Marathon training days – part 2

It’s less than a week now until I get to the starting area of my very first marathon distance run. The last weeks and month of training were pretty exciting and also full of experience. I learned a lot about myself and my physiological limits. To be honest, I knew that training for a marathon wouldn’t be easy, but nonetheless I tried pushing too many times beyond my personal limits without listening to my body.

But that’s actually a thing I was expecting from this kind of training, to get to know myself better to do better in the future. Last time I mentioned, that the distance beyond half-marathon distance felt pretty much like a struggle that wasn’t manageable. Meanwhile after a couple of runs around the 30km mark I wouldn’t say that I feel as comfortable with the long distance as it is with a 10K run, but I can say that I know what’s coming and how to handle it.

During the training in the last couple of month I suffered from multiple setbacks. First I had problems with my shinbone, that was hurting like hell after each run. I was able to fix this problem by starting to run with compression calf sleeves. After fixing this problem I had to limit my amount of training and even completely stop it for a couple of days due to a yellow fever vaccination. And after I got through this my hamstring started to hurt pretty badly after each run and my heel tickled as well. These problems are mainly over now and I could say that I’m well prepared for the upcoming marathon in Berlin next weekend, but I’m not.

Recently I had to stop with my training again because I had some major problems with my digestion. I felt very exhausted and tired during the last couple of days and today is the very first day where I feel normal again. I missed nothing serious but anyhow I missed something – even though it’s tapering time. I wanted to do a longer 21K in a medium fast pace to get a last check of what’s to come, but it seems, the marathon premiere will lift its curtain without the dress rehearsal.

Negative things aside. I feel very much like I made a lot of progress over the last months and by regarding the progress over last year I would say that I made a huge step forward. It all started with a small company relay run in September 2013, continued with a 13K run at the marathon event in my hometown and grew to three half-marathons in a row in the beginning of 2014 in Berlin, Prague and Tangermünde.

My primary goal for the marathon in Berlin is to arrive and make it to the finish line. Time is secondary. I do of course have a set time goal, but it would be non-realistic to start in my first marathon chasing a pace without any 42.195km experience. If it feels right to run at a certain set pace it will be fine otherwise I would arrange myself with everything else possible.

No resolutions – just solid plans

It’s these days at the end of the year where most of the people come up with a resume of the current, fading year and a lot of them come up with new year’s resolutions. I’m not a big fan of the new year’s resolutions because most of them get abandoned on the January 1st.

To make a long story short, in 2013 I switched companies and I was able to work in my hometown again. The commuting was a thing of the past and I once again had the time to focus back on sports, because I was a fat whale and wanted to get back into shape. Well, to be honest, I never was in a fit shape, but this should change during the next couple of month.

I started to go back to the gym again and once per week I had a swimming session. Gym was kind of hard during the first weeks, because the massive overweight was something that did not make things a lot easier. I made one mistake, that I returned to the treadmill too quick and I suffered multiple minor injuries and experienced a lot of pain in my knees and hips. But with a few kilograms less, these issues slowly disappeared.

One of the main things I tried to focus on, was to do sports because I wanted to not to simply lose weight. I wanted a large variety to chose from, for instance cycling, swimming, running, strength training and so on.

Running was on of these disciplines where two of my co-workers had a great influence on me. I agreed to join the company relay run in my hometown and took part in the running sessions my co-workers were offering. I have to add, that I never really ran in an outside environment, except a couple of runs during a vacation the year before, and that this was a totally new experience.

It started with a pretty basic distance of 2,5 km and then switched to longer runs. After two or three sessions a 8K was set on schedule and I was very nervous about it. For my co-workers it was some sort of a regenerative run, for me it was like going for marathon. In the week after we did a 10K. I was able to run both of these distances with minor walking interruptions.

I continued my sports programs over the next following weeks and I slowly started to improve myself. I rode my bike faster. I could run longer distances. I could swim much faster. And I finally got stronger and muscles started to grow again.

The summer this year was devastating. The heat was murderous but this is no excuse for anything. I pushed through my training plan and gained some decent results. By the end of August I ran the 7 km distance and an additional 5 km with faster pace three times per week and the issues with my feet and knees started to disappear, because I finally reached a weight that wasn’t that much of an issue.

Mid September was the time of the relay run and I made it to starting positions. I have to mention, that, in the beginning,I was only a runner in case a substitution is needed. I started in the mixed team, got the slowest time but I’ve finished my first public run. I was so excited about it, that I instantly registered for the 13K run at the next marathon event in my hometown.

In the meantime I’ve found a buddy to join me and a friend of mine for swimming. Our plan was and still is to teach ourselves crawling. Till this very day we were only swimming breast stroke and thought it was time for something different. I’m now able to swim crawling but it still consumes a lot of energy and my technique is far from optimal, but I’m still learning and improving.

For the 13K a friend of mine joined me, but she decided to go for half marathon distance. Until this time I usually ran around 10 to 12 km average per running session and I thought 21 km would be too much. The event was yet another very exciting one. It was very impressive to start in a crowd of 4,000 runners. I finished in an acceptable time and was looking for new challenges.

Half marathon and full marathon distance came up on the plan.

During the next weeks a increased the distance per week up to an average of 45 km. And I also started running half marathon distance. The first two runs were very hard and I had to do some walking breaks during the runs, but I finished my first 21Ks.

I did another public run by the beginning of December. I’ve decided to go for the 20K and on the morning were everyone was registering for the, I wondered why no one else, or only a handful of runners, took this distance. Well, I should know very soon. The run was more a cross run than a usual run on roads and gravel paths. Anyhow, I’ve managed to finish this run as well and it was the first 20K where no walking breaks were taken. I was so proud.

So, what’s up next? Well, five running events are already on my schedule. Three half marathons – one in Berlin, another one in the beautiful city of Prague and one in my hometown. But most importantly, I want to conquer the 42.195 kilometers, so I registered myself for the Berlin Marathon. This and the half marathon in Prague are the two events I’m the most excited about. Prague, because I simply want to run through this beautiful (I love Prague) and Berlin, because it’s one of the biggest Marathon events in the world and I want to be part of it.

As you can see, no giant new year’s resolutions, just plans for 2014. I think, the marathon training will be very intense – but the final experience will be worth all the effort and pain I’ll go through. I’m certain about it.

Cathedral excursion

The Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice, or Cathedral of Magdeburg, was one thing I had in focus for a very long time to photograph. But I never actually managed it. On Monday, my day off, I finally made it to this wonderful, beautiful piece of Gothic architecture. Currently it’s only worth taken interior pictures, because it’s getting refurbished on the outside. It’s such a rare event, to see this cathedral without any scaffold.

After getting the photo permit and clarifying certain things me and my Canon 60D were on the hunt for subjects. And we’ve found a lot. I did lots and lots of pictures of small figures in mural reliefs. It was so nice to see, with how much love for detail everything got restored. Back in the days, as far as I can remember, the Cathedral of Magdeburg was a very dark spot to visit. These days, warm diffuse light reigns inside the cathedral, not to divine.


Seriously, I was very impressed how beautiful everything looked like and most importantly, no dark spots. Having a lot of light and also a lot of good light makes taking pictures so easy and such a pleasure. I spent more two hours inside the cathedral. I used my 17-85mm zoom lens, but only for a few shots. Most of the time did I walk around with my cheapo 50mm with a completely opened aperture of f1.8.

I also did some shots with my 8mm ultra wide angle Walimex lens, but I’m not very satisfied with the finals results. It’s still very difficult to get something in focus. And taking pictures with an aperture lower than f8.0 could have only been made with an extremely high ISO filmspeed, which I try to avoid as often as I can. Normally, I take pictures at f22 with this lense, because focus is no longer an issues you have to care about.

The final result was a virtual box of almost 400 photos to chose from. It’s a lot of material, but also, despite my excursion in the past, a lot of pictures are worth to get seen. I’m releasing them all publicly, but you’ll find a couple of pictures when you visit my profile on deviant art. You’ll also find some pictures I did on my last trip to Berlin, which was the first photo excursion with my 60D.

The gallery on this domain is currently down and will probably stay down, because I’m currently working on a new website, which will be dedicated to photography only. I’m not giving any details right now, but as soon as progress has gone far enough, I’ll inform you.

Time to waste

Changes, man, changes! I’ve got two days left at work and then I’ll enter a longer period of free time. Almost the whole August is free. I’ve got a job offer that I finally couldn’t resist in a company that captured my entire sympathy within a couple of moments and that looks very promising. My new life starts on 1st September. In the meantime I’ll try to use my free time to get a little bit more time with photography and learn my new lenses. On the other hand I plan to get back to sports. As mentioned before, I’ve got a lot of free time and want to use it as useful as I possibly can.

I gained several pounds during the last few weeks and I want to get rid of them as soon as I can. The answer is simple, lots of sports is the solution. I’m really excited about this, because I never had a training period like this before. It’s just me and my free time without getting distracted by work issues or everything else that might bother you in daily life. Right now, my weight is something around 108kg and I want to push it down to at least 100kg. I personally think that this is possible within four weeks and a half.

Besides this stands my second ego, the gamer. I’ve got so many games that I haven’t already that deserve a play through that I’ll jump on these, too. My fave at the moment is the absolutely brilliant “DiRT 3”. One of the best racing games for years and as addictive as the all time classic “Colin McRae Rally 2.0”

“Colin McRae Rally 2.0” sucked hours and hours of my weekends and free time and there wasn’t a single moment where I got bored. “DiRT 3” is actually the same, very motivating and entertaining for every single moment. The only thing that bothers me a little are the DLCs. I bought Monte Carlo and Japan, but they could have made into the final retail game, too. These two DLCs cost me around 15 Euros and you have to keep in your mind, that you can get a great budget title for that money, too. Hopefully, this rip off will have an end in the near future.

Finally, and I hope the weather god is good to me. I’ll go out in my town and probably Berlin and do some photos. I’ve got this new fish eye lens that deserves a little more attention. Anyhow, I wanted to go out for pictures for such a long time, but I felt really exhausted and stressed by nearly everything over the last few weeks that I actually haven’t found the time and intention to do so.

Whatever the case, a new job starts on September and I’ve got a lot of free time in the meantime. I’ll try to use it to recharge and to get back into shape. I’ll keep you informed.

The curse of sleep

I feel so terribly bad today. It was set that I have to go to the gym today and continue training but I simply haven’t made it out of my warm, sheltering bed. I’m not sure where this tiredness actually comes from, but it’s horrible. I can never get enough sleep and I’m that kind of a guy that sleeps no longer than six hours a night, except for the weekend.

I was thinking about going to the gym this very afternoon, but I know how it’s going to be. The place will be packed as hell and all the exercise machines will be blocked by fat and ugly housewives pushing 5kg weights. I’ll try to make it out of my bed tomorrow and hit the road to training. Once again, I don’t feel very well with my whole condition. I feel fat and rusty and like I lost the last spark of power in my muscles. It has to be changed and it will be changed.

striped stockings

What else happened. Well, I’ve silenced my HTPC once again a litte bit more. I added a resistor to the fan located on the side of the chassis and I also exchanged the graphics card. Right now I’m using a Geforce GTX 560 Ti which is much quieter than the Geforce GTX 460 and offers much more power. A lot of frame rates are locked at the magic 60 mark. I’m not sure if I’m going to sell the old card our if I just put it in my fourth PC that is just standing around without any particular function.

Besides all this, well, I was off to Berlin last weekend without anything exciting to mention. It was just my father birthday that needed some celebration so I went there and celebrated. I was not going out or anything like that. I feel like I could need a night of partying again with all its benefits. Maybe somewhere in the future.

What was and what will be

A year’s gone and a new decades arrived. So what’s my resume for the decade that has just passed in the 21st century on this ball called Earth (“How peaceful it looks…”)? Great Scott, I don’t know and it’s barely possible to capture a whole decade in one single blog entry so I simply don’t resume the past decade. But what are my plans for the next decade? Guess what, I just don’t know but I can tell you some of my plans for this year. 2011 will hopefully be the year were I’ll go back to more creative oriented activities. I’ll definately do some more photography and will try to switch to some portrait shots or let us say, I’ll switch from landscape photography to something more human related because for me is the portrait photography something that looks like hard to handle and I want this challenge, because challenges simply makes you better and let you improve yourself.

One thing that’s still unfinished and I simply haven’t found the time for, were the bunch of music plans I had for 2010. I missed to remaster Narcosis’ “Super Satan Terror Demon 665.5” mini CD and to upload it. I also missed to get the original tracks for the CDs so I have to do some more complex re-editing to tracks that I got. It’s such a pain in the ass that the studio were we once recorded this master piece of modern black- and death-metal is no more (/irony off).

The second music project hasn’t been touched since I first announced it here in this blog because of… well… urm… issues? Some might remember, it was this electro, industrial thing called “Degraduated to be machine” which includes till now two barely finished tracks. The problem is, that I was working on the studio software several times but it turned out that my plans are much more complex than they first seemed to be. I want this whole thing to get much better than the first solo CD of mine which was more a bunch tracks mixed together, this second one follows a concept and I want this as perfect as it can be. PERIOD! I guess, it won’t be finished by the end of this year so don’t expect anything.

Recording Studio

Something that I’m going to do pretty soon is to upgrade my PC. I decided not to buy me a new Android phone and to upgrade my PC instead. There were to many issues and failures that were bothering me that led me finally to this decision. It’s a kind of sad, because I really liked the black mainboard and the CPU watercooler with its red LEDs inside that made the whole system look so damn eeeeeviiiiiil. I’ll give some details on the upgrade in another blog entry.

Back to music and the whole life thing. I still have this plan to move to Berlin, maybe it’s going to happen this year if I can make it to find a job there. If I can make it I’ll free my guitars from the dust and try to find some guys/girls to start a new band, I still feel like a stoner band would be nice, with a girl drummer.

Some might ask, what happened to straight edge? Well, straight edge will be back as sooner as you think. It might start on January 16th, maybe later. It all depends on the big thing called time and I never have enough time for anything. It’s going to be the “Straight Edge 3.0 Project” with customized rules and a new training plan that does not only inlcude a plan for gym, it will also include some other activities. I currently drink some alcohol from time to time but only small lashings and no hard liqueur. I’m so NOT satisfied with the fact that I started with this bad habit again and it will stop because I simply can’t stand the dizzyness while drinking something.

Any traveling plans for this year? Yes, but nothing totally fixed. I was wondering if I can make it to Asia this year, countries like Japan, Indonesia and South Korea has always been in my focus, but unfortunately is it so massively expensive that I don’t know how to pay for this. For the opposite direction, well, there might be a trip to New York, I always wanted to go to New York, a huge, big, crowded, dirty city that always fascinated me. I also have to mention that I have these itchy feet for Seattle, I can’t help it but Seattle is beside Berlin a city where I can go to at any time. To make a long story short, there’ll be definately a trip to the U.S. but no exact plans for the rest of the world. Hmmm, the orient could be nice, too.


Concert plans. There’s only ONE concert by now I have a  ticket for and that is the rocking, mind blowing, beloved FU MANCHU. Yes, I got a Fu Manchu ticket for Christmas again and I will see them in March. Damn it, I fucking love this band. If there’s a Misfits concert somewhere here around Germany I would go there too, no matter what it costs. Till now I am very unsure if I should go to the Roger Waters concert in Berlin and see The Wall for a second time. It would be nice to see the show in Berlin, because for me it’s something special because this very one album influenced my musical taste so much, but once again, the tickets are expensive and the seats you can get at the moment are totally crap. We will see.

Last but not least, gaming plans for this year. First of all, I’m thinking about canceling my ‘World of Warcraft’ subscription because I don’t like the new add-on. The balance between casual gaming and going back to the roots of ‘World of Warcraft’ totally failed, in my opinion. Maybe I’ll switch back to ‘Champions Online’ as soon as you can play it for free or I will give ‘DC Universe’ a try. I’m following TotalBiscuit on YouTube and he’s playing the beta at the moment and it looked nice and auspicious to me. Non-MMO games I’m definately going to play are ‘Crysis’ and ‘F.3.A.R. 3’ in March. ‘Duke Nukem Forever’ sometime by the beginning of this year and hopefully id softwares’ ‘Rage’ in September.

There will be some minor changes to this blog, too. One thing is, that there will be a “Game of the week” post every week with a kind of a review and I will do the same stuff with music, movies and photography. Anyhow, the “Game of the week” thing is for sure and the rest will come up soon and simply follows within the next weeks and month. …hmmm… longest blog post ever… yeah!!!

The good old Seattle style

Sometimes a friend of you asks you if you want to come with him to an event because nobody else wants to give him some company and enjoy it with him. So it happened to me that my girl was asking me if I would like to join her visiting the Pearl Jam concert in Berlin. I have to admit that I am anything everything else than a big fan of this band. Actually I know three songs by name and the rest was just floating through my ears and just faded away from my memory.

Pearl Jam by ~idolise-me

What shall I say, seeing Pearl Jam in concert was a truely remarkable event and this concert made it definately to the top five of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. Tool and the Smashing Pumpkins are still on top. What I really liked about the performance of Pearl Jam was the authenticity and the honesty of the band. You can see and feel that everyone in the band is not just doing a concert job, they perform with all their heart because it’s their hobby and their passion. This band is definately not a show act that needs a lot of fireworks and pyrotechnics or anything else because the real show happens between the audience and band. There was something special in the air this evening that I’ve never experienced on a concert before. The Kindlbühne in Berlin is an arena that can capture around 17.000 people, but for some reasons Pearl Jam made it, that the concert felt like a cool club gig, which was pretty cool because I really like club gigs.

I guess I will try to dig deeper into the music of Pearl Jam in the future because this concert impressed me a lot.

AC/DC rocks Berlin

If there’s one thing that everyone who barely likes rock music should have done in his life, it’s visiting an AC/DC concert. Yesterday was once again an absolutely amazing event – remarkable. The Olympiastadion in Berlin was such a fine scenery for AC/DC. The first warm-up band, called Boon, had horrible sound and wasn’t my personal taste so there’s no need to mention them. The second warm-up band, Volbeat from Kopenhagen, Denmark, was a way better and I would also say that they were good but if you’re playing as an opening act for AC/DC there’s nearly no one in the audience who really wants to see you. I would have enjoyed this concert but NOT on the same evening with AC/DC as a headliner.

Rosie at Download by ~ILoveBrucieD

The main-act itself completely kicked ass. While everyone else in that age gets retired and enjoys the last days of life the guys from AC/DC don’t get tired to rock as hell. Well, of course AC/DC is a very, very stereotype band but they don’t have to excuse for this because they are what they are – AC/DC and everyone wants to see them acting like this. So what else is to about this event which has the character of a holy mass for every rock’n’roller? I guess nothing else than : “It simply, giantly ROCKED!!!”

I met this one guy in the audience right after the concert filming all around the stadium and he was instantly repeating “Dude, this was so fucking awesome”. After a short conversation I found out that this guy took the long trip from Vancouver, Canada to Berlin just to see his favourite rock band. Canada, I salute you!


Here’s just a short update of what has happened in during the last days since my last blog post. To be honest, nothing really special happened. It’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa and I try to watch as many matches as I can, even at work. I was so pissed with my old tube TV that I had to bye me a new 40″ flat LED TV screen and I also signed a new contract with my cable provider to get as much HD as possible.

Another thing that pisses me off for a while is my job. It bores me on the one hand and it stresses me incredibly much that I can barely concentrate on anything on the other hand. Actually it feels like a burnout syndrome but I’ll wait till the last day of my upcoming vacation in France if this feel is still present. If it’s so I’ll look around for a new job.

Straight edge is running well at the moment except one thing, my addiction for ice. From today on rule #6 which says “Say no to chocolate and candy! Subsist yourself healthy!” will change to “Say no to chocolate, sweets, ice, cake and candy! Subsist yourself healthy!”

I had to make this change because I personally think that my nutrition wasn’t that healthy as it should have been in last 2-3 weeks and there were too much of this sweet thing crap. Maybe with “Straight Edge 2.0” I’ll introduce something like a “day off”-rule to get more control into flexibility and wanted rule breaks. But I have to think about this rule.

Tonight is the night where I am going to see AC/DC in concert again. I’ve seen them last year in Leipzig in the Central Stadium and now I am going to see them in Berlin’s Olympiastadion which will be a great and amazing scenery for a rock concert of this size. For those about to rock, we salute you…

Late night thoughts…

I am back from my beloved Berlin and it pisses me damn off that I am back ‘home’. The weather is bad, the people are obnoxious and once again I feel like drifting through life in the one of the smallest nut-shells ever. Everytime I visit Berlin I fall into a kind of depression afterwards. Magdeburg is like a prison cell for me. There’s no real choice in what to do in this bloody town. You have like 3-4 pubs that are worth visiting them and there’s nearly no club where you can go to. Everything is mainstream as hell and everyone seems over-adapted to me.

To be honest, my opinion about Magdeburg is not a very objective one but if you ever experienced wandering around in boroughs like F’hain, Kreuzberg, Treptow or even Mitte you’ll know what I mean. There’s always something “new” to experience in Berlin and the city reinvents itself everytime you’re out there and “observe”. Magdeburg is stuck… def, dumb and blind.

I went to the First of May riots with a friend of mine and some of his companions and even though the atmosphere was very aggressive on some spots there I felt like “safe” and without a real threat from someone. Try to visit a simple soccer match in Magdeburg or take a walk in some northern areas and you’ll know what real aggressiveness is like especially when you wear long hear or if your “dress-code” incorrect. Man, I miss Berlin and I don’t want to be here anymore…

Hmm, I forgot what I actually wanted to say… well, it’s late and time for sleep… gn8