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Welcome to My Marathon Running Site 2008!

I run two marathons a year as a way to stay in shape and to run the streets of European cities.

My goal is to train hard enough to run a marathon in under 4 hours while maintaining a busy work/family lifestyle.

I ran 62 times this year preparing for the Berlin marathon which I ran in September. I'm currently in off-training from October to the end of the year and will resume again on January 1, 2009 in preparation for my spring marathon, perhaps Hamburg (April 26), perhaps Vienna (April 19), perhaps Linz (May 17), or perhaps another one.

If you are thinking about running a marathon, just sign up for the Berlin marathon now and worry about training later. :-)

(You may also be looking for my Running Site 2007 or my Running Site 2006 that I did with my brother Pete.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008
Berlin Marathon 2008 
04:15:45 - Beautiful day for a marathon, simply fabulous: refreshingly cool, sunny, no rain, couldn't have been better. This was my 10th marathon and my first paced marathon, I stayed a little under 4-hour-pace right up until 25K, which is when my legs started hurting and which is when I started to sink slowly under pace. Saw Pete at half marathon and we stayed in the vicinity of each other (it's hard to run together in the Berlin marathon, not much space to move around, and at times it was hard to keep a 4-hour pace with the mass of people) so about 27K Pete's slowly pulled ahead with a constant pace, at 35K I was sixteen seconds behind him and at 40K I was only 5 minutes behind him but at 41K my legs just locked up and I lost a lot of time just trying to make it into the finish. My last three Berlin marathons have been 4:15, 4:14 and 4:15 so at least I'm consistent, quite confident I will get a sub-4 some year, just need to train a little more so the legs last a little longer than 25K before they start to hurt. Now looking forward to the next three months off and to picking a spring marathon: maybe Hamburg, maybe Vienna, maybe Linz which seems to be a fast one, and then running Berlin again next year with renewed energy to get under four.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Closing Run of the Season 
00:47:00 - It was appropriate that the run home from work today got so dark that I had to abandon my regular route and stay on the lit sidewalks: the 2008 training season ended as it began, what a wonderful run, absolutely nothing hurt, every body part strong, it was the kind of run that is a reward for training all summer: lean forward the whole way, at every point feel like you have energy to go faster, cool air, it had rained today but was dry when I ran, as it got totally dark it reminded me of my winter runs and I had to slow down where it got too dark to see the sidewalk well, got a drink at 40 minutes and ran it in easily, feel totally ready for the marathon on Sunday.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Doughboy City Investigatory Run 
01:15:00 - With one week to go before the marathon, was combing Google Earth satellite pictures of Berlin looking for something interesting to take an easy run out to, found an area of empty land near us in Lichterfelder Süd which had some unusual land markings. Looked it up and it turned out to be a U.S. Army military urban combat training ground complete with mock city that even had its own U-Bahn station and train car. Reading a bit about it I learned that they used to practice at night with flairs dropped from parachutes, must have been startling for the neighbors living there, especially since this was on the border to East Germany ("go back to bed honey, they're just practicing"). It was used from the 50s all the way up to 1994 when the U.S. Army moved out, after which it was blown up and leveled. From the looks of the satellite pictures and from my own sightings running along its perimeter, it seems to have a number of horses in there just grazing around, that's about it. It's a odd place, kind of like a double ghost town. In any case, the hour-plus run was nice, a strong pace out and back, cool weather, hopefully we'll have exactly this weather next Sunday!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Steady run home from work 
01:18:00 - Felt really good, strong stride till 1 hour, then a good coast in, good workout again. Been thinking about some marathon tips I read yesterday: the marathon is a couple races in one: the first half is a relaxed-enjoy-the-scenery run, 20K - 30K is focussing on staying up to pace and getting ready for the last part, you want to arrive at 30K not slowing down but holding steady, that is when the race really starts. In summary: stay with the four-hour-balloon the whole way.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Fast run home from work 
00:50:00 - Starting the wind down part of my training, so just ran the pace that felt best, nice quick run today, about two weeks to go.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Long, steady run home from work 
02:28:00 - Took off at 5:45 so it was still very light but ended in the dark again, a sign of fall approaching, we are right on the border now between summer and fall. Ran for an hour-and-a-half very strong, it's so easy to run now, leaning forward, clippy pace, got drink at 1:40 and had a cheese Brötchen sandwich in my body bag so I woofed that, amazing how ravenously you can eat in the middle of a run. Can't say I pushed it today, but my body just wanted to run so I ran had a good clip the whole way, legs are sore now after the run. Thought about the marathon quite a bit during the run, if Pete and I will still be on pace at say, 36K and 38K, that'd be awesome, it won't be long. As far as the MP3 line up, I had Jason Jollins new Argentina mix on for the first 40 minutes or so, crankin beats, and then listened to IT conversation talks, one very impressive conversation with Daniel Solove who wrote Understand Privacy, he has solid ideas about how to get control of privacy on the Internet, admits its far worse than people realize, but does not believe its futile in the long run, basically redefines the things companies and governments should be talking about, etc. very good. Also listened to some Stack Overflow by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, they are consistently entertaining and informative to listen to every week and when I got home I had my beta account in the mail, nice! Stack Overflow is going to be a major tool to get programming answers fast, has redefined a lot of features of how question/answer work. Another nice run both physically and intellectually.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Fast run home from work 
01:10:00 - Took off steady and built up to a very nice pace, felt very strong at the end, a fun run and nice workout.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
First post-summer, finish-in-the-dark run 
01:40:00 - Now that summer is beginning to wane, the days are getting shorter. I noticed this today as I got a later start home from work (7:22 PM) and when I finished the run it was dark, just like in spring. Ran hard on this run and felt it the day after in my legs. It's really nice to have so much energy. It seems that the first 50 minutes I have unlimited energy, no problem, then I get a bit tired, but at about 1:10 I lock into a pace that I could keep for hours. Nice run.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Back in Berlin Run 
00:51:00 - First run back in Berlin after vacation, kept a solid but not fast pace, felt strong the whole way. Listened to Stack Overflow podcasts, absorbing stuff, I'm often not even aware I'm running. Heard someone say the other day, "I've been exercising a lot more since I got my MP3 player", nice.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Deep Saxon Forest Reconnaissance Run 
02:05:00 - While exploring Google Earth to find nice running routes while on vacation in Saxony, I discovered something showing up on the satellite images what was not showing up on any map of the area. When zooming in on that part of the forest, it looked like a lost city or an alien landing area which so piqued my interest, that I mapped a route out to it, got up at 6 AM, and started out on the discovery trek. The hour-long run out there was simply beautiful, wonderful cool running weather, and nice early morning sights. Thanks to Google Earth I was able to easily find the trails out to it simply by memorizing objects that appeared on the images (a cell-phone antenna and a forest observation tower), and quickly found the road which led to the area. It was eerie approaching it as the forest seemed so normal but the image of the strange super-large, circular land formations reminded me that this area was somewhere near. When I reached what seemed the entrance to it, however, there was a large red bar across the path and a serious sign which read "Former Military Zone. Extreme Danger. Do not enter!" I thought about entering anyway but then decided that having a leg blown off by a 1951 East German land mine or falling down a half-mile amunition pit was not my idea of training for a sub-4 marathon, so I shrugged my shoulders in satisfaction of a reconaissance mission accomplished, breathed in a jolt of fresh pine and continued back on the trail toward home. I took my chances at not running the roads home but simply running on paths through the forest in the general direction of our vacation house and luckily came across some signs in the middle of the trees which pointed the way back. This part of the run was 100% nature, I remember running down a hill on a soft carpet of pine needles which enabled me to be so quiet while running that I could hear the soft sounds the forest around me waking up, dozens of different birds, insects, the wind, and cool forest air. Finally got back in just over 2 hours, not bad for only having the map in my head. A wonderful run, wonderful memories on this one.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Morning Vacation Run 
00:53:00 - While on vacation in deep Saxony, took off into and through the woods for a nice morning run, out to a town called Treptitz and back, LOTS of fresh pine going in the lungs, cool air and early sunshine, a beautiful run.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Long run home from Spandau train station 
02:00:00 - Rode train to Spandau train station and ran home from there starting at about 9:00 A.M. so weather was really nice morning weather of a nice day, kept a more-than-aerobic pace and really stepped along with a quick pace the whole way, perhaps at 1:10 noticed a little tiredness in my legs but that actually went away and just had a solid run. Loaded my MP3 player with news, interviews, talks, my favorite was the introductory lesson of a course on Existentialism by philosophy professor Dreyfus at Berkeley, fun to listen to and has some insightful points (Camus is not an existentialist but a pagan or pre-Christian where the other existentialists are post-Christians), he has a nice style and his whole course is online, will be listening to more! So, another nice long run and a fresh route today. Enjoyed the fresh pine air in the Grunewald as well, always a nice run through "Berlin's lung". Legs feel a bit worked out but nothing hurts inordinately which is good news with a month and a half to go. Oh, just read that Haile will be running Berlin again in September, nice!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Fast Tempo Run home from work 
00:45:00 - Started out fast and never ran out of energy, ran an above-aerobic level 35 minutes to the gas station and then a 10 minute warm down with ice tea, nice. Felt extremely strong today, was expecting to energy to run out but it never did, finished strong up an incline to the gas station, listened to a convincing talk on The Beauty of Print in a Digital Era about why books and magazines are such a wonderful interface and experience and what they give you that the online experience doesn't, so I was totally absorbed and ran hard, excellent run. Plan to do a long one again this weekend.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
34K Sunday Sync Run to Wannsee and Back 
03:45:00 - Pete and I synced our runs today, I left about 12:15 P.M. Berlin time and he left 5:30 A.M. Arkansas time, it was actually hotter there before sun-up than here at noon (!), a wonderful blue-sky-with-white-clouds day here, perfect for running, kept a less-than-aerobic pace the whole way which turned out to be a great workout for my legs with no breakdown of any kind, nice, easy pace, saw lots of country side, listened to two lectures about the olympics and an interesting interview with the creator of Common Craft videos who has an effective concept of easy-to-understand videos. Will be doing some more long runs like this throughout August then phase out in September, now almost 50 days to go to the Berlin marathon.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tempo run home from work 
00:42:00 - Cooler out today, great running weather, started out at a fast pace and kept it, felt strong. Good deed of the day: saw a man trying to get a washing machine out of the back of his car, got it half way down and realized it was too much, it looked like he had 5 seconds to decide if he was going to break his back or his washing machine, I ran up and got there just in time to help him lift it down safely. I said "good luck with the rest" and took off again, felt like a super hero. Fun run today, actually ran a hard-as-I-could pace for 34 minutes, lots of hard breathing and hard running, realized it was my first run where I leaned into the turn at Seviers bridge (at about 30 minutes), nice, at 34 minutes I got an iced tea and jogged the rest in for a warm down.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Paced run home from work - the sun run 
01:44:00 - Started out slower than marathon pace and let things build up, very hot sun and felt a bit uncomfortable, but built up to a marathon pace and kept it, then at about 1:30 got into a nice groove and could have gone like that for another hour. Left foot took some more damage, small cut in the heal, need to fix my shoe or buy new ones. Nice run though, next day it feels like a workout.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Tempo Run Home 
01:20:00 - Was hot today and started out running into the sun but kept a good pace, did street 229 then right at the Lichterfelde post office and got back on the canal trail which is a nice shaded run. Feet felt good again.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Tempo Run Home 
00:47:00 - Wore my good socks again which made all the difference but only did 50 minutes to go easy on my feet. Felt a bit rigid at the beginning but then let my body speed up naturally and after 10 minutes had a strong pace going, ran hard up to :40 minutes and then a warm down. These.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Long run home with minor injuries 
02:50:00 - Before going for my long run today, my worry was my toe so I padded it up with bandaids and put in a couple extra bandaids in my body bag, good thing because I wore my old, very thin running socks and at 01:10:00 had some rubbing going on down at my left foot, did a pit stop quick stop at a street corner near Potsdamer Platz, put some bandaids on the developing wound and ran on, very refreshing (great tip: carry bandaids on your long runs), then at 01:30:00 had some rubbing going on down on my heal on my other foot (socks are just too thin, haven't worn them for over a month, they are in the trash) so I put my last bandaid on that but it came off in another couple steps, so I just decided to cut straight home from there and I ran easy and careful but steady, bought a scrumptuous fruit salad and some drinks along the way and enjoyed the city life, lots of sidewalk restaurants with some great cooking smells, saw quite a bit of cool architecture I hadn't noticed before and the sky was beautiful tonight. This was not a power run or in any way one of my best or funnest runs, but a different one, more of a trek, I'm really glad I had my extra bandaids tonight, even with the bandaids arrived home with a bloody sock, looked like a got shot in the foot. The motto: if your shoes, socks, shorts, shirt work for you, don't change them. Anything that even minutely rubs, will, after 3 hours, bleed.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Tempo Run Home 
00:48:00 - Did a fast run home today, was going to longer but my toe started hurting and I don't want to push anything so I can't do long runs, I think they are the most important. Hope to do one Friday.
Friday, July 11, 2008
The 34.8 Kilometer Jesse Owens Tribute Run with Wrong Turn 
04:15:00 - Took off today after work from Südkreuz train station (had to buy some tickets) with the goal of running through Berlin and then up the hill to the Olympic stadium and reach up and touch the Jesse Owens plaque that is at the entrance. It was an awesome run but at the crowning moment as I approached the stadium I saw that it was blocked off by a movie crew who seemed to be filming something in the stadium and they wouldn't let anyone in, but I stood and gasped at the the two 70 meter (210ft) cranes outside the stadium which had camera men at the top filming whatever was going on inside the stadium. They looked like little ants suspended on 2 giant stacked toothpicks (you can see one in the pictures below). Amazing that you can rent something like that. I ran the whole way at a nice Marathon pace at first, then about 3 hours took it slower, but I concentrated on not going to fast, just keeping a moderate and fun pace, which was important since at about 3:10 after coming out of the Grunewald and running under the Avus I took a wrong turn back into Charlottenburg. I didn't suspect anything until about 20 minutes later running down a street (Königsallee) I saw a lake that I used to run by on my way home from work two years ago but I remembered back then I was running the other way. Everything suddenly spun around 180 degrees and I took the next right and headed back home. At about 4 hours my legs were sore but evenly sore, not broken down, it was a really fun run today. Feel good about my stamina. Got a sandwich before heading into the Grunewald and had a really nice run through the forest, you are suddenly surrounded by thousands of trees and the scent of pine just punches you in the nose, really fresh, absolutely no city there. Without the wrong turn this would probably be a nice 3:30 run, will keep it in mind. But perhaps the most inspriing thing I saw today on my run was a guy riding his bike and next to him his three-legged dog running along side of him, this dog as really running and hopping around, sniffing everything, the fact that he was missing a leg stopped him zero from being a totally normal dog, I ran behind them for about 10 minutes just watching the dog, it was not only inspiring to see the dog so happy but also from a technical point of view to see how he could run and balance with one front leg missing. Amazing. In all, today was one of the best runs of the year.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Speed work home from work 
00:51:00 - Ran home from work doing 9 separate, hard sprints, after each one I walked until I got my breath back then jogged to the next straightaway and sprinted. It was a fun workout. I think next time I will do this on Insulaner hill since running up that hill at the end is so much more aerobic, no matter what speed you go, you are whizzed at the top. Nice weather today, sunny/cloudy/cool. A fun run, went fast.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Tempo run home from work with warm down 
01:15:00 - Took off easy then increased to a really strong stride, leaning forward, arms in motion, felt good. Kept this up for a good 50 minutes and pushed it. Got a green tea lemonade at about 1:00 and then did a warm down in, which was at least marathon pace. Very nice run today, felt good.
Friday, July 4, 2008
Nice marathon-pace home from work 
01:48:00 - Ran the Street 229 route straight across to Lichterfelde Ost (00:50), ran through the interior and out, turned left down Morgensternstrasse to Ostrpreußendamm, I had been running quite hard and steady and my legs were beginning to feel naturally worn (01:05) so remembering Pete's advice which somehow rings true for me ("no use running 3 hours if you're whizzed at 2") which means for me that on the long runs, it's important to run hard to get a good workout but you don't want to run past the training-over point where you are just broken trying to keep moving forward. So I could sense that I had about 1 more hour of good training run in me and I cut up the dead-end alleyway toward the power plant and found the old trail I used to run back in the 90s before I did marathons. It was blocked off a bit now so I got thrown back out on the street next to a gas station and got a wonderful bottle of green apple tea, cut north which got me back on Drakestr. and I ran all the way up to the university and out the X83 loop back home. The finish is downhill and I finished with a good stride legs a bit sore from good training, a really nice run! This was the first run I had my new MP3 player, 2 GB for 24 euros -- was going to buy a 2GB USB stick for 20 euros anyway, go figure, and now I have an MP3 player that has tempo speed to slow down the French, listend to RFI French Facile (which I play at a slower speed) and by the time you get back from your run they usually have the transcript finished so you can read all the words you didn't understand, very nice service. I also listened to an "In Our Time by Melvyn Bragg" episode from the BBC (rss feed here) which is about an hour of British intellectuals discussion something, this time it was John Donne and the metaphysical poets from the 1600s, I forgot how racy some of that poetry was but also filled with a sense of "new things coming" with the discovery of the new continent and new science back then, reminded me a bit of our time now with the changes and uncertainty coming in the 21st century. In any case, this was another well-orchestrated run: good physical training coupled with a fresh wave of academic ideas, very nice.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Speed Runs home from work 
00:50:00 - Ran straight home from work doing 8 sprints, each about 2 minutes long, it was a very hot day, lots of sun still at 6 PM. Had to get an iced tea half way at the gas station, very refreshing today. Decent run.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
3rd Annual Berlin AirportRun Half-Marathon 
01:55:23 - Berlin is building a new airport which should be finished and serving 20 million passengers a year by 2011, so I decided to go do the 3rd annual AirportRun Half Marathon and check out the progress of the new airport. I saw lots of holes in the ground and "pieces of overpass" but other than that, there is a lot of work to do before anyone will be touching down on any of the new runways there. Most of the runners arrived on the S-Bahn near the current small airport, then they carted us in packed buses over the Autobahn for 15 minutes to the middle of the construction site where we started (tip: get to this race early, lots of confusion before you get to the starting line). I never imagined an "AirportRun" could be so hilly, I think most the race was made up of slow upward inclines. The first part of the run was winding hills valleys getting out of the construction
pit and construction valleys but when we got out of that, it was like a jog through idyllic Brandenburg: nice green treed alleys and fields as far as you could see. We ran through a couple little towns upon which fate is not smiling, all of them peaceful little villages lined up at the end of a future international airport runway, unsurprisingly we saw a number of "For Sale" signs along the way. My goal was to get "decently under 2 hours" and got a 01:55:23 with hills and sun which was alright. Pete basically got the same time in his Lake Placid half marathon two weeks ago so we are on track for our sub-4 marathon together in Berlin this September. At least the math works out, but its the muscles that matter and I know I couldn't have done another half marathon at that same pace yesterday, so more training with longer runs is in the pipeline before the big run in September!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Marathon-pace home from work 
00:45:00 - Ran the short version of the Street 229 route home, only had to wait two times, nice, leaned forward, kept a strong pace all the way, probably could have kept it up for 30 more minutes, I listened to a Chi Running audio about a guy who uses it after he had foot surgery since it is a running style where you don't have to push off, concentrated on that, just leaning into the run, small steps and keeping my legs motoring like on a bicycle, a fun way to run. Listened to IT conversations on the MP3, nice, refreshing run.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Marathon-pace home from work 
01:25:00 - Started out slow again but quickly had good pace, concentrated on falling forward, to effect this I find you have to take shorter steps so you have the constant feeling you are running up to the edge of a pool and about to fall in, worked well, at about 1:05 a car drove by and out came flying a full day timer which landed and broke up in the middle of the intersection. When the light turned green I ran out and grabbed it, looked through it to see if I could find a name to call, then just gave it to the gas station attendant. Odd: how can a day timer just "accidently" fly out of a window, and if it were done on purpose, why in the middle of a busy intersection and not e.g. in a river? Anyway, enjoyed being at the scene of a mystery, bought a drink then took off home for strong 20-minute run through cool trees, sun was low by then, lots of joggers to pass, really fun. AirportRun half marathon is on Sunday, I'm thinking of shooting for a 1:55 and then adjusting accordingly depending how I feel, it could be hot, can't imagine they have many trees around the airport.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Marathon-pace home from work 
00:41:00 - Started out slow and built up this time, then concentrated on the "falling forward" technique. Actually the best way to keep this form is the "I am Roadrunner" meme, works well, ran the "Street 229" route, very nice, and then home over the foot bridge, a short, not-too fast but very solid and constant run.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Tempo Run home from work 
00:30:00 - This was my fastest run so far, started out with and maintained a faster-than-marathon pace all the way from work to the gas station on Steglitzer Damm, I could tell I was running faster since I kept getting green lights and could not rest (ugh!) but I had the pace in me and just kept on chopping. Ran with a Chi alignment leaning forward, I remember from cross country the being-pulled-with-a-rope-on-your-nose meme. Had energy for the Priesterweg tunnel stretch, was surprising actually since last time I had lost my tempo there a bit, very nice, what a joy to run when you have a constant energy source.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Sprints Run Home from work with 2 hills 
00:43:00 - Did some good sprints in a the half hour running to the Insulaner Hill, fastest this year, felt good. The two hills I did as fast as I could, both at 04:11, am recovering well and quick, nice day to run, rained all afternoon and then stopped right before I ran, very cool and fresh out.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
16.7K Marathon Pace Long Run Home from Work 
01:31:00 - This was the best run of the year I took off on my normal 1.5-2.0 hour route down Britzer Damm but then saw a little road turning right so I took it and it turned out to be a nice, quiet, low-traffic straight road that cuts through a good part of Berlin without having to stop, at one point it is even called "Street 229" since at parts its not really a road but a walkway that separates backyards of typical south Berlin suburbia, at one point I even saw a horse in a little shed, really nice, then got to Ringstrasse and ran into the canal, wanted to run along it but the growth is too much so got back on Kaiser Wilhelm Str. and as soon as I could cut off of that and ran through quiet suburbia again which brought me all the way to Königsbergerstr. which is Lichterfelde West and that gives you a straight shot down the nice running street Drakestr. and then Unter den Eichen and the French Quarter/Park path back, and wonderful route discovered today! Turned out to be almost 17K which is nice, I can vary this one in different ways to make it longer. The best thing about this run though was that I had a strong, clipping, marathon-pace throughout, even at the end I was running hard and no signs of wanting to slow down, just a body wanting to run, that's what I remember from 2004. My marathon pace calls for 1:36:17 at 17K so I was under my marathon pace actually even with stop lights, checking out the canal, and getting a drink (a delicious Mango Tea) at a gas station where I literally ran in, bought, and was on my way in less than 50 seconds I think, I just felt like running today, what a wonderful feeling. Definitely the best run of the year, nice workout!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Tempo run home from work 
00:37:00 - Took off with a very nice tempo and kept it all the way to the end, took another route today along the canal, mostly to stay out of the sun along the nicely treed pathway and subsequently got home in under 40 minutes. I had a good clip going along the whole way, at about 20 minutes started to fall back a bit but kept it up and then it just became a regular pace, felt I could have kept it going at that speed maybe for an hour. Nice run!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Intermittent-sprint run home from work 
00:51:00 - Took off on an adventure run up north this time, got a bit lost and all of a sudden was on my familar route, so I just ran it home. Did some intermittent sprints, ran pretty hard, not that hot today.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tempo run home from Work 
00:51:00 - Kept a more-than-aerobic pace for about 3/4 of the way, then it was just too hot, settled back down to a decent strong pace, good short workout today. Five stop lights so I get to rest a bit.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Long Run home from Work via Mariannenstr. - Lorenzstr. 
01:29:00 - Went the standard winter run and then up to Lichterfelder Ost and then through the Komponistenviertel, a nice 1.5 hour route. Kept a steady marathon pace through the first 50 minutes, it was very HOT (almost 32C/90F) and sun on my face, wore my tank top, listened to my French for the first hour then switch to Jason Jollins after my gas station tea, mouth was very dry even though I drank four big glasses at work throughout the day, legs really didn't get a workout, perhaps need to push it more but it was hot and I kept a good sub-aerobic pace, tried to keep it at the end as well, no break down but felt like it would have been there at about 2 hours, the days are so long now it is hard to run when the sun isn't shining, funny, the opposite of winter.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Tempo Run Home from work with 1 hill 
00:45:00 - Straight home from work, ran at a more-than-Marathon pace the whole way to Insulaner hill. My rule on my tempo run is "if you are not breathing heavy then speed up, if you are breathing heavy then keep that pace", it is very aerobic. I have to stop at about 4 stop lights in 40 minutes so I get rests which work out great. Only had time for one hill so ran it as fast as I could only got a 04:28:00, it was also hot today, the hottest run this year.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Home from work with 3 hills 
01:00:00 - Straight home from work, did the marathon pace / sprint / recover cycle again, that is a nice way to get an aerobic workout anywhere you run. I remember sprinting during runs was one thing I did in 2004 when I almost got under four hours. Then did 3 hills without looking at my watch, hard to keep them constant.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Home from work with 3-speeds 
00:41:00 - Needed to get home quick today so did a 41 minute run, first time I did the three speeds again: (1) marathon pace, then when I have the pace down I pick out a straight-away and (2) sprint, then do (3) fifty steps slow jog to recover, then back to marathon pace. Lots of aerobic activity today. I think it's important to get to the lactic acid point often, your body needs to be able to use that instead of be disabled by it. Fun run, fast.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Home from work with 5 Insulaner Hills 
01:20:00 - Concentrated on pace today, looked at the stopwatch at three points on my hill runs so I could gauge if I should speed up or not and was able to keep a 4:30 pace on the last three. This loop is about a .8 kilometers so the pace is about right on my 5:39 K marathon pace, and with a hill so I like it. Running a pace is different and very nice. Didn't have my music today and enjoyed the softness of the silence, but I think I want to take along my lectures and French and let my body "learn the pace" while my mind "learns the French". I'm excited about this. Also stretching and back exercises is already helping me just feel better during the day, I'm going to start doing workouts of some kind on my off days.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Home from work with 6 Insulaner Hills 
01:25:00 - First training run for the Berlin marathon in September and first since the Hannover marathon, felt good, kept a marathon pace 30 minutes to Insulaner and then did 6 hills, pretty constant, hill is tough, lots of runners on it, was going to do 10 but on the sixth had a strange cramp in the left upper leg and didn't want to press it since I haven't run on a hill in years.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Hannover Marathon 
04:45:32 - Although the second half of the race hammered me, kilometers 1 to 23, were fun and fast, had lots of energy, pretty country side to look at, beautiful blue sky and white, fluffy clouds and fresh air, great memories. I ran hard to get a decent half-marathon time (01:53:03), the kind I need to get if I am going to get under four hours, still had the 03:45:00 balloon in site at 18K, and had ran together with a guy from Bremen who runs 03:40:00 marathons for about an hour talking and trading marathon tips. I was just sort of expecting that the long runs I had done during the last month would put the "tiger in the cat" during the second half, but the tiger never came, and the cat went home, and I was stuck with a body out of energy that was difficult to keep moving forward. At 28K when the 04:15 balloons passed me, I officially admitted defeat to the Marathon God, found a pace that I could maintain, and just kept at it, nothing else I could do really, never walked though, and actually tried to enjoy the wonderful weather a much as I could, it really was a gorgeous day, not only thousands of runners out by the parks were filled with people sunning themselves, hundreds of people on bikes, etc. A perfect day for a marathon.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Home from Work via Maltesestr. 
01:16:00 - Did the basic beginning run down Buckower Chaussee, didn't have full energy, seemed tired from Friday's lack of sleep, felt like I couldn't take fully deep breaths, amazing how many factors play a role in getting a good time in a marathon, but after 1:00 I got into a nice rhythm, was fun to run. Main thing is nothing hurts when I run. Next Sunday is Hannover.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Fast Run Home from Work 
00:40:00 - A strong run home from work, nine minutes better than my last time, wonderful to run in the sun, after 30 minutes had a strong pace, felt good.
Monday, April 14, 2008
First All-Daylight Run 
00:49:00 - This was my first run of the year that didn't end in the dark, first run without scarf and sweater, what a nice feeling, just a short one home from work, ran hard, felt good, very aerobic just keeping the legs loose, they are totally recovered from the 35K eleven days ago. Hannover marathon now two weeks away, want to do some regular short runs like this up to the end of April.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
After-Work 35K Berlin City Tour Run 
04:20:00 - Took off at 17:17 after work and ran east, did a 5K by the time I got into Treptower Park and then through it, funny I have run through Treptower Park a number of times and have never stumbled upon the larger-than-life Soviet War Memorial there, need to navigate to it sometime. At any rate by the time I got into Treptower Park my sore calves came back a bit and since I knew I was going to be doing around 35K I ran gently on them from then on, did some nice, slow long distance and enjoyed traversing the city of Berlin from East to West, coming out of Treptower Park on Elsenstr. I took a quick left at what looks like a train bridge back into a little outdoor patio restaurant and then up some steps to get to the jogging path that goes over the old railroad bridge, the only reason I know about this shortcut was I used to run this trail the other way and this was the only way out back onto Elsenstr. So ran through Görlitzer Park at which point it started to rain lightly but was actually refreshing, and ran through the center of the Kreuzberg scene up Oranienstr., then passed the Bundesdruckerei along Kochstr. and turned up and ran past Checkpoint Charlie after which they have a nice street museum-type exhibit which shows scenes of Check Point Charlie through the last half century, I realized what a focal point Check Point Charlie was of global East/West tensions when I saw a large picture of the Check Point Charlie area during the Cuban Missile Crisis which was a half-a-world away. Onward up Friedrichstr. you could smell the money, in a shop window saw a dress with a 4-digit price tag, the belt, purse, and shoes that went with it each had 3-digit figures, then turned on Unter den Linden and ran the last 1K of the Berlin marathon through the Brandenburg gate. A nice rain shower doused me down Strasse des 17. Juni which was a refreshing half-time interlude, afterwards it became more of a dusk/night run, calves held out well since I was going easy, legs really didn't hurt at this point which is a good sign, got a drink, enjoyed a sandwich out of my body bag as I completed the 6K straight-line run from Brandenburg Gate to the Funk Turm, after which it was decidedly night and time to turn back home, I realized I needed more energy so after a quick jaunt on Kudamm I stopped in and got a Snickers Bar at a gas station which gave me energy again, and after that I settled into a let's-just-make-it-home pace through Charlottenburg/Dahlem/Steglitz, stopped one more time at Edeka to get a drink, then made it home. Two days later my legs are healthily sore, no bad pain, I feel good about these long runs. Hopefully that is enough to keep my stamina going past 30K in the marathon in one month, I feel good about it, I will now taper off my runs and do daily stretching to make sure all muscles are loose and strong for the race. That was a nice peak for this training season.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
After-Work 33K with Dark Forest Excursion 
03:35:00 - Started out from work at 5:00 P.M. today so that I would get home at a decent hour and so that it wouldn't get too cold. The weather was a mixture of cold, crisp air, a light grainy hail storm with swirling winds, then it cleared up and after it got dark another light, grainy hail storm, in all it was COLD. This time I took along my black hat in my body bag and when I got onto Fischerhüttenweg into the trees was immediately very cold so I put on the hat, what a nice relief, was necessary tonight. Anyway, at the very beginning of my run after about 15 minutes my calves got pretty tight especially my left one. I tried to stretch them a bit but to no avail of course. I realized afterwards that I only had 6 days rest from my last long run, before that I had 9 days. Six days is too short I think, my legs were not yet recovered. Hence I think I will do only ONE more of these long runs in about 10 days, then taper down toward the marathon on May 4. Need to do a lot more stretching too. Couldn't really tell the point where my legs broke down since my calves hurt pretty much the whole way. In order to extend my run over last time, at Onkel-Tom-Str. I took off up north along the road that goes into Grunewald and then connects to Hüttenweg out to Clayallee.

As soon as I ran into the Grunewald forest, it began to dawn on me how dark it was, and then I realized there were no street lights whatsoever, and when there were no cars going by, then there was no light, only a very deep blue sky canopy above the trees after your eyes got adjusted, but it was beautiful, and quiet, and cold. I took out my head phones and stood there for awhile and just appreciated this little freezing oasis, the only light being the moon trying to shine through some clouds. This little pause, the snow, the quietness, and the long way I still had to go reminded me of Robert Frost's poem:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

This was my longest and toughest training run ever, my legs are really sore. Coming up our two flights of stairs when I came home was not unpainful, same with untying my shoes. Stretching was almost impossible and afterwards I started a fit of shivering until I got into a warm shower. Wow, I never knew warm water could feel THAT GOOD! In any case, I think I am going to be in the top 2 percentile of people in Berlin who appreciate the warm spring weather when if finally gets here. Good night!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
After-Work 30K 
03:13:00 - This was my longest run of the year so far, leg-breakdown happened at 02:40:00 (up from 02:25:00 last run) which is what I'm after, if I can keep bumping this magic little moment up by 15 minutes every run then the sub-four marathon in May will be a reality. After the break-down (Dahlem Dorf) I shuffled along for about 10 minutes, got a tea at the gas station, shuffled some more, then actually got a good pace coming in. The temperature was cold, cold, cold, actually 1 (one) degree celcius, about 33 Fahrenheit, head was actually cold quite a bit with my sweaty head rag on, need to remember that sub-zero weather needs a warm hat. The weather forecast predicted snow, sun and lightning, but I optimistically took my running clothes to work anyway. For about 2 hours in the afternoon at the office it snowed for 10 minutes and the sun shone for ten minutes, off and on, never saw any lightning. On the way down the stairs on my way out to run it was snowing and when I walked out the door of the building the sun was shining and it never snowed again, go figure, but it was cold, cold, cold. The night sky however was beautiful: dark blue with brilliantly clear stars, and soft scattered clouds illuminated by an almost full moon that keep. On the MP3 program this evening I had kickin' Jason Jollins as always for the first hour (this years theme track "Jason_Jollins_Part_3_Live_Club_Mania_Bulgaria_September_2007.mp3"). Next some Champs-Elysees at 5-times reduced speed, and then an awesome lecture by the Argumentation professor David Zarefsky from the Teaching Company, topic was "Statis -- The Heart of Controversy" where he discussed four kinds of responses to a statement of argument: [1] "you stole my car / no I didn't" (conjecture), [2] "you stole my car / no I just borrowed it" (definition), [3] "you stole my car / yes, and it's a good thing since I took someone to the hospital" (quality) and [4] "you stole my car / this isn't the proper place or time to talk about that" (place). Each response focuses the fulcrum point or "stasis" of the argument at a different point. Then he got a 3 x 4 matrix going with a policy argument on HMOs in which he had Conjecture, Definition, Quality at the top and Ill, Blame, Cure, Cost along the left, and gave an example response for each of the 12 boxes. It was so absorbing by the time he finished I was running past the Zehlendorf S-Bahn station. Wonderful. It's awesome to be running around in zero-weather at night your head in a college classroom with an awesome professor. After that my head was so full I just put on Jason Jollins again and listen to the whole track (77 minutes) which ended right when I got home.
Monday, March 10, 2008
3-hour after work run, longest yet 
02:55:00 - Took off at 5:45 and was just able to see the last glimpes of the sun disappearing which gave me another 45 minutes of light. As always had a strong run for 50 minutes, gas station, tea, cool down, but then noticed that I had a really clippy pace after that while listening to my French, very nice, this continued until almost 1 hour 45 minutes and it was at about 2:25 that leg breakdown set in but was able to run decently all the way in. It was just a bit cool (really needed my scarf tonight) which kind of made it chilly if I slowed down, can't wait till WARM and SUNNY runs, that will be a joy. Listened to Champs-Elysees and one lecture on Greek Mythology (An analysis of Sophocles' Oedipus, was not as intriguing as the History of China which I finished that last week. I'm going to order "Argumentation: The Study in Effective Reasoning next. This 3-hour Zehlendorf route has wonderfully long, wide and lighted sidewalks so you can pay attention to the topic as you run. For lunch I had my famous sub-4 pasta salad and drank probably about 10 cups of fruit tea sweetened with apple juice. Felt good tonight, nice run.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Straight Home from Work 
00:48:00 - Did a quick run home tonight, ran strong and fast, legs felt good. This was the first after-work run this year that started with a non-black sky. This was a nice run, but I am convinced that it is going to be the break-your-legs-down long runs that will matter. The natural rule is: "Your legs will give out in a marathon at the point of your longest training run." So my goal for the Hannover Marathon is to work up 15 minutes at a time to a 4-hour training run.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Home from Work Dahlem Dorf Orbit Run 
02:25:00 - The longest run of the year so far, basically "orbited my house" in a big C-shaped sweep, up through Lichterfelde West and at Drakestr. kept going up my old route to the Free University then right to Dahlem Dorf U-Bahn and back home, which turned out to be about an extra 25 minutes. Legs felt better than I thought when I was finished, but the next day I was "healthily beat", feel the legs regaining strength through being sore, so in the coming weeks I want to up this long run to 2:45 then 3:00 then 3:15 each time finishing with "lightly broken-down legs" until we push the 30K goblins further and further out of the race on May 4, about two months to go now.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
After-Work Half-Marathon (Buchower Chaussee/Baseler Str.) 
02:00:00 - Another nice 2-hour run (exactly), this time I felt some strength come out at about 01:15:00, this time I *trucked* down the long semi-dark Baselerstr. instead of "exhaustedly stepping" as I have been at that point up to now, even on Gardeschützenweg I had a nice, strong pace going (01:45:00) and finished with energy left. This run was the first time that at the beginning I it was not "night" per se but if you looked up you could see a dark, blue glowing dome, signifying that it wasn't quite yet night, my daylight runs should coincide nicely with the 3-hour and 3.5-hour runs I want to do in April before M-Day on May 4th in Hannover. I actually had my scarf off from 01:00:00 but in the last ten minutes going up Birkbuschstr. it suddenly got icy cold (I think because of the proximity to the canal) which made me more than glad that I had a scarf to put on.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Nice After-Work Half-Marathon (Buchower Chaussee/Baseler Str.) 
02:01:00 - Had a nice run after work yesterday, got my run coordinated with my mp3s and gas station: 50 minutes of hard running with a beat track up to gas station, get drink, then slower (since right there the sidewalks get dark anyway) and about 30 minutes of French, then the rest Chinese History, all had a even pace, I felt like I had another half hour till full leg breakdown this time. I shut down my computer at 5:45 and ran out the door at 6:00, nice, but it was already dark, half moon, clear, cool night. However, at 5:15 it was still quite bright out, so it won't be long before we get out of the dark.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
After-Work Straight Home 
00:45:00 - Ran home fast, got some good speed going, turned left down Röblingstr. so it took a bit longer to get home.
Monday, February 4, 2008
After-Work via Buchower Chaussee / Ostpreussendamm 
01:37:00 - Took off feeling great, so great that I took a wrong turn down Fulhamer Allee, I realized it because I started running past some beautiful mansions I had never seen before lit up at night, very nice, don't really know where I was, somewhere around Parchimer Allee, kept running in the direction I thought would get me back to Britzer Damm and finally made it, felt really strong for a good hour listening to Jason_Jollins_Part_3_Live_Club_Mania_Bulgaria_September_2007.mp3 with its kicking beats, that is definitely the best mp3 for an hour run, so at an hour now I run into the gas station, I execute my gas station visits like a pit stop now, unstrapping my body bag and grabbing my wallet out in one motion as I sprint through the gas pumps toward the door, dart into store smiling at the attendant so he he doesn't get scared and press the under-the-counter-call-the-police button, grab my gatorade, pay with correct change, and am out the door clipping on my body bag and in the same motion I'm hitting the sidewalk squirting gatorade in my mouth, I think it only takes me an extra 50 seconds or so to get a drink now, if there is no line my heart rate doesn't even go down. Took my scarf off at the height of speed, was too hot, but then after 15 minutes, I was glad I had it again, I think it would be deadly to run at 5 celcius without a scarf. Instead of doing the whole half marathon, I turned right on Ostpreussendamm, but those sidewalks are too uneven and dark to really run hard, by the time I find a 2-hour lit path home through Berlin it will be light out when I run in the evenings, current fall-of-darkness is 5:20 p.m. here in Berlin.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
After-Work Half Marathon via Buckower Chaussee and Baseler Str. 
02:07:00 - Had a new Jollins track (Part_3_Live_Club_Mania_Bulgaria_September_2007) which has nice beats up to one hour, fits well to my MP3 listening programming: 1 hour hard running, then gas station drink, and after that a steady educational run listening to Champs-Elysees and History of China lectures, very nice. I started running at 5:25 just after it got dark, can't wait to run in the light again, will be able to run faster, especially after the one-hour mark where the streets are less-well lit. Legs were pretty broken down again but felt ok the next day, need to make this 2 hour half-marathon a standard, once-a-week run with a couple 3-hour runs and perhaps a 3.5 hour run in April, then two weeks off before the marathon in may, that's the plan.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
After-Work Half Marathon via Buckower Chaussee and Baseler Str. 
02:10:00 - Running home from work via Buckower Chaussee and Baseler Str. is like going from New York to Cincinnati via Dallas and Seattle, I did about 45 minutes of Jason Jollins, hard running then got into a pace and listened to Champs Elysees for awhile then listened to two Chinese history lectures (a wonderful story about the "straw boat borrows arrows"), it is nice to have a 1 GB MP3 player now so I can listen to a full program as I run, amazing that 5 years ago I was trying to run with a cassette player--times have changed. So basically it was a good run and I had "leg break down" right at 2 hours. This is basically what happens to me in the marathon at 30K and I want to keep running longer and longer runs until I push this breakdown so it happens at 03:59:59. That's my goal this year. I didn't wear sweat pants but am glad I wore a long sleeve running shirt (UCA shirt Pete gave me) and my sweatshirt, and scarf. I just wear my head hugger thing which is fully warm enough and is the solution to keeping sweat out of your eyes for hours. Nice run, felt great afterwards.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Home from work direct 
00:40:00 - Ran at a heart-rate-high pace the whole way, it had rained the whole day and was a dark, low-fog and very windy night, was running into the wind most of the way. Felt good, was home in 40 minutes which was surprising.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Home from work via Buckower/Lichterfelde Ost 
01:45:00 - Kept an aerobic pace for 45 minutes (mp3: jason jollins - club mania 1) then switched to a steady pace (mp3: teaching company - history of china), got drink at gas station on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Str. and felt "well-run" at that point, kept form all the way in though, a well-orchestrated run. It got dark today at 17:00, won't be long now that at least part of the runs home will be in daylight again, but for now, it's night running. My body bag is wonderful, a 100% solution for carrying things when you run, I absolutely recommend this thing, especially because of the ease that you can pop out your cell phone to take a picture, video, or call home to say where you are. Nice.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
First Saturday Morning Insulaner Hill Run, 3x 
00:45:00 - Snuck out of the sleeping house this morning at 7:35 and did three quick hills at Insulaner which got the breathing up, in summer I should be able to do 10 hopefully, I think that will help, will try to do these regularly in Saturday and it will be easier since the sun will be coming up earlier and earlier, got Brötchens at Brunner on the way back so that works out nice for a Saturday family breakfast. I was back at 8:19 which surprised me, I think I could even get a 10x hill run done in an hour perhaps, the Insulaner hill is short but rises fast (it was built in 1945 completely from rubbel from bombed Berlin buildings [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulaner_%28Berg%29]). It's a good hill to get your heart rate going and really the only hill in sight here, nice that it is so close for the Saturday morning runs.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Home from work via Buckower Chausee 
01:30:00 - Tonight out of office building at 18:00, didn't have the blast of cold air like last time, decent start, I notice though that these aren't the "fun runs" yet, lots of work to do to get there, kept a good pace and kept knees up an arms back and forth going well, the Buckower Chaussee stretch is basically a well-lit, wide-sidewalk, 60-minute run, very nice, don't really have to stop for lights or cross roads for nearly an hour, first run to wear my body bag which is awesome: it is THE solution for running with wallet, keys, cell phone, etc., bugs your bag tight, no bouncing, and I put my cell phone in the front strap so I can get it out at any time without breaking stride, also had my new MP3 player along which is 1 GB instead of 128 MB like my old one so I can play longer Jason Jollins tracks now, had "Live at Club Mania Bulgaria, Part 1" going which, going Gallwitzallee broke in the "if you want to tear this up you need to rock" sequence which was just the thing to send happy adrenalin down to my sore legs and soon I could see the silhouette of Lanwitz Kirche on the city-lit skyline. Stretched afterwards which was very important.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Home from work via Buckower Chausee 
01:40:00 - Took off from work at 6 PM into the cold, night air, quite cold, about 1 degree celcius but the sidewalks where 97% free of snow and ice from the sunshine today, made for simple running, lots of cold, cold air going down in the lungs, will wake you up, ran steady for an hour, got warm within about 20 minutes, got something to drink at a gas station at an hour, have to be careful about getting too cold too quick in these temperatures but got going again and warmed up, at 01:15 my legs were sore from running (!), nothing wrong like bad pains, just sore. Can't say that was a fun run, lots of proactivity to get out there and run through the cold, night but this morning I stretched and feel great, very refreshed. Saw more joggers out than walkers actually, proably 12 new-years-resolution joggers all pounding the cold pavement, otherwise a couple walkers either walking their dog or smoking (the new smoking law just went into effect on January 1).
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