Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Race Report – Göteborgsvarvet Half-Marathon 2013/05/18

Planned: 1:30 if all good 1:28.

Actual: official finish time 1:37:05 (on my Garmin: 1:37:10 – a bit of time to click on “lap” after the finish line…) – 24 seconds slower than last year race, long from PB in Paris in March BUT the weather conditions were way different as well as the race conditions. So the result of today’s race is very satisfactory and happy to have completed it! Note as well that as in Paris there was no clear “fatigue” after the finish line, lots of energy left…

Splits (official)

Split Time of day Time Diff Min/km Km/h Place
5K 13:21:17 00:21:16 21:16 04:16 14.11 73
10K 13:44:17 00:44:17 23:01 04:37 13.04 96
15K 14:08:22 01:08:21 24:04 04:49 12.46 111
20K 14:32:22 01:32:22 24:01 04:49 12.50 102
Finish 14:37:06 01:37:05 04:43 04:19 13.95 99


Place 99
Place (ag) 12
Time total 01:37:05
Average pace 04.37 min/km

Swedish Championship – Half marathon : place – 18!!!



Awaken by the birds at 4:44am, tried to sleep more without a lot of success. 5:45am took glass of orange juice with the necessary vitamins and allergy tablet for the day. Bad to bed and once again reviewed the race route for the day’s race. Decided around 8am to go up for breakfast (porridge + blueberries and banana, oatmilk) and large glass of water. Checked again the gear for the race, as prepared and reviewed probably 5-6 times with GET in the evening before!… Then started a really boring morning as nothing to do really but keeping myself hydrated correctly: every 30min 2-2.5dl of water alternate with Powerade blue between 8:30am and 11:00am. Got myself ready, braided my hair, using Swedish colours 🙂 and then gear on. Cool outfit with my club white singlet, Supernova Boston shorts and my superfast Saucony Kinvara 3. All good to go! So much drinking gave lots of visit to the loo, which meant “pass” for the hydration pre-race 😉

11:30am – Slightly hungry, took an extra banana before leaving home for a final photo-shoot. Left GET and aimed to the start at light jogging tempo. Directly to the IK Jogg meeting point to say hi 🙂 Always good to have some reciprocal cheering before a race! Then direction to my company tent and there was quite empty. Wanted to meet a few of my colleagues which I knew are running. Got a few of them before the start and that made my pre-race day 🙂

12:02pm – Ooops! Talking with Kenth and noticing that my start is in less than an hour. Pressure is on! Meeting S in company tent and once again more reciprocal cheering. A few pic before the race and then time to go to the start corral.

Ready to rock'n'roll?

Ready to rock’n’roll?

12:30pm – Wow, looking at the big screen, at the flag indicating the Elite start and the yellow line on the ground for the start. Doing a few easy running laps for warm-up. So cool to have actually some place to warm-up (even though this specific warm-up was pretty crap! Have to check next time how ACTUALLY a correct warm-up should be done. This is sooo different from a marathon where you have time to warm-up during the first kms 🙂 Got to meet Isabella Andersson, and my own personal idols from jogg-forum (Espen, Benet, Patrik, and of course plenty of others :).

12:45pm – Aiming back to the “yellow line”. Got a nice spot on first row 😉 But taller male runners and smaller female runners (both looking pretty fast already even though they were just standing!) were placing themselves on this front row. So got a nice place in the second row.

12:59pm – ready? Unsure now… Try to focus, feeling the pushing from other runners behind me already… 1 minute to go, final check to the watch.

1:00pm – PANG! It says, without realizing it I have a human wave pushing me already at an inhuman pace (for me!). First 500m are disappearing at a pace of 3:47/km when stupidly checking my Garmin. Too fast, got the recommendation to end the Slottskogen’s part with avg pace at the fastest 4:00/05, but better to aim for a 4:10/20 for the first kms. Getting the first 3km på 12:26 (i.e. 4:08/km) – yaaaa, ca. Intervalspace. Should listen better to advices and actually FOLLOW them… But seriously apart from the feeling that it was going too fast, the body felt fine and happy to run. Even Sälsdammsbacken disappeared without even noticing it. Pretty much carried by the human flow then! Noticed that the heart rate was ok-like, so continued. Pretty boring to have seen all the Elites disappearing in a dust cloud and having so many people passing by me (mostly men so still ok!). Got to meet two jogg-are before km2 and cool it was to be recognized in a race 🙂 Got to hear my name before km4 by Magnus from MIK – Cool once again. Just so much energy with just hearing my name! OK, reaching the first water-station and decide to skip it. Still fine body & mind (a bit fast, but ok). First real slope to reach Älvsborgsbro. Actually going fine, but mainly because it seemed that the brain had stop thinking for a while… Running as fast as possible to get a nice 5K-time (21:16, pretty decent, I think).

But THEN the mind started to tell the body to stop!!! Well, NO, actually there is still a little bit left! Ran all the way up the bridge, lots of wind, tried to get the back of someone but seriously could not find anyone running a correct pace then, nor actually feeling that it would be possible to…. AND then reached the top of the bridge so skipped finding someone’s back! A ncie guy asked me what pace I had, looking quickly at his number I told him I was too slow right now and that it would not really correspond to his pace as his group started 4 minutes (?) after mine. Still he ran a few 100s beside me, which was nice with company as my heart started to get ups&downs, got a hole on the side and could hardly breath correctly. Decided to ignore it during the downhill from the bridge (I KNOW this downhill!) and ran it as fast as the body allowed – Once again pretty stupid move. Got a free shower by a very kind person having a waterhose and before reaching the 6km water station I just STOPPED! Too difficult to walk with this hole on the side. Got some cheering from Per M to start again – took water and started easy. Nice to have more company, getting a nice back to follow 🙂 although according to the rules of the Swedish Championship it is not allowed (only for Göteborgsvarvet?) for a male runner to help an elite woman neither with pacing nor for protecting from the wind aso (yes, I did all the reading of the rules, including the possibility of having to do a random doping test…). Still this helped REALLY much and got me started again. Once again, unsure I saw km8 anywhere. Reaching a water-station (ANOTHER ONE? Felt like I left the previous one 2 seconds ago…), decided to take water on the body first and then drinking. Taking my gel as well as planned. The left thigh had started to “hurt” a bit (top of it, close to the hip), tried to push with the fingers on the aching spot. Helped a bit (for like….5,5 seconds?!?!?). Continuing the part of the race which is ACTUALLY the fastest and easiest of the whole route at a less than decent pace. The “DNF” thoughts have disappeared thanks to Per, but now the new aim is to get myself around. Finish will be my new objective. It is always an objective in all my races, but here seriously, it was the first time I had it as the ONLY objective left! Got some more company by S around this time (before “ghost-km8”) A bit surprised that he did not pass me earlier, but he looks to take it fine and as in Boston, I feel like dying when he made it look easy (and this independently of what he was saying it felt for real!). Then along the harbour I see him disappear 😦 Tried to get some speed there – as I generally do this during my training on this area. But once again the legs are just NOT responding to the brain (or is it the brain playing around and sending other messages????). Getting to the 10K in 44:17. Do not care. I decide to walk.

Little after the time-taking of km10, another elite woman get me to start again. She seems to have similar issues as me: could run with this weather a marathon, slightly slower pace but double the distance, but here it is just too fast (well, it is NOT in real, but it feels like that!). Really great with her support which drive me forward for a few 100s and then I see here stopping at the water station (again?!?!?).

THEN I hear my name – for the second time in the race. Anders my colleague is here with a large smile and this is a great help (because despite the smile on my face, it IS hurting in a way!). Running around Ericsson, trying to get some speed, but the little wind there does not let me doing it. And ONCE AGAIN, Anders is there with his cheering. Soooo great really. Because after that the most boring part of the race starts. Lack of public and not much music unfortunately. Reaching soon km11 when Kenth S is helping with his more than encouraging words. Stopping at the water station and once again “splashing” me with all the water I can get. OMG, this is difficult. Have not looked at my watch since a while, just hearing the beep of the km-alerts. And it is a while to go still. Arriving to the foot of the second bridge (Götaälvbro) and … walked! Not even understanding how my legs are just stopping the running… I KNOW this bridge, I have run it many times, under many different weathers, never walked up the bridge (apart from the 1st edition of Göteborgsvarvet… but LOTS have happened since!). Getting sight of a bottle from people on the side and cheering. Asked them (close to desperate) if it is water and if I can take it and I just take the bottle and drink… Sooooo nice, can definitely said that despite being half-warm it was a pretty nice taste in my mouth! And finally : top of the bridge. The mind and the body agree to slow downhill. Unsure where it came from, but a blink of Boston downhill after Heartbreak hill just pass as an image and all of a sudden the body react and accelerate downhill. Passing lots of people this way. Pretty cool, especially as I really feel that it is going too fast (but not in reality!).

Km15 – not having enough strength to speed-up towards the “time-measure bands” – not caring for the time since a while, right?!? Reaching the next water station, very thankful to the guy throwing me water on me and taking a couple of water mugs. Walking of course. And started again. Expecting to get some energy tablets on the way to Avenyn… but not this year 😦 Getting one of the elite women passing me slightly, decided to keep her back cloooosely (as she was passing me during the 16km-spring competition earlier this year and it was NOT a nice feeling 🙂 So get a bit of new strength and pass her and start the long Avenyn (which is SERIOUSLY NOT that difficult, even at this time). Seeing a colleague of mine lying on the side of the road and get pretty worried for him (he had 1:23 last year and aimed for sub-1:20…), reaching the top of Avenyn and more water and sponges. Once again the downhill of the Avenyn is getting faster (and on purpose) passing lots of people slowing down in this part. Then turning to Vasagatan, nice with the shadows from the trees. Don’t like this part, neither in training nor in race. But this year again I have requested kindly my fan-club to be at the corner of the street towards Över Husargatan – with this year a very important task: to give me some energy drink for the final kms… SOOOOOO NICE to see them and their large smile (I could just ride on this for hours!). Got my bottle, my “you’re the best, mummy – go for it…” and more drinking get some extra strength. Throwing the bottle and then start the best part of race – can feel the body&mind working together to catch up, passing lots of people looking pretty bad. Got more cheering from Maj on the top of this same street and then reaching the little tunnel and the slight slope to the little blue bridge… which I take RUNNING ON THE TOP OF THE FEET – so light like a feather. Seriously, cannot be that I have strength left, when I recall quickly the “DNF”-thoughts of km6… Turning left to km20 (1:32:22), just smiling, feeling so good, continuing a very strong finish, passing lots of people and finally entering Slottskogsvallen’s arena, less than 200m left (I KNOW, because I train there on those tracks…) seeing a female runner slightly before me and grabbing the last piece of strength to pass her (she was a tough cookie though!) and finally FINISH LINE (and stopping my watch). 1:37:XX. Feeling great!

After the finish line, being stopped by reporters for getting a pic to be in the newspaper (hope I’ll look good 😉 then splashing myself with the other “animals” just finishing the race (unsure really that there was any piece of human behaviour there, seeing guys throwing their head in rubbish bins full with water….). Got a sweaty hug from Patrik B. Did not get the time to check on him before the race, so cool to see him arriving right after me. Looking for S by the medic tent, without success, so walking to the exit. Off with the timing-chip, getting my banana and chocolate cookie. Meeting Henrik D, more congratulations, meeting Kenth and more greetings and time to aim to the tent for a massage… not even walking towards it but lightly run/jogging. Seriously, talk about a bad use of the strength during the race! Reaching the tent, getting “after-race-with-medal-picture” and talking to Magnus (former neighbour and colleague). He confirmed that this was a tough weather conditions for the race. A bit more chat with Jay and other colleagues. Change to dry clothes (I arrived soaking wet to the finish line – and not much was sweat!). Waiting for the massage. My fan club arrived finally (as well as a freshly showered S 🙂 I get my after-race-cool-coke as promised. Tasting wonderful. Massage with some nasty pressure on the thigh/bum, but I can really live with that!

MOre than well-deeserved medal (!) - awaiting for massage

More than well-deserved medal (!) – awaiting for massage

Inofficial time on Garmin

Inofficial time on Garmin

Well-deserved medal :)

Well-deserved medal 🙂

Weather: 26ºC, Feels like 26ºC, 24 km/h ENE wind, Humidity 51% – it was pretty interesting this with the weather as the first half of the starting groups got pretty hot and warm when the groups afterwards got from light drizzle to rain… Unsure the humidity was much higher than this when we ran (comparing this with the week in Spain)

Food: orange juice+porridge,blueberries, banana, oatmilk @8am/banana @11-ish/
water/gatorade: 2dl every 30min (alternate)
During: vitargo km8, 200ml Gatorade blue @ km18.5After: banana, kex chocolate, 1 full glass of ISOstar, little pack orange juice – little later on: hot-dogs + orange juice.

Gear: ADIDAS Boston Supernova shorts, MIK white singlet – super flying Saucony Kinvara 3. Wow-shoes really, well-tied and they made themselves forgotten (until after the half race and all the “splashing” of water which made them a liiiiiitle heavier and wet. Great delivery for this first race


NOTE: Looking at the difficulty of the race route (even though I KNOW it), the special weather conditions this year (which I KNOW as well, having run this route during training under all weather conditions), very satisfied with the official results: 99th fastest woman all groups, 13th place in age group AND 18th place in Swedish Championship – half marathon. No PB this time? Not too bad race after all!


After that, aiming for home, slowly but surely. Loosing T at the playground (and fortunately finding her back…). Shower at home and enjoyed half a pizza + fanta for celebrating while watching a cartoon on tv. Laying down 30minutes with legs up – feeling great afterwards!


Soon time for bed now – what a day! No PB, but lots of learning definitely. Great rehearsal as I see it for Stockholm marathon in two weeks from now (especially if the weather is similar!!!)

3 responses

  1. Grymt bra kämpat! Vilket galet väder ni fick. Men till den 1 juni har jag beställt perfekt väder så för det behöver vi inte oroa oss. Ses om ett par veckor!

    May 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    • Tack Tove! Snällt av dig att du fixa perfekt väder till Stockholm.

      Tänker det är lite mitt fel för lördagslopp eftersom jag hade beställt soligt och varmt (men inte direkt sagt hur mycket sol det skulle bli och hur varmt skulle det vara…)

      Ses där!

      May 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      • Haha! Ja det gäller att precisera. Jag beställde 16 grader, halvklart och vindstilla.

        May 21, 2013 at 8:48 am

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