Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Race Report – Sylvesterloppet 2013/12/31

Planned: under 42 (training reference also done last week on heavy legs)

Actual: 40:17 for 10km
place: 9th 🙂


Good night’s sleep, waking up fully rested and happy, so yes, I thought, it could work with a race today. Had to refrain myself for not going out for a short run right after going up @7:30am. Had checked the time and information yesterday (late!) and all should work. Got breakfast ready for myself (porridge with banana, kiwi, blueberry, cranberries and joggiberries). Felt a bit heavy on the stomach but by the time of the race it should be fine. Got my water drinking started and prepared breakfast for the small ones. Showered and getting ready for the race, still undecided for what gear to have. Looking like 5ºC, no rain but windy. Aimed for ¾ tight, long compression socks, SF long sleeves, neck warmer, bonnet and wind-jacket (and of course wind-gloves). For once (!) did not take an extra change in the bag to the race. This is the usual outfit I have had the latest weeks, so should work. Finalized the sandwiches and warm chocolate to take with us and then direction the tram. Of course (!) forgot my banana at home so a short stop to buy one as well as getting the tram cards charged and taking some Dextrosol. Finally at the area of Start/Departure, was a bit surprised that it was still starting to prepare. 10:30am we reached the Tennis hall for late registration. No queue… And then it was just to wait. Got a visit to the ladies room (no queue there neither). By 11am, people started to fill in the Tennis Hall and the queues to the loo was getting longer and longer…. Attached my BIB on my wind-jacket and continue to lay down on the floor resting a bit and eating my banana. Change of shoes and getting ready for a warm-up. Had to find an alternative solution for the ladies’room so ran easy to the Max restaurant close-by, stayed there as well a short short while as it was nice and warm inside and then off I left for a quick warmup. Music set to the “Go-list” of my 10K-tempo from last week. Should I hear all the songs on the Go-list just once, I should be under 42 minutes…I think… Getting warmed up easily, doing a few accelerations, feeling a bit ache in the backside of the left thigh… all as it should be, right? 🙂 11:47am, seeing a crowd already at the starting line, deciding it will be too much with the wind-jacket, so plan-B it is. Off with the jacket (and no, it is not THAT easy and fast to take off the wind-gloves, off with the BIB, take off the jacket, and yes, forgetting the watch on the left arm, taking off the watch, off with the jacket, and yes forgetting the mp3 in the right pocket, off with it and finally setting the BIB on the long sleeves sweater…). Looking for my cheering squad for dropping my jacket. Meeting “Tricky” at the same time I see them 🙂 Cool, double-cheering squad in place and got some lucky hugs as well! Taking place on the front line (sounds like we’re gonna be shot…) as being under 42minutes and being a woman, I can take place in the Elite group (cool!). And meeting Johan P as well on this line (Wow, now it feels not too right to be here, because all around ARE very fast-looking…). Anyway, promised my cheering quad I will be at this place 🙂


Listening to the two girls singing and the guy with the mic finally stopped talking and it is … 10 SECONDS to start! (How did the time pass so fast? Two seconds ago we had 1,5 hour left before start…). And hop! It is the start. Feeling a push from behind, but gentle and no elbow-runner in sight. Starting my watch slightly before passing the mat but that’s ok. And it is a wave of fast runners I am in. Seeing few females passing by… Not my category! No need to stress out 🙂 One turn, two turn and it is already windy (wonderful!…). Passed by 3 more women, recognizing the one who won Sävedalsloppet in October. If I have her in sight, should be close to 39minutes 🙂 Then turning once more into the Aveny. Nice to have people cheering there. Have finally started my mp3 and the rhythm is perfect for the start. Good feeling, no more no less. Aaaaaand a new turn, have passed the 1st km in 3:52 (watch and km-sign are matching perfectly!). All the fastest run in the beginning is some time won when it will start hurting, I think… Great, already such thoughts! Up to km2 I follow a guy who has a good step and corresponding to mine. Will soon reach the place with head-wind so as good to get a good pace now. Have to drop this guy because he is slowing down 😦 Finding two other ones which is a bless as it is pretty windy in this short first part. Turning once more, no more wind so accelerating (I think?) then on the way back…WHERE IS THE TAIL WIND???? Following closely my two guys because after the bridge I expect to need their help as wind-shield (and with my height, it is not too easy to follow one giant probably 1.90m and another one 1.80m… in short: our steps do not quite match…and I have to get faster than I think I should. After km4 it gets better and I am seriously bored to see two backs. So screw the wind and get alone on the side instead… Get into a group of 5 (guys of course, because the last two women I saw passed me around km 2.5). Their pace is fine so getting along for a km or so and then turning towards… the finish line (well, actually there is one more lap to go…). Km5 I decided to drop my gloves and bonnet to my cheering squad at the water-station (plan B being to throw it to the nice people helping at the water-station and picking this up after the arrival…). Lots of high-five done between km5 and 6 🙂 Nice as well with so many people cheering (although I do not hear anything because of the music in my ear… Not good :(. Aaaand here I see them, my own personal cheering squad, exactly where they said they will be. High-five the first one, drop the bonnet and gloves to the second one and throw a smile to the third one… Water-station? What water-station? Dropped the first mug as it is energy drink and the water mug is too full and most of it is dropped on the pavement… Yapp, drinking technique should be revised (at least at this pace…). Passing km6 and back to the second lap. Difficult to get the back of someone as not many are passing me now. So decided to push a little bit more to get to the guys in front of me….JUST when reaching the windy part. Yippie…NOT! Biting the lips for the end to reach km7 and turn to no-wind-street and to another-no-wind-street and one more. Definitely tired by now, cramp-feeling in the backside of the left thigh since a while (just hoping it is not a strain…). Have noted a female runner passing the bridge maybe 10seconds before me. Making my goal to minimize the time difference with this one if this is the last thing I do! Back on the bridge and this is the final 2km with full head-wind…Yoooohoo! This time I push to get the four guys in line ahead of me as wind-shield, but once again, I feel a bit slowing down, so take a step aside and pass them by the time we reach the turn to the next no-wind-street. Choose three new guys in front of me and trying to have them pulling me a bit, but only one is doing this properly (!). Reaching the female runner and now I think carefully whether I should pass her now, a bit more than 1km left and risking to be used as a pulling force for her, OR staying right behind, having her to pull me and then pacing up at the end… Nope, not a chance I am slowing down, because now I see that the 40minutes limit is actually still at reach or quite close to. So passing the girl and for the final longest-300m-of-my-life, I change back the music to the first song as the pace is perfect for this. Pushing until it actually hurts this time in the back of the thigh, but seriously, 300m…! Nice to arrive in a wave of people, once again just seeing them and not hearing them (have to check this volume thing on my mp3). Getting the largest smile from Tricky right close to the end, seeing the clock passing 40minutes, but who cares? If the girl I passed a while ago was 10th, that means I am 10th now 🙂 Aaaand stop the watch at 40minutes 20. Getting my cheering squad smiling and really satisfied of my performance… Cool!

=> official time: 40:17 – place 9


Right after the race (+ one banana, two energy drink mug and water 🙂

Weather: 7ºC, Feels like 3ºC, 26 km/h SSW wind, Humidity 81% – real nice in the air, strong wind some times, humidity? Dono… Even sunny some timesGood anyway to have trained lately by all type of weather!

Food: before banana (1hr before) // right after (within 30/40min): 2 mugs of water + 3 mugs of energy drink + 1 banana + a few spoons of rice porridge/blueberry // during: 2 Dextrosol @km2 & 8km – after 2hrs (a bit too heavy after the race maybe): hamburger meal with cheering squad

Gear: ASICS ¾ shirts, compression socks, SF long sleeves, tiger neck warmer, purple bonnet, wind-gloves – shoes felt nice and light. Had a plaster on left ankle not to risk a blister, but took probably 1km before it started to move under the sock 😦

> Good move to have skipped the wind jacket and dropped the bonnet and gloves after half-way. Could have done well with shorter shorts as well and regular running socks as it felt a bit warm throughout the race

16/ OK, effortless it was not. Strangely the main effort was due to the pain in the backside of the left thigh. Without this one, I might have pushed a bit more. But having a race in less than a month, this was not worth it. Better have it slower today, than faster and painful afterwards and for long… Definitely more to train for a 10K… Still tricky to pace this race as 1) there was not a female runner in sight and 2) the male runners are still tricky to pace because they tend to accelerate when a female is passing them.. Once again, within a few minutes after arrival, had gotten the strength back (at least some of them). Still needed some stretching for the thighs (backside)

NOTE: Once again nice to meet jogg-buddies and above all having personal cheering-squad there is priceless 🙂 (especially when they had made the effort to count all the female runners arriving before me to announce that no need to bother the time…I was in the 10 first 🙂 )


Walking to get banana, chocolate cookie, rice porridge, water, energy drink and medals. Changing to dry clothes (yes, it was cold outside but after a 10K the body feels extremely hot!…then the cold starts to bite!). E checked that I had to go back to the Tennis Hall to get my price so we did. Checked online the result and got my official time finally. Waited a bit for the price distribution and then got to Max for a hamburger meal. Back home, getting ready for New Year cosy evening, watching the early firework (5pm here…) and then the day is soon to finish as well as the year.

NOTE: For an unplanned race, on a non-preferred distance, after several weeks of hard training and higher volume… could not be more happy for completing this racing year 2013!

NOTE: changed down from 17 to 16 the effort level after discussing with cheering squad. Yes, I was short on breath at the finish line but had just done a real fast last 500/100m… but seriously had a controlled pace throughout the race (yes, it was fast and it was some effort, but to reach 17 “high effort”? don’t think so. Took 2-3 minutes to recover afterwards…

NOTE: HR-curves looked out of its mind once again… Yellow dosa… training effect 2.5… time to increase the pace, difficulty and effort delivered according to my Garmin!!!


10 first female runners 🙂

2 responses

  1. Good work!!! nice Race!

    January 1, 2014 at 6:19 pm

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