micke-midlife on August 17th, 2010

fullscreen-capture-17082010-140124“Sometimes” was this morning. The 8.5km from our new home in Espoo to work were extended by a 1km detour via the little princess’ day care. This extension will become the routine rather sooner than later. But it wasn’t the additional 1km that slowed me down, although the thought of it isn’t speeding me up either at 7:45 in the morning. Somehow the last couple of days’ training, yesterday’s attempt at 1000m intervals plus the morning run (26km altogether) and Sunday’s 21km (not slow) leave their marks. Also was last night with sub 6 hours not the longest. Anyway the trot to work this morning got slower and slower and after a couple of km, it was down to 5 mins/km. If there had been another means of transport handy, I would have used it. (Un) fortunately, I didn’t carry any money and the other people on the bus would definitely have appreciated a smelly runner in their midst…

I guess, it’s alright to slow down during training sometimes. My guiding thought is, in most cases it’s better to finish the training session in a slower pace than interrupt it and considerably shorten it. Is it?

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micke-midlife on August 16th, 2010

micke_in_cold_waterThis morning, just arrived @ work after a 8,5km morning stroll (to get yesterday’s 21k in 4:15min/km out of the legs). Bumped into a colleague and fellow marathon runner, Christoffer, in the changing room… ehm, this sounded weird now. Anyway, nothing inappropriate intended here. Christoffer himself is going for the Marathon in Brussels later in October. Lucky chap, he has still 10 weeks to go, whereas we’re getting gradually nervous, it’s 6 weeks to Berlin only and the weekly mileage and intensity is not at all where it should be. Well praying always helps, right?

Christoffer had also some additional ideas especially to get rid of hurting legs after a long run or a tough session such as the intervals that are on schedule for this afternoon. An ice cold bath. Depending on the container, more or less of the legs will be covered with this ice cold water. Saw some elite runners doing that on TV once and they used a bath tub. I’ll probably try the black plastic tub that we used to prepare the mortar in just a couple of weeks back when remodeling our new home.

I guess the idea is that the muscles that suffer from micro-injuries when training hard get rid of consequential inflammation that otherwise would result in muscle pain the day(s) thereafter. Further the skin closes its pores and keep the heat inside thus increasing the blood circulation and all rubbish/exhaust products from the workout gets transported away a bit faster. So as Christoffer suggested keeping those legs 5 mins in this cold water bath should do the trick.

With temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius and beyond right now, I’m definitely going to try this out and in the end I’m gonna pour this whole vat of water over me, a rather refreshing shower to look forward to. Plus perhaps an ice cold beer there after as well :-)


micke-midlife on June 8th, 2010


Inherent in the nature of humans is the desire to improve and better ourselves. This process of going  beyond our current limitations is often referred to as “self transcendence.”  Self Transcendence can apply to any aspect of our being; the physical self transcendence of running faster; the mental self transcendence of going beyond our purely egoistic thinking.

(Self Transcendence.org, the Sri Chinmoy Marathon Club)

Well, I’m all for the former. When it comes to me however, not so sure about the latter. I mean participation in this 2-miler run every Tuesday evening at 7pm in the Helsinki Munkkiniemi park largely consists of still-ambitious seniors probably 20 - 40 years beyond their time of personal bests. What would you call it other than egoism, if one participates, who hasn’t even had a first bad wave of midlife crisis? Unfair - perhaps, cowardly - not really, narcissistic - hell yeah! Read the rest of this entry »


micke-midlife on June 7th, 2010

Espoo Otaniemi, FINBack on the trail. The whole month of May was off. Mainly off, some sporadic runs when bad conscience hit me after an evening with too much chocolate or a whole bag of Katjes Joghurt Gums disappeared in one go. Neither was there much interest in blogging as you could see. Anyway, it’s now time to turn the head and look ahead at what’s coming. A great summer with a lot of sunshine and shorter runs and then in September the last attempt at the whole distance in Berlin, of course.

By the way, speaking of shorter runs, tomorrow is the next Self Transcendence run in Helsinki. A 2-miler. That’s nice fast food. Can be well integrated into training. Running from work at about 6pm to where the run takes place is just above 5km , then a warm up lap (one mile) with the guys who gather up there. Then the run, 2 miles (3,2km) and 5km back to work. About 15km with a fast bit in the middle. This makes a great training session.

This week’s going to be basic runs (15 - 18km)  all way through, all the interval sessions and similar start there after again. Also what summer races to run, 10k and half-marathons need to be decided. Suggestions welcome!

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micke-midlife on May 2nd, 2010

at the startWhile strolling in Central Park on Friday (30.04.) the queen discovered signs that hinted towards a running event the next day. A few clicks on Opera Mobile later it turned out that New York is hosting a neat 5k event the next day. The entertainment industry foundation is in its support of the eradication of cancers in women calling for “womentum” (= an inspirational force gained over a distance of 5 Kilometers applied to the eradication of cancers in women). Hm, if this force gained over 5k can do that, what would the force gained over a 10k do, kill mankind? Well, ehm, yes… we’re in the US, right? And symbolism is big here. But it felt good to shell out USD 35 for this one. And men were allowed as well. Of course, with those celebrities on stage before the start, it was mainly men glaring towards it, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Haile Berry, what can you say, not a bad start for a Saturday morning in the beginning of May.

Read the rest of this entry »

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angryatlufthansaSome higher force really does not want micke-midlife to run a marathon right now. That higher force here is less of an abstract spiritual nature, but rather made of metal and flying high in the sky. Too many dependencies on unreliable systems prevented getting to that daring starting line in time.

In short, this experience sucked.

The Hamburg Marathon is on this Sunday, 25.04. The distance from Helsinki is a tad more than 1400km, a bit too far to run there, but being in control of your own direction of movement would be a more reliable way to arrive there than flying nowadays. In case you get a last minute vibe and you want to run there, let me know, I can provide you with a spot in the starting field. Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on April 11th, 2010

11042010043The sun was shining and there definitely was above +10 degrees Celsius in the sun this time. This 10k run didn’t go too badly. Came in third out of about 80 runners. Ok, the time was one of the worst I ran in a long time (36:23min) but the route wasn’t an easy one, constant up and down and turning left and right, plus of course a turn around after 5k. So I guess there’s both parts to the story. The field wasn’t overly competitive, but with around 1000km in the legs from the last 12 weeks and the challenging route, I’m quite ok with the result. It was a bit of a funny run. Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on April 10th, 2010

helsinkispringmarathonGoing for the Helsinki Spring 1/2 Marathon event tomorrow. Not running the 21.1k but the 10k that’s offered as a side event, need some indication on where we are fitness wise for the upcoming Hamburg Marathon. The event seems rather likeable one. The info section for participants states, what local running celebrities are present - Mikko Tyni on the 10k (he’s tough, probably doing a 30:xx min time) and Hanna Jantunen on the 1/2 marathon - further it mentions which participants have their birthdays on the race day and that there are 9 nationalities present, Germany was just added yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on April 9th, 2010

endomondo, running app and serviceA colleague of mine, Mark, he came around two weeks ago and suggested to have a look at this running application for your phone. He installed and tried it himself and liked it. Having used the Nokia Sports Tracker for quite a while, there was a benchmark to beat. These sports apps are becoming more and more and with Smartphones having more and more connectivity and sensors, there probably will be coming some more apps and services in the future. What’s interesting is that mobile phones have been designed for mobile use from the start, but when it comes to sports that include being on the move, many solutions still fall short of the requirements. It’s mainly I/O (input/output) paradigms that are the bottle neck. Try to read text on a phone screen while riding a bike, try to do something on a touch screen interface while running. It just requires too much effort. Hence sport apps need to optimize mobile use to the max. Endomondo goes a good step in that direction. (reserve some time, a bit of a longer post) Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on April 7th, 2010

training notes, 8 x 800m in 2:38min, quite alright

quite a good session today. The last one with Ari before the Hamburg Marathon, he’s on a vacation trip to southern Spain, lucky guy, he is. We did a really good series of 800m runs. Wanted to do 10, i.e. the Yasso 800s, but got a cramp in the left calf after 8. Well it’s been quite a bit of training lately. 2 x 6km intervals on Sunday, 30km long run on Monday in 4:14min/km, then a deep and hard massage yesterday, never before there was so much whining and wrenching in pain involved. It had been better to do a light run today, but tomorrow is the queen’s sports evening and Friday is too short for interval runs before Sunday’s 10k test run. The runs felt good, the last two had equally been in 2:40, so 2:38,5 overall, quite an impressive prediction for the marathon, if only it would come true…

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