2016 – a glass half full or half empty?

2016 was a hell of a good year. Yes, really. I started and finished my running year with a DNF in Portugal, Berlin and in Ardèche, I got injured after my race in Barcelona because I was too tempted to go for long runs in the mountains seven days after. I had to cancel not one, not two but three races – one was my highlight of the year. And last, but not least, I didn’t get the qualifying points to attempt CCC in 2017.
But still. 2016 was a hell of an amazing year, and I couldn’t find better words, than this quote from Kyle Schmidt to help me emphasize this.

The Skins A400 long tights – A must have!

For my first product review, I decided to pick the compression tights from SKINS, the Skins A400 long tights. It’s one of my last arrivals and has become one of my favorite in a very short amount of time. I mean I have a lot of different running gears at home but the Skins A400 long tights have made their way to the top of my list when picking for tights to wear. So now I know, some people believe in the benefits of compression gears, and some don’t. Being part of the proud believers since 2012, this article should be interesting, even for the more reluctant person.

Testing the Skins A400 long tights on 82KM, during training, my last race, but also for recovery, I won’t talk about details like the reflections (all-rounder, but you can read it on the website) or the pocket in the back (I don’t use it because I am paranoid). I will rather focus on the comfort and my overall feeling about it.

Soooo… Here is my very honest opinion about these wonders.

Product reviews – New article series

Product reviews you say? Big time YES! The season has ended ten days ago, and during this last race of the year, I thought I could finally start using my “product reviews” category on the blog. Moving from the street to the trails, I have been facing multiple issues regarding finding the right shoes, the perfect gears for long (very long) runs. And even if everybody is different, I think I could share my troubles but also success findings with you guys.

TSL 16 – Finding your truth during an ultra-race

Briefing of TSL 16 on a cold Friday night sounded like…
“Please, guys remember one thing about the race. It’s cold outside, and tomorrow will be colder. If you fall, and you don’t know how to survive, to do a strap or anything, we’ll have a problem. The cold can get to you before we do, it can be dangerous out there. As soon as you find an area where you have a network, please stay there and call us.
It’s a simple equation: if you fall, you die. So please, just hold it together.
Oh and please, try at least to always pair with other runners, especially during the night.
We have wolves here.”
Pardon me, WHAT?!!

It was supposed to be my last ultra-race of the year.
I chose TSL 16 – also known as Trail des Sources de la Loire – because I needed some points for CCC.
It was supposed to be hard and smooth.
But what I found on that trail that day goes far beyond any points for CCC, far beyond running itself.

What if I told you, TSL 16 was an eye opener, and that I found some truth during that last race of the year?

Pumpkin peanut butter soup – Vegan recipe

Guys, it’s pumpkin season!!! So, now I know, today it’s actually possible to eat that beauty the entire year… But for those who follow a seasonal rhythm, I think it’s now good to say that never ending summer 2016 (as Chris always says) finally makes room to one of my favourite season: fall. That time of the year, where the beloved summits are covered with snow (already!), the forest changes into a variation of gold and copper…and it’s totally fine to eat pumpkin. Every.fucking.day.
What? Every day? So boring… No! Really! No! I love this gorgeous orange vegetable you can eat in different variations like fries, soup, side dish, etc. I have different variations of pumpkin soup I like to prepare – it’s also one of my favourite starters to serve when I invite people for dinner.

Today, I will share my vegan pumpkin peanut butter soup with green kale. I tasted this soup a few weeks ago at a Yoga place in Berlin. I couldn’t think about anything else afterwards, so last week, I decided to try a remake in my own kitchen. Hope you will like it. You can even download the recipe later below, ready to print!
But let’s do some key facts first.

Overtraining – A chase for more and more

Overtraining is a keyword every athlete has already been confronted with during his/her career.
Being it in magazines, blog posts or by experience, we all know its existence flying above us.
We always hope it will never affect us. It can happen to anybody sooner or later.
But as long as it is off the table, we continue to act like any other day.
After all… Why stressing out about something that didn’t happen yet?

While I was training for the Berlin Marathon, it never crossed my mind a second to be overtrained.
Rather did I felt like missing something and chasing for more.
In fact, I was always wanting to push one more session, even though I ended up frustrated at the end.
Despite signs of exhaustion, the loss for the fun of running, I pushed through.
So, when it hit me at the Berlin Marathon last Sunday, I first cried.
Like I wrote about my marathon preparation in the last article…
similarly to my training, my marathon was ugly and two-faced.

Marathon preparation can be ugly sometimes

Only six days until Berlin Marathon, so I thought I could give you a little look back on my marathon preparation that started on July 4th. It’s all over my feeds in the social media, everyone is tapering, starting to feel excited, a little stressed. Some of you might be worried because the marathon preparation didn’t go as planned. But guys. Writing these words today, I believe there is no good or bad marathon preparation. There is no black and white. Preparing for Berlin, Paris and again Berlin in the last years, I believe I am able to compare what went perfectly and what could be improved. But still. You can have the best-adjusted plan in the world, that suits your needs and level, you will never be able to control all factors influencing your training.

 

Transalpine-Run 2016 – Everyday heroes

Last Sunday, the gun went off at 10 AM for the first stage of the Transalpine-Run. 300 teams of two left Garmish, a village in the German Alps, to run seven stages and a total distance of 247,2KM and 14 862m elevation gain across Germany, Austria and Italy. From Garmish to Brixen. Many friends are participating, as well as my boyfriend and his team-mate Jan-Albert, who were starting as team Willpower until Jan-Albert had to withdraw from the race due to a bad fall.
Selfiing, hiking, going nuts on downhills, driving around, shooting pictures, laughing, clapping, talking shit: Jana, Chris, Stephan and I were supporting our teams all together on Sunday, as we did at Zugspitze Trail Run Challenge a few weeks ago.

Even if I was there just for one day, I believe there is something special about this event. What I witnessed on the trails that day, at the finish line of the first stage or even now back home thanks to the internet make me think about the why and the how of our beautiful sport.

SportScheck half-marathon – Emotional rollercoaster

Last Sunday I ran the SportScheck half-marathon for the fourth time in my life.
New course, same hood, same distance.
It’s been 7 weeks already since I’ve started training for the Berlin Marathon, taking place in one month. This half-marathon now was supposed to be a test. See how my body responds to the past weeks of specific training. To cut to the chase: see how fast I can run, you know.

When we picked up with the training a few weeks ago, I asked my boyfriend (and coach) what time he thought I would be able to run. And he told me 1:35′
No need to tell you how thrilled I was to beat my (at that time) personal best of 1:42’26 by 7 minutes.
So when he sent me the race plan last week, telling me we would go for PB, with a 1:37, I was disappointed. Didn’t I work hard enough? Was I training the wrong way for the last 7 weeks?!
I can be much of a drama queen sometimes.
And such pain in the ass.
I don’t need to tell you the conversation that followed.

The real importance of sleep in “eat train sleep repeat”

I don’t know about you guys, but besides of being hungry all the time, I also feel that my usual 7H of sleep need to be extended since I started my marathon preparation. Funny when thinking that a few years ago, I preferred cutting on my sleep than on my various activities – one of them being partying almost full time. For me, sleeping was a waste of time. Imagine my face when I learned that we sleep 1/3 of our lifetime on earth. OMG!
I was devastated and ready to fight physic. Or science. Or whatever.
If the day still has 24H, my priorities have changed and I moved from party queen to pillow-lover and would like to give you obvious reason/data why sleep should become your priority while training.