micke-midlife on April 4th, 2010

Ilkka and his projectA couple of times today, I heard steps closing in from behind. Wasn’t out in the streets and I’m not (yet) paranoid. It happened, as so often right now, in the Esport Arena. The steps got closer and closer, but then the other guys interval run was finished. I could well have done with some company on the 2 x 6km long long intervals that the training program had for me today. He came around later while cooling down, he is Ilkka, a long time marathoner with a respectable personal best of 2:43h in Vienna “a couple” of years back. Anyway, Ilkka is not just running marathons himself, but rather mostly animating others to do so. With his project 42195.fi he’s actually a professional running instructor. But I guess for him it’s not so much a project but more of a lifestyle.  Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on April 4th, 2010

training notes, gradually getting back to normal

2 x 6km in 3:40min and 3:44min/km, it’s not a record pace but a positive sign of getting back to normal. The iron deficiency has left its marks predominantly on the interval runs. The weekly amount has been at 110km on average for some weeks now again. Another 2 weeks of good training and one week rest, then it’s time for a good run in Hamburg.


micke-midlife on March 31st, 2010

26032010027the winter is gradually fading away, also here in the north. With envy we see the weather reports from central Europe. A couple of days southern parts of Germany had almost 20 degrees. The lucky bastards are wearing shorts when on their run, and we’re still equipped with a hat, gloves, a thick neoprene running top, long running tights and trail shoes in order to prevent slipping on icy and slushy streets and walk ways. But we’re getting there. Temperatures stay above freezing all easter weekend long (and it’ll rain pretty much all the time…). The running conditions are actually getting worse this time of the year, before they get better. What was a snowy white and icy road with ok grip due to temperatures around -5 to -10 degrees turns now into blank ice and overfrozen water, melting during the day, freezing during the night, and deep slush or street wide water puddles where even well made trail shoes can’t prevent feet getting soaking wet. Decided the other day to stay inside and try the treadmill once again. I’m not a fan of it, it’s somehow more difficult to do 10 or 15k runs on it. Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on March 21st, 2010

The Hamburg Marathon on April 25 was set out to be the second marathon run in this project. Originally, the idea was to run two marathons last year (2009), Rotterdam in the spring and Berlin in the fall. But Berlin didn’t quite work out. No results there, the only result so far is the 2:49:57 from Rotterdam in April 2009. A far cry from what was set out to be the ultimate goal here. Now, with the iron deficiency and some lack of training in the recent weeks, would it be a good idea to leave out Hamburg (as well)? Read the rest of this entry »

micke-midlife on March 14th, 2010

13032010023This is a story worth telling. First I need to introduce the protagonists. Ari, the running buddy I met a almost two months ago is playing here a connector role. Then Heikki, the fast guy running in the picture above. As you can see, he’s way too fast for the camera when running his 3650m on the Cooper test. Then there’s a senior runner in a red T-shirt, my guess is, it’s Heikki’s dad. And then apparently one more running guy whom I didn’t meet.

The story goes like this. I arrive later than normal at the Esport Arena, the local indoor 400m running track. Had a meeting at work that ran into overtime. Since I anticipated it’ll be later that day, I didn’t arrange anything with Ari, we ran the faster stuff together lately (and he always had some encouraging words since the runs didn’t work out as they were intended to). But he was around anyway, doing some runs with another chap. When they had a rest, Ari came around and asked me, “hei, are you going for another attempt at the 2 x 6km intervals?”. Me: “Jepp, need to see where I am compared to last week, are we going somewhere here in the quest to overcome the iron deficiency or not”. Ari wanted to join in on the first one and also convinced the other guy to do so. 5 mins later - I was warmed up already - off we went on a cozy 3:45min/km pace. Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on March 8th, 2010

08032010_mapAlthough not really on top of the game right now, but had to try some longer runs. The training program suggests 30km runs as long ones, well everything beyond the 20k mark sounds sufficiently long to me. Used a bit of a trick lately, running 9 or 10k in the morning and another 15 to 18k in the afternoon, that’s 25 to 29k right? Well, I guess I’m mostly fooling myself here. It’s week 7 to Hamburg, so high time for some serious training. Tried a longer run in one piece today, about 24k. Well after 18 or so, the engine shut down. Read the rest of this entry »


micke-midlife on March 6th, 2010


Running wasn’t much joy lately. The normal basic run was kind of ok. It felt a bit tougher but with all the snow around and three layers of clothing when it had -15 to -20 degrees, well, running just isn’t the same than with a pair of shorts on a dry and sunny 20 degrees sunshine day in Central Europe. But then the interval runs, currently done indoors, were out of line. After about 10 minutes all strength was gone and running the efforts became more like jogging. That sucked. After a couple of weeks it was time to see the doc. The lab results discovered it, haemoglobin down to 130, iron deficiency.

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micke-midlife on January 30th, 2010


Today I came across something cool. Was out on a shorter run because all the snow that has come down in the last 3-4 days makes running really difficult. The ground is uneven, the snow is soft. The feet stumble forward more than anything. Well, it trains all the small muscles in the feet that look after stabilizing, but if you’re into running with a good stride and rythm, you might get close to desperation right now.

Somewhere along the  railway tracks close to the Oulunkylä station I came across this open door into the ground. It remined quite a bit about the place in the movie “Cyclomania“, where the main characters discover the fun of interval training. So, this was sufficiently interesting to be checked out. When entering the opening suddenly the ventilation and lights went on. Didn’t first grasp it, what happened since Rammstein was blasting “Pussy” in my ears.  Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on January 17th, 2010

15012010048Met Ari Monday this week while he was running bare footed on the 400m track at the Esport Arena. First thought, did he read the book “Born to Run”? Did he perhaps read the review of it? (The book praises barefoot running as a cure to a majority of physical inhibitors to running.) Well, as it turned out, no and no. But still he saw me doing it the week earlier and thought that must be a good idea. Great when people think that stuff I do is a good idea. The little princess does this as well when I do stomach workouts or lick the desert bowl - the latter to some not quite approving looks from the other family member.

So Ari also runs barefooted and I joined up with him. After a couple of laps we agreed that we should also run some good intervals together. That seems a better alternative than torturing ourselves individually, hence we said to meet up this Friday to do a couple of 1000m runs. Read the rest of this entry »

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micke-midlife on January 9th, 2010

training notes, damn cold, damn fast, 18.6km in 1:16h

Tried to see whether you can run fast while it’s winter, quite cold (-17 degrees Celsius) and all white. Yes you can. The difficulty is to stick to a rythm. The snow surface below the feet is in not even and evenly firm. There are a lot of stabilization moves, your foot has to perform. Sliding to the sides, slipping back, sinking in. When running at a faster pace you want to keep an upright running posture and the upper body shouldn’t move left or right. That doesn’t quite work as well when you run on snow. I guess it wouldn’t be possible (for me) to do a 10k race in 35mins (3:30min/km on average), but an 18k  training run in 4:05 min/km was ok.