing catchup with my planks and pushups.

11th March (11km)
The leg's still sore but I reckon it's just an ache to be pushed through, albeit tenderly, so I put in the scheduled 11km today (in 1 hour 15) and then another run, in the evening, with a friend, of 8km (ish) in 1 hour 18. As I said, the runs were slow. In other news, I'm lagging behind in the planking and press-ups - 2 days behind to be precise - that's some serious catching up that I need to do......tomorrow. I've also decided to count calories this week, as accurately as I can, for a week. So far it's fairly apparent that I need to eat a wee bit more on running days and a wee bit less, or at least a wee bit healthier, on my off days. I'll post the final results on day 7.

9th March (16.5)
Decisions, decisions! Should I take one day off now or two? The run went OK, I did the planned 16.5 run, wasn't exactly fast but I still ran a course PB (1 hour 58 mins). Endo (and Runkeeper) reported the run as being almost idea what's going on there. Anyway,  it's time to reset the run-cycle - I'll drop the shorter run and add a longer one so that makes next week's runs as being an 11k, a 14.5km, a 16.5km and a 22km. I need to remember to two energy bars on the 22km run (the 16.5km only needs one) but, I  think, just one juice will be OK. For now I've given up on running with the Kriega but I'll pick it up again after the marathon.

7th March (14km)
Another course PB - ran the Lusthaus (a tad over 14km) in 1 hour 26 which is almost 5 minutes quicker than my previous course best. Am feeling some slight twinges in my left leg but am hoping to stretch it out before Sunday's run. Still doing the squats but I feel as if I need to add a few more reps. Am also still planking - up to 150 seconds and I'm doing 3 sets of pushups each day (am up to 12 continuous now but it's hard going).

5th March (11km)
Another day and another 11km. Ran at a slightly slower pace than I did the 7km. I swear my body seems to sense how far I intend to run and adjust pace accordingly. My course PB is 1 hour 2, but I ran in 1 hour 4 - not that bad I guess. Feet wise, the pain I felt in my metatarsal (left) area is just a very dull ache - barely significant and certainly nothing worth stopping for. Next run is Friday and it'll be a 14.5 (that's to the Lusthaus and back). It's a nice run as about half of it is on easy trail and the weather's looking reasonable (low double digits with some sun)

3rd March 2014 (9km)
And I was off - again. First run in 13 days and I was off like a rocket (well, compared to my usual). My new shoes (Brooks Ghost 6s in wide fitting - pic below) felt really good, although it was pretty apparent that my custom insoles (the things that stop my high arches collapsing) were, or had, come to the end of their days. I'd decided to ease back into it a bit, being wary of how my feet would react to the new shoes so I'm back to running every other day (a change from 4 on, 3 off) and I've also decided to run in a 4 route pattern - so I'll run 9k, then 11k, then 14.5 and then 16.5. Next "week" I'll run 11k, then 14.5, then 16.5 and then something longer. To put it another way I'll always drop off the shorter run and add a longer run to the end, repeating, as it were, the 2 in the middle. It makes sense in my head. It should add some interest to my runs, in terms of the running but also the planning (which I enjoy in a nerdlike way)

Anyway, the run - it was my 114th run and my previous personal best on that course was 56 minutes (remember I round the time up and the miles down). This time I ran it in 53 minutes! Smashed that PB! (it was actually 9.5km in 52.32 according to Endo).

After the run I noticed a fair amount of pain in the metatarsal region of my left foot, that's what prompted me to consider changing the insoles. So off I went to my local Bstándig (the best advice I've found so far in Vienna) and then suggested I head off to their competence centre in the 17th....roll the clock forward to the 4th and eh voila! Up bright and early (well, ish) and I was sat down with Ernest. As well as taking a new impression he also tweaked my old insoles - breathed some life back into them as it were and the area under my metatarsals really feels supportive now. The new orthotics should be ready on Friday but I'll try an 11km run tomorrow and see how it goes.

5 weeks, 4 days, 19 hours to the marathon.

Monday, 3 February 2014

February 2014

Monthly total (each run is rounded down to the nearest whole): 132km over 10 runs.
Yearly total: 256km over 22 runs (2013 total:799 km)

Month end review - the 18th was the last time I ran in February. Well, not quite - I went out the following day but those damned Nikes had killed my ankles and shins so when I got a phone call it was all too easy to call it a day. I decided there and then to rest my legs until my new shoes arrived.

18th February
A tough run, not helped by the fact that I changed shoes from my Asics to a pair of Nikes that I had kicking around? Why you may ask? Well, I'll tell you. 09;00 this morning I had a 50 minute gait analysis done - something way more comprehensive than my last one and also not free (this one cost a smidgen under €60). I'd become concerned that my orthopaedic insoles (I need them as a result of my high arches) weren't compatible with my Asics Gel Evo 6 and the consultant concurred. He also had me do some walking pressure tests and a treadmill run test both barefoot and with shoes on (which he videoed). The end result is that I've very wide feet (which I knew), very high arches (yep...knew that as well) and that the combination of insole and Asics were stopping my feet from moving as they should (the pronation stuff). We had a good discussion on stretches that I could do to alleviate some of my problems (tight Achilles and sore shins). This was, for me, pretty valuable as it turns that squats are king (knew that, doing them),  curb stretches (toe on the curb and let the heel drop down) (knew that) single leg static stands are good (didn't know that at all) and he also suggest that I use the wall (put the toe about 6 inches up the wall, drop the heel to the ground and kinda lean forward) to stretch as well (totally new to me). I'm gonna do my best to do some, or all, of these at least once a day for at least 30 seconds. Anyway - back to the shoe - Austria doesn't have wide "feeted" runners apparently (I need 2e) so he gave me some suggestions (New Balance, Brooks, Asicis), told me I should aim for a neutral shoe and that was that. I scooted home, ripped the insoles out of my Asics, stuck 'em in the Nikes and did today's 16.6km run. Not good - didn't like the Nikes at all - felt too clumpy and too tight - on the plus side, the run didn't take any longer than yesterday...2 hours dead but I do have a blister on the horizon and my ankles feel pretty tender. Tomorrow's back to the Asics I'll just be a few days as I've ordered a pair of new shoes - some Brooks Ghost 6s. ETA on arrival is about a week.

And now, for some colour...

17th February
A rough 3 days of rest - sleep for the first two days was kinda tricky, pesky shin pain. The run went well, slow, but well, although it's not as far as I'd though - only 16.5km - but it's a nice route through the Prater and onto the Danube. Both Runkeeper and Endo failed me today, and failed badly, so badly I've no idea of the time so I'm going to guess at 2 hours. After the run I popped into my local Bsandtig (sp?) and had a chat - as a result I've got a full hours analysis session booked for tomorrow morning - I'm hoping I can finally sort my shoe needs out as a result.

13th February
And all too soon another iteration is complete. Some 52km run this week and whilst today's run felt hard and I had to keep telling myself to keep going, to not slow down to a walk, it was still one of the quicker runs (1 hour 31). Not bad for the 4th run in a row. Next week I'm (planning on) upping the mileage to between 18km and 20km per run (I've yet to determine a route) but, for now, I'm going to enjoy the next three days of rest.

12th February
A day later and 4 degrees colder, and a wee bit rainy. Made for a fairly muddy run made tougher by it being the third day. Things didn't feel "easy", if that's the right word,  until the last 30 minutes when things (mainly my calf muscles) loosened up. Endo crapped out again though, downsizing my run again.. One more day to go. Planked (90 secs) it and "press-upped" (3x) before the run

11th February
A warmer day (it was about 7c) and I was sweating buckets. The run itself went OK but it felt kinda awkward - the niggles and pains from yesterday carried over a wee bit.. All the same, I knocked a minute off yesterday's time (ran it in 1 hour 31) which, I reckon, is pretty good. I can feel a blister brewing on my right foot and sleep last night was hard due to shin pain. I'll elevate the end of the bed (something I was doing last summer) as that seemed to help and it looks like I'm back to foot soaking again. Oh, and good news - Endo worked 100% today. I also planked for 90 seconds and I'm on day 2 of the press-up challenge (3 reps, starting at 1 and adding 1 a day). Both planks and press-ups hurt but no pain no gain.

10th February
And bliss it was. The first night of the rest days was kinda bad - sore shins woke me up about 4am and finding a comfortable sleeping position was hard but after that things got better. And now it's Monday. I've found a nice route, along the Canal to Rotundenbrucke (it's even got it's own Wikipedia entry) and then into the Prater, along some trail to the Hauptalle, up to the Lusthaus before turning around and heading home, I'd guessed, pre-run, that it was 15km or just over but it's actually, according to Runkeeper (Endo crapped out) closer to 14km (14.4km even). I was sort of tempted to extend the run, I'm conscious of the marathon looming, but I managed to avoid it. 4 x 14km is more than good enough for this week, especially if I can keep the pace between 6 and 7 minutes per KM. Anyway, I ran today in 1 hour 32 minutes which is a pace of 6 minutes and 34 seconds per KM.

6th February
The next three days are going to be bliss. No running, just rest. The run went well although I felt pretty tired during the last 2/3rds. Got home, cooled down, had a shower etc etc etc but about 4am the following morning some pain in both my shins woke me up. I think I just needed to stretch a wee bit, change positions from prone to seating, and maybe turn the heating on (whilst my body prefers "fresh" I think my shins prefer "warm"). Oh, and Endo crapped out again, it's getting annoying. 11km (ish) run in 1 hour 11 mins (ish).

The plan, post break, is to up the distance per day to 15km - I've yet to pick a route but I'm leaning towards running to the Lusthaus and back. It's a nice run along the canal and then up and back the Hauptalle.

5th February
Day 3 and all's well. This time I ran slow, as planned, for 40 minutes (I use Runkeeper to give me timed audio updates every 20 minutes) and then picked the pace up for the, well, it was meant to be 20 minutes but it was probably closer to 10, Pretty exhausting stuff. I ran the 11km in 1 hour 12 minutes, very slow indeed. My shins and knees, having done this for 3 days in a row are throbbing now and it's pretty uncomfortable. Still, one more run and then I get 3 days off so that's weird motivation enough. In other news, when I got back from the run I did my daily plank only to fail at 1 minutes 27 seconds (I was meant to do 2 minutes) so I've reset the "clock" back to 12 from day 17.

4th February
Day 2 of my 4 day run cycle. I decided to shake things up a wee bit here to tried as best I could to keep the pace for the first 20 minutes real slow, then pick it up a lot for the next before slowing down again. I managed roughly 17 minutes of the faster pace before I had to slow so that's not bad. I think I'll do the same tomorrow only this time I'll run slow(ish) for 40 minutes and try to finish faster.
The time, as you might expect, wasn't amazing, 1 hour 9 minutes.

3rd February
My three day rest seems to have turned into a four day rest without me realising. Anyway, I've extended the distance of each run to 11km now (still along the canal) with the basic plan being to run 4 x 11km this week and then extend to 15km for the next cycle. I'd really like to run a half marathon right now but I'm vaguely worried about my metatarsals (I'm aware they're being a wee bit stressed out right now) so I think I'll try to stick to plan for now.

Endo reported 11.25km run in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 12 seconds. That's some 5 minutes slower than my course PB - a wee bit disappointing but hey ho, next run tomorrow.

Oh, and in other news I'm on day 15 of the 30 day plank challenge. It started to hurt at 90 seconds so, from here on it's just pain but the good pain...if you know what I mean.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

January 2014

Monthly total (rounded down to the nearest whole): 124km over 12 runs.
Yearly total: 124km over 12 runs (2013 total:799 km)

29th January - last run of the month
I'm sure it's me, but I've no idea what I'm doing - both Endo and Runkeeper failed again - they both stopped at the 5 minute mark leaving me to guess at the time. So I'm going to claim the 7km in 1 hour. It was also the last run of the week. My fourth run in a row and I was shattered. My knees were pounding and my shins were pretty painful so I've decided to not push things too hard. Four on, three off might just be a workable plan anyway so that's what I'm going to try next.

And that's the end of the month. I'm reasonably happy with the distances I'm doing but speed is still a concern. The VCM is in just over 9 weeks.

27th & 28th January
One entry, two runs - As per plan I ran Monday and Tuesday and, hopefully, will run the rest of the week up to, and including, Friday. I'll take Saturday off and aim for a longer run on Sunday.
7km each day (Endo reports a wee bit more). Monday's run was completed in 47 minutes and I managed today's run (Tuesday) in 45 minutes. I'm getting a wee bit frustrated at my seeming inability to run quicker - after all, I've done 5km in 25 minutes, I should be able to do 7 in 35 but instead I'm taking another 10 minutes! Grrr...

26th January
Another day, a short run though. I set out to run 18km with the usual Sunday morning group but they didn't turn up so I've decided to turn things around this week and plan to run every day, but only 7km each time. Anyway, today - Endo did its usual job of over-estimating the distance so whilst it reported 8.15km I'm gonna claim 7km in 49 minutes. Hardly a spectacular time. I was tempted to keep running towards the end, it was, after all, a beautiful day (albeit a tad chilly at minus 9) but I'm gonna stick to the daily short runs this week so next run tomorrow.

Oh, and I hit a landmark today - it was my 100th run since I started to run back in September of 2012.

24th January
Amazingly, because I thought I wouldn't make it, I found the necessary motivation and went for a run today. It wasn't quick, it wasn't pretty but it was 9.46km in 58,37. Miles (or KMs) are miles. Next run is on Sunday so I've a day to work out the aches and pains. I've also started the 30 day plank challenge and am doing some squats to strengthen my core and thighs and I need to, at some point, get back to hills again. Maybe I'll do a Grinzing run next week...maybe.

22nd January
Motivation's becoming a real issue right now. Despite the fact that the marathon is in 11 weeks I find myself running only twice a week compared to four or five times a week in earlier days. Anyway, I managed to haul my lazy arse out of my apartment and went for a run - Endo reported 9.56km run in 56.09 minutes (or 9km in 57 mins) which works out to a pace of 6.20 mins per KM - I've got to get that down to a consistent sub 6 mins (over 10km) or I'm in trouble. Post run knees and shins are in, well, not pain, but close to it. Throbbing? Aching with intensity? The joy of running eh?

I'm meant to go out on Friday (the 22nd) but honestly I'll be surprised if I do....who knows...fingers crossed for me please.

Oh, and I re-installed Runkeeper - the Endo voice alerts are terrible and it's not as easy to configure so I'll keep Endo for the main timing but use Runkeeper for the 20 minute updates.

19th January
17.96km ran in 1 hour 58 mins and 52 seconds (but you have to take both distance and time with a rather large pinch of salt due to the vagaries of GPS). As usual, being a Sunday, I ran with the internations group and they helped me run further and faster - faster being the important thing. As of late I've been rather lax going out mid-week so I'm determined to run at least twice between now and next Sunday. Oh, and for what it's worth, I can actually feel my body becoming more acclimatised to the speed and distance - it's still really hard work and I'm still fading towards the end of the run but I'm feeling, and seeing, some real progress.

15th January
Tuesday's slow run turned into Wednesday's fast run but it went well. Very well. Endo reported 10.38km ran in 55.31 but since I ran it over the 9km course I have my doubts about the distance - the time, however, is accurate which means I've managed to knock off 2 minutes off of the course PB. I'm pretty sure that's down to the Sunday runs with the internations group.
I've got a couple of blisters now, one on each foot, both on the sole of my feet which are vexing me. And my knees are pounding. What joy.

12th January
And another tough run. I met up with the internations crew at 09:30 Sunday morning and a 1 hour 10km run turned into a 2 hour 17km (17.85 in 2 hour, 4, 28). The time doesn't reflect the 20 minutes or so of wait time at the meeting point but I didn't stop the clock so that's tough (on me). The pace was certainly higher than I'm used to, so that's a pretty positive thing but my shins and knees took a pounding and I'm certainly aware that I ran. Still, miles are miles and the speed was good. Next run, probably a slow one, on Tuesday.

10th January
Wow! that was a tough run for me. Wasn't  all that far - Endo tells me 8.86 - and it wasn't all that fast - 1 hour 2 minutes but. for whatever reason, I was huffing and a puffing for most of it. I think it's cos I waited one day too long to run so I'm gonna have to be a wee bit more motivated to get out more regularly. Next run is the Sunday morning group run and then, all things being equal, I'll go out again on Tuesday and thereafter every other day.

Sunday, 5th January
I was meant to run with internations, the "professional" expat group, however, I incorrectly read the date and, whilst I was exactly on time, I was also, exactly, a week early. So was someone else - Lara, so instead of being a group of 4 running 10km, we were a group of 2 who ran 18
Oh, and Lara? Very very quick! She's aiming for a 4 hour marathon, way above my level but she was kind took pity on my untrained legs and paced me.

FWIW my 10km PB was 58.10 ran on the 14th July, 2013....this was no where near it ).

I last ran this course back in June of 2013 (albeit in reverse) and then I posted a time of 1 hour 40. This was slower for a few reasons - I had to wait for Lara at the meeting point (and didn't stop the clock) and then she required a bio at Spittalau (which required a detour and a wait) during which I again didn't stop the clock. So whilst I ran quicker than normal that's not reflected in the time...ces't la vie,.

Still, a good run and I'm glad to have done it, kinda restored my confidence in my ability to do the slightly longer runs.

93rd run 18km 2 hours 5 mins 6.57mins per KM

2nd January, 2014.
And that's my first run of the year done. Endo reported 9.62km run in 57.60 (aka 9km in 58 minutes). That's 2 minutes off my previous PB but still 7 minutes away from my target time.

I've also take a decision to do away with Runkeeper. Whilst I prefer the Runkeeper interface, I feel there's a larger social interface available on Endomondo - that and I've a feeling that the two just weren't working together that well.

Oh, and I've caught a cold.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Year End 2013

Well, and here we are. Tomorrow' the start of a new year so, to all my readers, may I wish you a Happy New Year.
  • In 2013 I ran (logged) 71 runs compared to a logged 21 runs in 2012.
  • I ran (at least) a total of 772km compared to a logged 135 in 2012.
  • My longest run was 32km in July compared to a longest run 2012 of 8.8km.
  • I entered one race in 2013, the Vienna Night Run (5km) - compared to none entered in 2012.
and now my PBs...

  • 5km PB = 25.52.7 min on the 1st October 2013 compared to a 34,15 in 2012.
  • 10km PB = 58.10 on the 14th July 2013.
  • HM PB = 2 hours 29 on the 29th June.

2014 targets..

and looking forward? Well, I'd love to complete the Vienna Marathon in less than 4 hours 47 (which is my brother's current marathon PB as far as I'm aware). I'd like to do, at least, another 2 or 3 marathons (official or unofficial) as well as run a 50km sometime. I'm aware I need to work on my speed somewhat if I want to make my marathon target so that's another target. I'm going to try and find some more running partners so maybe the Vindebona Hash House Harriers or possibly Internations (an expat group) who run a sunday morning group.

and that's it, for now :) Tomorrow is another year.

Saturday, 21 December 2013


What do I listen to? Well, Anything, everything - classical, musicals, pop (from 7 decades), rock, dance, and more. How would I measure my musical preferences though? Well, one way would be to use the iTunes playcount so....

I'm gonna periodically (every 3 months I can I remember) update this, more out of a sense of personal interest than anything else. I may like to think of myself as a hardened rocker but iTunes is the sitar of truth....

May 2015
What's changed? Hmmm, well, my library is 21,800 songs strong +- a few - because I'm old and bitter I've filtered out all of the love songs - pesky things that they are.

  1. "Solitary Man" is still number uno - 280 plays strong.
  2. Rob Zombie's cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop" has stormed into the no.2 spot
  3. "Highway to Hell" has moved up a spot to no. 3
  4. "Livin' on a Prayer" takes the 4th spot
  5. "The Mourning After" drops to 5th from 2nd.
  6. The Clash enter the top 10 for the first time with their classic "Should I stay..."
  7. And here come the boys from Boston with "Wicked Sensitive Crew"
  8. Bowie (I've never been a big fan of his) puts in a surprise showing with "Rebel Never Gets Old"
  9. A classic (well, it is now) - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
  10. Lunatic Calm's "Leave You Far Behind" with 99 plays.
Lady Gaga just misses out on a a top 10 spot with her excellent "You & I" - next time eh? The next pop song on my list is in 29th spot but it's the Beatles "I Saw Her Standing There" so shame! Which makes me wonder where my first shameful song is ....time to scroll....well, I got down to 250th without feeling shame :)

My iTunes top 10 as of December 2013, taken from a library of some 17k songs...

  1. Solitary Man - H.I.M's cover - 88 plays
  2. The Mourning After - Kamelot - 67 plays
  3. Love You to Death - Kamelot - 66 plays
  4. Highway to Hell - AC/DC - 63 plays
  5. I Want You to Want Me - Cheap Trick - 62 plays
  6. Blaze of Glory - Bon Jovi - 59 plays
  7. Solitary Man - Johnny Cash's cover - 56 plays
  8. The Cut Runs Deep - Deep Purple - 55 plays
  9. All in the Name of Pity - Skunk Anansie - 55 plays
  10. Leave You Far Behind - Lunatic Calm - 53 plays.

All rock (apart from Cash), no real surprise I guess. Pop rears its head with Blur's Girls & Boys at  number 20 with Lady Gaga's You and I at 28.

And that's it, next music update in March 2014 but, of course, regular updates for running.