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

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Avnø Fjord Marathon


1. I have a husband who was willing to watch a 2 week old baby and a 3 year old while I ran a marathon.

2. I had not run this far in 12 weeks and I had really missed it.

3. Morten and Susanne celebrated running their 100th marathon today. Susanne had the stipulation that she needed to run all 100 on different courses. That is how we ended up running in long, wet grass around an old airport on the Avnø Fjord!

Just a little summary of my own training. I had run 17.9 miles on Wednesday in 3 hours, so I figured this meant I could handle running a marathon in 4½ hours fairly comfortably. I thus started with the group who would be running a marathon in 4½ hours.

Granted 4½ sounds like an ok time to run a marathon, but I wish I were back where I used to be. I have to admit, I am not close to being "back" yet. This is in stark contrast to swimming and biking, where I have been beating time & distance records right and left since I gave birth. I have to figure the difference lies in the weight-bearing nature of running and the changes my body has gone through.

Back to today. When we arrived, we could barely open the car doors agains the wind and pelting rain. There is no place in the world where wind can whip up like an open fjord next to the ocean.

As you can see from the running route, there was only a very brief section (6) in the woods and the rest of the time we were battling swamp-like long grass and a wind that could take any anorexic down. On the other hand, there were no hills. And the rain stopped after around 6km. I should add that it's a good thing incontinence issues are behind me since there was really nowhere to hide!

I ran most of the first half marathon with Henriette and we were on pace to come in in about 10 minutes ahead of time. But, as I had feared, I hit that point where I simply got very tired, hungry and thirsty all at once (I remember this from my frist post-partum experience). I don't think it was a reflection of my pre-race fueling or my race fueling as I had eaten a lot leading up to the marathon and had drunk 1-2 cups of water/coke every 3km. My hips also started feeling tight. I get this almost immediately when I run on asphalt since I gave birth. Luckily there was very little asphalt today (I would not have run it otherwise). I told myself that as soon as a started feeling any pain, I would stop. The goal of the day was to build my endurance again - and avoid injury at all costs!

After 30km, SR, The Lorax and El Guapo (Mattias) arrived.

Photo: Tor Rønnow

Things were still going well and I was on pace to finish right around 4h30min as planned. About an hour earlier, I had gone into the Nature Center to get my backpack with my sports drink, Buff and iPod, which had helped pep me up. Right around 35km, however, my right hip started to hurt. I stopped and walked. I wanted to make it back to watch El Guapo while SR ran the children's race with The Lorax, but it wouldn't be. My hip would not cooperate. Here I am hobbling in after 36km (my Garmin said 22.9 miles).

not a good day to forget sunscreen

No point in battling through the last loop. It had been a good day - I was determined to go home uninjured.

The Lorax, ready to race.

And bringing it on.

Challenging, beautiful, humbling experience, with tons of awesome volunteers who made it happen. I sat down in the long grass and breastfed Mattias. Life is good.

Running Songs of the Day:

Maniac by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (free download here)
Fight Test by The Flaming Lips


SteveQ said...

18 10-minute miles on Wednesday and then a 4:30 marathon only two weeks after having a baby??? You're going to make a lot of people either jealous or bewildered (um, I guess you can put me in both groups).

It's a bit slow for running, but I love Iron and Wine's "Tree By the River."

SteveQ said...

"Maniac" is okay. Reminds me a lot of Plastic Bertrand's "C'est Plane Pour Moi."

Jessie Thomas said...

Wow, you look great! Very exciting and sweet pictures of The Lorax.

Olga said...

Second kid and so much wisdom:) Great day!

Stefanie Schocke said...

OH MY WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously?! How did you do that? It completely blows my mind. GO YOU!

heather said...

The thing that really bewilders me is the 18-mile test run on Wednesday :) You look wonderful, and it looks like a beautiful and fun day, though I don't envy you the unshaded trails. More Mattias photos...?


Danni said...

31 miles or k? I am confused. Either way glad you've bounced back!

sea legs girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sea legs girl said...

Steve, interesting song comparison. I guess I hear it a little. Same sort of rhythm.

sea legs girl said...

Ooops! Danni, I totally messed that one up. It was supposed to say 22.nine )the nine key and parentheses key is not working on this computer). Thanks for pointing that out!!

cherelli said...

Way too awesome, you're only 2weeks after birth and worried about not being where you want to be? Ha! You set such high standards for yourself :) Nice to hear the biking and swimming are great though; congrats on a smart run, The Lorax sure is a cute li'l guy!

Katie said...

I can't believe you're running and so much so soon after the baby! I felt like I might lose some organs through my "parts" if I ran during the first few weeks. My kids also seemed to want/need to nurse like every hour for the first 2 months.

Sounds like you're doing awesome...congrats on the new addition to your family (and to running 22 miles)!

sea legs girl said...


Yeah, Mattias does breast feed every 1-2 hours (or more!), but SR had three bottles lined up and used two.

Oh, and as far as I know, all of my organs are still in the right place! Wouldn't THAT be a fun surprise for the runner behind me? "Watch out for the - uh- uterus??!!"

Diana said...

Um, I still cannot believe how well you're running. I'm a little envious. Glad it was a good day even with the less than ideal conditions.

The Lorax looks so adorable in those pictures. I hope that he had a fabulous time during his run.

Daniel Ditlev said...

You rock! :D

Best Regards,
Daniel, Sorø Triathlon Klub

Tor Rønnow said...

Nice meeting you again, Tracy, you were really running well ! I hope you like the pictures I shot, the one you grabbed is one of the best of the day. Great *ss you got there, lol ;)


Lisa said...

I love those kids races! The Lorax is the cutest! Cadence just ran her first a few weeks ago. Now she talks about going running all the time.

I've been blogging a little more and making time to read your blog since I've been off for the summer. It's good to be back.

sea legs girl said...

Thanks for the support, Diana and Daniel!

Tor, ass comments are always appreciated here! (and thanks for the awesome pictures)

Lisa, great to hear from you again!! I think about you often. So cool about Cadence - and she had better be a runner with that name (although I'm sure her daddy thinks it means she'll be a musician :)). Perhaps both?!