Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Race Report – Midnattsloppet – 2014 – 2014/08/23

Planned: 10K as temporun – training race
Actual: 10K @42:53 🙂 – place 18 all women (11th at the finish line), 4th in age category

Not the easiest/flattest/lightest of the route…. Got the kicks and rehab done in the morning. Spend the day wandering around and rush at the end to get prepared. Porridge around 7:00pm and shower to get ready at 8:15pm… Not too great preps this time. Got to set the hair up, prepared the shoes and double-checked the watch and the chip on the shoes. All set. Ran easy to the start using the last slope and final 1.5km of the route 🙂 Fun to see people cheering already, one saying that the first runner was already passing by (he he he, I wish!). Saw the final preparations for limiting the road and noted the wind in the final street… Fortunately the rain was not there. Had been raining cats&dogs a couple of time during the day, but now it was just lightly windy. Arrived 8:45pm at the start, figured out where the start 1A was (nothing looks the same when it is dark!), got a stop to the loo and…. Started to wait. Having friends meeting at the tram stop at 9pm I decided to go and check them out. Nice to meet a talk a bit before the race. Met Lennart as well from the club and then it was already 9:08pm…Maybe should try this thing called “warm-up”… Left with all the best luck and smiles and off to the start. Met Maria B (Hälle IF) warming up. This is her who won at Kungsbacka vintermilen last year J A few accelerations in the dark, found my plastic bag cover I had hidden behind a tree and then started the wait for the start…among the coolest gang of elite runners J Felt a bit misplaced, but what the heck… I did qualify for starting there (even if I am probably and by far the slowest of the group on a 10K 😛 ). And almost 5minutes to start aaaaand the heavy rain started to fall on us like crazy. Yeaaaah! Fourth time I run this race and everytime it has been a wet start. As long as the start is not delayed this year I think… right when the speaker announces that we have a 5minutes delay for the start… Can definitely see that HE is under cover when WE are under the rain… Not many smiles from the runners around me, I can tell. Doing a bit of jumping, moving a bit, smiling to the guys around me (and yes…the “misplaced” feeling does increase then!). When hearing 10 seconds to start… REALLY?!?!? Cannot he announce a countdown like…1 minute to start…30sec… and he even shout in the speaker “TWO SECONDS TO START”…

9:35pm – Start it is! Rushing as fast I can in the dark and I just see a thundering yellow on my right and a thundering green/black on my left. And off we went. Nice that the rain had kindly stopped before the start. We run onto a close to pitch black street and then turn and up the little slope. A wave of men with fucshia tshirts just burst passed me (the tshirt colour is the chosen one for this year’s race and all runners are to wear it – apart from elite who may if they want or choose to run in their club’s colours…which I chose 🙂 White singlet, black Moremiles shorts, black arm sleeves and Adidas Adizero Adios Boost Orange. A fast-like outfit :)). Back to the race. The long first straight line is going fine, tricky to check the pace as it is dark out there. Turning up right and then right again to reach km1. Lots of beeping on the first control matt… to start hearing cursing guys all around. So I lift my eyes from my feet (don’t want to walk on something or water or whatever and fall!) and see…small white plastic hurdles ahead of us!!!! WHAT IS THIS?!?!? All are rushing on the left of those…which is a VERY wet grass and then for the final 2-3 then most are running above those “plastic tubes” on the ground…which I decide to do…forgetting that I am probably 2m smaller than most of the guys here and then I actually have to JUMP (!?!?!) above those hurdles and on the last one, my foot step on something which is under the white plastic stuff and the left ankle shouted a bit. NOT A HAPPY ME then. (and no cursing from my side, but definitely not happy)… and it is only km1!!!! Continued the run and then left and it is downhill. Nice with some cheering (WOW, people came despite the rain!!!). and at the end of the street… a giant disco bowl is hanging high in the air…and all the floor is actually turning and bouncing and I already feel sick…like sea-sick! And it is the turning right then and thanks! The street-lights are back and normal after that! Straight and easy, if the first km went sub4, the second one will be far from it. But who cares? Nice and easy to km3. Had been passed by 2 women by now (all the elites are far away now…). I got a nice rhythm and let all the guys passing by. Feels like a marathon start. All are rushing, but I know there are 42km to go… Let’s them rush… Until the brain is waking up around km3 and remember it is only 10K to run this evening. Anyhow, the light fake slope to km4 is heavier that before. Nice to have no wind and no rain though. Reaching the water-station and taking an energy drink. Dropping half on the nice guy giving it to me and then just rinsing my mouth with the rest left and spotting out the whole thing (disgusting taste!). Getting back to the run and hearing MW cheering on the side (yes, I will try to catch up with #22 and see if he (?) is cute!) and the new slope is arriving. Nice and easy, easier than during training actually. The turn to km5 is great with music and hearing someone shouting my name is even better! Twice in less of a km 😛 Passing the 5K in 21:06. D*mn…. 6seconds slower than I wished… But continuing.

The first half was easy-peasy really. Passing a bunch of guys on the way to the slope. A bit of cheering from Magnus from the club (thanks!) and then just taking 2 dextrosol at km6 more for the fun of it (?!?!?) than because it is needed. The first slope feels a bit heavy but once again, being a female in the middle of males does call for some cheering. Which I get and thanks for it! Tricky to see who is cheering because it is SO dark. Anyhow, the scary hill to the first church is soon there and still not seeing the first elites passing… Yeaaaaah! I am not THAT slow anyway 🙂 Starting then the uphill and after the first turn, I see the first male runner crazily running downhill…closely followed by the other elites…and here came the first female runner and all others after… Just continuing listening to the cheer-leaders to the way up. Yes, I know I am almost on the top and some are slowing down…which makes me accelerating a bit (kind of). Have no clue of my pace by now. Just feeling all ok – training-like. Have seen Maria B going down on my way up. So I estimate she is 1km or so ahead of me… Sounds like a sub40 to me… Passing km7 and then turning around Masthuggetskyrkan…to get stopped almost by all the guys taking water or sport-drink at the station, trickily placed JUST after a turn and in the downhill on the other side of the Church 😦 And it is to bite it a bit, headwind for a short while and time to rush down. WHY ARE YOU SLOWING DOWN GUYS?!?!? I have to cut a bit on the left side for passing guys slowing down in the downhill… Not a chance I do that. I know how fast it can be taken. Down down down and fast fast fast. Not seeing anybody really on the way down, just passing people. And turning left to the next downhill… this one we have to run it on the pavement (which I think was stupid, because the street is much less slippery-like than the pavement…but I am not the one arranging the race…). And it is just fast and faster and almost fastest 🙂 It is now less than 2km and it is going nicely fast (not race-like fast, but good enough for today). Passing Andrej who is cheering my name (thanks!) and here comes the first of my best fans G parking on his kickboard and shouting to keep the pace up and all will be good J More of my name in the same street and then the final right turn towards the soon-to-come Church slope. Hearing a functionary cheering that I took the slope quite nicely earlier the first time (i.e. on my way to the start) so I just have to do the same now! Cool to be recognized in the dark! (then I remember I have my club outfit and not a fuchsia tshirt. Difficult to hide…). And the heavy(est) part of the race starts…almost; G has made it to the start of the hill for more cheering..Can’t let him down really! So rushing a bit more (ok, I noticed that I take smaller steps AND looking at my shoes then…) and seeing E&T on the right side…OF COURSE I am making a short curve out for some high-five J And a smile (as if it is not painful…). Passing the music band (sorry, did not noticed what it was for music…to concentrated on NOT stopping and walking). Now it is only a few meters to the end of this *#%!& hill and to the almost-final street. Not too many stopping, but several slowing down here – as expected. Gosh, this is heavy with those small slopes here and there. Getting to km9 and I am just dead tired… but ONE km is left. Just have to rush with the wave of guys around me…some just waking up at this moment…I am waiting for reaching the next street and the little downhill… and accelerating. OK guys, WHY are you slowing down in the downhills?!?!? I jump on the pavement and run there passing probably a bunch of guys there and then of course I have to take the external side of the right curve but who cares… I am almost done! And it is just not long at all. I feel the legs are burning (this chili cream is just killing me! Never getting warm-feeling when I need it). And turning right and it is not much left. On the way up the final slope I just feel like flying. Noting a few guys and deciding they won’t finish before me. Just rushing through the crowd and accelerating, hearing the kind and happy cheering of the guys I am passing…I am on a cloud and I see that the clock is not yet to 43:xx…JUST.A.LITTLE.BIT.MORE….Aaaaand YES! It is finished. Pressing the watch on 42:51. SOOOOOO glad to have made it under 43. The plan was under 45 minutes for this route. Even I ran this race two years ago right under 44 minutes, the route this year was tougher. So sub45 was a good to have. So sub43 was definitely a happy ending… Same as usual after the finish line: Medal, banana, water, cheering from guys around me (fun to hear one saying “I thought I could beat you but you were to strong at the end. How are you doing that?” J and another one just hugging me for the fun of running passed him (Hmmm OK, then!)). After that, just turn back and got more water and then pressed saved on my watch and started again the clock for running back home. Easy peasy pace. Ready for running 3 times the distance already run…. Yapp, have to work on the “being-tired-at-the-end-of-a-10K-race”.

Official time: 42:53

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Weather: 12ºC, Feels like 12ºC, 8 km/h SSW wind, Humidity 88% (form Garmin). Nice in the air at start, heavy rain for 5minutes before the delayed start (just to make us wet?!?!? Is that part of the plan?), dark in the skies

Food: Grahamsporridge + banana+soymilk @7:00pm, 2 bananas + water right after the race, risotto+Italian sausage 1.5hr after
During: Dextrosol 2@km2&6 (most to wake up…) and mouth-rinsing with sport-drink
Gear: Moremiles short shorts (3), MIK white singlet, black arm sleeves. Real nice to have the arm sleeves when it rained before the start. Might have been a bit chilly otherwise. Shoes were nice and well-suiting…and fast J

Shoes: ADIDAS Adizero Adios Boost – Orange

14/ tricky again to set an effort on this one. Definitely above the normal-workout-effort, but not much more. Of course a bit higher on the way up to the church, definitely a 15 for the last Church 250m-slope, but despite the final 300/400m being fast, the effort then was not more than strong 13. Just running on adrenaline and happiness by then! J

Knee pain: 0/5 – YIPPIE! All good. The body felt all fine and ready for running. 

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NOTE: One more good training race. Better shape that in the previous 10K-race, feeling good just. Once again could the preparations be a bit better (like shower and clothing 45minutes before the start was maybe a liiiittle late for concentration or so…). Warm-up was a little better this time, but could have definitely run 3 more km for being really warm before start. Should have kept my plastic cover on before the start to skip being all wet…. Good to have skipped the music in the ears (dangerous in the dark and in a race!). Great with so many people running as it gave a lot of pull at the end and through the race (well, did not use it during the race, but definitely at the end!)

NOTE: Running in the dark is fun, but racing in the dark ain’t my favorite and far from it. Especially when raining and slippery. Really dangerous I think. Have not fallen, but the ankle slip of the km1 made me a bit scared for the rest of the run… All went fine though.

NOTE: The pre-run done yesterday was on heavy/tired legs and it might have been this during the race as well. No excuse. Just checking how the legs are lately. Probably some rest to plan within short…

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