Rain, wind, tears and 36km later…
Time for weekly long run. Started with an early breakfast 6:30am (on a Saturday…on vacations…no comment!): oat-porridge with banana and mango, with almond-milk (just trying this one for first time). Then back in bed for a while. Up 2hours later, still raining and choice of gear was easy: 6-7ºC, rain, no wind (on my balcony…). 3/4 tights, compression shorts, long sleeves and rain jacket. Perfect. Had charged both mp3 and watch over the night, so all set. Prepared 1.5l water in my camelbak and took 3 vitargo gels. All set.
Started with easy pace 20km. Not too simple with heavy rain from everywhere as well as wind (as I am not running on my balcony-which is wind-free…). Got over a first bridge, all ok, although had to stop on the other side due to heavy headwind stopping me from even moving forward. Continue same way and then ran a long-lonely-boring-flat bike path to one of the IKEA close to the city. Right, why taking car or bus to get there, when you can run?… have to remember that next time 🙂 Took a gel around km9, a bit too much water drinking throughout the run so several pit stops required… After reaching IKEA had 10K left before the next block. Planned to run straight forward until reaching km18 and then turning back. Fearing a bit (already) the way back as I could feel I had some tailwind (or side wind) which mean I would have strong headwind on the way back. After a few km, change of plan and aimed towards A bridge. Of course I could see the high bridge above the landscape, but never taken it and never thought would… until I carefully ran closer to it and then turned left and right and noticed I started to run uphill… Yapp, this was THE bridge. Got to run across the bridge, fighting against the strong right side wind making it real difficult to run. Forgot to take a pic from far before I reached it so see below:
The bridge is about 1km long and end into a tunnel (lost of satellite :(). Thought it would be easy after that but it became ALL but not flat. Ended the first block happy anyway as it was already good work done.
The second block was 10K tempo, which was revised a bit slower considering the intervals from yesterday…Of course (!) this part was the most hilly of the whole run and had strong to super-strong headwind from the start and throughout the 10K. Tears out several time (although not easy to get them out of the eyes with such wind coming to your face…). The mental part of the run was the toughest part. Really easy to just quit. But no. After reaching 18km it was already “half-way, just half left”. By the end of the fast 10K it became “already 30K done, only 6K left…” Even got some strengths from somewhere to pace up during the last 900m of the second block. But definitely not happy. The time out was the most important for today. Not the pace really.
Third block was an easy 3K and even this one was tricky with strong headwind AGAIN (or still…). Had a few stops like during the 10K as the wind was so strong it was not possible to run or move forward 😦
Fourth block consisted on 2km high pace, but after 200m had to stop and change street as the wind did not let me to even run!!! Got to push a bit to get this part completed and then it was just 1km home. Not a single extra added to this run…
Longest run since Berlin and definitely the second toughest for 2013 (the toughest one was mid-January, but there it was body pain, when today it was mental strength which had to be secured). See the elevation recorded by my Garmin… The first little bump on the chart is the “tough” second bridge of Göteborgsvarvet… All taken into consideration, it is not that difficult to take on when seeing the other part of the run (the one with the higher-larger bumps, where the fast block were unfortunately set… bad calculation here!!!) But done is done and pretty satisfied to have completed it. Back home, took banana+blueberry soygurt right after passing the door. Then shower and resting the legs up for a short while and then food food food (and water!). Lots of resting before getting out for dinner.
This particular workout was focusing on the time being on the road, even though there was blocks with higher pace. But was not expecting to be such a challenge for the mind. While during the first 14km of boring flat road it was calculating stupidly (!) all the combination in the multiplication table to get to 36… as well as trying to compare to races like Berlin or Dubai (which are flat flat flat), it was REAL tough to remain sane during the part after that (from the bridge and beyond). So much internal fight and convincing. Cannot recall tears during a training apart really really rarely of joy having finishing a workout. Once or twice of pain. But physical pain. Here it was all in the head. Never been so happy to see the building from SKF and the tram that could bring me home. But by this time the head had also recovered and calculated that it meant I was no longer far from home and THEREFORE could as well continue running… I really like distance around 36-38km, because they are special. Longer than a regular long run but shorter than a marathon…just teasing-distance I would qualify them. Juuuuust a little bit more and would be a marathon distance. But nope, not this time!
SO…for today it was a great challenge and a completed one. Today is arriving to its end and tomorrow will bring new things…Looking forward to it… Do you?
and btw today is winter solstice…meaning that the days will become lighter from tomorrow onwards (well, the nights will remain dark out there, but the summer will arrive pretty soon, right? 🙂