A packed day (5k paced run) (more photos)

It’s been a very stressful day. But we kind of like it that way. We started by making whole wheat scones and strawberry jam for breakfast. The strawberries was from the freezer – we picked them last summer (I don’t know how it works everywhere else in the world, but here in Sweden there are many strawberry self-picking fields). After that we watched Biathlon, went to the dump, made a Swedish pastry called Semlor. It’s a kind of cardamom wheat bun with marzipan and cream as filling. Very tasty! I even did the marzipan myself. Since a year back I’ve been very back to basics. Me and my wife are tired of all the junk they put in the food we buy, so we want to do as much as we can ourselves. For example, we almost never buy bread anymore. It all takes a lot of more time, but it’s worth it. Nothing can compete with home made bread, jam, pastries – well, all kinds of food.

A little picture of my and Emmas saturday-evening sweets, the Swedish pastry "semla"

Later I did my 5k paced run. Against better knowing I did it outside instead of a treadmill. It was around 0 degrees. Almost everywhere I got grip, but I did have to be cautious all the time..

I only tried to make it below 20 minutes. Afterwards I felt that I could’ve done a little better, but hey – compared to how it went on my first time trials two weeks ago it’s quite ok 😉

When I got home I made Spaghetti and meatsauce. My wife is very close to delivery right now, so I must do as much as I can to relieve her – which I gladly do! (just in case she will read this ;)) Also, both our girls are sick, which leads to them needing more attention than usual..

Take care, and good luck with all the running out there 🙂

Detailed Garmin data

Day 12, sub 40 program
5K paced run – aim sub 20:00 5k

Lap Distance Time AvgPace AvgHR MaxHR Cadence
1 1.0 3:57 3:57 159 169 91
2 1.0 4:00 4:00 169 174 92
3 1.0 3:49 3:49 174 179 93
4 1.0 3:52 3:52 177 181 93
5 1.0 3:52 3:52 181 184 94
TOTAL 5.0 19:32 3:54 172 184 92
Emilia Schmeikal baking scones 110122
Emilia baking scones 110122
Clara Schmeikal is baking assistant 110122
Clara is baking assistant 110122
Kittie the cat
Kittie, our cat
Cleaning out Christmas 110122
Cleaning out Christmas (Don't mind the psycho, he wouldn't hurt a fly :)) 110122

A long refreshing run on the icy streets of Alingsås

The icy street Solvändegatan, Alingsås 2011-01-16
The icy street Solvändegatan, Alingsås 2011-01-16

During the day the family have been visiting a house that is the same model as a house we hopefully will build after we come home from China. It was nice to see it in real life, but it all still feels like a dream.. Not many young people in Sweden have the chance to own a house – especially not close to the bigger cities of Sweden. Our only chance might be to take the job in China. On the other hand the year over there also will be an adventure of a lifetime. 🙂

The longest run came today instead of yesterday. Even though it has been raining all day and the streets were even in worse condition than yesterday, it went pretty fine. 🙂

It was relaxing. At some places all the molten snow and ice formed pools of water, but most of the times I managed to avoid stepping in them. At one place, though, close to the end I came to a parking lot which was like a wet field of ice. I had to stop and trip forward like a lapricorn (Do they trip around?) – hence the break in the data on the Garmin page. My HR monitor went crazy again (That’s why the MaxHR is so high) – I can’t go on complaining about it here – it does it too often :S. Maybe I’ll just take it with Garmin instead. A reclaim or something, just to state a case.

On the right is a picture of Solvändegatan – the street outside us. The meaning was to visualize how the streets look like with the wet ice and everything – don’t know if the photo is truthful enough, though 😀

Take care!

Detailed Garmin data

Day 6, 1st sub 40 10k round
longest run – ‘time on feet’ up to 1Hr 30min (Swapped day 5 with day 6)

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 15.43 1:30 5:50 135 167 89

When to have the first race

Now I have finally uploaded a header for the blog. Not sure how long I will keep it, but for now it will do – I kind of even like it 🙂

Me and TheEd are discussing whether it is better for me to continue with one more three-week period of the build up or to start with the race program. It depends very much on when I actually will have my first race. As it looks now I think my first race will be Vinterspringet (10k, Mariestad) taking place 26th of February. Earlier than that I’m sure the snow and ice will be a big obstacle, and maybe even then – sometimes it snows until late March here in Sweden.

Another big obstacle might be that my wife’s delivery is postponed a couple of weeks. We expect by the 3rd of February (so she’s quite big now – for her. She’s always small anyways :)).

We’ll see what TheEd thinks of that time for the first race considering my programs and all.. Until then I will go on with the sub 40 as planned.

Detailed Garmin data

Day 2, 1st sub 40 10k round
30min easy run

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 5.69 30:42 5:24 138 155 90

Some photos – testing the new camera

I just wanted to throw up a few photos here to give the blog a little color. They don’t have much to do with my running, but I hope you appreciate them anyway 🙂

Clara Schmeikal
My youngest daughter Clara, she is 2,5 years old, 2011-01-11
Emma, Emilia and Clara Schmeikal
All my lovely girls in one photo - Emma, Emilia and Clara, 2011-01-11
Christian Schmeikal, 2011-01-11
Me posing ridiculously 🙂

Taking cover from the force of nature

Winter Running
Winter Running

Today I thought about running all day – until late in the evening. But.. I didn’t dare. Earlier during the day I had fallen on the solid ice that now covers most of the ground here in this part of Sweden. Not too speak of the 10-15 times I’ve almost fallen, but in the end managed to keep myself on two feet..

It’s really awful when it’s like this. I don’t mind if there are tons of snow – as long as it keeps that way. But when it thaws, becomes slush and then freezes to thick ice, it’s not as funny. And it seems it will be like this for a while. In the weather forecast they speak of just a couple of plus degrees for every day the coming week, meaning it will will take long, long time for the ice to melt.

Analyzing yesterdays performance I think I could’ve done better if I had started out at a lower pace. I recognize from before the fatigue that appears when going out too tough. I’ll try to follow my own advices the next time (which I managed to neglect in my blindness of greed for way too rapid progress).

Now I hope that the sub program approaches. I’ve asked TheEd (coach) about it and if he’s positive it will start tomorrow. The programs are best to start on at Tuesdays so that the tough runs comes during the weekend. He’s feedback on the 4k yesterday was that he didn’t seem to think that less than 4:00 min/km was that bad.. Well, I wish I could be as positive in this case..

Now I’ve got the new digital camera going also, so there will hopefully be more photos on the blog 😉

Looking forward to tomorrow and a fresh new start with boundaries to cross!!

Take care!

An urge to extend myself

Luckily they just had plowed when I got out in the evening, so the bedding was a good as can be expected from an highly oversnowed landscape and a couple of plus degrees.

Though, today it was very hard to keep my heart rate even below 140. I think the burglar in the drama (a Swedish expression directly translated. Ain’t I funny..) was that I had eaten a big meal less than an hour before my run. Usually I wait around two hours before running in the evening, but today I very, very much wanted to get home to see The pillars of the earth – a mini series of Ken Follett’s great books taking place in England in the 12th century.

I really love historic and Fantasy adventures. In fact I would like to recommend a great author of a Fantasy series that I’ve seen is to become an HBO tv series – George R R Martin. His book series named A song of ice and fire is very breathtaking for someone who likes adventures with a lot more depth than the usual Fantasy that more has teenagers as target. In his story nothing is just black or white, and nothing is just easily gripped.

Back to my running.. (I kind of got lost there for a while :))
My running was really slow (read really very slowly) – sometimes my waddle felt more like stumbling forward. But like I said before my belly was stuffed with our both girls favorite food – Korv stroganoff (A swedish stew with sliced traditional sausage flavoured with tomato and cream) which we’ve been eating 3 meals in a row now just to keep them satisfied.

Then, after 55 minutes of running I felt an urge come creeping. I felt that I needed to extend myself a little. To once more feel what it feels like to take much longer strides.. ..And I did it!
And it was good! For four minutes I ran at a pace around 3:40-3:50 something. Then I was home. Probably not the best thing to do right now, but I couldn’t help myself 😀

Detailed Garmin data

Day 17, 2nd build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 9.26 55:00 5:56 137 161 89
2 1.06 14:59 3:49 175 183 92
3 0.219 1:17 5:55 167 183 88

Managed to keep myself upright in spite of everything

Back to work today. Felt a little sad to once again be away from the family, but I noticed that it was good for me to get up in the early morning as before. During the Christmas holiday I’ve managed to get used to get up as late as 9 am many of the days. Some of the nights I’ve even slept for 9 hours – very rare for me. I usually only sleep around 5 hours – 6 at most. Strange is, I think it feels like I get more tired from sleeping more. Last night I thought I would never be able to keep my eyes open on the commuter-train to work, but on the contrary I felt more brisk than I’ve done in quite some time. So I sat and studied the Analysis Calculus for the physics university course I’ve applied for. Refreshing! 😀

At lunch I took a 75 minute run. It was slippery almost everywhere, but at some places I even needed to slow down not to fall. In the end I luckily had managed to keep myself on the feet. Fortunately I don’t run so fast during my easy runs 🙂

Moments ago I also did the Bodyweight 500 workout once more. I think this will be the last time I will do it before the 4k time trial on Saturday. I wouldn’t want to spoil my performance with sore muscles. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find an indoor track to do the run, so hopefully it will have snowed some until then, making the surface a little more convenient.

Funny.. Just as I sit here and write it started to snow – Fortune smiles upon me 🙂

Detailed Garmin data

Day 14, 2nd build up
75min easy and totally relaxed – time on feet

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 12.84 1:15:02 5:51 132 146 90

Longing to be unleashed

Anyone had any New year promises? I have promised myself to try not to overdo everything like I sometimes do – I swear, one very beautiful day my wife will go nuts on me 😀

One thing I really hope for during the coming year is that one charity running project me and my wife plan will become successful. I will tell more of that later…

Now to the running.

Yesterday I had a resting day. It was well appreciated since it had thawed on New years eve which made the thick layer of snow half melt. Then it froze again :(. So we can say I was grateful not to run yesterday.

However, today unfortunately, it was quite the same. I was supposed to do run in rolling hills which is for making the body recover better after uphill work. As it was the icy ground wanted me to kiss many times enough, so I didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Instead I ran on almost plain ground, which still made it hard enough without dancing quick step. To make the heart feel like it had hill-work I made short fartlek sessions followed by easy intervals until the heart rate was down to around 130 again.

One great thing was that I felt fully recovered now from the strength training earlier in the week. I even felt much stronger. When I speeded up during the run I felt that I wanted to do a lot more. It was like all the muscles in my upper body wanted to be unleashed in an explosion. Fantastic! I can only hope that it will feel similar during the 4k time trial later this month 🙂

Detailed Garmin data

Day 13, 2nd build up
40 to 50min over rolling hills – work the hills

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Avg Cadence
1 8.54 47:48 5:36 138 164 91

An appreciated change on New years eve

Today we celebrated New years eve here. I went running during the afternoon.

It was a nice run apart from the fact that I needed a pit stop in the woods (hope I didn’t scare any stroller off). That’s why my 3rd lap became so messed up as you can see from the detailed data in the link below. Don’t really know what I was doing with the watch then. Actually many of my evening runs gets interrupted in the same way. I don’t know exactly the reason why, but maybe it can be that my digestion has trouble dealing with all the whole food I stuff myself with.

Since I started running I have become obsessed with healthy food. So none of our carbohydrates at home are processed or white. I often bake our bread to keep it that way and even when making pancakes I put in a cup of rye flour just to keep it rich in fibres. Every morning the whole family eats oatmeal porridge and our children have reallly come to love it. Well, there’s a lot to say when it comes to foods, but I really believe in making the body work to process it. Just think on how long we’ve existed and how long there has been processed food. Which do you think our body is most adjusted to?

Anyway, I felt really recovered in the legs today. My back and pecs felt same as sore as yesterday, but my legs were full of energy. I didn’t feel like at 100% capacity, though. But better. A great improvement from yesterday that is.

In the evening I took the kids down to a field and shot some fireworks. They loved it 😀 A great end of a great year and hopefully a great start of a really giving year for my running progress. But most of all I hope everything will turn out in the best way possible at all fronts. But then again, who doesn’t?

Link to detailed Garmin data

Day 11, 2nd build up
1hr easy and totally relaxed – at ease through out

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Min HR
1 1.74 8:01 4:37 157 167
2 0.343 1:49 5:48 147 159 141
3 1.82 8:46 4:49 160 165
4 0.331 2:00 6:05 147 163 141
5 1.66 8:07 4:53 160 167
6 0.304 1:51 6:06 147 160 142
7 1.62 7:59 4:56 160 174
8 0.320 2:00 6:14 152 165 144
9 1.6 8:00 5:00 163 172
10 0.320 1:59 6:12 153 162 147

Recent memories and thoughts about the near future

Today when I downloaded all our photos from our digital camera (Don’t know if you do the same, but we end up with an overpacked camera with not a single byte of memory left at the moment where you need it to be empty the most)

Christian Schmeikal after Midnattsloppet 100821, Gothenburg
Me after Midnattsloppet 100821, Gothenburg

I found a few pictures of me taken after Midnattsloppet 21 August this year in Gothenburg.It’s nice to look back at something with a smile, still pleased about the performance back then. Now, of course my aim is much higher than what I managed then, but then again, I didn’t have professional coaching to lead the way then either 🙂

Recently I’ve been thinking about which races I should run next year. I know that me and the family most probably will move to China in around May. I’m about to sign up for 13 months of work there for the company I work for. Until then I really want to get through a couple of races to see what I’m able to achieve. I have a few in mind, which right now are:

  • Sun 20 March GöteborgsVarvets seedningslopp … 10,55 km
  • Sun 27 March Premiärmilen 10,00 km
  • Sat 2 April Startmilen 10 km 10,00 km
  • Sat 30 April Lerumsloppet 10 km 10,00 km
  • Sat 7 May Springtime Mariestad 10,00 km

I’ve asked TheEd how he think I should plan for them – when I should start with the sub-program and so on. I’ve also asked him if the Bodyweight 500 strength training I did regularly during the autumn is beneficial for the running performance and if, when I should do it. Anyway, there’s a lot of good things to look forward to 😉

I ran the 75 minutes run today. It was during mid day and it was really bright outside, so the snow almost made me snow blind.
Another thing I’ve been thinking more and more of is a technique detail. I’ve read that it’s better for both running economy and preventing injuries to have a midfoot step. I think I do. I’m not sure, but it feels most at the midfeet and almost nothing at the heel when I step down. Last year I read that most elite runners have a running cadence of around 90 strides independent on which speed they ran. To get to that, they adviced to try to take baby steps. Recently I’ve read that having a high cadence is beneficial for mid foot step since it forces you to step down underneath your body instead of forward it… Anyway, when I read it last year I thought I should give it a go, so I started to take smaller and smaller steps. It really felt great and I think that I still have that in some way to thank for my progress during the first year..

Link to detailed Garmin data

Day 6, 2nd build up
75min easy and totally relaxed – time on feet

Lap Distance Time Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR Cadence
1 13.52 1:15:13 5:34 133 148 90