Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Archive for May, 2014

Race Report – Stockholm Marathon 2014/05/31

Planned: original plan was “sub3 would be nice” or at least faster than Stockholm 2013 AND no walking… Revised plan after last Friday and week with knee pain became: complete the race if possible, all good if slightly faster than 2013, quit the race if the knee is showing signs of incredible pain…

Actual:…3:02:38… New PB on this route by 7 min 43 sec since last year edition… 30th women and 18th in Swedish championships !!!! So great the knee held so long until 36/37km and then made itself reminded… But enough said: great race and with such pre-race conditions, could not be more satisfied!

Race Results:

place (M/W) 30
place (ag) 26
age/grade: 76.76% (2014 Rotterdam 78.43 / Dubai 77.74 / 2013 Berlin 75.74/Stockholm:73.1/Boston:72.19/Dubai: 72.35/2012 Berlin:68.29/SF:65.66/London:66.47/Dubai:66.6)
time total (netto) 03:02:38
time total (brutto) 03:02:38
average pace: 4:20min/km

Official splits:

Split Net time (difference)
5K 20:45:00 20:45:00
10K 41:52:00 21:07:00
15K 01:02:59 21:07:00
20K 01:24:02 21:03:00
Half mara 01:28:37
25K 01:45:14 21:12:00
30K 02:06:57 21:43:00
35K 02:28:49 21:52:00
40K 02:52:01 23:12:00
Marathon 03:02:38


18th place in Swedish Championships (2 place improvement since 2013) not bad, right ? 🙂



M Day-1

Little reminder. Travel to Stockholm. Meeting my friend to pickup my bib. Got a nice evening run and could test the knee for a fast pace km. Felt ok enough to start the race. Not much quality sleep, but that’s often the case before a race…

Before the race

Awaken around 4-ish… Dreamt my clock showing 7:37am and my Garmin 8:47am. Hearing from my friend that was ok because GPS was not working from the room I had. Not understanding anything apart that I was pretty late for dropping my bottles and would never make it and and… Woke up and saw the time was 4:xx am, all quiet and all under control 😉 More sleep and then up for shower and getting ready. Only fixing the hair as I was planning an easy “wake-up-the-legs” run when arriving at the stadium.

07:00am – Decided to change my original food plan and take my breakfast at home instead of carrying it to the race. Half portion oat porridge with mashed banana and soy milk + Powerade blue. All good. Never ever drunk sport drink for breakfast before… Checking again my bottles and filling in the ones for water + sticking the gels on them.

07:20am – Got company to the train station and off I went. Slightly falling asleep in the train and re-thinking the race. Showing my bib for the controller and then we were already at the end station. Had drunk as usual alternate water/sportdrink from 8:00am and then ate a banana as well. Walked slowly to the clock tower of the stadium. Not many people around. Some runners on the way to pick up their bib. The start area not yet set… Almost disappointing. Do they know people will run today?

On the train to the race...

On the train to the race…

08:30am – meeting with HR and dropping my bottles after taping my little French flags on them 🙂 Headed to the locker room and on with running gear. We took an easy 3km run. The knee felt more than yesterday but once again, good enough for starting. Running on terrain yesterday was certainly kinder for the knee than this morning asphalt. Back at the Stadium and the wait started.

Me, my bottles and my flags :)

Me, my bottles and my flags 🙂

Pace-setters balloons...

Pace-setters balloons…

The finish line (from the other side...)

The finish line (from the other side…)

The little boxes to be placed at the water stations

The little boxes to be placed at the water stations

09:25am – meeting ladies in the changing room. One I met last year. Pretty quiet. Laid down and listened to music. Not much else to do. Stopped drinking at 10:00am.

10:25am – still unsure weather outside. Going out a couple of time to decide what to wear. Singlet and shorts for sure (I don’t have anything else anyway!). Arm sleeves? Sunglasses?

10:45am – more women come to change in the elite room. Some look very focused and other very stressed 🙂 Really cool to share the room with the elite women from Kenya. They look so tiny and fit and cool and focused 🙂 Writing my splits on my hand – surely not thinking of reaching any of them, but a bit of pep can help…

my dreaming splits

my dreaming splits

11:00am – massaging the knee with chilly cream. Will probably not help as I suspect it is nothing muscular (but what do I know really?…) but at least it helps the head 🙂 More resting and getting my racing gear. Lots of back&forth to the loo in the corridor (in our locker room, there is no hand tag 😦 ). Meeting Isabella Andersson in flashy pink bonnet/top and black tights. Wishing good luck for the race and getting it back 🙂 Cool 🙂

11:20am – bored now. Arm sleeves on, left to the start, tried to warm-up a bit on the arrival street but the left knee is not fully cooperating. Taking two rounds on the track. Change slightly the plans and definitely would take it easy and controlled the first half (still thinking it will hold at least that long) & then happens what happens. Heading to the start and it is pretty bright outside. Hesitate a bit and run back to the locker room to take my sunglasses. Meeting Tove there and got extra pepp from her smiles 🙂

11:45am – no stress, getting to the start after chatting a bit with a volunteer helping and wanting to send us another way for the start. Convincing him (?) the start group A should go straight and passing him without waiting for an answer. Starting drizzle and then a bit more. Meeting Helena (fast chick who ran Göteborgsvarvet in 1:24…), Lotta from IF Linnea (sprang half marathon in Copenhagen with me), meeting Marie and Emma before start, hug to Caroline as she is a bit stressed.

11:50am – Raining a bit now. Start group B waiting under the rain when most of the group A is protecting themselves from the rain. Getting out for a few back&forth strides, sunglasses on the top of my head…(I know, not looking that smart now…). Knee feeling ok for starting. Good luck to the right, good luck to the left…Even lifting the hands when it is only few minutes left to start (what-am-I-thinking-about?!?!?)

11:58am – already? No more music. I find myself on the front row (!!!) surrounded by a little fast runner and two fast Swedish chicks… Way out of my league! But no time for moving back. Hands on the Garmin… 20sec to go… 10sec to go…

The race

12:00pm – PANG! Start is given. Pretty nice to have this place and once again it felt great to avoid the pushing from half-marathons races (could you note this, gentlemen? No pushing!). Getting a nice run to the first left turn, passed of course by many, but I don’t care. Not thinking of the knee. Catching up with Tove slightly before km1. Too fast already: 4:06. But ok, it is the first km. I have 41km to go and slow down to have the knee happy (I really feel relaxed at this pace). Passed by Johan P (finishing in 2:46, place 88…btw…) before km1, appreciating really he took time to chat with me and encourage me 🙂 then hanging along behind Tove. Passing km2 after the little slope, all good. Still too fast, but not crazy fast as Rotterdam 🙂 Reaching the water-side and getting a giant in red outfit between Tove and me. Recognising Staffan D (finishing in 2:50, place 142… btw…), cool he chats with Tove…and turn to me and presenting him 🙂 Real cool! Looking really relaxed in his shoes. I let them chat a bit, but think it is pretty fun to have people chatting at 4:06 pace in a marathon 🙂 Getting my first sport-drink bottle at km3.8 from a kind guy who run by my side and give me the bottle. What a service! Hope it is like that all the way. Can drink at my pace. All good. Hearing cheering around. Fun. Reaching km5 and the sun is out. Definitely planning to skip my arm sleeves when I see my runner friends on the side. Km5 passed a little under 21 minutes. All fine. Still a bit faster than planned, but body feels ok (and the knee does not feel at all…). The 3:00-pacesetter is right beside me at this part. Under Slussen did not hear my watch loosing satellites as last year… Did I run that fast?… But km6-sign is no longer in sync with the Garmin. Pressing lap on the watch to be able to follow km-pace instead of whole distance pace. I like this part on Södra Mälarstrand. Not many people but it is nice to run there. Getting a water mug from a girl at km7. Perfect catch. Perfect hold. Almost perfect drinking. Good. Turning left to the bridge and I hear the speaker talking about the 3:00-flag… Going up to this bridge is a little painful but ok. First third taken fast, second third a bit more controlled and last part controlling definitely and especially the downhill. All good. Reaching km9.x and getting my sport drink from the table. Not many bottles but good to have a flag on mine 🙂 Easier to spot. Once again, drinking good and had passed the 3:00 group. Fine! Passing the 10K-mark a bit slower (41:xx) but still fully decent time. The long stretch to km12 is pretty boring as I remembered from last year. Trying to get some speed but it feels the wind is there as well. Still some guys around, so can follow and get some wind-shields 🙂

Turning left, up the bridge, down in the tunnel and turning left up to the train station. Taking two mugs of water but sipping more than drinking there. Continuing my little trip towards the stadium. Have started to count down the km… since km1… and it helps. Long slightly up stretch towards km14 where I have a kind little girl spotting me and giving me my sport drink. She made me so happy and she/her friends cheer as well 🙂

Chatting with two French guys before km15, asking them to prepare a cold coca cola for me at the finish line 🙂 They are fun and will hang along until km30/32, then I’ll loose them. Back to km15, can no longer read my time splits on my hand, and cannot trust my watch neither… As long as the 3:00-group is not passing me, that is all good 🙂 Tricky to get to km16, seeing the Stadium….. and turning right towards km17 where I catch my sport-drink from a nice teenager running beside me. Still having Tove in sight. Getting passed and passing back a Finnish woman and decide she would be good to follow (as long as the knee continue to cooperate).

Turning to the “country side” part of the second lap. Better feeling than last year. Have taken off my arm sleeves since km18 and have then in my sport bra. Looks like I have push-ups 🙂 Seeing two guys on bike and thinking it must be HR and GLE… but they are way before half-mara sign as they had planned… Trying to wave…Noticing tattoos on HR arms which I did not notice in the morning when we run… and on his legs as well. He waves, I wave back… I want to drop my arm sleeves to them… They stop… aaaaaaaaand those guys are not my runner-friends!!! (Therefore the “I cannot remember the tatoos on the arms” part is making sense now!). Skipping looking at them and continuing. French guys are there again. A bit of chat. Seeing a clock… 1:24:xx… WHAT?!?! Am I completely nuts and out of sync? I said I would take it easy and reach half way with a new PB?!?!? Until I settle down and see it is the 20km-mark… Good, I think… NOoooo, not good… I have to accelerate now to reach halfway in the time planned!!!! Remembering that the 3:00-guys caught up with me at this place last year. Cannot hear them and don’t dare looking behind me…. Getting a large smile from Gabriel after this, proposing me a gel. But I am good. I however throw my arm sleeves in his face (sorry…) and after this cheering I reach halfway. 1:28:xx. Good. Like for the original plan (before the knee got annoying…). Feeling good, cheering from the French guys again.

The second half

…and turning right, passing a little woman (don’t know how she got ahead of me…). Grabbing my bottle with water and gel. A bit tricky to handle both, but working anyway. Sooooo nice once again to be able to drink the “correct” amount of water with the gel! Around km22, chatting with Pierre-Andre (PA) again. Still aiming for sub3. I like his pace and run nicely (finishing in 3:03:46…btw… Well done!). His friend is funny. He runs very light and relaxed, turning and looking back, I even spotted him running backwards at this part (!!!) and running BACK (!) apparently searching for other runner friends. Just enlightening my day!

This long part was a huge black hole from last year. I know why; nothing is happening there!!! Km22 is straight/flat with industry area (?) on the left and woods on the right. Then I think I missed km23, turning left and right within the wood again. Feels nice with this refreshing cover from the sun. Km24 I get my sport drink in a way I cannot recall. Starting to get a bit tired. Have tripped twice on my left knee. But got more ache in the ankle than the knee (yeeeeah???). Trying to get a little longer. No shame with stopping, this race is not worth getting me a trouble knee for lifetime… Caught up by the Finnish woman (finishing in 3:02:01…btw…), chatting a bit under the tree cover. She is heading for sub3. I am hanging along I says (but seriously wondering what I am doing here with the knee in this shape and talking about sub3…Probably starting to get high not just on adrenaline but with all the energy-stuff I have taken…).

Missing again (!) the little bridge that we apparently pass around km24/25. Guessing the time splits on my hand… estimating quickly that whatever time I make at km25… the race will start anyway in 5km from now 😉 Reaching back to the people, seeing Tove’s hair a bit ahead 🙂 Cool, give me strength (not that I would ever catch up, but knowing she is more stable than me on her splits is good for my mindset!). Little up and then down. Passing Gröna Lund (correct?), getting my water bottle with gel at km27 (sooooo welcoming the nice guy catching up with me for this). I don’t like this part. The ground is uneven, with tram railways.. No longer focusing on my run but on not falling down. No tripping, no tripping… Throwing a bit of my water in the head… Nice. I have skipped the showers until now, only getting my hands under, but from now on, the whole little-me get under every shower of the race! Back to the water-side. More people cheering. Here was where I met Staffan in the first lap. Good! Not much left to the end I think.

Reaching km29 and once again seeing a guy shouting to the Sport-drink table “253 arriving, catch her before she misses it” 🙂 VERY appreciated! The drinking plan goes fine. Stomach is fine. Mind is fine. A bit cramping now and then since km4 on the lower part of the right calf, the left hamstring and front legs… Never stopped to stretch though. Waving to people after throwing my bottle. Hearing my name in the speaker… Soon to km30. AND HERE HE WAS… Runner friend from Göteborg unable to run but still here to cheer. Got the largest smile ever, string high-five and an energy boost that could have gotten me to the moon (if it was not for this stupid knee). Thanks for the cheering, Patrik! Continuing. Once again, real cool to be a woman as not many are there and the “go girl” are only for me here 😉 Have heard the speaker indicating a “flag-guy” was in the way… Ok, still fine under 3:00 and soon at km30. Quick shower, HR & Gabriel are at the planned spot (a bit further than I planned, but all good 🙂 ). Getting water and this felt nice with this extra spot. Being passed by the 3:00 guy right at km30 mat. OK, I follow you then. A chick in pink shorts is passing me here and this is my other alternative to follow. Right under Slussen I spot a black singlet with my club written on it (Majornas IK)… True! Emil is here as well! Cheering and hoping we could hang together, but I so want to get behind the 3:00-guy… After the little tunnel, I lost Emil. Ok. Quick check. Crazy knee? Check! Painful? Not quite! Tired? Of course..I have run 30km at a race pace for sub3….!!!! All good then!

Back to Södra Mälarstrand. Chatting a bit with the 3:00-guy. Looking good he said. Thhhaaaaannnkkkss! As there is a pack around him, and I don’t plan to run faster, I get good backs to act as wind shields… Working brilliantly… until we reach km32 for taking my sport drink. Here they have place an extra table for warm stock… right before the sport drink table. Finding myself in a sticky wave of men wanting to reach this first table, walking, slowing down… Missing my bottle…running BACK to grab it (and definitely swearing loud at all those guys who cannot behave when I need to take my bottle)… THERE I lost my 3:00-guy he is a bit ahead and will not be able to catch up ever.

Reaching the foot of the bridge “yes, there are French in the race, raise your hands”… Up with the hands… If I cannot make sub3, I can still have fun and behave like a clown, right?!? The little slope to the bridge is painful, not due to tiredness, but the knee ain’t liking it. Thought to walk would help, but three slower steps prove me wrong. Feeling like the knee gonna explode in billions pieces if I continue this way. So run up the little slope on top of the toes (yapp, crazy painful but better than slowing down).

Must have been biting my lips throughout this second time on the bridge. First third is kind-of ok. Still seeing the 3:00-guy and actually still thinking I can take him back after the bridge… Second third is real tough. I hit my thighs for keeping up the pace. Thinking of stopping a short short while at the “ice power”-spot, but don’t. By this time, the second 3:00-pacesetter is passing me. Ok, not a chance I can get passed those two. Cannot really see the third part, already in the down slope. No I am not happy. Getting cheering from a kind guy calling me “Majorna”, realizing afterwards that my club name is also on the back of my singlet (Oooooh, that’s why so many cheered this way I realized then). He got me a smile 🙂 aaaaaand I am (almost) happy again.

Running down, turning right, catching my water+gel, thinking it is highly unnecessary to take it…it will anyway take ages before I reach the stadium… Seeing the friendly face of Markus N there (thanks for the smile and yelling my name! Gosh, this felt so nice for a short while…). Same feeling as last year on this second lap on Norra Mälarstrand: bored, tired, sad, trouble breathing correctly. I am sooooo close to stop and walk, but 1) I said I would NOT walk this year and 2) just thinking of the pain I felt in the knee when I slowed down before the bridge make me having a pinch of extra strength for NOT stopping! Cheered by a guy in my right, nice, kind, want to die right here, why is it so long…until I notice I am running with Superman (ok, not the REAL Superman, this one is a runner with a Superman tshirt. But at this time in the race, I don’t care. He’ll be Superman for me!). Got a little kid cheering loud for him and even telling his mum(?) to “look! Superman has a girlfriend!”. This type of comment is SO refreshing. Ok, I’ll continue a bit more then. Passing km35, not even caring to check the time on the clock. Thinking only 7km left, less than an hour… (would mean very slow km, but the growing pain in the knee made my mind thinking this sounded right). Reached the Garmin stand, with half warm coca cola (tasted delicious last year…) and coffee. Not a coffee drinker myself, but consider taking one in case it would get me high and unable to feel the pain. I skipped this idea as I thought it could also upset my stomach. And not a chance I would finish 7km with upset stomach + bad knee.

Got passed by a chick right after the Garmin stand. Don’t care. She looks running good, therefore she deserves passing me. Over the bridge (the sequel), in the tunnel (the sequel) and turning towards the train station. Cheering from HR & Gabriel. (Sorry if I said something rude then, but did not feel like chatting..).

Getting two mugs of water, dropping half of one, hardly drinking anything and when throwing the rest on my head both mugs are empty… Yeeeaaah, what a wonderful day 😦

Heavy up along the train station. Limping with the left leg, wet in the back with my singlet having suck so much water… Not a chance I win the contest of the sexiest footstep of the race!!!! Passing actually a few guys… Not even making me smile. Don’t dare to bend the knee “fully”, unsure if I will be able to stretch it again. Like I thought before the race: if the pain comes after km37, not a chance I stop the race. Stupid? Check! Non sense? Check! Whatever…. Grabbing 5-6 Dextrosol at km39. Trying to get an extra kick for the end. The mouth had difficulties to chew and no water in sight!!!! Turning right and remembering that there is a water station at km40. Stretch towards km40… Got passed by Marie in red. She looks fine. Good. She deserves it. Drinking one half mug and it feels better. The heart is no longer there… Hold on! TWO KM LEFT! Stop whining. Bite those lips of yours. And just finish. Limping slightly faster. Seeing the Stadium. This year I am prepared and I KNOW this is still not the end. Counting down. Straight line. Passing guys. Turning right. Final stretch before for final 250m. Skipping the little water-pool before the entrance of the stadium (I noticed it this morning while warming up…) A.N.D. This is the stadium. Missing the smile I got last year from Ulf at this particular spot, but I am already on the track. It is warm. It is sunny. And it is the end…(ok, it is soon the end). Not at all strong like other races due to my knee, I still can dig extra strength for accelerating. Passing two guys. Gosh, this feels good! And the final stretch. 3:02:xx… Yoohoooo! Can be under 3:03… No, Mister-on-my-left, you-shall-not-paaaaaaasss! Giving it all for those last 40/50m.. And!!! 3:02:xx with a knee expected to break before halfway… Not too bad, not too bad….

Official time received later: 3:02:38.

Little me, Tove and Mikaela

Little me, Tove and Mikaela

My Garmin in sync with the official clock (almost!)

My Garmin in sync with the official clock (almost!)

Happy me-in the corner :)

Happy me-in the corner 🙂

My lovely medal

My lovely medal


After the finishing line

Unlike me, I aim to the side and want SO MUCH to lay down and not going up before late in the evening… Trying to catch my breathe again. Nope, not working. As expected, when starting to walk again the left knee is no longer playing along. “Limping-K” shall be my name from now on! Getting my medal, scaring probably the girl giving it to me with my heavy breathing (at this point of time, I feel like I am breathing like a cow… A tired one… Not even knowing where this comparison comes from). Getting to the little elite tent (sooo tempted to stop by the medic tent, but not wanting to be kept for whatever they surely find is wrong with me now…). Getting my goodie bag, have to sit, breathing too heavy and feeling dizzy. Tears so close to come out. The nice guy from the tent is getting in his knee to cut my chip attached on my shoe (good because I could not lift my leg to the table!). Seeing Tove chatting a bit away. Now it is “fine”, can “walk”. Stopping Isabella Andersson and congratulating her for the race and the win. Got a smile back and congrats as well. Limping nicely to the locker room. There have the faster ladies landed 🙂 Smiling Tove (finishing 2:58:21…btw…), Mikaela Kemppi (finishing 2:49:34…!!!btw), and other fast ones. Smiling here and there. Knee is in pain. Getting a pic with two fast chicks and a single one 🙂

After the race

Shower, self-massage on the knee (like it would help…), bye to Tove and see you next year :), walking to the ÖIP to get my finisher tshirt. Having strength enough to joke about the runners before me walking soooo slowly down the stairs. Getting my tshirt, size small (S for “Snygg” – “Pretty” in Swedish… Told you I was in a great mood, despite the knee!).

Meeting HR, catching Tricky for a hug and then stomach started to get upset, cramping-like. Getting under a tree so could lay down with feet up. Other fellow-runners joined us and time for some SMS and chat.

Well-deserved chocolate cake and hot chocolate (after race of course!)

Well-deserved chocolate cake and hot chocolate (after race of course!)

When feeling better, left the place, saying goodbye and headed to a coffee place to get chocolate cake with whipped cream and hot chocolate with whipped cream. I know, the cream would probably upset my stomach (which it did…), but at this moment it sounded like the best idea ever. Chat and then time to head back home. Train trip goes smoothly. Got met by J on the way, so nice with a welcome halfway home. Then a bit of rest with feet up on the bed, eating delicious grilled ribs with French fries, carrots and parsnip (and nice wine 🙂 ). Then a hot sauna where the knee felt a bit better and then chillout rest of the evening until late.



Weather: drizzling/rain at start, sunny and nice from km3 onwards. A bit cloudy around halfway. Windy from time to time.

> before: breakfast (oat porridge, banana, soy milk) + powerade @7:00am/ usual drinking a alternate 8-10, banana at 8am.
> during: sport-drink @3.8, 9.x, 14, 17, 24, 32 – gel: 21.1, 27, 34.x – water at the water station – 5-6 (!) dextrosol @km39
> right after: maxim protein drink, banana. 1hr later – chocolate cake+warm chocolate
> 19:00pm-ish: nice dinner 🙂

Gear: Moremiles short shorts (2), MIK singlet, arm sleeves, blue sunglasses. Shoes? What to say, but WOW so fast! Perfect race shoes!
> Outfit was exactly what should be. Could have skipped the arm sleeves at start maybe, but would have also worked to have them the whole run

Shoes – ADIDAS AdiZero Adios Boost – purple

17/ good effort level throughout the race. Seriously reaching 18/19 during last 2-3km, but unsure I pushed frankly neither there. Probably a good 15-16 for most of the race, slightly increasing after km22/23

Pain level: ok to nothing during most of the race. 18-19 during the last km


SUMMARY: Brilliant! Not prioritized race for the year, with real drop of motivation after getting back from Alicante, got it back after Göteborgsvarvet and it never left. Felt like smiling and on a cloud for 2 weeks before this race. SO unlike the two previous marathons of this year. All felt good until this stupid thing with the knee. Could make it work anyway, which please me very much. Preparations went well, although the half marathon 2 weeks before got more like a fast training long run than a race really. But the carb depletion (I know I know, never fun) but this time it did actually feel “better” or “easier” than usual, then the carboloading part went smoothly. Did change slightly with more drinking maybe. Good pre-race lunch, good company, support message before the race…seriously? I.AM.HAPPY!

Support from the crowd is different in every race, making some parts of the run becoming a face-2-face with yourself sometimes, but this is what the long runs are for, right? To train you to be alone in a race where you actually share the pavement with several thousands crazy people like you J Apart from the mindset which was up&running correctly until km35/36 and the knee started to take commando, the body felt fine.

First half done well-controlled (reminds me the first half of Berlin 2013), like planned. Real surprised that the knee was not complaining earlier (or was it the mind choosing to ignore the pain?). Felt stable (in a way), having Tove ahead as reference point (for a while…) and then after the second run on the bridge, just hanging along and having for objective to pass guys before the finish line 🙂

Third best marathon-time on a crazy knee – feels nice!

Distribution of thank-you notes here; for the support, the training, the chat, the listening, the laughs… all you guys will find yourself in this list. Once again, boundaries were pushed this day, no PB, but the way the body and mind could handle the race was just great! THANKS!


Chocolates to enjoy after a marathon, right? :)

Chocolates to enjoy after a marathon, right? 🙂


A few “after-race thoughts”

NOTE: was it really smart to run on a knee not fully fine? Probably not. Would it have been the half-marathon before, I would have probably chosen to skip the race. Why running the longest distance then? Well, I thought it was fine if taken carefully and listening to the body.

NOTE: The usual question about warmup… Took it pretty carefully while running the few hundreds along the stadium and even more careful on the track. Definitely not necessary, but I think felt good to have done it.

NOTE: Energy/refuelling during the race? GREAT! Had the possibility to drop my bottles where I wanted at the water-stations and it worked great. Was a bit unsure at first, but the mix sport-drink, water, and gel work well. Regarding the final kick @km39 with the extra Dextrosol… won’t be doing this next time. Have to find another “kick” J

NOTE: Right after the race, I thought I would be fine and not needing/wanting to run it again. Day after, the thought is gone, and definitely looking forward to get on the starting line next year and skipping the limping of the 5 last km (and definitely not letting the 3:00-flag guy passing me this time…!)


Stockholm 2014 M Day: 3:02:28… 18th Swedish championships :)

Wow… This is the word to use today. All was in place for a great race until my knee started to annoy me (probably I annoy it first…) and definitely questioning the participation to the race. Surely could run, but to what price?…

Turned out quite well. Almost 8 minutes faster than last year, improvement by respectively 2 and 7 places in the Swedish Championships and the women category 🙂
With those pre-race conditions, cannot be happier!

Definitely taking some rest now and will check this knee of mine next week. Stomach all good throughout the race but a bit cramping after an hour after finish line. Probably the extra Dextrosol taken at the end… Have to think a bit. Now will enjoy home-prepared ribs 🙂 my favorite food for after marathon !
some resting now…

Great thanks for all support and kind words of encouragements (during training and during the race :). One more finish line crossed – SO WORTH celebrating!

* Quick body check: apart from the stomach-cramps (too much energy too fast at the end?), butt cramps (here they are again…) and a very tired knee, feeling great! No massage after race but have one booked on Monday 🙂 Aaaaaaall good then!

Stockholm 2014 M Day -1…

Now we start counting the hours before start… Shall we?…

Late in bed, good night sleep (a bit too much water drinking before bed made a necessary middle of the night pitstop 😦 ) Lazily turning in bed until 7:15am and time for breakfast ( oat porridge, mashed banana and dried cranberries). Hot shower for the knee (which btw feels “ok”, not “normal” but “ok”. “Ok” is good, right?). Still checking the most important in the whole large package I have : shoes and club outfit. All the rest is actually “extra” stuff 😉 Left to the train station, 17°C sun shining and I am here with my jeans and jacket…. All this because of the high risk of rain in Stockholm… Why not staying home under the sunshine? Could run the race “virtually” maybe…. Would be kinder for my knee definitely…
On the train. Chat with runner sitting beside me (2nd Stockholm marathon and planning to run it slower to enjoy the scenery. Might probably do the same I think). Few checks with HR and then it is still 3 hrs left of travel… Light rain outside. Eating regularly (half-baguette with ham, semolina-porridge with jam, water and sport drink as well). Feeling really filled with all this.
Changed train to bus due to “well-scheduled” reparations. Finally arriving in the city center and meeting J. Aiming to Italian restaurant for late lunch – 2:00pm (vegetarian pasta seemed the safest alternative…)


Then subway to the stadium to pick up my BIB number. Meeting HR there. Drizzling outside 😦 Arriving at ÖIP together with lots of other runners, getting my envelop with number&chip and a large white plastic bag. Out in the “exhibition” which is pretty small and boring for this big city marathon. Quick hi to Anders Szalkai 🙂 and then out of the building. Quick check at my knee from HR, and off to home. Nice to take the train and reaching from city center to country/quiet place in so short time. The weather is not the most appealing, but seriously, if it is not snowing or be a tornado, I think it can be handled. If only the knee is kept in place.
Meeting my host family and changing quickly for a last easy run. Done around a very nice little lake. Quiet and peaceful and great company. The knee felt a bit from start but by km5 it is fine. A bit unsure really how it is going to react at 42.2km tomorrow… Reaching back home after 6.x km, I took a quick km planned at marathon pace. Did not work. Went way faster, without really pushing. Yeaaah, I know. Not smart at all. Form is fine,mind is fine, motivation is good… If only I could skip this little dark grey cloud from the knee, that would be great…
Shower and changing, preparing my bottles. Dinner of grilled chicken and rice. Yummy! Then tea and nice chat with my kind hostess 🙂 Yes, feeling really relaxed and peaceful. Perfect for tomorrow. Not feeling the “stress” having a race tomorrow…. which is nice to skip.
When finally checking my outfit, noticed that one of my gels has been licking in the bag…


planned outfit

More to clean and tape. Got an extra gel from J so I can skip having a sticky one in my inside pocket…
Now everything seems ready. Just have to sleep and we will be tomorrow.
Exciting, right?!?!

Stockholm 2014 M Day -2…

F.I.N.A.L.L.Y…the final countdown has arrived!

Very late in bed and way too early up (you know by now… Sun, birds…). Succeeded in sleeping longer and by 9:40am got up for pancakes-time. Finished the last two with blending a mashed banana in the pancakes stuff. Yummy with blueberry jam on the top! And yes, either you carbo load for real or you don’t! Rest of the morning spent easy, packing my stuff, preparing my bottles and setting up a plan for when to take water, sport drink and gels. Here is the first shot at it done with my faithful troops:


Then we decided that it was a bit too confusing… So did a second shot:


the real battle plan!

Second shot felt more thoughtful 🙂

Lunch of pasta and chicken legs, extra drink during the day, croissant and pain au chocolat for afternoon snack… Hmmm I like carbo loading 😉 even though most of this probably should not be on the food list… Felt like this that we were eating all day, but nope. Walking a lot under the sun… to get the croissant, to get some orange juice… to get some nice view of the city from a nice sunny hill…

End of day now. Eaten large sushi portion, felt extremely stuffed (a bit too much… good we are not tomorrow! Carbo-loading? checked! Have checked once more my bottles and numbered them, painted my nails alternate white & black (MIK’s colours 🙂 ), charged my Garmin, wrote my travel plan, separate my race clothes from my other running clothes… Cannot go to bed yet…Woke up way too late!!!

News on the knee: Would not want to be happy yet for it. Felt good at first (the 6:xxam part), then a bit bad (the 9:xxam part…), then fine again and during the day it was just like a vague feeling of annoyance in the side of the knee cap. Definitely not running today, but hope that it will be fine or better tomorrow. at least i can go up & down the stairs (carefully!) without grimacing of pain like yesterday…. Oooops! Forgot there are no stairs in this marathon 😦

Stockholm – 2 days to go… will try to rest now…

A day with carb can only be a good day… (or was it “a day in the sun…”?)

Someone kindly left the city taking with him the nice temperature we had so far, leaving behind a stupid wind and a cold sun…Any chance to get our last week’s weather back?…please?…

When the alarm quietly started, the brain was not really in sync. Not understanding what was happening..Snooze. Closing the eyes. Wait a sec… Must have rang got a reason… Remember then this final quality run set for today. Crazy time to do it at 5:15am, but seriously loaded with work all day, I could not fund a better time slot…ok, there was NO other time slot. Gear on, 5°C outside meaning, shorts, calve sleeves, tshirt and arm sleeves. Even took my sunglasses… Brrrrr! Coooold… But after a few 100s m it felt ok. Decided to give it a try for this stupid knee. 10K easy pace, real ready first 3 where the knee felt a little bit. After that it must have been warm enough as it felt smoother to run. Smell of freshly baked buns when passing the bakery factory…Hmmm…hungry! Turned back after 8km…should have enjoyed them more than I did because from this moment on, it wad full headwind until the end… Quick pitstop after the 10K, light stretch and off for 5 2-minutes intervals. Time intervals are not my favourite, although I started to like those 2 or 4-minutes series. Anyway, back to the run. Strong headwind, could hold easily the pace of most the bikes 🙂 they looked like it was really painful to pedal… Completed the run with a light cooldown.
Surprisingly the left knee did not protest during the intervals…at all! I understand as well why some people run their marathon at 3:41/km…it is REALLY nice pace, indeed! Could hold it for 1,1.5 minutes and it felt really great :o)
Back home, hot treatment in the knee, and banana breakfast + juice. Yoooohoo, the carbs are back!
Then it was work, lunch in nice company (ate tandoori chicken with naan bread and completed after that with an ice cream…). Three carbo loading is definitely on! Have had extra banana during the day, dried cranberries, drank sport drink and extra water. Three sport drink is only because I need an extra bottle for my water on race day… This evening I could enjoy a pizza made by G at the pizzeria he is practising 🙂 cool! Don’t know (and don’t care) if pizza is on the list for carboloading, but I had one. Have now probably taken up the grams lost during the carb depletion 😉
Completed the day with a Thai massage and asking to have a little extra press on the left knee felt like pushing a needle (those large ones) into the knee. But later on, it felt good. Back to normal soon I hope.
Cosy evening, lots of ironing to catch up with and now time for bed. Will be nice with bank holiday tomorrow and then travel the day after…
Plans already made with J for visit to Stockholm, have to check my list and pack tomorrow. Not much, most important being the shoes 🙂  All under control!

Stockholm…3 days to go…

My kingdom for carbs… and my blister back!

Too short night… Real tired/exhausted when those  *%&&&&#!? birds woke me up at 4:44am… 4:44am!!! Not good when it is at the start of week prior to the race. Calculated wrong as well the timer for the washing machine and it made a lot of noise one hour way too early… No need to say, the day started…too early! Yapp! Need a bit more than that to cut my motivation… Light breakfast (no carb) added an egg and half avocado for doing an omelet. OK-yummy. Early leaving for work for a full day again. Meetings back2back, fortunately some finishing a few minutes in advance so I could gab some tea or eat my eggs. Lunch arrived already – meat, egg, avocado, salad… Just missing some COLOUR in all this! Finished meeting 20 minutes earlier in the afternoon, which allowed to get back home quicker, get more tea and then finish the meetings day from home. Time for dinner – nope, still not looking forward to it! Second half of avocado, eggs, tunafish and grated cheese and salad… OK-yummy… still missing some COLOUR here as well! Decided to test the knee a bit.

Gear on, light massage with chilli cream and off under the sun going down. Got company so to ensure I would NOT run too fast. The knee is definitely not as usual and not liking the run at this slow pace. Did try some accelerations and it felt actually a bit better/lighter, and this despite the headwind. got a light 5km and back home, through the shop to buy some sport drink. Then light core and hot shower on the knee, followed by ice-treatment. Update of training diary and now my eyes are JUST closing themselves….

and yes, I would exchange my royal kingdom for carbs (a-n-y-t-i-m-e!) and having my blister back…instead of this knee-cap fooling around 😦 Yes the blister is still there, but seriously, I would rather run with this fully open, than with a knee potentially hurt. Time for bed…someone needs some beauty sleep 🙂

What about tapering and depleting all at once?…

(OK, this post title probably does not mean anything for English native speakers or not even to non native speaker, but it sounded ok in my head… so should be ok…)

OK, last episode ended with a knee not too happy right before bed… Today’s episode started with an early alarm ringing (forgot to change it as had planned for a morning run…a while ago…), got up and NICE! my knee was feeling fine…DOUBLE-NICE! my Achilles heels felt actually fine as well… Getting ready and preparing breakfast for the troops… Decided to start working right away. This would mean not too much walking to the office, resting the knee and using fully the time available during the day.

7:15am – already worked for a while when the first trooper popped the head in the kitchen. Quick pause from working and then it was already time to work again. Spent the day moving from sitting to standing to sitting again to standing…and no, my table at home is not able to go up&down like at the office… Lots of thinking for work, which made me a bit free from marathon thoughts (nice some time)… until reaching 11:30am when it is the scheduled time for common lunch run with colleagues 😦 OK, felt a bit down for a few minutes… Then it was time for a quick check at the near-by shoe-store to try… a new sport-bra. I know, it is NOT the time to get a new outfit, but if I need to run in sport-bra on Saturday, I need to have my club logo on it… Anyway, always (?) fun to try this type of apparel in a shop with only guys there. Surely the help is great for the shoes  (strongly recommending them), but for this…a bit unsure. They do say the “correct” things, but it felt more like “looking good, so should be good”. Tried two different sizes and nope, it is NOT easy to decide… because you might be able to jump a bit, run on a treadmill for a short while…you will NEVER know how it feels after 42.2km when you actually buy your sport-bra… Anyhow, took pretty short time, back home and getting wonderful (you hear the irony here?) lunch, trying to subtly cut down on the carbs …maybe…juuuuuuust maybe the body won’t notice it… Took 2,5seconds before I throw some rice leftover into the saucepan to join the meat and the salad 🙂 Yuuuuumy! lots of water drinking (or probably not enough. Felt thirsty all day long). The knee felt quite fine so took a short break to bike to town and get my legs down (read: 2kg less is not neglectable…:) and yes I know it is not making me 2kg lighter 🙂 but feels like it!). Bike back home, new try at the sport shop and then more work to do.

The afternoon just disappeared and then it was evening already. A bit of chat regarding travel to Stockholm and then time for dinner (already?…). While preparing dinner, I “patched” my evil left knee with cold oil, got it an ice-treatment for a while and then it was time to eat. My afternoon snack was two boiled eggs and my dinner turned into pork chops with spinach, garlic and butter and grated cheese on the top 🙂 he he he! Who said no carb must be boring?… (OK, I do say that, and it is true. The troopers had pasta with their pork chops and I had to fight for not eating in their plates!). Would give my kingdom for a banana or some pasta (yes, plain pasta, nothing fancy!). – Probably writing this every time it is depletion before marathon…and nope, I never learn…

Mr Bump helped a bit to cool down my evil knee...

Mr Bump helped a bit to cool down my evil knee…

The day arrive to its end, soon dark outside. In a week, it will all be gone already… Monday will be just Monday…

5 days to go and all the energy in the world that cannot be used for running… Any suggestion for not becoming nuts before Saturday lunch? (yes, it is OK to become nuts after passing the finish line… Isn’t it happening to all people passing a finish line?…)


When the blister’s away, the knee will play…

OK, let me wake up tomorrow and we are the day after the race. Just like that. Not even asking to have gone under a great time, just under a dream time  😉 (and highly probably not MY dream time…). Why? let’s rewind a bit…

Sun‘s up since a while when my eyes opened. Late in bed and definitely late awaken. Quiet outside (what happened with the birds?…Sunday’s sleep in?). A bit undecided whether to go for a run now or later…muchmuch later… But once again, when you are awaken, you cannot sleep any longer…can be a good way to start the day with a little run. Changed quietly to running gear, little drinking and off on the pavement. Slightly sunnier than the day before, I chose to test another outfit for the race. Still Sport-bra + shorts, but for having during a different weather. Left knee-cap started to bother after 200m…yeaaaaaah, wonderful! Got along still and planned to cut the run short if needed. A bit of cheering by Sunday workers (told them would be back in an hour….) and then straight forward, sun in the face. Indeed it was a bit windy, stomach became a bit cold, but would it be a race, it would not take long for forgetting it… the faster you run, the quicker you get to the finish line, right? Not much happening during the run (apart from this left knee not wanting to leave me alone…figure of speech here: I would not WANT it to leave me alone as it would make it a bit hard to run back home.) Change a bit my route after 5km, felt fine and wanted to run a little more. Knee was sensitive all the way, but the sun on the face made it bearable. After 7km I remember I was in tapering week and definitely not time for extra km. And even worse if the knee was shouting to stop as well. So turned back home and ran to get to the breakfast table 🙂 [Got comments from the Sunday workers that it had taken longer than an hour when I passed them the second time…]. No direct shower, but ice-treatment directly after coming back home. Skipped the daily light core because the knee did not feel that helpful and willing to cooperate…

Took it easy during the rest of the day (read: went voting – walked with low-heel shoes – ensured my blister on the toe was better than the day before – biked to soccer game) and then it was already evening. Chilling out in front of a movie and by bedtime decided to try doing the light core workout, which went really well. The knee did not feel really good after the movie, probably because not moving much, so ice-treatment before bed as well. Real tired…

SO yes, when the blister’s away, the knee will play… hope it will be just a little tiredness which will disappear overnight… No time for this really!!!

Stockholm is less than 7 days away now… Weather forecasts extend from sunshine-26ºC-clear skies (read: hot like h*ll, sweaty, and not that easy) to cloudy-14ºC-high humidity-light wind (read: why not, it sounds too good to be true, do not forget to drink) OR rain-10ºC-windy (read: OMG-stormy weather-wet-and-slippery-no supporter)… A great way to solve this is to go there and book the weather I want…

When fast becomes faster despite blister :(

After yesterday’s warmth-training, had in mind short intervals workout at midday. Rain during the night, so why not testing a 13-14ºC, high humidity instead…

Early birds were not tired this morning neither, but I was. Snooze the alarm and skipped the cheering planned at 6:55am for the departure of a bike race. One hour later, the legs really wanted to run. So gear on and headed to the street under a nice but shy sun. Had to turn back for allergy tablets (had none for past two days and it definitely feels itchy-scratchy… No sunglasses, so my eyes were crying most of the time as well. Easy warmup, with a pretty sensitive left knee 😦 Stopped after a few 100s m and massaged a bit. Decided to continue, but IF would feel more or similar after 5km (which was the planned warmup), I would then turn back home and skip the intervals. Felt quite ok after 5km, light stretch and went along with my short 400s. I like them. The 200s are too short for me to even start running fast…they are already finished! 400s on the other side feel more adapted to my slow-start-way-of-running… Got a new PB on the distance: 1:18.1 (!) I know I know, I did run a fast one in February which was 1:18.9 (!), so really much faster, right? Anyway, this was a long serie so went for it just. The feet felt fine, a bit heavy with the shoes, but for giving me such time…I AM HAPPY! Had an interval “à la Ryan Hall” (i.e. more straight in the upper body, long steps) and one “à la Usain Bolt” (i.e. more ahead and slightly faster…Really thinking I was there to win the distance 🙂 ). Then easy cooldown back home. Followed this with light stretch and light core and light breakfast 🙂

Time passed quite fast and it was already time to get lunch ready. G grilling, I just had to start the grill and call when it was ready. Got time to go through the information for Stockholm marathon next week. Reviewing a bit the route and planning where I could have strategically (!) placed my water. Not sure really, but can definitely test a bit during this race. Lunch was then gone and I eventually lay down on the soffa for a quick nap…of 1.5hr… Got toast ready and headed to the city…pretty calm and quiet. Stopped by the pharmacy to show my wonderful toe (the one I thought had a ward-which-was-not-one-and-now-has-been-frozen-and-has-a-large-blister-on-blister-which-I-emptied-twise-already-and-yes-I-know-I-have-a-race-in-less-than-a-week). Not smart I am told (like I did not know…). Got suggested to have a regular band-aid until the race, tight around the toes and have those special band-aid during the race… the risk being that the band-aid is so tight that it takes off all the skin of the blister when I eventually want to take it off… Hmmm, what a nice choice… WHY on earth did I freeze this thing! Walked back home along the water-side and then time to prepare dinner. and then movie. and now bed.
NOTE: skipping evening run as the knee is a bit not as I would like it to be. Nothing can be improved now anyway…only can be worse (look at what I have done with my toe for example…)

What about a hot lunch run under Sahara-like sun…

Friday.15k.easy.just had to figure out when to do it: very early morning run, run over lunch, run right after leaving work or run later during the evening. Chose the first alternative, just to see if could handle the heat for 15km…

Started the day with light core workout. Felt so good I extended the “Walking with the ball” to 2 minutes and a smile! Then hurried to first and early morning meeting. Drank half a bottle of sport drink while working and by lunch-time, it felt it was time to get those legs and feet out under the sun 🙂

[extract from training diary]
Started 20minutes later than planned, so still had time enough for the run up to max.1h30 (but this would mean as well running to the first afternoon meeting without showering or eating…not too appealing maybe…)
First 2km felt pretty warm – no, HOT. No wind, no air really to breath nicely. Nothing compared to Alicante warmth, this was really dry warmth. Reached the bottom of the bridge and regretted not to have a bottle of water with me. Even thought about turning back. But was already at the top of the bridge. Down to the Opera it felt better, but running along the water was not as “refreshing” as expected. Still very dry. Got lots of cheering at the Stena Line dock from teenagers awaiting for the class bus (thanks! that helped! 🙂 ) Then continued along the water.
Stopped @km7.5 for ca.2 minutes for asking for water in a lunch restaurant. 2 full glass which went down real fast despite being ice cold. A few more cheering 🙂 The outfit might help a bit!
Felt much better after that and took the little slope singing (and a little kid looked pretty puzzled at me, having his dad explaining “SHE” must be training for something 🙂 ). Almost got bicycled over on the way down by a very fast bicycle (and without engine this one). Then took 2more km to become heavy again. Having no tram card and no money (real smart…), the only way was to finish the run. Nice around Röda Sten with a bit of headwind, still nice to have some wind! Running up the bridge was a plague: considered 3 times to start walking, but remembering that the challenge next Saturday will be NOT to walk at all (compared to last year) – slow-run as a snail rather than walking-fast. This is the plan. Reaching the km5 of GV corresponded to my km10, which made me very happy. 5km left.
Tried to catch up with two guys on the bridge but real tough and still hot. The way down felt good, then along the water again. Not much wind, but a little was good enough. Second little bridge over, closing the gap with the two guys without really accelerating (or?). The final km was a bit odd with all the people taking their lunch-break relaxing on the pier and me arriving sweaty like crazy and running the final part with headwind (of course…).

Way too fast run. But at least I know I can hold this pace for longer would the weather be similar in Stockholm. Just have to remember to drink…

This was a brilliant idea (seems like…) to have this run done. The only thing was I are 2 bananas and a gainomax right after and started to work. Planned to get home early and eat, but turned out differently… Home by 5pm crazy hungry, went food-shopping and then time for dinner: double portion of pasta bolognese and ice cream with warm homemade chocolate sauce… Yapp, already carbo loading 😉
Feeling sooooo ready to run a marathon tomorrow…

Now of course the stomach is cramping a bit: too much core training? Too much running with minimal outfit? Too cold shower after run? Too much food this evening? … Too many questions! Willow on TV and then sleeping time. If I can’t run fast next Saturday, I’ll try to look good and rested at least !

Ciao! And keep on running….

Stockholm: 8.days.left….

Such a beautiful daaaaaaaaayyyyyy, today :)

You wait and wait and wait and FINALLY! after 364 days long wait, it finally arrives… 😉

Having worked late yesterday, the PLAN was to do NOTHING today… Of course the birds were way too happy to celebrate as well and woke me up before 6am (and no I was NOT happy with their singing). Stayed in bed for a while, and seriously by 7:30am I was seriously bored already! Up for light breakfast, had to resist for not getting into my running shoes (rest day as well today… well planned!). The only scheduled activity for the day was 90 minutes thai massage at 9am 🙂 Noticed one of my toes still hurt after yesterday’s run…and indeed I had a little blister all-around what I thought was a ward. And nope, it was not a ward, because I froze it two days ago and by looking at it, it must be something else from the running but definitely not a ward. The blister is really painful in a close shoes, so had special tape on it for the day. (lesson learned: do not freeze something if you are not 100% sure it is a ward 😦 ). Back to the massage, first arrived, heard myself saying that “sure, you can press a bit harder”… and it was done. But ok, not as much pain as expected. Would have been nice to have it right after the race though… And then it was 10:35am… a full sunny day ahead. Sushi for lunch, few errands and then ended sunbathing for a little while after reading in my new marathon book. Lazy as a bee (because bees CAN be lazy…or?) for the rest of the afternoon. Restaurant for celebrating and then back home under a sun still high and warm. Did some thinking with GE for the water system to adopt during Stockholm marathon and now time for bed. Early start tomorrow and hoping for an early finish too!

Stockholm marathon…1-digit figure is reached!!! 9 DAYS LEFT…
(if only it could be 2…)


NOTE: no training but light core workout today…

When the legs say they are stiff and the mind says “so what?”…

Birds out, too early, snooze…

Probably can be looking like any other day, but today the legs were not willing to cooperate. They just did not want to leave the bed. WAY too early… the mind kept saying “so what”, and eventually after lots of snooze, the legs responded and hop! I was up. Quickly drinking my green mix, light morning core and doing a few chores before leaving early for work. Sun already shining and promise: it was singing this morning!!! Had planned to skip the lunch run for a morning run and already the plans were no longer fine. Work work work. Good sessions. Good mood. No lunch-date so headed to get sushi under the sun, and why not, let’s be crazy…got an ice-cream as well. Had “survived” the morning with 2 bananas as I noticed I had forgotten my breakfast at home 😦 Afternoon in meeting, with water-drinking, banana and apple (and a few tea cups and chocolate cups as well…). Late enough, having sent last mail of the day (I thought…), headed back home. Still pretty warm and sunny. That would do.

Change into running gear. Quick drink of juice and then on the road again (he he he…). Took a street to get the sun in the back first and then along the docks. Nice and warm in the air. Did not regret to have the minimum gear on me! Yes it does make people look, but who cares. Meeting a dad from my club, biking back home. We chatted a bit (him biking and me running (@4:30 I noted after getting back home….)) and then he left after giving his best of luck for Stockholm marathon. Cheering from the fishermen close to the fish auction and then straight along the water. Nice and fast(er than planned). But ok. Turned back after 6km and hoped for having tailwind then… SPOT ON! YOU GUESSED RIGHT! the wind just followed me…headwind and sidewind… 😦 After this distance, took a few minutes rest, kindly got water from the pizzeria close to “my” hill and then got started. Did not remember if it was 8 or 10 reps, so headed towards 10 (just in case…). Noted at the top of the first hill that my watch was not on (typical!!!!), so ultimately at the end, I did 11 (ELEVEN) hills… Got nice flow with the legs, but the feet were a bit heavy with those shoes (?). Got lots of cheering: from the hairdresser after reps 1-2-3. from a guy walking down at rep 5 asking if I was at rep 10 already… from the scooter guy I let pass (!) before rep 7. From the girl with the dog walking slowly up after rep 8. From the cops (!) buying sushi right before rep 10. Great hill! and then a little turn around the block for getting a niceandround 14km. Light stretch and home.

Not too hungry then, took a protein drink and shower. Then evening chores, sending THE last work email of the day and it is now 9:10pm and I am CRAZY tired, so will hit the pillow shortly. Tomorrow is rest day (actually this particular day should be declared rest day and off day every year… which is why -until it happens for real- I take it off anyway…). Massage booked already for starting the day… Will be soooo nice, body really craving for it since the race on Saturday.

Now we reached the LAST 2-digits number for the days left before Stockholm marathon… Yoooohoooo!

And then it was 6:39am…

A long day always start early and ends late, correct?

When the alarm showed 4:55am, I seriously questioned WHO had set this, and what day we were, and why it was already so light outside… snooze… Took 2 minutes to realize I was awaken anyway so as good to go up and get ready. Gear change, hesitated which shoes to take, opted for older GT-2000 (pink laces). A bit tricky as they have been fixed on the inside of the right heel, and the “feeling” is not optimal. But would do for today. Easy out, music on, had rained during the night so not too warm and still fresh in the air. Body felt fine. Pretty soon felt it probably was faster than “easy” but did not bother to care. Just getting this round done. Nice with running the bridge the other way around, felt a little tired, but seeing the control point for “congestion tax” were still sleeping (i.e. before 6:00am…) so did a little acceleration…just for the fun. Felt than my watch was beeping slightly before my “km-marks”, but all-in-all it would be fine. Crossed the motorway bridge (no crazy car this morning) and then took a little larger at the roundabout to avoid the large waterpool in the road I usually take. And then it was just straight back home. Just listening to the music. Passed the “control-point” again… still sleeping! Pretty early run then 🙂 Checked my watch at a moment as I thought I had to find 2 extra km to get a nice 12km-morning-tour, but right when checking the watch beeped 11km 🙂 Cool! Just 1km to find! Final 500m were a delight with acceleration all the way 😉

Back home, light stretch, started to boil my breakfast eggs while lying on the mat for light core workout. Then shower, breakfast, hanging the laundry, fixing the dishes and getting myself ready for work…

And then it was 6:39am…

OK, maybe a bit early to get cracking’… A bit of work from home and then headed to the office. Chose to continue the “snickers week” because it feels the Achilles pretty like it. Rushed to an aquarium meeting room where I spent the whole morning with two interruptions between meetings to refill my tea mug… Lots done. Good! Time for lunch in nice company. Had eaten a couple of bananas during the morning so was surprised to even be hungry. Ferry back home and more work to do. When the working was finally getting to its end, got to buy my green mix and linseed-oil (disgusting…) and back home. More to do (i.e. what was not done after 6:39am…) and then time to head to the mat for first session of core&stability. This is just killing me. It is NOT difficult, it does NOT hurt… but STILL it is always late I am doing this. And it does NOT EVEN take longer than 40minutes tops… Yapp, motivation must be there! Better going up early and doing it so!

Now it starts to get a bit tired and a long day ahead tomorrow before rest day from everything 🙂

Stockholm marathon…11 days left (…Hmmm….when did it turn into a 2-digits number of day left?!?!?!)

Tapering week 1 – Day 1 (or a lunch recovery run going way faster than planned, core feels good and lots of work…)

And it was Monday again. Who said time was linear? It is actually going round round round…nothing else!
Started easy after a good night’s sleep with easy core training before breakfast. Choose to continue the “taking-care-of-my-ankles-and-heels” by wearing my blue/green BGS to and at work. Yes, I feel much shorter (ok, I AM shorter!) but if it is needed to have healthy Achilles until Stockholm marathon, so be it. Did have high heels shoes in my bag…just in case 😉
Spend morning in meetings and at lunch headed to another floor to get a colleague for lunch run. And I did not get one, but TWO to follow 🙂 We finally became a group of a few, decided to take an easy 8km to the bridge as most of us had been running the half marathon on Saturday and that was sounding like the smartest thing to do. Did not get the “easy” pace I wanted (and deserved…), but running @ 4:36min/km and talking all along should be listed as a good training 🙂 light stretch when at halfway, little run uphill to the bridge and light run back to work. Quick shower, more chat as I was not the only one changing in the ladies changing room and back to my seat. 2eggs and juice while working. Waited a but for eating a shrimp-wrap (he he he, say this very fast several times “shrimp-wrap” 😛  ) and more meetings.
Left the office later than usual and got home where got chores done and headed to the mat for rehab exercises. Did not get them done since week 18… but it felt ok. Long phone chat with a friend, update of training diary and time for bed…already.
Has been raining a lot this evening. Expecting to be a but chilly when I go out tomorrow morning…

Lots to do and think of this week… Have to make a masterplan for training..even though it is the first week of tapering…more thinking to do… But today the body felt well rested. Would have taken gladly a massage, but plan to do that on Thursday…Day-off 🙂 The mind seems like starting to get into a bubble before race… Pretty strange, feels like going slow motion sometimes…

Stockholm marathon…Less than two weeks from now…

Kind-of-tapering, sun, more work and a training-race under the sun – weekly update…

(Week 20140512-20140518)

Easy Monday, meaning starting up early with light core exercises, then getting to work, back2back meetings, cancelled my running-lunch plans and thought finishing the afternoon working from home. Morning went as planned, but then I got two unplanned meetings at the office, which meant no going back home. Which ALSO meant I could have run at lunch with my colleagues. Saw them leaving the building with a large smile (and me aiming to the restaurant for a nice lunch with a colleague). So lunch run was replaced by an easy afternoon recovery run. Easy pace, no pressure, just nice. A bit sensitive Achilles, which I might see as a result of wearing high heels at work… Solution for race week: wearing snickers (read:running shoes)… Finished the day with packing (light) for travelling on Tuesday.

Long Tuesday started with light core in the morning to wake up the body a bit. Still sensitive heels. Then on a rush: dropp off, fast to work, bus transport for meeting, then back to the office, meetings again, change of lunch plans due to unplanned meeting and then time to get to the train station… 1:45pm and it was lunch time (finally…). Got a sub with chicken teriyaki. OK, I guess. But would trade this for sushi next time. 3hours train-trip. Tried to work but the wifi was rubbish and it was a real pain to get things done. Got the hotel and worked some more (well, what was not done in the train…) and then went out hunting for food. Rest day today. Making me crazy! Felt should have run even just a little bit this morning. Got to an Italian restaurant and ordered pasta, with chicken, mushrooms, leeks and white sauce. Real delicious. Back to the hotel.  Took 30minutes before cramping stomach. Sooooo annoying. Reacting to the cream in the pasta, for sure. But it was SO really good. Took a long hot shower to get rid of the pain and then tired got to bed. Rest day? could have passed on this one!

So what about a “very-long Wednesday” then? Up @6:20am, got ready quick to get to breakfast and there is was already more crowded than NY central station at busy hours… Got a good breakfast, unsure what we would eat during the day. Full day of network meeting. Lovely. Will get my mind busy, getting new ideas and hopefully not thinking about “how-on-earth-I-will-be-setting-a-training-workout-in-today’s-day”… Have the privilege (?) to test-drive 2 trucks (those huge ones, 25.25m and fully load (60tons!)), as well as a city bus and a truck with trailer fully loaded on a gravel road. Pretty fun! Especially when doing it in skirt/jacket and running shoes 🙂 Got finished by 4pm, but our train was not coming before 5:32pm… Did some reading. Even considered (while waiting at the train station) changing to running gear, doing my training as fast as possible so I would not miss the train… THAT is a motivator! Train delayed. Then got pretty slow and more delay. I saw the clock ticking and thought would be way too late to train. Arrived home it was still nice in the air and light, so just had to change to running gear and headed towards a flat place for one long part and pretty fast 2minutes-serie. Not high on the motivation (Heeeeellllo…… got up early and full day work and travelling…) but the 5km disappeared pretty fast (especially when I quickly checked my watch and notice Ooooh, I will soon reached 21min, have to accelerate…which I did…which made my watch beep, …which mean “too slow” I thought….which made me run even faster….still having a beeping watch….until the bout finished and I noticed that…the beeping meant too fast…that I had run 30sec faster than the fastest range planned…OK then…will see how the 2-minutes go. And then were FAST! Felt much better doing them and completed the workout with a smile…tired, but with a smile…(probably of exhaustion…). Light core to complete the day and headed to my pillow .)

And it was sunny Thursday then. Had my high heels in my bag (JIC…) but went to work in running shoes. Not a chance I will get my Achilles feel better this week if wearing high heels all the time… The sunny weather outside felt outrageous…as this was a rest day (again? yapp!). Today was a leg resting day- Light core only 🙂 And still not much sleep (but much work done…)

TGIF! Good start of the day with light core and then getting to work. Running shoes on still. Back2back meetings until lunch time and sushi-lunch in nice colleague company. Little longer lunch – always appreciated 🙂 And it was time for the final meetings of the day before heading back home. By then the clouds were a bit out but still sunny and a bit warm/heavy in the air. Running gear on, took an easy afternoon run, but the motivation was not there. The legs could run on their own, and they did. Achilles heels felt pretty sensitive, especially the right one 😦 no fun. Even though it disappears after a couple of km…it should just NOT be felt this way. Spent the evening preparing my gear, checking the weather and reading my summary from last year’s race… I know this route, but for tomorrow the objective was simply to get around under 1:37 (last year’s time) and if can do, under 1:30. But all would be good as this was not a top-prio race, more to be taken as final long run before Stockholm marathon. Especially considering the past three weeks with over 100km/week which is much for me…

Saturday was race-day. Got to run faster than last year by 7minutes and 4seconds. Got to test how to run without extra energy carried on me, but with a cheering squad ensuring I would get little @two places of the race. More on Göteborgsvarvet 2014 here. Good race, completed in 1:30:01…which makes it necessary (?) to register for next year’s edition and finally getting under 1:30!!! Sunny day, painful Achilles heels after the race, stomach cramps after race and restaurant celebration afterwards… Good day 🙂

To finish the week, came Sunday 🙂 Additional rest day. Up around 7:15am, too much light outside. Rested longer and then finally went up to start breakfast. This was time for G&E races right after lunch-time. Bicycled a bit, body felt fine, Achilles heels felt fine. Got to run as well to get from one point to another one and being able to follow the race… Yapp. Good rest day, finished with home-made pizza. What’s a difference as (rest) day made?….

Week summary: A bit sluggish feeling. Maybe (probably?) the results of three heavy weeks leading to this one. So certainly a good thing to have cut down on the volume this week. Now will start tapering before Stockholm marathon. Hoping that motivation is a bit higher up by then 🙂

Keep on running!

Race Report – Göteborgsvarvet 2014/05/17

Planned: Faster than 2013 (1:37…) and if feeling fine, would be nice with sub90 (which was the objective from last year’s race…). Training-race.

Actual: official finish time 1 – 1:29:47 // official finish time 2 – 1:30:01 (on my Garmin: 1:30:02).
SO: either PB on this route by 7min18sec OR 7min 4sec faster than last year’s race… Yapp! 14seconds miss for all starting in the Elite corral… I take the second finish time (even though I would have pushed harder if I would have known…). Weather conditions: warm to hot, Motivation level: low before start, a little higher when the start gun shot, ok throughout the race (well: “ok level for a fast training workout”). Results are fine, especially regarding new PB for the race and the overall preparations (being last weekend of heavy training before marathon tapering)

Splits (official)

Official splits

Official splits

Place               48 (40 – guntime)
Place (total)  1244
Time total      01:30:01
Average pace 04.16 min/km

Eyes opened first at 2:33am. Way too early to start getting ready! Too much water-drinking the evening before…Birds still asleep. Took probably one more hour to fall asleep again. Up with the birds this time before the alarm rang at 7:45am. Pretty lazy start for the day. Changed to running gear for a little morning jog. Sure, I don’t change for a short run, BUT for today it felt ok. Stopped shortly for buying croissants (not for me though…) and then ran more-than-easy 2km with croissants in one hand. Not too easy to run… Shower, got ready with race gear and set the hair…and it was not even 9:00am… Time for light breakfast (green mix with red & apple juice, allergy tablet, toast with blueberry jam + jasmin tea/honey). Looked again at the race report/times from last year and see where it became tough then. Hydration well-organized with 2dl water or Powerade blue every 30min.

Planned outfit

Planned outfit

Hoping for one of those splits...

Hoping for one of those splits…

And then it was 11:15am and time to drop T at her friend. Reviewed a final and 56th time where G&E would be during the race and off we left. Walk easy, check mobile numbers and easy jog with bag on the back to the start. Headed directly to IK-Jogg meeting point for final pep-talk and cheering and then to the start tent for meeting colleagues. Walked on muddy/wet grass making my ASICS and race-socks completely wet. Great start 😦 Good with the sun, changed socks and to racing shoes. Met Lars L directly when arriving 🙂 Then French colleagues, Swedish colleagues and a bit of chat around. Got to chat with Jimmy&co and got some pep from it (thanks!)

Nice to see lots of energy, when mine was definitely not on the top. Race outfit had been checked and approved at home and it was well-chosen: Moremiles short shorts, club white singlet lifted in sport-bra, ADIDAS Adizero Adios Boost purple and blue sunglasses. If not going fast, at least I would look cool 🙂 A couple of pics before race and then started a rubbish-kind-of warm-up (tricky with crowded place for running and accelerations were far from effective if you included the necessary zigzagging between people running or crossing the road…).

12:47am – Warm-up completed. Got a final glups of Powerade, for the thirst. Met Johan P before start and then it was time to get ready towards the little yellow line for Elite-start. Impossible to get the first line as for the giants already positioned there… and THEN little before start time arrive the international elite…. Wooooow! THAT is SO definitely COOL! They are looking so composed and focus, even if smiling some do give some “hi there”. Spotted a short elite woman who succeeds to push herself on the front row…Coool! Surrounded by giants, it feels a bit lost. Had seen a few Swedish elite women and will see if can hang along with them a liiiitle while before they disappear 🙂

12:59pm – Definitely not ready to start. Garmin is ready though. 30sec to start is announced. Final jokes from Swede Elite-guys (how can they still joke now?!?!?!). 10sec…

1:00pm – PANG! Once again not realizing really what I am doing, pressing start on my watch at the same time (as this is gun-time counting for Elite start), passing the start-mat like in trance which continue for a while. Fireworks in the skies are really loud and follow us for a short while. Little up goes fine and then down. Passing the little elite-woman who stopped already to fixed her shoe laces (no worries, she passes me pretty soon after…). Quick check on the watch and yes, 3:44 IS too fast, but seriously if it is the way it should be, then be it! I’ll be tired anyway within short time… Passing first km in 3:55. OK 12seconds faster than last year, but at least I am trained for this pace this year 🙂 Continuing on the wave, but still like not really being there. Passing the water-control and grabbing a water for dropping my hands in it. And km2 is reached already. Slightly slower, but still 12sec faster than last year. Recommendations of taking it easy for the first km in Slottskogen are NOT easy to follow when being in this start group. By km2, Johan P and Olivier A have passed me with a good luck smile. Getting a few cheering during the climbing of Sälsdammsbacken (which IS pretty long… should definitely not train only on the first 200m for next year!). But still reaching the top and then it is downhill and continuing to be carried by the human wave and the cheerings from both side of the road. Not many women passing by by then, which is fine. Got a cheering from Lars W from MIK around km3 (Nice to hear my name so early 🙂 ). Feeling is ok, but not more. I know it is too fast, but I have a meeting with G&E at km11 between 40 and 43minutes after start. So better hold this tempo until then! Got to chat with Andreas S before he disappeared 🙂 And more cheering by David P in Majorna/Mariaplan. There is is REALLY crowded on both sides. THANKS! And then it is just to run down to water station of km4. Taking 2 mugs of water: little drinking and already showering my legs. There are drizzling-showers throughout the route, but it is annoying to go through them when having sunglasses… Getting the uphill to the bridge at ok-tempo. Not fast but fine and good-enough for today’s plan. Passing km5 a little above 20min, (20:26 I noted on the results) and this is 1 minute faster than last year. And good to go for a 1:28-tempo. But I know it is too fast for this route and for my daily-form.

Following close the back of a gal with blue Runacademy-singlet, almost got passed by another gal on the bridge, but on the way down towards km6 both of them disappear. Almost slowing down in the downhill from the bridge (sorry, H, I changed this shortly after noticing it!), passing a few there and turning towards the water station. Remembering last year awful place here. Taking a sport drink for mouth-rinsing and drink a couple of glups of water. Turning towards Eriksberg, seeing for the FIRST time the sign “km7” (never noticed it in previous races, nor km8…) and thinking of Per M cheering for me last year (still unsure if I would have completed the race last year if it was not for this particular cheering at this point of the race). I know he started a little after me. Thinking of what he said, taking the race as a training run and completing it. And yes, that actually it would have been nice to have him here today for a bit of both cheering and pulling… Until I here my name and a well-known voice. Turning my head and here he is! (and no, I have not started yet with the hallucinations…). SOOOO nice to hear a friendly voice and chat for a while. Sweaty both of us, but I.AM.HAPPY! Letting Per M moving along and after a while my focus on his back is stopping. Once again, nice to be woman and in the start as we are not that many. When a cheer comes for “come on girl”, I know it is for me 🙂 Not bothering too much to check the pace now. Getting to the shadow street. Noticing we are running in the middle of the road. Were we doing it last year? I thought we ran on the pavement then. Passing the water-station and then turning right to the little windy street. “Look, mum, she has only 3 numbers this one” is cheering a little girl on this road 🙂 Back to the side of the water and the sun. Straight line along the harbour, trying to get the crowd to cheer by lifting my hands and yes, it does help! Not to run faster, but to be more present. Hearing my feet pounding on the pavement as well. Turn right and it is just a little more to km10. Passing the 10K a bit over 41min (41:17). Which mean I am still ok to reach the meeting-point at the ferry station.

Running on the small street stones, remembering the cheering from AL last year at this point. Nothing this year as he is running as well. But “memory-cheering” work as well (especially when you get tired…) 🙂 Turn right and seeing a little hand outside the line of people and getting closed and the red hood-jacket and here they are! My best cheering-squad ever! Getting the cheering and my little bottle of yellow Powerade at the same time. You can do it I hear and then turning left. Have drank the Powerade quick, but the baby-bottles were not real smart to drink from at this pace. Being passed by a guy in nice short underwear (don’t know if that helps to look at other’s butt, but sometimes in races with these temperatures, you don’t bother really 🙂 ). After passing km11, it started to get boring and a bit heavy. As usual, lack of people all around is not helping keeping the mood up. Passed a couple of guys before reaching SVT-house, where a bit more people were cheering. But not as loud as would have been good! Boring run towards the second bridge…Boring how? Well, THAT much that I take the little outside curve to go through a photo-place instead of the inside curve as I usually do. (must be there I lost some seconds ;)…among others places!). Starting the way towards the bridge, not really motivated to accelerate as I usually do at this place during training. The body is fine, but the mind has got enough…since…a….while! Quick check at the watch to see that it indicates 5:02min/km…WHAT?!?!? OK, this is out-of-question! Can do better than that. Starting to run on the top of the toes and it feels so much lighter. Even catch up several places this way. Feeling good now! Even noticed the km14-sign somewhere… Reaching the top of the bridge and it is just to run down. Good flow. Getting a guy shouting to us “Come on almost finish” (First thought being “Thanks for the cheering” and quick second thought being “Sure, can see this is not you running” and the first thought coming back (thanks!)). Turn around the foot of the bridge, getting to the water-station which I ignore by far staying on the left side. Not a chance I am loosing more time. I’ll get water later I thought.

Km15 is passed and turning towards the Avenyn. Now it is heavy (or has it been heavy all the way?). Don’t even bothering checking my watch anymore. 1:27 was no longer on the possible finish time since a while and I kissed 1:28-goodbye probably already after km11… So just to keep it real and fine and finish in less than 1:37 was good enough for a training-race (best time on training for this route has been so far 1:41 on a Sunday morning and empty stomach. No sweat). The long street feels so extremely hot, and I know it is because I must be dehydrated or close to it. Bad call to skip the water-station @km15. Passing cheering crowd on both side and starting to hallucinate (?) again. Feels like running in slow motion, seeing this little girl I recall being friend to T and thinking I have to remember to call them after the race…when the mind quickly realise that this is not an hallucination, she is there! I say her name and hear back her mum cheering crazily at me 🙂 Yoooohoo! Have to be a little more straight in my running! And smile 🙂 And here is Pia on the left side…So cool to have here here and cheering! OK, they did their part of the job, so I just have to keep up the crazy slow pace I am having now to reach km18+ for the next cheering-squad station 🙂 Feeling fine (not good, just “fine”). The running up towards “Poseidon statue” is not that fun. Would have like more cheering from the crowd (which is actually thicker than usual I felt). Having a gal almost passing me on the way up, but I try to keep her pace for NOT letting her pass (yes, I know…there are still lots of km left for her to pass me…and I know it). Seeing on the other side of the road the women that started at the same time as me, quickly calculating that they would arrive probably 3-6minutes before me 🙂 Good for them. They look good. Seeing Espen R on the way down, cheering as loud as I can but he looks pretty focused (maybe I should be too…). Turning around the statue after grabbing a cup of water (directly on the legs…missed the drinking…), skipped the sponges, aaaaand it is now time for running downhill. Really? Is it downhill now? Not really feeling it, but seeing that I am passing a few blocks on the way (which is always nice). Turning left towards Vasagatan, which is terribly boring to run at any time of the year due to the traffic all-around. Now it would have been great to have cheering there as well (I will probably email the organization of the race for indicating which spots are to be filled with cheering squads for next year…). OK, now it is just a straight line to km18 and water-station (which I ignore nicely) aiming towards the turn left to ÖverHusargatan. Looking as far as I can and here they are, ready to give me a little bottle of blue Powerade and loads of smile and encouragements. Cannot let them down, well! I like this street, I can get up to speed slightly. More cheering for the crowd (hoping there are no gal behind me, because I doubt being able to increase the pace much more). Reaching the first little tunnel and getting some cheering from the guys on the side (thanks!) and then continuing upwards towards the bridge. Thanks for the people sitting there and indicating it is not far from the finish line, just have to bite a bit more! Taking the bridge up on the top of the toe, pretty calm and focused, passing a few blocks and the bridge is passed and it is the shadow of the trees now. Km20 time-mat is reached!

1:24:xx on the clock there…quick calculation. I must be able to finish within less than 5minutes now. Starting a little accelerations under the trees and then turning left to the pavement and accelerating even more. Getting to pass some more guys who seem pretty tired. Waking up even more at the howling of Eva F (THANKS!) and it is time to take the last strengths on this little stupid slope they placed before the arrival. And it is done. Passing more blocks. Entering the stadium and trying to read the clock. 1:29:…29…30…31… “Now this is the final runners who have the chance to be under the magic limit of 1hr30 who entered the stadium – yelled the speaker – cheer for them”… Getting max gear towards the finish line and DONE! Pressing my watch on 1:30:02 and the speaker saying (after I passed the finish line) that now the magic 1:30 has been passed. YES! I did it under 1:30…

After the finish line is crossed, getting water from the kind people all around. Feeling fine. Is it already finished? Meeting Oliver (finished in 1:17…and yes, he found the route a bit tough too :), walking around. Meeting Per M again (did it in 1:27:xx…I knew I should have followed him closer…). Off with my right shoe to take off the chip. Walking slowly towards the exit. Got thanked by a guy who tall me I had a nice running step and that was easy to follow. Great! Could have passed me and helped I thought and said 🙂 He did finished right before me. Dropping the chip and getting out of the stadium. 2 mugs of water, 1 of energy drink, one banana and then meeting Jimmy J again. He did it easy and nice in 1:22:xx… and Robban A right above 1:23. Have lots of people to pull me next year! Meeting Gabriel L E from Jogg (nice to have a real person behind a name and posts… 😉 ). Walking a bit with Jimmy and saying goodbye. Heading towards company-tent for massage. Meeting Lars again (unfortunately DNF, but understand it was the better decision for today). Then water (2 mugs) and blueberry-soup (2 mugs) and an apple. When I am done with the massage, my cheering squad has arrived. Quick pic “after race”. Changed of gear, waited a little to see some colleagues starting and then having changed shoes, heading back home with really easy jog.

Smile after-race :)

Smile after-race 🙂


Weather: 16ºC, Feels like 16ºC, 11 km/h W wind, Humidity 63% – Pretty sure it was warmer than 16ºC. Not the same warmth as in Spain last week and humidity was definitely not feeling that high). Warm? Definitely. Not like last year though.

Food: Green mix+red&apple juice+banana+tea+nutella toast @9-ish/
water/gatorade: 2dl every 30min (alternate)
During: 0.5/6dl powerade km11&18+
Right after: banana, kex chocolate, 1 full glass of ISOstar, 2 full glasses of water . In the tent: 2 mugs of water + 2mugs of blueberry soup + apple. Chausson aux pommes during easy jogg home. Later dinner: meat+French fries and large coke (+ice cream during evening walk)
Gear: Moremiles short shorts (2), SOC sport-bra on elastic, MIK white singlet (lifted under the sport-bra) – sFast running ADIDAS Adizero Adios boost purple. Fast shoes, no doubt. A little sensitive Achilles at start but nothing afterwards. Good to feel light during the uphills!

17/ A good 17 on the effort level. Mostly the mind trying to keep up with the body however. Final kms were not that high of a 17 though a strong 14 would be definitely it. Good race, tough but not to the extreme (especially compared to last year’s race). Would definitely run Rotterdam marathon twice than doubling Göteborgsvarvet-race… 🙂

NOTE: After-thought => Route ain’t easy. Weather conditions quite ok. A bit warm but not too much. Drinking: rubbish. Noted a loss of 2.5kg before/after race (and this includes the drinking during the race and right after before reaching home…). Have to check this drinking, because I thought I did fine during the race.
Official results: passing the finish line at place 40 (women), final rank 49th (as there were gals running a bit faster than me in other groups and having a net time faster) AND an improvement of 7min+ compared to last year. PB was not the plan at all, (it can’t be all the time!). Great from a training perspective. A bit of rest now!

After the race, got an easy jog home, which went pretty easy as I had serious cramp in the tummy. Shower, rest with legs up during 30minutes and then walk to near-by restaurant to enjoy a nice dinner. Sensitive Achilles heels felt better by the time to get to bed, which felt quite nice.

Great day: Best of it being having a cheering squad moving around, unexpected cheering along the route, chat (!) with running buddies during the race and of course the before/after meeting with running buddies. Sun shining? For sure! Good training for starting the tapering before Stockholm marathon in two weeks!


A few “after-race thoughts”

NOTE: training-race sounds quite tricky and they are. Not pushing too much, giving the possibility to test things, to have a pace faster than a fast-training pace… and still be in a run with thousands of other runners 🙂

NOTE: Quads? felt fine during the race. A bit sensitive during the cool down jog.

NOTE: Achilles heels? Fine during the race but sensitive before the race after later after resting at home. Quite ok in the evening

NOTE: Warmup? Rubbish to non-existent. Still a problem and today I actually had the possibility to warm-up as starting in the first corral. Unsure what to do though. Have to continue working on it.

NOTE: Extra energy during the race? Tested to have just a little energy-drink at km11 and 18.5. First one went all down, and I think it did good. The second one went half out / half in. Not sure it was necessary. Probably water would have been just good enough.

NOTE: sun-cream during sunny races is a must. Felt I missed some parts in the back of both arms and was pretty warm there. Fortunately no sunburn.

NOTE: Had thought being done with this particular race. Although not being under 1:30, does make it boring 🙂 So surely planning for participating to next year race, 5 minutes faster…Should be feasible 🙂


Doubles, quads on fire, long and sweaty, intervals and more beach – week summary :)

(Week 20140505-20140511)

“Double-trouble” Monday: started 7:30am (or this is what the clock wished for me…) hoping to skip the heat if the morning for running. Got into my gear and by 8:13am I was on the road. Started “smartly” with running up the Castle slope (yes, 17minutes after getting out of bed…), making me remembering the race from yesterday. Front thighs a bit aching and Achilles heels not too happy. But what is a little pain during the first 200m of a 12km-run?… Nothing to stop for, right? Got downhill after this and my quads told me to stop, which I did not listen to BUT I slowed down a bit. Got to the main road and got uphill towards Vista Hermosa. Took the beach road for reaching Playa del Postiguet aaaaand forgot the rock climbing part from last year. Took me over 13 minutes for getting one km done, being careful not to fall into the water on the slippery rocks… After that another favourite: 300m run on sandy beach 😦 and got to km6 pretty sweaty but not tired. Off with the singlet and turned back home (well, I actually turned left uphill and then left again downhill…ouch ouch ouch…). Easy on the way back. Unsure how I got so many downhills on this sense… Back in Alicante, it was just to get the beach side and then uphill back home. 12km slow (let’s call it “recovery”). Shower, breakfast of cereals, kiwis, banana and pineapple (I do have to eat those fruits I won, right?) and ready for a few sunny hours at the beach. Even succeeded in reading and getting into the water (once). Back home for a work-meeting and then after taking afternoon tea with pear and bread with honey, time to change for second run of the day. Could have taken alternative training, but no bike in sight and definitely not an alternative to swim in the sea… Unsure it was smart for this run either. Quads started to yell from start and my mind seemed to enjoy being deaf to the screaming. Pretty slow pace, started with the castle again (what’s wrong with me???…) down to the beach side, Volvo Ocean Race pier (twice) and then forward with the sun in the eyes. Stop by a shop for little purchase (& yes, my 20€ bill was a bit sweaty… This is what happens when having money in your side pocket when you run…). Despite the little pre-run massage with tiger balm, the quads did not seem happy for a while. Ended the day with reading on how to recover from a downhill race and it was time for bed. Tired.


“My quads are on fire” Tuesday: ok, not great sleep this night either, but little better. Achilles heels not shouting when I went up (7:32am), so ok for a morning run. Skipped the singlet directly, got my calve sleeves on and HR-shorts (they “seems” to pressure a bit in the thighs). Yes, quads again… Already shouting while going down the stairs… No need to describe the yelling reached when starting to run. Took another road trying to skip downhill as much as possible (yes,… Sure!). Got around around around. Slow slow slow pace. Not much effort but would I have run slightly faster, it would have definitely make people turn for the yelling (of the quads… Can’t be just me hearing them, or?…). Got enough by km10 and just reached home. Nope, today should have been a no-brainer choice:REST!!! Which I did for several hours on the beach. Could read, got a deep in the sea (still cold) and then back home for early pasta dinner. Hoping it will be fine for tomorrow as long run is on the menu… Easy walk on the pier in the evening… Quads a bit better but fully tired otherwise…that a day at the beach could be so tiring…

“OMG-33km-under-the-sun-is-tough” Wednesday: Yapp! Might be on vacations but would not miss a long run, right? Up early to take little food (had good dinner so expected it to work fine for a long run right after going up… Took an extra banana and a power-bar JIC..), gear on, camelbak filled with 1l Powerade orange and off I left… 16°C already and sun out there… First part felt quite ok, not pushing at all and it got the pace it deserved 🙂 A bit sensitive quads, but way better than yesterday. Reached  15.5km, short stop for pics and then started an alternate km fast/slow for 10km – Wow! Good to have the camelbak – for the drinking. Bad to have the camelbak – because it is actually on the way when trying to run fast and long… Completed with 10k back to the beach in Alicante and there…off with shoes, socks, camelbak and mp3 and jumped directly into the sea 🙂 REALLY nice! After a little while, got out, back with shoes, socks, camelbak and mp3 and took an extra 3km back home 🙂 Hmmm! Nice! Could have run way longer…I think (?). After that, it is pretty standard procedure: water, fruit, shower and rested for 1.5hr with legs up. By then it was still just right after lunch so had a full and long afternoon at the beach, after late lunch at restaurant. Just to change from pasta 🙂 Back home later on, light dinner and reading in front of the castle I could see through the window. Got dark and then continued to read in my room and tried to sleep… with not much success, so more reading it was… until 3-4am when the eyes decided to close themselves…on their own! Long day really!

Long run....

Long run….

Morning on the beach...start of the long run

Morning on the beach…start of the long run

Playa San Juan - should go there...far far away...

Playa San Juan – should go there…far far away…

Playa San Juan - looking back... and still some km to do...

Playa San Juan – looking back… and still some km to do…

“Let’s-rest-today” Thursday: Even the warriors deserve some rest (I think I read this somewhere…or I made it up…). After 15 days non-stop without rest day, it was about time to take one, right? Up late (7:00am?!?!), took easy and large breakfast, before aiming towards the castle (El Castillo de Santa Barbara). Tried to walk all the small paths I could find 🙂 Would have been fun to have my Garmin and register this on a map! Skipped the stairways along the wall which sometimes felt really unsafe and pretty dangerous, but otherwise, I think I made all the paths possible. After this, it was still only 10:15am…and a full day ahead… In the family “Bored-to-death”, pick the mum! Headed to the beach, try to do some sudoku before I fell asleep under the sun. Was ok as there was clouds out there and a bit of wind…until 4pm when both disappeared and it turned into a real heat! Easy walk back home. Got a new book from my host. Skipped the use of bicycle as the Achilles felt a bit sensitive… Light dinner pasta (yes, sure…) and off to the castle to get the last rays of sun before it goes to bed. Real nice! Enough walk for today… it is after all a REST day!

On the way up to the castle...

On the way up to the castle… is pretty stiff!

…it is pretty stiff!

Morning at the castle (2)

Morning at the castle (2)

Morning at the castle (1)

Morning at the castle (1)

There I was!

There I was!

from the castle

from the castle


Sun going down...

Sun going down…

Right and straight down from the castle

Right and straight down from the castle

View from the window...

View from the window…

“Fast-and-furious?2-please!” Friday: Final day in Spain. No sleep-in as intervals were on the menu. Started easy run until the train station and noted the GPS was not on. Ran a bit more to warm-up and then found a place for starting the 200s series. Fast and nice. Good feeling. Real sweat. And happy 🙂 Sure, some were slower than others, but overall a very satisfying series and then cool down back home. Could have probably eaten before leaving as I felt pretty tired, but cold shower and cereals breakfast made it right again. Beach for the last time this week and finished the afternoon with a visit at the Volvo Ocean Race museum (Strongly recommending it…even if you are not into sailing or boat).Hesitated a bit after getting back home, but quick shower after the beach and then final easy run under the Spanish sun…starting by one km @3:45… and pretty light legs and feet. Not sure how to explain this, but the feeling was really nice and easy, even though 1) the pace was note indicating it and 2)this was the second run of the day after tough interval-workout…Got one km on the beach @3:27 (!!!) and yes, needed to stop for breathing after this one…Easy back home and got an easy evening with pizza and then packing before sleeping… That was a nice way to finish this Spanish week!

Nice view from home...

Nice view from home…

Along the seaside

Along the seaside

Alicante own pirate-boat :)

Alicante own pirate-boat 🙂

“Back-home-&-take-it-easy” Saturday: (too) early wake up for getting the first bus. Check in going fine (was a bit worried I would have problem with carrying the trophies in hand luggage as one is pretty sharp… but it went fine). Breakfast of 2 croissants, orange juice and chocolate and then plane. Slept most of the flight and it was home already (16ºC less… but at least sunny). Spent the afternoon doing the clothes washing, food shopping and…oh, yes… resting a bit as well.

“And-it-was-already-Sunday” Sunday: Awaken by the rain on the rooftop (yeaaaah”! welcome back home…), waited a little and got my gear on for long intervals when it was still clear skies…and it started to rain again when I put my little nose outside (SO typical!). The quads felt pretty ok during the warm-up but as soon as I got to the pace expected for the 3K, a little fire started to feel in the middle of the front thighs. Not wishing to jeopardize next week race, I decided to cut the 3K planned into 2*1,5K. OK-workout I would say. Rest and chilling out during the day (which was sunny…apart from the time I was out and running…) and by 6pm, decided to take a recovery run, which felt ok, but not more. Worked late to catch up with emails and work accumulated during this week of vacation and 11.46pm…I was done…for this week…

One week to go before next race…really???

Race report – III Subida a la Cruz de Benidorm – 2014/05/04

Planned: 10km race in training mode

Actual: 44:37 (1st place women & Veteran A category) – Happy? Very!

Great and fun race under the sun! B)


Quiet and still asleep city. Tricky to find the start, but saw a guy with “triathlo club” on his T-shirt and thought he must be there for the race as well… So followed him 🙂 1.5km later we reached the start. They were putting all in place. Registered on place with the translation help from a volunteer. And it was 1hr to start… Sunny and warm, got an easy 2km warm-up and few accelerations before start. Less then 10 minutes before start, decided to skip my singlet. Sport-bra is good enough for Dubai runs in January, or April runs in Sweden, so it would do for May race in Spain!
Lined up in the front, until two guys stepped before me (I passed one at km7 and the other guy got in top ten…). And PANG! Start and confetti rain! Lost the woman standing by my side before start already after 30-40m, so headed with the hungry blocks in front of me! Wow! So fast start (down a slope) and towards the beach. Got to run with another gal for a few meters before km1 and then no more woman. Took the side of a Spanish guy with caps. Good rhythm and this race was planned as training. Knowing there was a hill to run up somewhere, would definitely not aim for a PB whatsoever. Just fun (& sunshine!). The 3 first km went smoothly around 4min/km and THEN the “slope” started. Got the running continuing for a while during km4, encouraging my running mate and getting some “vamos, vamos” back. Not many passing us… I thought this km was slow… Saw above us where the other runners were disappearing in a snake-like road towards the top.of.the.hill!!! Km5 got so crazy-tired-snail-pace-slow, lots of walking, lots of “Vamos, Vamos”… Passing a guy in orange T-shirt a couple of times during those 2km upwards and he passed me back. He did lots of walking as well 🙂
Got to understand by then I was at first position for the women (“la primera de las chicas“). Passed the walkers of the “walk race” who started 30minutes before us. What a sight to see all the guys running down, got some extra strength when recognising some who were not too much before me on the way up…meaning the turn back was close. So many cheering by the guys, filled my heart with warmth and would have hoped my feet would feel lighter 😉 Grabbed a bottle of water, turned, drank and that was it!!! Half way and no more climbing! Ran down the hill from this point (sorry: flew down the hill!!! Got two km @3:32 & 3:35 which are my best km ever run and all in my mind was “don’t fall-don’t fall…). From km6 I got the great honor to be escorted by a lady police on motorcycle, telling me she will take la “primera de las chicas” until the finish line 🙂 WOW! THAT was cool! Km7 was reached and now back to the beach side. Not many people cheering apart from when passing as 1) the police made loads of noise for it and 2) they understand I had the first place 🙂 Thanks for the extra applauds! Got a bit tired to run the race on the beach side, was a bit boring, but the objective in my mind became to pass one of the guys ahead of me before the finish line 🙂 Got to pass 4 of them and met again one of the guys (the orange T-shirt guy) with who I ran up the hill. He encouraged all the way at the end, ran by my side and kindly pushed me on the little slope towards the finish line. He also stepped little back behind me, lifted my hand to show I had the first place and I got to run through those banners (?) and got a confetti rain on me 🙂 yap! First place!

Not sure what I got after the race, hugs from my helper, and other runners who had cheered during the race, coca cola+orange, got goodie bag, ten minutes massage and two trophies (1st place race, 1st place category veteran A).

The time 44:37 ain’t fabulous. BUT considering it is a training fun race, it was crazy hilly 2km, I had my “heavy” shoes and for the fun just to run, I am so happy to have done this race! Great organisation, the route was not easy but actually fun to run (& walk), the runners were very kind with me on the way up and the way down 🙂 all good!
And I know what to train would I ever run this race again!!!!

Got a huge fruit basket as well and it was time to get back home. Tram for 70minutes, changed to beach-gear and off to get some tan and relax close to the sea. Yes, a book did follow, but after one chapter I fell asleep. Few hours later, more sun cream and turns to get a regular tan 🙂 it was time for getting home. Same procedure: shower, after-sun cream, pasta with tuna and clamps and ready for bed after little reading…

Nice way to end the week!








Easy, easy, more easy, sun and more sun and two trophies – late weekly update :)

(Week 28042014-04052014)

Monday started not early enough, straight to work and meetings back2back until lunch time. Went fast to the doc for a quick blood-check and shortly after ran easy to pick up my colleagues for an easy lunch run. Sunny, good and stable pace, talking all the way, straight line to the bridge then to the ferry and back the same way. Nice speedwork during the last 2km (thanks, C!) and it was time for going back to work. Felt pretty tired in the afternoon when it was time to dentist appointment and remember then…3hours after arriving from lunch run…that I had only a Gainomax (protein drink) in the stomach since the run…and had only a light breakfast. Rush to 7-eleven, got a hot-dog, a brownie and a mango-lemon drink. All disappeared pretty fast in my tummy and 15 minutes later it felt better. Back home and more work, tiredness was still there and stayed until the evening and straight to bed…way too late… Good day for running, but this tiredness is starting to get really boring…

Thought to start Tuesday on the right foot (or the left one, … or one after the other… 🙂 ), got only the mind and body to agree for a quick core workout before work. Which was already good, right? My Achilles heels had felt pretty sensitive since a few days, so unsure it was a good idea anyway to go running in the morning. But then after a full day at work, it did not feel much better… decided anyway to get into my running gear for a little round under the sun. Decided for low pulse and set the watch to beep @150bpm. Quite nice and sunny in the air, but not warm and hot. Got 12km out of a tired body and sensitive Achilles…. The good news? nothing actually. Both knees felt a bit aching at the start (lack of warm-up?) and the front of both thighs were not much better (this I know it was from the Monday’s run at a pace faster than planned…). SO when it was time to get on the mat for core & stability workout, neither mind nor body was feeling like it. Reluctant? definitely an understatement! But got it done, including the ball bridges, ball pikes and all the exercises that make the body remember WHY training core regularly is key… Late in bed…soooo exhausted…. but satisfied of having squizzed both a run and a core&stability workout in this day!

All this would lead to Wednesday and the planned fast session. Once again, nothing felt right to go out and run in the morning. Achilles heels pretty sensitive, long day at work… Having 2 brownies in the tummy 1 hour before the run must have made the trick though… Got ready for the tempo run, massaged my knees with tiger balm (if the head thinks it helps, then it must be helping!) and off to go under the sun. Easy warm-up (already fast and not understanding really how it got that fast. and then refrain to speed on the 10minutes fast, trying to keep within the expected range, which worked fine…thanks to the headwind… Then time for long intervals at fast pace, which went faster than expected and that was nice to run 🙂 Especially the final one with headwind, where I got a 1K-pace on a 2K 🙂 and easy back home. The sun is such a help when running 🙂 Feeling as well that the legs might be feeling a bit less from Rotterdam marathon. Surely the heels are not too well, but good enough for running 🙂 This was enough for today and that was a good day! Especially as it meant last day before some time off 🙂

Thursday was May 1st and bank holiday. Therefore (?) the body felt good enough for a morning run. Got an easy-peasy-low-pulse run in a freezing city under the sun (yes, find the error in this sentence…). Regretted 100 times probably not to have taken my wind-gloves. The sun was not warming AT ALL! So running slow was not helping at all EITHER! Pretty happy to get back home, drink a bit and on the mat for core & stability workout. Not because it may warm up the body, but because it was on today’s planned workout. Once again, went fine and wondered why on earth am I postponing this type of workout… Then the day passed quite nice and coldly. Even got out with my winter jacket on (!) under the sun (!). Lots of walking and a bit of sunbathing (but seriously…it WAS cold!). After sleeping a bit under the sun, time had passed and decided for getting to the second run of the day. Easy one as well. Don’t want to make neither my knees nor my heels unhappy, right? Went nice and easy…although faster than in the morning. The slowest km were around the middle of the run, when I had to slow down/walk passing by dogs owners who did not look like they were going to hold their dogs closer to them just because I was coming by… But this run felt pretty well and ended with a bit aching heels. Spent movie time massaging my Achilles heels and went to bed with patch on both heels…like it may help…

So woke up (too) early (for a Friday off), with a heel patch stuck on my thigh… as I thought: “like it may help…”. But they actually felt a bit better, or almost normal. So in my running gear, temperature announced… -1ºC!!! so took calve sleeves, Boston shorts, tshirts, arm sleeves and wind gloves… Took 4km before getting pretty warm and took off the arm sleeves. Slow pace and low pulse was the planned. Nice and easy, back home and 14km later 🙂 Smoothie with diverse frozen fruits (have a problem – apparently – with my freezer…so trying to empty it smoothly…) and changed to shorts and tshirt+fleece top…to start walking to the library before lunch… FREEZING COLD outside! Sunny? checked! Warmth? what do you mean?… Endured it anyway the biting cold to the library, got one our of two books we wanted and then walked to the Chinese restaurant form last Friday 🙂 GREAT! Lots of food eaten there, I can tell you: sushi, rice, noddle, fried prawns & octopus, chicken, beef… OMG! this is a carboloading for an Ultra-marathon-like! And ending with double ice-cream with chocolate topping 🙂 Took time, but worth it! Decided unanimously after that to get back home and change to long pants before heading to the library. Which was done. Walking and walking…probably up to 6-8km back and forth, quite good recovery activity after this morning’s run! The afternoon was spent pretty slow, fixing at home, preparing for travelling and then it was already the evening. Final check on the clothes in my suitcase (do I really need something else than running outfit?…yes I do!), sun cream, book to read and then it was time for bed…11:30pm…too late, really!

6:30am Saturday – up and got ready for getting to the airport. Final check -again- on what is following, skipping my Adidas as it is good enough to have two pairs of running shoes for one week away… Breakfast at Subway, dropped my tea in the waiting room for the bus and off to the airport. Arriving pretty early (it was this with 3hr wait OR later bus and 40minutes wait-BUT the risk of arriving late…). Well inside had to wait for the plane… Bought a book JIC as well as a sudoku. While waiting, ate my small sandwich with ham. The flight went pretty well (slept probably from right after take-off until they start preserving the food and then awaken again 30minutes before landing). Nice in the air, waited 40minutes for the luggages and bus to the city Center of Alicante. My room was in an apartment pretty close to the bus stop and the castle. Great! Met the host, got the keys and dropped my stuff. Clothes change and off to the supermarket. Bought food for a week and after reaching home, changed for an easy 10km. Had forgotten how tricky it is to run in town… Great way to inhale exhausts gases… Finished with back&forth on the Volvo Ocean Race pier, with the sun still high and warm. Then back home, shower and pasta bolognese… Portion being probably great for a mara carbo load but having eaten only little during the trip, it felt ok. Time in bed? 11:30pm. Race planned the day after…

And it was now Sunday! Up @1am then 3 am then 4:30am then 5:15 am and finally 6:23 and 6:30am… Quick shower, finish packing my bag, preparing lunch sandwich for after race and off to the tram. Exactly on time 🙂 Already 20°C outside… Did not need my wind jacket (in my bag… Maybe for after race?). 7:13am + 70 minutes later arriving in Benidorm. Ready for “III Subida a la cruz de Benidorm“?…
Race report here… First place for the race (women) and first place in my category (veteran A). Nice afternoon at the beach afterwards and it was already the evening…

So was my running week! How was yours? 🙂