Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Fall race schedule... and my new favorite female athlete

I am not the type to have athletic idols I don't know. Not since I adored Jennifer Capriati, like so many other 12 year old tennis players in the early 90's. I guess I look at world class athletes and just think, well, I'm never going to get close to their level, so why waste time thinking about them.

But I was looking at the pro athletes who will be coming to Challenge Copenhagen (the Ironman this coming Sunday) and I found myself drawn to Virginia Berasategui from Spain. I was particularly impressed by her seemingly laid-back approach and the fact she can kick out a 3:03 marathon in a Ironman (and still prefer the bike). Plus she has what I consider to be the perfect athletic female body (don't get weirded out now).

Virginia as female Jesus
And wearing the same outfit (or a strikingly similar one.. ha! Can you see the difference?), taking 3rd in Kona (For a second there I thought I had an excuse for wearing my 1 tri outfit over and over, but alas).

Yes, definitely a look I wouldn't mind having. I find that runners tend to, for obvious reasons, havevery muscular legs, but not much going on in their arms or upper body. In theory, it helps to weigh less on top. But imagine, though, looking like Virginia AND being a fast runner. Hmmm. Well, I had her picked out to win Challenge Copenhagen, which you can follow here on Sunday. However, she doesn't seem to have it listed on her race schedule on her blog.The organizers may be a little disappointed to learn she didn't even know she was participating.

So, in case you hadn't figured it out, I won't be doing Challenge Copenhagen this year. If one is going to drop $600/3000 kr. on a race, one should really be prepared and rich. And I'm not. So we'll be doing a half Ironman instead in 2 weeks. And maybe Challenge Copenhagen next year (if you sign up earlier, it's about half the price...)

Anyway, here is our fall race schedule, which appears to be jam-packed. But if you consider the tris and one bike race, perhaps it is reasonable. All are in Denmark, except for one in Germany and one in the US.

Rishøjløbet - 87 km bike race - 15 august
Hillerød Gold Distance Triathlon - 22 August
Villa Gallina Løbet - 14 km - 29 august
DHL stafet - 5km relay - 2 september
Skovløberen Marathon- 5. Sep
Herlufsholm Tri Club Championship - 14. September
Brocken Marathon - 9 Oct
Copenhagen 6 Hour Run - 23 Oct
OUC (Orlando) Half Marathon - 4 December

I hope that this fall will be a time of more focused training with less junk miles to burn calories and that I can successfully become a faster runner AND triathlete at the same time (again, if I get pregnant, not much changes unless my body says differently).

Let me say something brief about each one.

1. Rishøjløbet: This will be my first bike race. Let me compare this to entering a first marathon in Kenya with all Kenyans. Kenyans come out of the womb running and Danes come out cycling. My lofty goal is to not be last. SR laughed at this and said he was actually sure they would throw me out of the race once I got too far behind the last pack. Imagine paying and training and getting up early for a race only to have them throw you out because you get behind... how rude!

2. Hillerød Gold Distance Tri: It's nearly a half Ironman, but the swim is cut down to 1km because it takes place in a 50 meter pool! I get a stomach ulcer just imagining how this is going to work, but then I imagine Virginia would be pretty laid back about it (WWVD?), so I'll just stop worrying :). The bike and swim are outdoors.

3. Villa Galina Løbet: This is my favorite race route in Denmark, at least of those I've seen. It is very hilly and in a beautiful woods with some small lakes. Heck maybe I like it because it reminds me of Wisconsin. But one should point out that, unlike Wisconsin, it is never hot here and there are essentially no bugs. I would most like to do the 14 km, but think instead I will run the 5,5 km in light of the two other races later in the week.

4. DHL staffet: I am representing Facebook Løbeklub in this 5k relay. I think it will be a good route to try for a PR.

5. Skovløberen Marathon: I have heard lots of good things about this marathon, which is on a hilly, wooded route. No chance for a PR here, but it should be fun. It's in Denmark and NOT on asphalt!!! If I'm dreaming, don't wake me.

6. Herlufsholm Tri Championsip: This is our club championship. I don't know what the distance will be yet, but I'm definitely going to participate.

7. Brocken Marathon: This one takes place in the mountainous center of Germany in the area of Harzen. It is a mountain trail marathon I learned about last year from Iris. We are making family pilgrimage with SR's mom's entire extended family, so SR and I can't let the clan down.

8. Copenhagen 6 hour run. I am going to run this one to get revenge for last year. Not revenge on a particular person (don't worry, May-Britt), but just prove to myself that I can run this one better. Last year, I went into this race thinking I would win. I led for the first 3/4 and then fell apart into itty bitty pieces. Maybe it was a broken soul or maybe it was sore quads from 4 1/2 hours of asphalt. This year my strategy will be different. I've been working on the race flow chart all year, but don't expect me to give it away until it's over!

9. Orlando Half Marathon - we are planning a trip to Disney World with the kids so SR can go to the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference. At the end of our trip is the OUC Half Marathon. Looks like it will be a good route to try for a PR.

Will I see any of you at these races?

The following song was recommended by my sister. I get so mad when she, sitting in Minneapolis, finds great Swedish music before I do.

Running song of the Day: Meet a Bear by Britta Persson


PiccolaPineCone said...

No Way! I am doing Villa Galina Løbet too! What are the chances??
yup. kidding. just wanted to be the first to comment, even if inanely, for a change :)

sea legs girl said...

Inaneness is welcomed with open arms here, PPC.

May-Britt Hansen said...

I´m not worried :-)
And I still don´t know if I run in Albertslund. It´s only 5 weekes after my 24H race, and in case I do run, it will only be for the fun of it.
Btw: the race is on Oct.30th ;-)

Ewa said...

Virginia Berasategui looks really, I mean really good.
Villa Galina Løbet and Skovløberen Marathon sound like something I would love. Too bad Denmark is so far from here. :)

olga said...

That woman does look sweet to wish for similar body. And those trail marathons? Sounds like a blast! Way to get creative with racing schedule, girl!

SteveQ said...

Ummm, are guys allowed to comment on how women look? Most top triathletes have that sinew scraping bone skinned-rabbit look (which actually kinda works for some), but not Virginia (at least in those photos) and she's certainly attractive.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever done the DHL relay before? The route is very windy to accomodate the spectators - and the park is smog filled due to BBQs.
In my opinion not the best place to run a PB. Just wanted to let you know :-)


May-Britt Hansen said...

I agree with Malene on DHL. Not a race for a PR, and as far as I remember you don´t get an ind. finish time

sea legs girl said...

May-Britt and Malene, thanks for the warning about DHL. Hmm. Well, I'll just keep my own time and then if I get a PR there'll be another cryptic "garmin time" on my PR's. My existing PR is actually from a relay and I think the time was too fast. One can't trust relays for accurate splits. I need to post my real PR of 19:46 for my own sake, at least.

Ewa, you are always welcome to visit, though there are plenty of runs in Cali that make me jealous!

Thanks Olga. It is very rare I am complimented for being creative, so I appreciate it :).

Steve Q, comment away! The more inappopriate, the better.

Diana said...

Sounds like a really fun race schedule. The Brocken marathon especially seems nice to me, because I studied abroad in that region when I was in college. I ran in the forest in the mountains every morning, and it was so beautiful.
Also, I am jealous of Virginia Berasategui's arms. Not to have wimpy arms would be lovely.

SteveQ said...

Now you've challenged me to be inappropriate. I've always liked the looks of high jumper Amy Acuff. There's just something about this photo:

sea legs girl said...

Diana, wow. You were so lucky to have lived there, though it really seems isolated! Where exactly did you live? You must speak German. So now the question is, how easy is it to learn Dutch once you know German? My German friend Rainer always told me Dutch was closer to English than German. Any thoughts?


That was definitely sufficiently inappropriate. I laughed out loud and then it elicited an inappropriate comment from the Lorax: "Det mor!" ("That's mom!"). My son has a different impression of me than I thought.

Diana said...

I lived further west than Wernigerode, in the university town of Göttingen, so it was right at the foothills of the mountain chain. I do speak German, and it was a help and a detriment to learning Dutch. Grammatically, I guess Dutch is closer to English, but there are so many German/Dutch cognates. In the beginning when I didn't know the Dutch word, I would insert the German word and it seemed to work most of the time. Sometimes, though, I would get these weird looks that indicated my word choice was way off.

SteveQ said...

I speak German well enough that Germans try to figure out what my accent is and I speak a little Dutch. I learned Frisian, which is essentially English spoken with Dutch words. What I discovered is that 99.99% of the people in the Netherlands speak English far better than I'd ever speak Dutch and, after politely waiting for me to think of the right word, would start speaking English to me.

Except the Basque separatists, of course.