Thursday, June 09, 2016

Runners Excuses

Subtitle: Morning Gym, before hills, before run, before breakfast.

Getting Serious
Whilst this email is primarily all about excuses, I will say that Marcus has been on a secret mission to improve his running and fitness.   The excuses that I will list in a minute are my backup :-)

Regeneration Complete
My home in Lausanne has been waterlogged of late, and so I have journeyed far away from Switzerland, to a dry place of relative warmth.  It is 25 degrees Centigrade today.  Furthermore the following issues are fixed,  or certainly in deep remission

Over a 9 month period there has been over 5 months of coughing and spluttering,  coming and going.   Not being able to put air into and out of your lungs and thereby Oxygen into your bloodstream effectively makes running surprisingly awkward.  Fixed!

Nerve Pains
The lower spine pains, a funny bump, chest pains, shooting pains in upper right leg.  All gone.  This crap has been going on and off for almost 2 years now.  Man,  pain free is wonderful.

I dropped over 2Kg, or almost 3.5Kg if I include water loss, so 2Kg really.  Whilst fat & heavy  legs remain, they are slightly less fat than at any point in the last 12 months.  And that is significant.

Keeping It Tight
There is always the temptation to throw money at any issues, be it via fancier medical consultation, or kit.  By tight I mean here that I'm not throwing money (that I don't actually disposably have) at the problem.   In particular no new shoes or running tights, lights, jerseys, caps or special running food.  Nothing added, I have just used effort, daily effort.

Back to Lausanne
I hear the weather will soon be decent again back home, so I can continue the daily running programme on my return.  And with Agata we intend to participate in a set of summer races in canton Vaud, Switzerland.  Maybe this year ....

But Just in Case
But should things go wrong, I have been preparing a grand set of excuses. Fellow runners, you know the score, but for some or all of these below, we would be champions ....


01 Too sunny: The race was too sunny. Towards the end of the race I became dehydrated. I was lucky to even finish

02 the rain: The rain was so hard, that all competitors suffered. But myself more than most, because I am a wimp

03 Too cold: It was unseasonably cold, and with my circulation issues, I was lucky to finish

04 Navigation / marking: Which clown set up the trail navigation? I hear that hundreds of runners like me, skipped some of the course and so we are all DNF.

05 Muddy: Mud was everywhere and I was not prepared for the conditions. Okay, slightly my fault.

06 Traffic: I started from mid field and in front of me were well meaning amateurs completely blocking my path. This is a run you know I shouted! But you simply can't pass a line of about 500 people on a single track, who are walking up a mountain and finish with a decent time.


01 Wrong shoes:  I was wearing comfort trail shoes but the path was too aggressive and narrow.  I needed my more nimble Salomon Front Foot S-Labs for this course.

I was wearing trail shoes and the course was all tarmac. Hopeless.

02 Poles: At the race start everybody around me was carrying Poles. After about 10Km I realised why. The terrain mandated poles, and I had none. I feel like an idiot.

03 Spare Shoes: I noticed at KM80 at the big rest stop that many runners had spare clothes and new shoes delivered. New shoes make a huge difference. I'm such an amateur. Next race I will copy.

04 Camera: I promised to shoot a video at each rest stop and photos along the way to document the run. This added almost 50 minutes to the full race time. Admittedly during that time I was stationary and recuperating, but it is time you can never fully get back.

Music01 No music: My music player failed before race start. Why didn't I check it before hand?

02 Player Died: I forgot to charge my player and it died before race end. When the music stops my racing stops. I ground to a halt

Race Food

01 Choking: At the refreshment stop I took on a gel bar and choked on it. I lost almost 5 minutes, which I could not regain and my face was over.

02 Ran out of food: I ate my last bar and still had 50Km to race. With only water stops provided I knew I would have to potter and not run the remaining course.

03 Too much food: I carried too much food. So that 10Km from the end I was frantically jettisoning it to reduce the pack weight of my rusksack. But by then the damage was done

04 Lost my food: My protein bars must have somehow fallen out of the pack and when I went to get them, they were missing.

05 Only water: The race briefing said there would be Powders available at refreshment stops so I did not carry anything. Except that as I was mid to end of field, it was consistently all gone when I arrived at a stop, meaning I had to take on just water.

06 Not enough water: Between the 40Km race stops with the hot conditions I had to ration water to avoid running out. And hence keep the speed low and tortoise like. Not good.

Physical Condition
01 Hangover: I drank alcohol the night before. I am an idiot

02 Too Fat: I put on over 1Kg in the last week. Too much eating crap. I am an idiot.

03 No Sleep: I was too excited to sleep the whole night prior to the race. I am an idiot.

The Legs

01 The Blister: Due to some combination of Socks, Shoes, not enough lubrication I developed a blister at KM100. After that every step became agony, I had to duct tape over the blister, which I popped first. Post race the pain really began.

02 Tired Legs: I trained upto the last day before the race and started tired. This is what comes of slower recovery when you are officially an old fart.


01 Electrocution: It was a muddy course and on several sections I was electrocuted by fencing and then gates. These Swiss farmers must be laughing cheek to cheek!

To Conclude

All of the above situations have happened to Marcus in real life and hopefully I will have learnt from these past mistakes and make this 2016 season an easier and more successful one for Marcus and Agata.  Our races this year have been mostly planned for Switzerland with a few in France.  We would just love to see you there.  So if you plan to race in Switzerland, in 2016,  Running, Cycling or Triathlon, get in contact with me via Google+