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