Pre-Marathon Training: 32 weeks til Berlin

Hello out there! Long time no see!

I’ve been running, but not blogging! Mostly running and Instagramming (@naschkatzeruns), but the most important thing is the running, of course!

After my DNF in October and successfully getting a spot in the Berlin Marathon I have been thinking about what I did wrong the last time around. Two of my biggest mistakes were definitely not keeping track of my training, and not sticking (more or less, sometimes life gets in the way) to one specific plan. By “plan-jumping” I ended up doing a lot of “junk training”, which to me is when you go out trotting along without any real aim such as speed, recovery, intervals, etc. I was running every run at the same speed (about 7:20/km) and while my ability to torture my body over longer distances gradually built up from these “garbage kilometers”, I wasn’t becoming a better/more efficient runner.

I have decided to use the My Asics app to create a Marathon training plan. It was recommended to me by somebody on Instagram and it seems really good! I will also be using this blog as a weekly recap of what I’ve been up to, mostly running-wise. It will help me keep track of things and might even be interesting to some of you out there!

Here’s what I did last week.

February 8th – 14th

Monday: 10.5 KM with the Runner’s Point Run Group, including intervals.
Tuesday: REST
Wednesday: RESTThursday: REST
Friday: REST
Saturday: 6.5KM with the Runner’s Point Run Group, including intervals.
Sunday: REST
Total KM: 17

This was a pretty weak week, definitely not my best! However I did start a new job this week which has been tiring me out from standing all day, but I won’t use that as an excuse. See you next week!

 

Finding your inspiration.

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Sunday Runday! Finding a running group is the best way to get yourself up and running on a foggy Sunday morning!

I need to be inspired in order to be motivated and I think the same goes for most people. I love to be inspired by new things and I am often inspired by other people. I love look to social media for inspiration. With YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogs, etc. etc. the amount of content can be overwhelming, but if you are anything like me, seeing someone post about how great their morning run was or how they managed to squeeze in a swim after an evening run even though they just wanted to curl up in bed often gives me that extra kick that I need to get out there! Instagram can be a great source of inspiration as long as you keep in mind that people’s Instagram accounts are like highlight reels of their lives and you can’t let them get you down if you start to compare your lives with theirs. I find this to be especially “dangerous” with Fitness/Running accounts and also Beauty/Style accounts which are two of my favourite types. (YouTube Beauty Gurus have become my guilty pleasure!)

It also helps to have long-term goals. Speaking of which, I am very happy to announce…

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I got a spot in the Berlin Marathon next year! One of the Marathon Majors! In my favourite city that I have been dying to go back to! Woohoo!!

After a less-than-ideal first Marathon attempt, I’m more motivated than ever to rock this one.

What inspires you? 🙂

 

 

Berlin Marathon Lottery 2016 #PartOfOne42

This month has been difficult. I don’t want to go into too many details but I’ve had a lot to deal with this month. Crossroads that can either make me stronger or feel like a failure. (Yes, I know, this sounds very dramatic.) I’ve realized how important running/physical fitness is to keep you feeling good.

One of the challenges was my “failed” Marathon. It would be easy for me to act all self-pitying and to give up, but instead it has given me inspiration to become fitter! And, of course, to try again. This time giving myself ample time and changing my strategy (less worrying about what gels to eat and more Speed work!!)

So I have entered the “lottery” for the Berlin Marathon 2016! They take 40,000 runners and get about 80,000 applicants. The good thing about the Berlin Marathon is that there is no Half Marathon, so everyone is in it together for the long haul! In the Dreiländer Marathon that I attempted earlier this month, only 289 people did the full Marathon, and I started out in the back!

I’ll find out in December if I’m in or not. Until then, here is an inspirational video!

#PartOfOne42 Berlin 2016!

Dealing with a DNF.

Hello out there! I would like to apologize for being a lazy blogger in September. I was at home in Canada and having a great time and was barely on my laptop! I would like to write a post about my time in Canada (including and AMAZINGLY fun race weekend! 5K on Friday and Half Marathon on Sunday) but now there’s some serious business to get to.

I want to write about it while it is still fresh in my mind. Today was the Sparkasse Dreilaender Marathon, the “three country Marathon” that begins in Germany, goes through Austria to Switzerland, and then back to Austria. I live in Vienna, Austria so this counted as an “away” Marathon because me (and my wonderful boyfriend who was my pack-mule/photographer today) took a 9 hour overnight train to get here two days ago. We had a really nice time in the days leading up to the Marathon – it is beautiful here!

This morning my alarm was set for 6:50 but I was awake by 6:30. I got up and had a nice coffee and did some yoga to relax. The weather was brutal. Pouring rain and really cold and windy, it was supposed to clear up about an hour into the race (which it did) so I was happy to be able to meet my pack-mule at KM10 and give him my coat. 🙂

I was feeling great at the beginning of the race. Very nervous and doubting the quality of my training (Had I done enough?) but that’s all normal. The race started off at 11:10. I was starting near the back because I had put in a slow finishing time (I think this is a huge mistake. When you start at the back you will always be in the back, unless you suddenly shave like 4 mins off of your tempo.. in a Marathon..)

I was feeling pretty good for the first 10-12KM. I was taking it easy, making sure to take sips of water from my handheld water bottle and chew on my Clif Shot Bloks at regular intervals. At KM10 the Quarter-Marathoners were divided from the group, which thinned it out a lot. By KM15, the Half-Marathoners were divided from the group and I was alone. I could see one guy in front of me, way ahead, but that was it. The next 18KM were absolutely brutal.

The scenery was amazing. Alpine Mountains, Forest trails, small villages with great crowds, beautiful lakeviews. It couldn’t have been any better. And the “gimmick” of crossing into new countries was every bit as cool as I thought it would be.

At around KM28 I was having regular thoughts of calling it a day. I was third last in the Marathon. There was only a woman behind me who was catching up quickly, and a man who was walking slowly. Behind him were the “end cars”: a guy in a van and an ambulance transport type van. The lady caught up to me at one point and was extremely nice, but I couldn’t make conversation. I was about to puke my guts out (sorry). She offered to walk with me, but I couldn’t even keep up walking at this point, so she continued.

At KM30 I doubled over and puked out everything that was in my belly. I couldn’t run for more than three steps without stabbing pains in my sides. At the pace I was going, I would’ve needed two more hours, and I couldn’t imagine continuing like that, especially being the very last person. (The walking guy had dropped out)

At KM33 the car pulled up and asked how I was doing and I knew I was done. He told me to go sit in the ambulance van and they would drive me to the finish. I was very very frustrated and the tears were flowing at that point. But I knew that’s not how I wanted to finish my first marathon. It wasn’t even running any more, it was shuffle shuffle  stop bend over, hands on knees, walk walk, shuffle shuffle, stop, bend over, hands on knees.

So my first Marathon was a DNF (Did Not Finish). It was a DNF after being in Last Place. These are every first time Marathon runners worst nightmares, and they both happened to me today and yes it was pretty horrible, but you know what? I am completely happy with my experience today. It gives me room for improvement and inspiration to try again. I was so close today, I know that I am absolutely capable of finishing a Marathon. When things don’t go according to plan, work on what you can change. For my next Marathon (yes there will be a next) I will be changing my training strategy. (More on this later)

For now, I am (as they say here in Vorarlberg) zufrieda. Content with my effort today, and inspired to work hard in the future. (After some much deserved rest, of course)

It was still 33KM, through three countries in over 4 hours and thirty minutes. And I’m zufrieda with that.

My first 20 mile run EVER! (32.25KM)

Last Monday I set out with the intentions to go on my long run that I hadn’t done on the weekend. I stuffed myself with some waffles, peanut butter and honey (uhh, why did I think this was a do idea right before a run?) and headed out. I was feeling a bit crazy so I thought it would be a good idea to set my goal high, so I told myself I would do 20 miles. I made it about 8K by the time it was already 8pm and dark and then got frustrated and overwhelmed with the amount that was left to do and went to my boyfriend’s for dinner instead.

I felt frustrated and discouraged and like I had failed, even though I had worked out for an hour in the morning and gone for an 8K run. I realized that it was not a good mind set to beat myself up over it, so I just moved on and tried to feel good about what I had done. The rest of the week I took it kind of easy, I did some Blogilates and went to a Yoga class on Wednesday evening for some much needed stretching.

However, today when I woke up. I knew it was the day! I was motivated and patient and had the day off of work. I had some breakfast (Coffee and toast with Biscoff, yummy!) and set off at around 11am. This was partly because I am not a morning person and partly because my Marathon starts at 11am, so I want to get used to running at that time.

I split the race into 4x8K runs in my mind. One direction 8K, back to the starting point to total 16K, 8K in the other direction, and then 8.25K home. This worked really well for me! It is not an easy thing to make yourself run for 4 hours. I am kind of a slow runner and I have heard that it might not be good to go for so long in a training run, but mentally I had to hit this milestone. For me it was just as big as what I consider the classic long-distance running milestones: 30 minutes nonstop running, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, 20 miles (32.2KM), Marathon, …

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It was painful. It was hot. I was thinking of doing 16KM in one direction and then 16KM back because I realized it was dangerous to make the halfway point be so close to home and that it would take a lot of willpower to push on, but I wasn’t sure about the water fountain situation in the first direction and in the other direction I knew exactly where the water fountains are. I drank a lot of water and basically gave myself a cold shower at each station. I dunked my hat in the water fountain each time and put it back on my head. That helped a lot!

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The best sight you can see while running in the heat. Water fountain! Elixir of life!

I was powered by:

Homemade Sports Drink (recipe from Runner’s World) which I carried in my fuel belt.

sportsbelt

A fruit bar:

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and Sport Gummi! An Austrian chewy candy. 🙂

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I am going home (Canada!) on Tuesday so I wanted to do one last long run before the weekend so I could enjoy the weekend without the pressure and off-time that goes along with long runs! My knee is feeling a little “niggly” so I am staying in tonight and resting. I feel very accomplished and happy. I refueled with pizza and ice cream which might not have been the healthiest idea but it was fast and easy and what my body was craving!

Happy long runs to anyone out there who have long runs planned for this weekend!

Dreilaender Marathon Training Week Recap – 7 weeks to go!

This post is about last week and may be incomplete as I wasn’t so great at keeping track of my workouts!

  • Monday: Last day of my free trial at the gym: Smovey Class 60 mins/Zumba Class 60 mins/Yoga Class 60 mins
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 8KM in the pouring rain!
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: 10K
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest/Wine Hike through about 6 Viennese Vineyards! Lots of walking and lots of wine!

This was a very restful week! I am getting a bit lazy recently, trying to get my groove back!

Bilingual post: Vienna by bike! // Radfahren in Wien

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This post is written in English and German. I will be writing some posts in both languages as it’s a good practice for my German (please excuse all of the mistakes that I make and don’t take it as a “Fehlerfrei” (“Mistake-Free”) text as I’m sure it’s not perfect!) and because I live in Vienna and German is awesome! Enjoy!

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Dieser Beitrag ist auf Englisch und Deutsch geschrieben. Ich werde einige Beiträge auf beide Sprachen schreiben weil es eine gute Übung für mich ist! Ich entschuldige mich im vorraus für die viele viele Fehlern! 🙂 Ich wünsche euch viel Vergnügen!

Vienna is a great city for bike riders. In the summer, they nearly outnumber the cars! You can get nearly anywhere in Vienna by bike within 30 minutes, so it’s really practical! I love taking my bike whenever possible.

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Wien ist eine tolle Stadt für Radfahrer. Im Sommer gibt es fast mehr Fahrräder als Autos! In Wien kann man fast überall mit dem Fahrrad innerhalb von 30 Minuten erreichen. Es ist sehr praktisch! Ich liebe es mit meinem Fahrrad zu fahren.

My bike. Her name is Rosa Beate Bitchwheely.
My bike. Her name is Rosa Beate Bitchwheely.  // Mein Fahrrad. Sie heißt Rosa Beate Bitchwheely.

Not only is biking a great way to discover the city, there are also many different bike tours that you can take to reach nearby towns and villages. It’s a great weekend activity! All of the bike routes are marked by small green signs.

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Radfahren ist nicht nur eine Tolle Weg um die Stadt zu entdecken, sodern es gibt auch viele Radwege die man nehmen kann, um nahliegende Dörfer zu besuchen. Es ist ein super Idee für das Wochenende! Alle Radwege sind mit Schilder markiert.

Bike routes are marked with small green signs.
Bike routes are marked with small green signs. // Radwege sind mit grünen Schildern markiert.

Vienna is full of bike paths that are luckily clearly marked for the most part and are often separate from the main streets. I’ll admit I’m not extremely comfortable riding my bike with traffic! The city is trying to mark most of them with green paint to make them more visible to pedestrians.

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Wien hat viele Radwege die zum glück meistens klar markiert und neben der Straße sind. Ich gebe zu ich bin eine Angsthase wenn ich Rad fahre und fahre nicht sehr gern mit Autos. Die Stadt versucht gerade, viele Radwege grün zu markieren damit die Radwege besser sichtbar sind.

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Bike Path // Radweg
Bikepath
Bike Path // Radweg

There are some great resource websites for people interested in biking in Vienna. Most are in both English and German.

English:

http://www.wien.info/en/vienna-for/sports/cycling/discover-by-bicycle

http://www.wien.info/en/vienna-for/sports/cycling/citybike (Citybikes are available to rent all over the city!)

http://www.danube-cycle-path.com/austria-bike-rentals.html

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Es gibt viele Webseiten für Leute die sich für das Radfahren in Wien interessieren. Die meisten davon sind auf Deutsch und Englisch.

Deutsch:

http://www.wien.gv.at/verkehr/radfahren/

https://www.wien.gv.at/verkehr/radfahren/radnetz/

http://www.fahrradwien.at/