Rudersdal Social Marathon is clearly a favorite training run of the Danish ultra community. There are many reasons it is one of their darlings:
-1 large loop through gorgeous terrain, mostly on trails, with views of multiple lakes and the ocean
- awesome swag bag (t-shirt, water bottle, Coke, Twix, two energy bars, raisins, a personalized Buff and a finisher's medal)
- pacers who can keep pace
- good company
So, before I get to the run, I have to mention Bente Karlund Pedersen, who wrote the wonderul book I have referred to a few times, Exercise and Pregnancy (Motion og graviditet). She gave a little talk before the race, where she discussed why running is healthy,that our muscles are actually glands that positively affect our metabolism, heart, pancreas, liver and brain among other things. Anyway, I wasn't going to have her standing 10 feet from me and not go up and talk to her and at least thank her for her book. When I told her how much I liked her book on exercise in pregnancy, she got a huge smile on her face - hearkening back, it seemed, to a really good period in her life. (loose translation from Danish) "I loved writing that book. I wrote it while pregnant with my girl and it was such a joy. But then she indicated it wasn't a subject she would write about more -"the research in that area is just not very good. One has to be careful what one writes with poor quality research. [James] Clapp was a bit more of a cheerleader than I was." I told her she should have her book translated to English - and she said that women who spoke English could simply read Clapp, as if she didn't want to steal her friend, Clapp's market. Well, I planted the seed and now she can think about it. (But God, she hit the nail on the head with the bad research. I read so many poorly designed, poorly reported studies last week on fertility and exercise that my head was about to explode.)
On to the run.
There were 3 groups to choose between 4, 4.5 or 5 hours. Because it is a challenging route on trails and I just wanted a nice training run out of it, I ran with the 4.5 hour group. (Had SR been there, he certainly would have run with the 4 hour group, but due to lack of babysitting, he took his long training run yesterday and I took mine today (as usual, he was the gentleman. Thank you, SR - I love you!).
There is really no excitement in a social marathon race report. We all ran together for 4.5 hours. Then I pulled ahead for the win. Actually, I didn't pull ahead at all. The first 18 miles or so, I felt like we were running too slowly, but then, amazingly, I hit the wall. Even eating didn't help. What the hell? So like, it doesn't actually matter how fast I run? To be honest, I was feeling kind of crappy the whole run: nauseated and tired. I try not to let my mind get carried away with thoughts of pregnancy. Or use it as an excuse. I'm not even late for a period yet. But after 18 miles, it was all I could do to stay with the group. I actually I got a little behind with my new friend, Jørgen, among others, when we got caught up at a stop light. But I survived and made it back to the start with absolutely no desire to run another step. It was over and all I can say is maybe it was just an unenergetic day. Maybe it was the cold rain. Maybe I shouldn't have run 17 miles 3 days earlier. I don't know.
I met, in particular, two people I really enjoyed talking with, the above Jørgen and Rikke Skuldbøl. Their company, and that of others helped make it a fun experience. I am at the point I can express myself naturally in Danish and can understand what is being said - and it is SO nice. I like having friends and it is really hard to make friends unless you can communicate like a native. I'm not quite to the point of being able to interpret the finest of poetry. But maybe some day I will walk into the library and not be afraid of the literature and poetry section (as of now, I go straight for non-fiction). That was a bit of an aside - sorry.
I highly recommend Rudersdal Soocial Marathon - a beautiful route with good company, minus the stress of a race. It was a good day.
Ha - no songs. Did I just survive a marathon without an iPod?