Pic: Markus Herkert for larasch.de

It all grew out of a hasty telephone dialog round Friday night. We were supposed to travel down south to jog the Kaiserstuhllauf, a classic competition in the mountain running schedule and part of the prominent Trophée des Vosges. Nobody was motivated to devote the Sunday to a tiring trip along the autobahn. So we cancelled the trip to Ihringen.

Replacement for the 18k Sunday ramble was supposed to be a local long jog. The hint came up to incorporate a local half-marathon into our extended weekend excursion. Decision was made fast and it happened that Knut and I met just a couple of minutes down the road in the 11,800 citizen settlement of Weinsberg on a frosty Sunday sunrise. The 34th version of the Weibertreulauf was on with several distances from the 5 to the 21k. To get lots and some quicker miles in, we selected the half marathon contest. It sounded like a great idea.

So our training strategy for Sunday was easy. On paper anyway. Warm up the engine throughout a 10 kilometer jog. Get changed. Run a controlled half marathon. Get changed. Cool down with a leisure jog round the 5k path. Eat heaps of home-made cake. Snooze. Appreciate a pair of thick legs after a mere of 36 kilometers of running.

Previously I ran the 10k race of the Weibertreulauf. It is not a flat race. The track was supposed to be hilly. Lots of forest tracks and petite wineyard streets led us around town up to the local plateau. A tiny loop up there and back down through the sunlit vineyards. Not a fast course. A fine-looking course, though. A great setup for a run like this.

I was unhappy with light stitches early on but grinded through. A fair serving of diminutive sharp upgrades took out some well needed vitality of my body. To stay tranquil and in check was something I told myself some times. This was meant to be an advanced long run. Still, I was worn-out when I came back to the finish line. Stoked to see my training pal Phil winning the overall battle and associated SwimRunner Knut bashing on to a fifth place, we got changed fast to carry on with our strategy.

We went out to run the 5 kilometer course. This was probably the roughest share of the day. Knut and I were drowsy and lacking some enthusiasm. Lacking food after the finish (irresponsible!) of the race this “relaxed” 5k was harsh. Still. Long Run accomplished. Session completed with some homemade cake. Enjoyable day out. Next stop Côte d’Azur with the gang.

Tune of the day: Megaloh – Vita II