Never giving up

The past year has been so intense. I’ve been building a house – and it still isn’t over, though we live in it and most is done, there is still so much to do 🙂

I guess that’s more or less how my life will be from now on.. But I don’t have anything against that. Sure, it is tough to sometimes always have something that needs to be done about the house, but it was like that before too. Not just as meaningful tasks 😉

However, I’ve managed to come back to something that can be called consistency when it comes to running. I’ve been running all year – only for 2 months, when the building was too intense for me to cope with that, family and running, I backed in the running. But after that I at least tried to get 3 runs every week. On the other hand I took it very easy to build up my fitness without risking getting injured, so until December I ran only 30-40 minutes every run.

Now I’m back at 1 hour runs and the distance measures around 12 km, meaning a pace of 5 minutes per kilometer. Then I have a heart rate around 145. So practically I’m pretty close to getting back to the old habits. I run 4 runs every week. The goal is 6, but I still get the aches in my achilles every now and then – If it gets worse I will have to make them do a thourough examination of it, which hasn’t been done before.

I haven’t started doing a program with intervals yet – I want to be back at 6 times a week, 1 hour runs, first.

So, that’s about it. Feels good to be back!!

And, yeah, my goal this year is to run the Gothenburg half marathon at below 1:30, which I didn’t make last year 😉

While waiting for winter

The past weeks my running has been a little inconsistent. Worst the last week has been. It’s been both of having to time available for it, stormy and rainy weather and the past three days some infection.
Last thursday I tried for the 5x2k which came to be a disaster. Now afterwards I believe that the infection could have been in my system because I lacked both strength and endurance almost from the beginning, which isn’t usual.

After all my 2k sessions I’ve come to get a feel for how it’s supposed to feel – what is good tired and bad tired, what is good exhausted and bad exhausted etc. And this wasn’t a good one. By then of course, I didn’t know that I carried some disease. I should be better at checking my wake up heart rate. Only lately there’s been too much of everything. Much circulates around me and Emma building our dream house, my distance educations and my expanded work area. The time for running is getting less and less. And still it’s an important part of me – both in health and achievement.

I will never quit doing it – only now I have to leave room for other things once in a while.

Today was the first day I ran after the infection which has showed as pain in eyes, ears, neck and back and a minor headache. Since I wasn’t totally sure it was all gone even if I felt fine, I took a real easy run along Mälaren – an inland lake here in Västerås. It felt good, and even if I had only run 30 km last week it didn’t feel tough on the body. Only very very nice 🙂

29 nov – easy run along Mälarstranden
1 hour – 10.2 km – 5:58 min/km – hr 138

Back home in the a little more bearable climate

I’ve been home now since last saturday. I’ve run two times and it feels so much better considering fatigue and exhaustion. The climate in Sweden is a lot easier to run in during these months.

My injury though is no better. No worse either. I’ve booked a time for the same orthopedic next monday. Then we’ll see how we proceed next. I do feel stable enough to increase a little. So today I will run a 20 min run just to get the feel for it. And it seems most of my niggles comes (when they come at all) in the middle of the day – and all by chance. Sometimes it’s when I just stand still and don’t move at all.

Anyway, it’s good to be back with the family. Every day I’m not with them it feels like something is missing.

Tue 26 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 11.65 km – 5:14 min/km – 155 in avg hr

Thu 28 July – Easy run in fuzhou

1:00 – 12.05 km – 4:59 min/km – 161 in avg hr

Fri 29 July – Easy run on threadmill at hotel in Shanghai – late evening

1:00 – 12.26 km – 4:54 min/km – 147 in avg hr

Sun 31 July – Easy run in Alingsås

1:00 – 12.11 km – 4:57 min/km – 160 in avg hr

Sun 2 August – Easy run in Alingsås

1:00:24 – 12.21 km – 4:57 min/km – 146 in avg hr

Closer to genuine China than this is hard to get

The village of Liuji, Fujian ChinaThis weekend I was invited to follow a coworker and his Chinese wife, Sunny,  to her home village. What an adventure! The village had 13 houses and all who lived there were rice farmers – her father as well. They live such a different life from the one we do. Before I came there I tried to imagine what it would be like – I was so wrong still. It showed that it wasn’t possible for me come close to reality.

They were very loving people, the food was fantastic and we sat the whole evenings eating, talking, drinking tea and rice wine – just having a wonderful time together!

Yesterday we also went to see the abandoned village where Sunny grew up. She was 15 when they built the newer village, which is situated 2 km closer to the closest town, Masha, and has roads going to it. The abandoned one lied up among the mountains with only narrow trails going to it. Most of the houses there were torn. We also took a trek up in the dense bamboo forest. Here mother, father and sister had found berries growing on a tree, and the next minute they were all up 5-10 meters in a tree shaking them down.

Later in the evening we went the closest small town and we also visited her old school. It was crazy! A huge amount of people gathered up around us in almost no time and followed us everywhere. Here in China you get used to people staring, but this was something completely different. Sunny said it was probably the first time they saw a Westerner ever. I hope I have a good picture of it. When we ate at a barbecue place in town some of her teachers joined us. Very warm and nice experience!

In the morning today I went for a run. It was so hot! It wasn’t when I started, but as time passed the sun became hotter and hotter in no time at all. But it was a nice run. I sweated liters afterwards though. Then they made me honeywater from her grandmothers homemade honey. I knew that I would be exhausted of the running, so I didn’t run neither by pace or heart rate – just after what I could handle. That was also because I wanted the run in the mountainous rice-field landscape to be a special experience rather than to run and look at the watch all the time

Another thing – no pain this time either.. I am really happy about the change 🙂

Sun 19 June – easy recovery run up in the mountains and rice fields of Masha area, China

11.09 km – 5:26 min/km – 162 in avg hr

Have to fill in here, since it took me some time to get the gallery set up I’ve done another run 🙂 This time back in Fuzhou. No niggles this time neither. Feels just great!

And please, excuse my nakedness in the pictures of the gallery. It was truly hot outside and I really needed it 🙂

Tue 21 June – In fuzhou

1:06 – 12.68 km – 5:15 min/km – 150 in avg hr

New steps in Fuzhou

Yesterday I had a nice long chat with coach. Among other things we talked about my injury and what I need to do to get it better. One idea is that I might need to let go of it phychologically – stop focusing on getting better and instead trying to enjoy the running. The other thing is to work on it physically, for example with stretches and strength training..

He also made me aware I should be running at at least a pace of 5:00 min/km, no slower. If I hadn’t injured myself or had the stressing time of becoming father again he thought it would’ve come by itself in between winter and summer. As it is now I have to go there myself.

So earlier today, around 16.00 I went out. It was 33 degrees and steamy.. After running for 30 minutes I was sure I couldn’t complete the whole hour. The heat was just too much. Maybe also the fact that I increased my pace with 20 seconds per minute in a leap.

The sweat was pouring. I ran bare-chested, which by the way was very liberating. In Sweden I never get the chance to do so, but here in China many people run bare-chested. And the staring looks I get even with the shirt on, so that shouldn’t keep me from doing it. It’s like this – half of the people I meet stare uninhibitedly – half of them smile as they do it and half don’t. Those who don’t look at you like you’re some kind of freak :D. This is not just because of the running. It’s like that all the time here. Not that much in more international cities, though, like Shanghai. They’re more used to foreigners there. Here most people don’t know a word English, except maybe Hello which some of the young people shout after you nervously once they’ve passed by you and gathered the courage.. Then they laugh out loud 🙂

Anyway, after 35 minutes I had run a lap.. Then I was so exhausted I thought I would only be running for 10 minutes more. But after 5 minutes, when it was time to turn around, I instead found myself doing the lap – only a shorter one. I ran for 52 minutes, exhausted and fatigued.. It took me an hour or so to get back on track.

Funny thing though, I didn’t get a single niggle in the right foot this time. Ealier I have noticed at some runs that I don’t get it when I increase the speed just a little. But I only thought I got strange ideas. Hopefully it will be exactly the same next run. But that time I will keep the pace a little slower. And also – run in the morning instead when it’s only around 25 degrees warm

Two weeks have passed – still feeling the injury

Some Chinese beer snacks, Chicken feet, grilled tofu and roased peanuts.. Yummy!

Now the two weeks of prescribed “every other day” running has passed and I still feel the injury. It’s getting better and better for every day that goes, but it’s still not gone. I’ve consulted Coach in the forum to see what he says about it. Should I go for the build up or continue running every other day. It doesn’t feel good that I run so little… I can feel that my body needs more again.

Here everything is about making life work out. Even going to the store buying milk, egg and bananas is a challenge – but a very nice one though 😉

I also love to try new and exciting things, both in food and experience. Here I can have a lot of that. One little example is their snack to beer – cooked chicken feet which are very spicy to chew on. Not much to eat if you’re hungry.

 

 

First run in Fuzhou – China

Late evening view of the West Lake in Fuzhou from my apartment

Now I’m in China, Fuzhou. I arrived here two days ago, very tired from the almost 18 hours long trip. I had only managed to sleep three hours during the flight between Helsinki and Shanghai. When I arrived here in Fuzhou we went out to buy things for the appartment I will live in and immediately after that we went eating. By then we almost starved to death. We went to a Japanese chain called Ajisen Noodle which is very nice. I have eaten there many times before and it’s never a bad idea.

Then we went straight to work. We work during the night between 11 pm and 3.30 am. During the very bumpy cartrip home I slumbered a few times. I wasn’t up for it, but when I came to the apartment I changed clothes and went running.

It is a special thing to run around in over 30 degrees heat right at dawn in Fuzhou. There are not many cars on the roads, but a lot of people in the small parks are doing their morning exercises which by us westerners seem very peculiar. Some walk backwards and clap their hands in front and back of the body. Some play badminton without nets or nets just stretched between two trees. Some women are rolling their hips and making strange sounds. I also saw a few who did the Thai chi – An ancient Chinese movement therapy. It was very sweaty because of the tropical heat, but still nice..

Last week I’ve been running every other day and the day in between I’ve been doing some bodyweight workouts just to keep the body, especially the legs, on the edge.

I still get niggles in the heel, but I feel it less and less. I hope I will have no problem at all after the two prescribed weeks.

The running I do is very relaxed, however I noticed that here in this heat I can’t keep my heart rate down as much as I could back in Sweden. I guess it’s only normal – it sure is harder to breath here

Brighter times by the country-side

Today I feel that the cold is starting to wear off. That’s very nice – I feel positive about the weekend.

Tomorrow is the Gothenburg half-marathon (Göteborgs-varvet), which I won’t participate in. I feel a little sad about that, since it’s the biggest event around the area where I live and grew up. Whole Gothenburg is aiming it’s attention to it – A lot of fun, in other words!. Instead the family will go to the country-side cottage for relaxasion, which by the way also is one of my favorite things. I will spend some quality time with the family – Very important since I will be away from them for almost two months soon when I go to China.  Maybe I will take a couple of golf-rounds – the season has started with full power and I’m ready to perfect my swing with the new 9 degrees King Cobra driver. Need to work a little on the short game too, which tends to become a little rusty during the snowy months of the North 😉

There will be some barbecueing going on as well, with a couple of glasses of own-brewed aged wine (I let it age in the root cellar by the cottage, which should be ideal temperature the year around for wine-aging) and some board-gaming (Quizes mostly) in the late evening.

To talk a little more about my running I have tendencies left of the achilles tendon injury, which I feel at some steps when I walk – but rarely. I think I still will try to make at least 1 hour run tomorrow in the fresh country air to get in the game again. But only if I feel ready.

Have a really nice weekend all over the world, and please – feel free to share your own spring/summer plans for the weekend in the comments-field 🙂

Running update – ups and downs

So, I think it’s time for a little update in the running area 😉

Past week I’ve been doing the first week in the sub 40 program. Honestly I’ve felt very tired in the body for some reason. The legs have felt heavy and I’ve lacked energy. Also I’ve lacked a little in the motivation to go out running at all.

I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel like I do much progress. Coach always tells me that I shouldn’t question the program and I don’t – I question my own ability. Maybe this is also an effect of all the downs we’ve had in the family lately. When lots of tiny bad things occur in a short time, they tend to pack themselves up in a big pile that blocks your way :S

Anyway, The 1 hour runs went ok, like I wrote earlier I’ve been tired, but they have done their part of the job.
When I ran the 2k sessions on the other hand, I came to retchings again. I was running in Västerås and It was in the end of the third 2k interval if I’m not mistaken. I had run a lot upwards and then downwards and when they came I was on my way upward again. Not a big incline, but big enough to keep me working hard to keep up the pace. Like all the times I felt it build up the minute right before. Only way to prevent them is to slow down a lot or stop – and that’s not me, I’m afraid.

I still completed all the intervals, but at lower pace. I recovered the lost 200 meters in the fourth interval instead.

It doesn’t feel good that I have to keep down the pace not to get the retchings. I feel that the strength in my legs and body cope well with the pace..

Today I did the 1k intervals. It was in Gothenburg and like always the winds were present. But I think I did pretty well. I haven’t checked the data yet. I would rather run these intervals on a track to get it exact, but sometimes I don’t have time to do that.

I have also applied for another race – Skärgårdsmilen . It’s a 10k race held on the Islands Hönö and Fotö outside Gothenburg. It’s in two weeks from now on the weekend. The date is 17th April. But I think it will a nice experience to run in the beautiful island nature 🙂

Let’s just hope I don’t come to retchings then. I will really have to see the doctor again about that. I don’t know if I’ve written about it here, but the laboratory tests proved to be perfect. So there’s something else with me. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad about that. It’s good that I don’t have any allergies, bacterias and such. But now it can be something physical that can’t be cured if I’m unfortunate :S

One more thing.. I promise to be better at updating the blog. It’s just that I’ve had a lot going on at home lately with the new child (Julie) and everything. Family must always come first 🙂

Here’s the data from the 8k race two weeks ago

Detailed Garmin data
Link to results of race

Race day – Vårtävling 8k (7777m), Skatås

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR AvgCadence
1 7777 m 30:46 3:57 184 199 92

And todays 1k sessions

Garmin data from today

Day 8, sub 40 program2nd round
start with 6x1k R60 3min 45 to 3min50

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR HR After 60 sec rest
1 1.0 3:49 3:48 166 174 91
2 1.0 3:49 3:50 164 178 119
3 1.0 3:52 3:51 171 180 125
4 1.0 3:47 3:47 174 183 132
5 0.997 3:50 3:51 174 185 134
6 1.0 3:49 3:49 175 184 128

No race..

During the night it literally came from all ends – excuse me for the vivid description..

I had hope until 10 am (the race were at 1 pm). Then I went to the store to test how it felt. I got exhausted and felt all weak in the body..

It’s quite a dissapointment that I missed the race. It was one of the big races I was going to run this year :S

So.. Now I just have to look forward – maybe I will be able to run a race next weekend.