Sunday, May 30, 2010


It is Memorial Day and I ran my first half marathon. I am soooo glad it's over and I made it! The last 3 miles were brutal. BRUTAL! My legs felt heavy, stiff and didn't seem to be able to move anywhere. But everything was forgotten when I approached the finish line and was greeted by a big shout out - GUNDULA...Yeah! And I was NOT last! Thank you to Julia for sending positive energy and to Mary Pat (+Omar), for cheering me on in Glendale. I love you!

Eminem - Not Afraid

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rest before Race

I haven't been sitting on the couch for the last week. I worked out, took a couple of runs, went hiking... Got a brace for my right knee. The one with the reconstructed ACL. I tore it while playing soccer with 12-year old boys. The surgeon in New York told me I got the Premium. Well, it doesn't seem to be premium enough for 13 miles. But I'll be fine. I'm nervous AND excited. The half marathon runners run together with the marathon runners and I'm happy about it. There will be still people at the finish line when I'll arrive because of the marathon athletes :) So, that's good. And I'll get a custom finisher medal. No idea what that means but it sounds cool. All I have to do now is eat, sleep and stretch.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Rehearsal

I did it. I ran the half marathon. The hills weren't as terrible as I had expected. That was good. Bad was that my right leg started hurting after about 6 miles and only got worse. I kept my running motion and somewhat finished. I was really surprised that I didn't get out of breath at any time. I could have run faster if my leg wouldn't have bothered me. Well, I guess, it doesn't matter what makes one slow. It was a positive experience overall though. Look at the route if you want to. Done for the day and feeling good.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting closer

10 more days til race day. I'm nervous. And tired. You might have noticed. No blog yesterday. But I did run. 3 miles. I thought I would be faster by now but I wasn't. Disappointing. This morning training session with Sue and lots of encouragement. She speeded me up and it didn't feel very exhausting. But that is only for 30 minutes and not for 2+ hours when everything hurts. So, I'm debating whether to test-run the half marathon tomorrow. My legs don't feel great. I cannot afford more rest but I feel I'd need it. Hmm. I have to run 6 miles anyway which seems strenuous and I might as well shoot it up. I can always walk. As long as I start early enough - ha!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thin Air

Okay, I don't want to be a runner in New Mexico. Never. 6.500 ft. elevation combined with strong wind is to much for me. It is brutal! One can see cool guys at the side of the road though...However, I'm glad to be back on lower ground. Ran 9.2 miles this morning and got rewarded for last week's pain. Somewhat. I felt alright and I could have run a little longer. I'm not quite sure whether I can run 4 miles longer. Well, I stay optimistic. Altitude training is a good thing but I should have probably stayed for a month and not only for a week. And I should have ran every day. Also, tequila doesn't seem to be the best power drink for running...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Off to New Mexico!

6 miles this morning. Okay but very tired afterwards. Took a nap. Excited about my trip to New Mexico. Santa Fe, Taos and Ghost Ranch. Girlfriends, Art and Hiking. And running of course. Hopefully I can keep it up. Anyway, I'll be in great shape for the hiking part. Back in 10 days.
Hasta la vista!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Lenox Fitness with Sue this morning. My heart rate was the lowest ever! Even 7.0 felt okayyyy. Huge improvement. Tired now. Allergies. Have to think about what to pack for New Mexico. Good night.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Running in the park

Carolyn picked me up this morning and we ran together for 3 - 4 miles in Kennedy Park. I hadn't done that for awhile and it was good. All those hills and stones and roots... it is a different kind of running. Makes it more interesting. The Berkshires are at their best right now. Everything is in bloom and fresh and beautiful. No bugs yet. How beautiful it must have been when the Aspinwall Hotel was still there!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Sue increased my speed up to 7.5 on the treadmill. For one minute. If I could keep it up longer I would run 1 mile in 10 minutes. If... But that won't happen. I guess I'm getting constantly stronger and I'm enjoying running more than ever but I don't seem to get faster. The old story... So, ego shut up! I stay focussed and positive and -yes!- I can do that! (I hope...) And who spread the rumor I would run a marathon???

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hot Sunday

Went out for a birthday party AND a dinner party yesterday night. NO ALCOHOL! I probably didn't have as much fun as everybody else but I got rewarded this morning. My long run for 8 miles was better than last week. Still far from fun though. A muscle below my butt started hurting right from the beginning. After I had gotten used to it my right knee bothered me. Got used to that too. Then all of a sudden my left toes felt like burning on fire. Somewhat I finished the last mile. Uphill. Butt still hurts. Ate tons of pasta for the last two days to load up on carbs. Ronald said that my legs look big... hmm. Doesn't sounds very flattering. But no wonder! I increased my weekly milage from easy 10 miles to challenging 26 miles. Good feelings overall.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Running faster

It never felt that easy to run 6 miles. Okay, I treated myself with a route that was more downhill than uphill but there were still pretty hilly parts involved. And strong winds. Against me. But I felt really good and strong until the very end. It might be a kind of reward after having struggled through 8 miles that 6 miles actually feel easy. I also drove down the prospective route of the half marathon and feel a little relieved. The second half is not as terrible uphill as I was afraid of. Everything seems doable for a change today. And the sun is out too. It's even supposed to warm up on the weekend. Goooood!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rain and Rock and Roll

Pouring rain outside. A good time to try to get onto the treadmill for my daily run. Like Sue suggested but I resisted. Because I like it outside. 3 miles on the treadmill, 5.0 - 5.2 pace. How did I ever ran 10:21 minutes per mile in a 10k??? "When you run with other people you'll get faster...", said the guy in the Arcadian Shop to me. Hmm. Usually, I run with other people for about one mile and after that everybody is gone. Far ahead of me. I didn't tell him that when I officially signed up for the run. Go to the Arcadian Shop and you'll get a $10 rebate. Considering certain humiliating feelings while punching in my age and my anticipated finish time in front of the sales guy, I'm not quite sure whether it was worth it...
Apropos humiliation. I haven't talked about my scale for awhile. It's still around and it is safe to say that I've gained four pounds so far. All muscles??? I definitely look more toned, (I want to believe!), but that constant weight gain while exercising like I never did before is weird. Or scary. Or both. Jeanet advised to have six small meals per day. I'm afraid she didn't mean a package of Oreos or a bucket of ice cream or a large cheese pizza... I guess one needs a personal trainer AND a personal cook. Any takers?

Monday, April 26, 2010

On the long run...

Ran more than 8 miles today. I've never ran this far. And long. It took me almost 2 hours. I felt I was moving in slow motion for the last mile or two. My legs didn't seem to belong to me anymore although they hurt. A lot. I cannot imagine to run 5.2 miles more. There is one more month left until race day and I'm hoping for a miracle to happen.
Feeling sentimental after hearing Pam singing "So anyway" yesterday...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Running On Water

I didn't turn into a goddess who walks over water. But I became a certified scuba diver. What feels actually good. Like back in the days when I got my driver license. So, for the last week I spent a lot of time in the water, swimming, watching, breathing. I tried to keep up with my training schedule. I did well until the one and only treadmill broke down. I don't want to make any excuses but it IS hard to run in very hot, humid weather AND a very (up-)hilly terrain. To make a long story short, I missed some miles last week. The Caribbean is a challenging training turf. Beach, sand, cocktails, sun, and more... Early to bed tonight to be prepared for my long run tomorrow. And my son's 9th birthday.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I still like exercising. It starts hurting a little though. Downhill should be fun but my back doesn't think so. So, I'm actually enjoying running uphill. Which is weird. 4.2 miles this morning, super low heart rate and 20 % fat burned. Don't see where - sigh... Ear lobes??? Still, I'm very energized after every run and add about 20 minutes of exercises without getting terrible bored. Which is weird too. I'm off to the Caribbean - Peter Island. So, no more blogs for 8 days I guess. I'll continue my training but might be to busy with diving, sunbathing, cocktail drinking and sleeping.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On the fast track

4 miles run, 3 minutes faster than last week. Yeah!!! Maintained a good heart rate, didn't get worked up AND battled hard wind. Again. So, all good today. Going to bed early. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Marathon Moms

Found a site at Runners magazine online where moms talk about getting ready for a marathon. They all seem to have one main problem: being tired. Only that they usually have babies, are pregnant (?!) and sometimes work full time too. So, I feel I have NO reason to complain. My kids sleep through the night (one actually sleeps til noon whenever possible), I work only sometimes and I train for a half marathon...
However, another great workout with Sue this morning. My love affair with the treadmill continues. And I might move on to pink kettle bells. After a good nights sleep...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I didn't run today but I ran around a lot. Having skipped two rest days for various reasons I felt somewhat exhausted this morning and just did crunches, push ups and stuff. No miles per foot but many in my car. I need new running shoes. Googling around I found the ASICS Store in NYC where one can get a 3D scan of his foot to find the perfect shoe. Pretty, pretty good, how Larry David would say...

The Times They Are A-Changin = Tracy Chapman

Monday, April 12, 2010

My German moment

I'm going into my third week of training. My heart rate is lower and so is my recovery time. I feel stronger. I exercise every day, eat more and I feel good about myself. My scale is still around but sometimes I forget to get onto it in the morning. Sometimes I do not want to see it at night... I'm still wondering how I'll be able to master a 13.1 miles run. But I'm not really concerned about it because I'm having really fun. We have this saying in German: The way is the goal. That's how I feel. On track. So, gym this morning, treadmill, kettle bells, some weird ball and really tough Klimmzuege. I'm having my German moment here. I just can't find the English word. I guess that's it. And a German song by Nena. She is the same Madonna age like me...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A long run

Did you know how much the way you breathe can influence your heart-rate? Inhaling through the nose and exhaling out of my mouth decreased mine by 10. Amazing, I think. So, I took an extra effort to stick with a controlled breathing while running my long run. Yesterday. I know, I skipped one day. Can happen sometimes, can't it? So, I ran and the wind was against me. Literally. Very strong. But I did breathe stubbornly and it helped. Kept me focused. At the end a ran 7.4 miles in 1:40 hour. Still very slow but I felt I'm getting better in running longer distances. One can always hope, right??? Those long runs are a little bit like a meditation. Make you think about all kind of stuff: buy ice cream, call the guy at the bank, should stop by at the pharmacy, why was the girl at the gas station that unfriendly, can't wait to go on vacation next week, want to have a dinner party with friends, I have to pass that walker in front of me, aargh - how frustrating, can't wait to have coffee at home, shouldn't forget breathing, inhale through the nose, exhale out of my mouth...

Friday, April 9, 2010


Ran 300 yards more during my 30 minute interval-treadmill training. Yeah! It feels great and improvements are so visible. Seems so much easier than running outside. Everything is controlled: speed, milage, heart-rate. No wind, no hills, no dogs, nobody who has to be passed by... Tomorrow is my long run and I'll be back in reality. I feel strong but also a little tired. Had a tough post-exercise today: made grilled cheese for 24 kids. Lunch bunch it's called and kettle balls feel very easy in comparison. However, I keep my head up and a strong posture. Just like Sue advised me this morning...

Matisyahu - One Day

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Looking for a cause

First frustration this morning. It took me 2 minutes longer to run 4 miles than last week. Don't want to bore you with the time - too embarrassing. I watched my heart rate and slowed myself down several times to get back into a comfortable zone, that might have been the reason. I felt better while running but I have to get faster for the half marathon. It is only my second week of training. I know. But I'm not a patient person... However, I feel really strong overall and had a good post run workout. The push-ups are getting easier and, I like to believe, my arms look stronger... Also, I was thinking about devoting my run to a good cause. Any ideas, suggestions, opinions??? Wouldn't it be nice to see something else getting stronger than my arms?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I always hated gyms. When I still lived in Berlin I went sometimes. I would always get bored after awhile. And those were fancy gyms. With spas and 100 different classes and beautiful people and restaurants with famous chefs. But I never got a lot of fun out of it. Treadmills I hated even more. I can count my times on a treadmill on one hand. So, today I feel a little strange about myself. Because I like my gym and - even stranger - I like being on the treadmill. Sue does those Interval Exercises with me and I can FEEL how I get stronger by the minute. No kidding! I lift yellow kettle-bells and can't imagine having lived without them for so long... Amazing things are going to happen!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


The great thing about long runs is that one will appreciate short runs so much more - feels almost like a vacation. Or like a reward. It was actually fun to run 2 miles this morning. Sooo short! I'm not quite sure but I think I was a little bit faster. Like 2,5 seconds??? However, it felt like a walk in the park and I'm definitely keep exploring new facets of workouts. Pretty amazing! Integrated some of Josh Cox' exercises in my post-running routine. Bird Dog - yeah... This afternoon a deluxe workout at the Winthrop Estate. How cool is this - push ups at one of the Big Estate of the Gilded Age?

Monday, April 5, 2010


Push ups, sit ups, crunches. Rest. Surprisingly, nothing hurts after yesterday's long run. Sue has a point to assign those rest days. Wasn't crazy about it first. But it works. And it won't last forever. I checked my training plan and noticed that the rest on Saturday will be gone next week. Sigh. It's good for writing this blog though. However, I looked into "Runner's magazine" online and found a cool workout video by marathon runner Josh Cox from Mammoth Lakes, one of my favorite places in the world. Might integrate those exercises. Not sure about the tattoo yet.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Easter Sunday. 7 miles run. 1:38, 1073 cal, average heart-rate 162. No eggs found. No easter bunnies seen. Legs felt very heavy for the last 2miles. Tried to imagine to run another round. Couldn't. Still 8 weeks until race day. Long but not that long. I'll do what I can. Have to do my sit-ups, push-ups. Abs don't look great yet... sigh.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How to make the most of a day of rest

Hard workout today! Brunch at Cynthia's and Chan's, cocktails, croissants, deviled eggs (it's Easter after all...) AND a very strenuous hike in Kennedy Park up to the pond. 30 minutes, 1/2 mile, 2500 calories consumed. Perfect heart-rate. Hmm... anything else? Oh yes - have to get ready for dinner at Lina's and Serge's: mussels, fries and white wine. So, nap for 2 hours, heart-rate low, some calories burned with hopefully sweet dreams... Exercise can be so much fun!

Friday, April 2, 2010


30 minutes on the treadmill, 400 yards more this time. 2.33 miles. Felt good! Progress, slowly but surely(?). Well, it can only get better and it is actually fun. That is amazing! Don't recall ever having had fun with physical exercise. It was HORRIBLE in my teenage years! 100 yard dashes and I'd come in with the shortest and fattest girl or - even worse!- laps!!! The boys watching it... Every time I changed schools the PE teacher would get excited: I looked like the quintessential track and field student. Only that I was NOT!!! When I was in college I did judo but even then we had to do some lap runs for warm up. I thought the coach was cute and was thrown back when he mentioned that I might always come in last but nonetheless was the first one he could HEAR coming... Yeah, great... the trampling elephant. So, listen: it is never to late to start. What else is out there? Skateboarding, ultimate frisbee, curling... More ideas?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Don't get fooled!

Okay - I'm getting out this morning for my 4 miles run. Determined to breathe the right way... My heart-rate stays at 95, never gets higher than 101. This is aerobic pace! A pace I should feel I could go on forever. But I feel I'm ready to fall flat on my face any second! My legs are heavy, I try to push harder, heart-rate goes up to 103, I'm ready for a nap on the play ground I'm passing by. Resist it. Get to my house after 4 miles, 49 min, 578 cal and an average heart-rate of 170!!!
What??? That's what the summary says: 170 and a top of 189. I'm glad I made it... Did Polar program their monitors for April's fools day or what? At least I can trust my body, it was NOT a pace I could have went on forever. Might have to read the manual... However, did I mention that my scale is still around? Separation issues, I assume.
Happy Fools Day!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Just breathe!

Intervall Training with Sue. Controlled breathing throughout it. Heart-rate never went higher than 170. Walked half of the time. And - get that! - it didn't take much longer to cover 2 miles than yesterday. I guess it's amazing... Now I only have to get about double as fast and I'll might even reach the finish line in time to get timed - ha! In case you haven't noticed it yet: I'm not a patient person. So, normally I'd just screw it and get back in old habits - breathing shallow, getting completely exhausted and NOT faster. Ever! I've done that for the last 5 years but I'm not doing it anymore. I'm going with Sue. I'm running, I'm breathing, I let it go... Feels actually good. And wait until you'll see my abs, legs and arms... Madonna will be my shadow - said Maria - what would be the world without friends! So, I'm getting wiser too. Already.
Stick with me!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


2.2 miles, pouring rain, 25:20 min, average heart-rate 162, 272 cal burned. Started with a pulse of 92. Did you know that Deena Kastor's pulse is 35? Sounds like she might be always asleep if not running. That is probably why she is such a good runner... So, should I start sleeping 20 hours per day and spend the rest on running, cross-training, eating... hmm, what about kids, husband, friends? Not to mention other things one can do in life??? Okay, I'm exaggerating. However, I tried to breath into my nose and out of my mouth until I looked at the watch and realized it might take me half an hour to run those two miles if I'd continue doing it. I somewhat speeded it up, (well, "speed" might not be a term related to my running - ha), and that was when my heart-rate monitor started beeping like crazy - right in front of the Funeral Home of Lenox: 182
I should probably bring it back to the Arcadian Shop. The nice sales guy had mentioned that my heart rate should be calculated for an about 20 years younger person. That's how it's done for long-time athletes... I'm wondering, was he mistaken about my athletic past or about my (Madonna) age? Was he thinking Jane Fonda??? I better get back on the road... or back to bed? Beauty sleep?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Deja Vue

ABS class this morning at 8. Brought me back in time. Aerobic classes in Berlin. Were actually fun! But that's over. Yoga is the new aerobic, I guess. Or IntenSati. Well, not where I live. So, sit ups, push ups, butts, abs and a little cardio. That was it for today. Pouring rain anyway.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Interval with Madonna

Sunday is my day of rest. Physically. Mentally I'm thinking of the purpose of my blog. Proving that a woman at about Madonna's age can still become an amazing athlete. (Could I change my birthdate to 05/25/MADONNA?) Amazing might be not the right word. My best run so far was a 10 k on Thanksgiving Day - the Turkey Trot at Simons Rock. I didn't come in last because the woman in front of me had to pee half a mile before the finish line. When I told my friend he almost peed his pants because he thought that was a joke. Well, it was not. My pace was 10:17 and I've never topped that afterwards. That IS funny, I know.
So, I want to become stronger, faster and it wouldn't hurt if my abs will look great. I'll eat three meals per day, train 2 days in the studio, run 4 days wherever my legs will carry me and I'm going to hide my scale although I doubt Madonna would do that. But I trust my friend Sue who is so strong that even my teenage son highly respects her. Which could give me another reason for running... FOLLOW ME!

Song of the day: Just Breathe - Pearl Jam

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ready, SET, and go...

Okay, I got my heart rate monitor today. Arcadian Shop in Lenox. Sue told me I had to get one. She is my personal trainer at Lenox Fitness Center. Since last Friday. Never had one before. She also suggested I should get rid of my scale. Hmm. Have to think about that one. Feels like abandoning a friend... However, I'm aiming for a Half Marathon on Memorial Day. Can you imagine? A marathon in Lenox? The guy at the Arcadian Shop was enthusiastic: " and it is a qualifier for Boston!" Right, exactly what I was looking for - ha, ha... But still, pretty cool, uh??? So, I'm planning on getting ready for half of the fun which seems still A LOT - more than 10 miles! Running in the dark, the rain, the cold, the heat, rarely in a cornfield, rather in muddy Kennedy Park, chased by dogs of all sizes... Did I mention I'm scared of big dogs? Well, that would be another blog, I guess...