Planned: 42min or less…but at least faster than last year
Actual: 43:44 – 9th (women) Amazing enough this is the place I have had from start to end via all check-points.
BEFORE THE RACE
Awaken by the light despite the “light-won’t-go-through” curtain. But at least it was not around 4ish am… Took an easy leg shaking to wake up body and mind. Spent morning steadying at home, cleaning, fixing and packing my race bag. And fix my legs. Cannot really go to a race without having them aerodynamically fixed… In race gear around 9:40am… Just had to kill time before getting the bus to the start. Chose to take my MIK outfit and run in my Boston. They are fast during training, so they would do for a training race…
1:20pm – Met Helen-MIK and chatted a bit. Got my BIB. Met Jenny-MIK and Anna-MIK.. Cool to see them…and here went 2 places… Nothing to do but chat.
2:15pm – Time to warm-up. Dropped my bag at Måns-MIK and went for a run to get the body and mind ready. Unfortunately it made me only MORE aware about the wind that would bother me during the race… Ran the first 3km of the race and then turned back seeing it was getting short on time. Headed towards the woods and could not find my way back 😦 Eventually found an exit. Got my bag back, dropped it at the baggage drop and that was it. Took a powergel apple as it felt that breakfast was a while ago…
2:56pm – Got to the sub40 corral. It was empty almost. A few gal came in and then guys joined. None of them getting to the front line. Why would they use gals as wind-shield?!?!? Anyway, sun was finally shining and the wind was on. Countdown had started…
15 seconds to start… Final check to my laces. Thought I should have taken my mp3 with me…
3:00pm – START was given! Saw the fast gals leaving the area ilke crazy, followed by fastest guys. Nothing for me. Had decided to go easy during the first 2km to have strengths to accelerate after that… Sure! 5 gals ahead of me, one passing me on the side… felt like déjà-vu from last year (apart from the fast that I was 3rd last year…). The evil first hill got taken heavily, but not being the only one suffering. Some guys were already heavily breathing… Quick check at my watch to ensure it had started… 3:56-tempo?!?!? at the top of the hill… The only thought that came to mind apart from smiling was that I would pay for this later… Slowed down a bit in the downhill, turn right, nice side wind and right again towards the second slope of the race. Passed the first km in 4:07…4seconds slower than last year…. Matters not. There were 9km to catch those seconds up. Downhill and annoying blaster telling me to stop for a short while. Nope. I don’t think so. Had been doing toilets-stops all morning due to drinking properly before the race and then 2 extra stops close to the start. Not a chance the blaster was full of anything! Running back to Sjöbacka and on gravel…. Yeaaaahhh…NOT! Side wind and then tailwind. First cheering from Magnus and Berndt and Måns from MIK. Highly appreciated. Was running alone. All before me were too far away already and I had no plan to check behind me. Got passed by a couple of guys and tried to hang along. Km2 was passed. No idea of the pace as I decided NOT to check. Full headwind during this part. And of course, no wind-shield… Just once more on this part and this will be the final stretch. Less than 8km to go… Turning left and more gravel… Longing for the asphalt!!! Got passed by a couple of guys again, but their breathing indicated they were already close to their max. My breathing? Unsure, but I was not close to my max. Passing km3 at the roundabout and the first change… turning right and a crazy headwind welcomed us. Not happy. Still no clue about the pace. No check on the clock and could barely feel the buzz from it at each km-mark. Focus on the running. Crossing the road and feeling they left cars passing after me. Good! That meant that not many runners were close to me at this part. Passing Fiskebäcks Church and the cheering on both side was well appreciated! Third uphill of the race and second worse. Took it nicely. Three guys had slowed down and stopped ahead of me. And they did not feel that it was bothering to have them walking in the middle of the little gravel path in the forest… Was ready to yell “hold your right!” when 2 aligned behind each other on the left and the 3rd one ran a bit ahead and stopped on the side. Thanks guys! Passing a couple of guys there. Feeling strong. OK, not THAT strong. But OK-strong. Until getting to the left turn which made me run so slowly it felt that I was walking. Not a chance! Not now. The asphalt was so close! And turn right and steep downhill. Yoooohoooo! Taking the cheering that the guy with a white Volvo-tshirt is receiving for me too. The world is better when sharing (and cheering), right? 🙂 And at the end of the downhill, abrupt left turn. Taking a little jelly square. Not necessary not required, but it keeps me awaken and focus. Tricky with the guys ahead of me as they are three running all over the place. Trying to get a little passage but tricky. Passing one finally when running under the bridge and over to the bike path. OK, it was probably not very nice to cut the path, but he could have kept his right, right? And first water-station. The guy before me is just stopping (!) while grabbing his water paper-cup. I ran along and get two water cup. One for the head and one thrown on my legs. SOOOOO Nice! Takes probably 3minutes before the legs are dried again and the hair left free and now wet and helping very much to keep my neck refreshed. Another uphill after the school turn. Nothing steep, but looooong. The Volvo guy is receiving still cheering. And people are out for supporting. Really nice and helpful! Some have their water-hose on and watering us. Yelling (kindly) to do it lower as I do not want my sunglasses wet. This message goes in for two of them. But the third one understand the contrary and I get a full shower instead of only the legs… At least I still smile! And this is when I first hear the cheering for “Melker”…. Seeing a little (not THAT little) boy passing me. Strong and smiling. I tell him “Good work” and he is kindly half-turning and answering “Same to you”. Trying to keep up with him is not even in my plans. I just want to get some of hi cheerings. His friends are running on the side for having some high-fives, and then on the left side as well. Very polite friends cheering for me when I pass… Feeling like a heavy wet elephant on the way up the Mount Everest that would have been under 25ºC sunshine and wind… And finally getting to the top. One more hill vanquished… 2 to go! The downhill and I feel strong. Passing the Volvo-guy and keeping the blue-tshirt guy right before me. Little up and then right turn. I pass the blue guy in the forest and then it is asphalt again. Yiiiihooo! Downhill… Where was this 5km-mark? And is the 6km-mark coming soon??? Turning left along the little harbour… expecting the wind, but nothing ahead. Yiiiiihooo again? Unsure about my place. Except that I could not see any gal ahead of me any longer and was not going to check behind me. 7Km-water station was there. Getting two water paper cup. One for the hair which had had the time to dry out since km4 (!) and one for the leg. Too late I realized that I should have drank a little of the water… And right after the water station… the wind arrived. Aaaaaaah! Not a chance I can accelerate to catch up with the guys ahead of me. 5 of them and they all set themselves behind each other like a line. But even then, they are too far ahead with this wind. Getting to the gravel/small-stones-which-make-it-impossible-to-run part and the dreadful stairs are arriving. WOW! Logs of steel. I had prepared myself so well for NOT walking up. I kind-of run the first two steps and that was it. I walk miserably the rest, holding the ramp (!) and not even start running when reaching the asphalt… I am done! Lightning McQueen? Yeaaaah…sure! In slow motion and backwards probably! I turn and see only guys behind me. Which at least make me happy. And then I feel a kind hand on my back and gentle push. SOOOOOO NICE! The guy in blue tshirt is helping me up the hill! OMG! So kind. Like starting the engine again and I was on. Km8 was within short distance. The gentle push from the guy had given me enough strength for at least NOT stopping in this last uphill in the forest. Passed one guy there. My legs felt tired, my thighs were starting to burn. Did not want anything else/more but getting a cold shower on the burning muscles that were my body at this moment. And the steep downhill arrived. Took it carefully. Thanks for the cheering of the boy at the end of the slope, I got a bit more strength. Change of the course this year with running around the parking lot. Which felt a little better…until we had to “climb” the little baby-slope towards the bus-stop. Felt like heavy. And the wind was not helping. One of the guys before me listened to music and breathed heavily and had no clue he was running a bit all-over as well 😦 OK, I’ll get him at the turn… Right turn and he cut me badly…Headwind and left turn and I pass him 😛 And along Fiskebäcks harbour. Nice with many people out today. And then up again, tried to place myself behind a tall guy, but it did nothing to stop the wind. So I stop hiding. Passing km9-mark. Yiiiiihooo! Only one more km of misery! And then this little running down a 1.5m (?) steep stuff…Beware of not falling. And the final stretch. Headwind (what else?!?!) but this was less than a km to the end. Encouraging the guys by my side. I just want to have this done. Final right turn on the gravel. One of the guys is cheering and passing me. Final left turn. Did I say I hate gravel?!?! Headwind. Did I say what I feel about headwind? Thanks for the cheering of MIKs on the side, I try to keep myself straight and focused. But not a chance I am running fast. I hope I am still running though… So fearing that a gal will pass me right there. But whoever is behind me is ALSO having this headwind. Cannot be THAT easy to run… (or maybe I am the only one feeling this wind….) Got passed by a tall guy 100m from the end. And then we run on the right on the grass… Did I say I hate running on grass??? And then passing the Finish-line. H.A.P.P.Y!
=> official time: 43:44 – place 9.
Weather: 21.1° Mostly Clear, Feels like 21.1°, 21 kph SE wind, 46% humidity – of course the sun got out right before our warm-up and race. Otherwise it was nicely hiding behind the clouds… But this wind… Keep it locked at home next year!
Food: Powergel apple right before start of the race. 2 kex-chocolate + 2 glass water right after arrival
> during (!): 1 little jellysquare around km5 and 2 dextrosol around km7.
Gear: SOC shorts small trapezes, Casall Iconic sports bra black MIK. Shoes all good for the job 🙂
> warmup done with GV-black wind jacket. Took it off after 3km. Too hot!
> perfect outfit to have skipped the singlet!
Shoes: ADIDAS Adizero Boston Boost 5TSF – Pink/Black (Snappy)
15/ Not sure for setting the effort, honestly. Far from max and as usual with headwind, it feels like you are pressing, running like in porridge and still having a decent pace. OK…skip the “decent pace”-part for this year’s race 🙂 But seeing how it felt after the race, I cannot have pressed much the body today. But the wind does make one tired.
AFTER THE RACE:
Changing hipster and shorts to dry ones…behind a car. Taking a nice pic with other gals from the club. Taking an easy km or so with one of them as cooldown and then easy jogging to the bus-stop. Would have gladly run back home and add some volume for today, but there are other plans for the week. Cannot really make the body tired today.
NOTE: still liking this little race. Lots of fast chicks this year. Cannot understand HOW they ran with this wind…making me think that I could be extra sensitive to the wind or lazy for not pushing the body more when the wind is out and play. Have to work on this.
NOTE: My GPS recorded 9.88km… Not often it registers shorter on race… Have I really cut the race course by 120m???
NOTE: Not disappointed really. Of course, sub42 was the plan, and without the wind, I still do think that it was feasible without aiming for the stars. Good top10 place. If there had been less wind, the other gals would have probably run slightly faster and my placing would have probably been the same anyway 🙂 At least I was the coolest mum on the race according to GET. And they weren’t even there…
Sunday! It was Sunday! Late in bed (stupid shoulder annoying me still for getting to bed at decent time. Watched the three musketeers and definitely was up for watching “Interview with a vampire”, but the eyes were closing themselves… So Sunday it becomes!
What a day! Generally planning quite a lot for each day (or not a lot, but at least so I am occupied), but for today, the only plan was: Barcelona half-marathon! Hold on a second, K (you may say). Can you RUN now? Nope, cannot. And nope, was not in Spain either. The plan for today was simple: JP was running Barcelona half-marathon and I was to keep him company and cheer along the way biking…indoor…from Sweden… Virtual cheering, it is called (and if such thing does not exist, well…here you are! Now it does! 🙂 ). Due to this stupid horse medicine for sleeping and skipping the shoulder pain, I slept deep until 5am. Then clearly awaken for a short while and fell asleep again. Same procedure at 7am. But when the clock rang at 8am… this was another deal. Felt completely slow and unable to move at a normal pace, unsure why on earth I had to go up at this hour on a Sunday. The brain waking up slowly, ordered the body to take me to the kitchen, took some red juice and C-vitamin and Chlorella. Filled 2 bottles of water. On with bicycling gear and off I went to the gym. Start of the race was 8:45am. On the bike then and Hop! Start was given. Had it all set: water bottle on the left with the gel for half way, two mobiles on the right for keeping track on my runner and my bag hanging with the extra water bottle.
Chose the “hill” program and started the pedalling. The plan was simple: JP had said his training lately was not to the top and therefore the 1:45-1:55 plan was now changed into 2:00+. OK, I would remain on the saddle as long as he was running I had promised. The tricky was that Barcelona half-marathon was not showing the intermediate time, you could not follow your runner live… So I was left with my guessing (and my cheating note, which was the intermediate time JP had done in Stockholm half-marathon). OK, pedal, pedal, pedal. Sms for an update on where he probably was and more pedalling and water drinking and sms and pedalling…On and on and on… Took an energy gel after 1hr 10minutes. Not because I needed it, but I had eaten nothing before this training, and I was not ready to fall from the saddle… Got to read the tweet on the new female world-record (WOW! THIS is what I call a super-fast gazelle!). And continued to pedal. Hoping the bike would not just stop after an hour or two. It didn’t. Did push to 2hrs 10minutes, but seriously had to go off the bike after that (a little too much water drinking…). 63.75km. Not bad, right? Hoping this had allowed JP to cross the finish line… And indeed, when I was finished cleaning my bike and packing my stuff, got a phone call that the finish line was crossed after…1hr 48!!! Yooooouuhoooou!!! Hold on now… wait a second… this means I was pedalling 22 minutes too long, right? Haaaaaaaaaa……! Anyhow, really proud of JP and a little of myself as well to have endured this time on the bike (indoor!). Light stretch afterwards and home.
Rest of the day went smoothly. Brunch with girlfriends, apartments visits and when finally getting back home, lay down for a power nap of 30 minutes…which turned into a long nap of 1.5hr… Would still be sleeping if not thinking that it was a bad move for being able to sleep the rest of the night. Up and fixed the chores at home. Watching James Bond “Skyfall” (tricky to follow the story… where is Pierce Brosnan????!?!?!). Soon to go to bed…
Summary of the week? Good for training. Good for the left foot (almost better). Good for the left shoulder (almost better). Still some time needed to heal both foot and shoulder. Hope next week to be able to take a few running steps if the foot allows it. But for now, really time to sleep.
How was YOUR Sunday?
“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!
“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!
“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!
“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???