My Philosophy

"Don't tell me the sky's the limit when we have footsteps on the moon!"

Monday, 17 October 2011

Oktoberfest Part 2 - Uni Reunion!

Part 2 of Oktoberfest took place (just) after I had the operation on my broken finger, which was a direct result of the first part of Oktoberfest, I was excited to go back!

As it happened the day after I had the operation my 4 housemates from 3rd year of Uni (and one friend that I never lived with) came together to Munich for a reunion, the first for about 18 months. It was a chance to show them Munich and also to experience Oktoberfest, which I hadn't done myself much either!

So, introductions then.

The guy sitting down on the left is Dickie, he didn't live with us in Lincoln but we know him through Matt, standing just behind him. In the middle of the shot is the Ginger, wait, I mean Chris. The handsome guy to Chris' left is me. Left of me is Holly and in front of here is Sarah. So that's the gang! Spaß was had!

We started by going to the Augustiner Keller Biergarten, where they all had their first look at a maß:

The Keller doesn't have it's own blog  post, but it has a really nice beer garden and also a really cool beer hall and even a basement restaurant, one will be written in due course.

The guys sampled such Bavarian delights as Schweinshaxe, Hendl, Knödl and Currywurst, Brezen etc. The first 2 litres of beer went down quickly, we were all amazed how quickly Sarah would drink her litres! Next we walked across town to my favourite spot to show my friends, the Hofbräuhaus for the Hofbräu Oktoberfest beer, sausages and Brotzeit (kind of like a picnic). I don't really know how many beers we had in total there but we were all pretty drunk and still had to get up early to go to Oktoberfest early in the morning!

When we got to Oktoberfest I wanted to show the guys the atmosphere in the tent, really lively with the music playing and people standing up and downing the whole maß! Unfortunately the tents we tried were full, so we decided to drink outside in the beer garden of the "Himmel Der Bayern" (Heaven of Bavaria) of the Hacker brewery. I think it was so hot that all the beer we drank we sweated out! Here's me and Chris, I'm showing off my thumbs up skills with wearing a cast.

I can't really remember what we did the rest if the day, I guess more beer was involved, which is known to cause gaps in your memory. See here for a perfect example!

The next day we were back at Oktoberfest, and this time made it into a tent. We went for the Augustiner fish tent (can't remember the name), but it had some great fish! Matt was the only one to get some, but it was basically a whole fish weighing about 350g (but costing €20!). Here he is giving the fish a kiss.

And here's all of us in the tent :)

It was really good to see the guys again, I thought it would be difficult with me having moved to Germany, but the guys were so cool to come visit me here! I hope for many more reunions next year :). I'm definitely going to book a table for 10 for next year's Oktoberfest! Any takers for a spot?

Viel Spaß homies

Friday, 14 October 2011

Marathon Mini Series: Training Plan

I'm under no illusions that my marathon training will be difficult, one of the most difficult challenges I've ever taken. It will require a lot of time and training during the winter, which in Munich will require a lot of motivation. From last week when I decided to run it I have 25 weeks in order to train up to the 26.2 miles, so this is the training program I have designed:

The important column is the one on the far right, my long Sunday runs. They need to build up steadily but not so fast that I overtrain and burn out. I will build up to 22 or 23 miles 3 weeks before the race, and then go down so I have plenty of recovery time and I am in top condition for the race.

Tuesdays and Fridays will be my recovery runs. As strange as it sounds you need to run to recover so you can do more running... These are done at a slow pace (60-65% max heart rate) and allow waste products from previous running sessions to be flushed out, meaning you are in better condition than you would be without it. I have noted that I will increase the length of these recovery runs slightly, but I may just keep it at 3 miles, or even a set time limit. We'll see. As this is my first marathon I will be taking the advice of regular marathon runners and trainers.

Thursday I have slightly longer runs planned, which depending on how I feel I may make these faster than I would normally run the Sunday run, or if I need another recovery then I'll make it an easy run.

Cross training is intended to me something other than running, but still improves fitness and increases your general running performance. For me this is of course, Kettlebells! You'd be amazed how much swinging a heavy metal ball between your legs improves your performance as a runner.

The number of miles I need to run is staggering, I've just added all runs from each day and EVEN BEFORE THE MARATHON I will be running 651 miles! Eek.

Well as I'm writing this I feel the need for a recovery run, and would you know it's Friday! Off I go then :)

Viel Spaß homies!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Marathon Mini Series: Diet plan

Nutrition is just as important as the actual training, maybe even more so. I haven't been able to get a decent diet plan going since moving to Germany, but I'm determined to this time for the sake of the marathon.

A lot of runners go for the "carb loading" approach, where over 60% of their calorie intake are complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat pasta, bread, pulses and lots of fruit and vegetables. In most ways I will emulate this approach, as in general it is a healthy approach. The reason for this is that it increases the store of glycogen in the muscles, which is premium grade fuel for endurance training, and proven to make the difference on my long runs.

A general rule of thumb is that runners burn 100 calories per mile, but for me right now it is up over 150 calories per mile! That will reduce over the course of the training as I lose some weight and increase my efficiency.

I have set up a folder in Google Docs for some example recipes here. If you have any ideas drop them in the comments (preferably with URLs :) )

Viel Spaß homies!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Marathon Mini Series: Why?

I had just finished writing a blog called "My post-Oktoberfest, one handed workout plan", it was full of a good mix of workouts I can do for the next 5 weeks or so that I can't use my left hand much. I was psyched to start up training again after the debauchery of Oktoberfest. I was just about to publish it when my friend Erik Orrgarde signed up for the Barcelona marathon.

He asked if I wanted to join, I immediately said no, because it was crazy. But I got thinking, how crazy is it? Regular follower of the blog will know that it is on my 20's bucket list to do a marathon, so it needs to be done at some point, why wait? Well, there are many reasons why not to run it, and only one reason to do it. That reason can't even be explained. I don't even understand it, but it's there. Other runners will understand, if someone can put it into words post it in the comments!

So Erik convinced me to do the Barcelona marathon, which is in 6 months from now (Sunday 25th March). I'll be starting a mini-series of the blog so if you wish you can keep up with my progress. Wish me luck!

Viel Spaß homies!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Quick Maß counter update (edited)

To be honest I don't really know how many maß of beer I had during the Oktoberfest period, but considering I hosted a reunion with my university friends and my best mate came down and we got paralytic (literally) twice I am saying I had 20 litres. Although in reality it is probably more. So the new score is 42 Maß! -->

Update: I went once more to the Oktoberfest and had another 4 maß, much fun!

Viel Spaß homies!

Ausländer's first surgery

I wasn't going to blog about this; after all it is only minor surgery, but enough embarrassing stuff happened that I thought it was worth while :). You know that dream where you are naked somewhere with everyone looking at you? Yeah that... Also there was a classic "Stop hitting yourself moment". All in all my first surgery experience was quite eventful, but at least not where it counts, the surgery went fine.

If you remember from my previous blog I had quite an eventful first day of Oktoberfest, which ended up with me breaking my little finger on the way home. Not what I planned! After the swelling went down I could see that it was a serious break, and I couldn't set it straight myself. I begrudgingly went to the hospital at that point (begrudgingly because I knew how much it was going to hurt!).

At the Emergency Room they took an x-ray (below) and tried to set the bone straight. Let me tell you, that's pretty bloody painful! Even worse, they couldn't actually do it, so I needed to have surgery.

Look at the little finger
So I turn up early to the hospital on the day of the surgery (07:00) but it took until 8:30 to be admitted to the hospital; but because I was the first operation of the day the nurses had to rush my preparation. This wasn't helped by how slow I figured out the garments they give you. I got given a robe and something that looks like a hair net. That hair net was actually a pair of very revealing boxer shorts. I didn't really understand the nurse's German so I didn't know if I had to put that over my current boxers or just replace them...

I think you have guessed already what happened, but no, it's worse!

I was changing behind a curtain, by then figured out that the hair net boxers should replace my current ones. I just got them on when the nurse asked me if I needed help, I said no, but she still opened the curtain. Now, to give you some locational perspective. This curtain was in view of an entire corridor of the ward, and when it opened, all I was wearing was the hair net boxers. The nurse did not have the courtesy to close the curtain, merely held it open standing there and staring.

Considering that position I think I owned it, stood there as casual as I could while (it felt) the corridor was watching. After a few seconds I asked the nurse what she's doing, she responded by helping me into the robe, and I was no longer baring all down a hospital corridor.

I already mentioned that the surgery went well, so I won't go into any detail on that. The following x-ray is the result of it (the "x" are the pins, which I will get to keep :).

When I was moved to the post-surgery recovery room my arm was still numb from the (local) anaesthetic, but I could still lift the hand even with the extra weight of the cast. With that knowledge I felt confident to inspect the new cast, so I lifted it closer to my eye to inspect it, at which point my strength gave way and the cast dropped on my head. Thankfully the only person that saw was a quite cute nurse (or doctor) and we exchanged a joke and some laughs.

Anyway I need to thank Lex because he picked me up from the hospital, which was legally necessary to ensure I don't fall into the underground or something.

The day after my housemates from university came to visit for Oktoberfest, so I was back at Oktoberfest a little sooner than I should have (and against the doctor's recommendation!). No harm done.

Viel Spaß homies!