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

Monday, 7 November 2011

Løberen Skovmarathon: The Human Plasma Lipidome

Certainly there is something mania-inducing about running a marathon hard (that is what we did yesterday). Why is it that after going to bed at 11:30, I wake up at 4:45am wide awake, looking at my two sons next to me, bursting with love and filled with energy wanting to write a blog post? Well, my sympathetic nervous system is still on overdrive, that's why. (Chemicals, don't strangle my pen! (reference, anyone?))

And maybe we shouldn't run so many marathons. It has been 4 weeks since my 50k trail PR at the Glacial Trail and 5 weeks since both of our marathon road PRs in Milwaukee.

The race du jour was Løberen Skovmarathon, a trail marathon outside of the city of Hillerød, in northern Sjælland (is anyone who reads this even interested in where in Denmark these races are run? How many people, I wonder, who read this blog have gotten so far as to look up where Denmark really is, like precisely? (personally, despite having lived for two years in France, I did not know exactly where Denmark was before meeting SR)).

There were just under 200 runners in the marathon, though 2659 participants in the 10k, half marathon and marathon all together. Big race!

We have not run this before and didn't know if it was hilly or technical or what. But we knew it was all on trails.

They have this ingenious set-up where

the trail is like spokes of a wheel and you keep running back to the center where there is an aid station with water, sports drink and bananas. (I have perhaps mentioned before how I get extreme low blood sugar from eating bananas while racing, so I had my large stash of chocolate in my belt like usual).
Then you run around some of the periphery back to the start, where you have completed a half marathon. And then you do it all again (this time hopefully faster :).

Here is my favorite place on the route (pic by Tor Ronnøw)

and it is very representative of the race and of Fall in Denmark.

As is usual for me, I ran after pulse/perceived exertion. This leads me to start out very slowly because right when I start, my pulse surges. When I get into my groove, I start passing people, pulse unchanged. Yesterday was no exception.

I came through the half marathon in 1:43 on the button.

Here was SR coming through the half marathon quite a bit earlier in 1:27:11.

And then I said to myself - now you can really start running and I allowed my pulse to rise a bit. I picked up the pace to sub 7:30 min/mile. It lasted quite a while. I had thought a PR might be possible, but the hills and dirt wore me down too much, I guess. With 4-5k left to go, I became extremely nauseated and almost needed to walk. I thought I would throw up but didn't. I don't really know what happened, but certainly it was related to my being so nervous before the race and having to run to bathrooms/woods with stomach problems many, many times before we started. Plus I think I just reached the point of exhaustion. Better it happened at mile 24 than at mile 16 where it always used to hit me (yes, it is all about not starting too fast. I have learned SOMETHING after nearly 30 marathons and ultras).

My final time was 3:27:35. A 35 second positive split.


Relief. Not overwhelmed or underwhelmed. Just whelmed.

Feeling like maybe the burst of speed that came from pregnancy isn't going to give me much faster times than my PR in Milwaukee. Time to integrate some regular speed work.
SR ran in 2:54:17 and had a few second negative split. He took 3rd place in a really tight and tough field. Here he is modeling the "comfy, cozy" fleece from the Glacial Trail 50k. And I am modeling Piccola Pinecone's super cool French Canadian racing shirt.

I took second to the amazing Margrethe Frydenborg, below, who killed the course in 3:08:57!
Here was the podium, 3rd place Maibritt Skovgaard, MIA.
Very fine prizes: 500 kroner gift certificate to Løberen for me plus organic make-up, which is now the only make-up I own! Maybe I should give it a try.

Congrats to Henriette Lisse and Rikke Skudbøl on completing 2 marathons in 2 days! Congrats to Daniel Ditlev and Lars Bergelius on awesome PR's.

(sorry, my odd sense of humor is entirely to blame for the subtitle; this post has, as far as I can tell, very little to do with The Human Plasma Lipidome, which was the title of a review article in this week's New England Journal)

Now I return to studying towards my certificate in Global Health online.


Peasey said...

Ooh! Nice Of Montreal reference. Also, that's a really cool French Canadian shirt! although at first, I thought it was spattered with a thin layer of blood, which would be scary but cool in a Bruce Willis kind of way.

Danni said...

That's a great finish! Awesome!

SteveQ said...

I can't think "Rikke Skudbol, Loberen Skovmarathon" without sounding like the Muppets' Swedish Chef. [Bork Bork Bork]

Why, everyone knows Denmark's Jutland is just north of Schleswig-Holstein. The rest of it's islands. But how many Europeans could find Wisconsin on a map?

DDitlev said...

"pulse/perceived exertion" : What is that?

Once again you totally rocked! If you hadn't had those pre race nerves I'm sure you would have made a fine PR!

Kirsten said...

You are so good and I simply admire you!
Do you have any good advice on the speedwork - mentally I mean. What do you think of when it hurts like hell, the lungs want to burst out and the blood runs down your chin? How do you talk yourself into continue just another few hundred meters?

Kirsten said...

And by the way, SteveQ your are right - we suck when it comes to placing the different states on a map!!

sea legs girl said...

Peasey. I'm sending you a virtual hug for Of Montreal. Those French Canadians tend to put images of things on their shirts that resemble blood so they look tougher. I can't say I mind that look.

sea legs girl said...

Thanks, Danni. To be honest, your comment made me feel a lot better about the race. Thanks for always supporting me!

sea legs girl said...

Steve Q, I can tell you are on the right track to learning Danish (my mom says that Danish still sounds like the Swedish Chef to her). That may be generally true about Wisconsin, but Danes are way better at geography than Americans (doesn't take much).

sea legs girl said...

Daniel, I should have explained more but I figured I would bore everyone. My theory is that the key to not "hitting the wall" is not letting your pulse get too high too early in the race. So I run at an even pace and power walk even the little hills. I don't check my pulse, though, I just pay attention to my respiratory rate. The second half of the race is all about gradually picking up the pace and then finishing all out so you've got nothing left.

sea legs girl said...

Aw Kirsten, it has been a while since blood has run down my chin (hence my choice of French Canadian shirts - see above). Honestly, I tend to do speed work on days I feel like running fast. And I enjoy the hurt in a way. It's actually the anticipation of doing it that is the worst and that's probably why I don't do it more. Actually, the reason I don't do it more is it's hard with a newborn right there all the time. Just look at it this way - if it gets really painful, you can just stop :).

sea legs girl said...

How many people can place the different Chinese provinces on a map?? It's really a lot to expect Europeans to be able to place all the states!

PiccolaPineCone said...

wow! That course looks almost as beautiful as the shirt you ran in looks ugly :) (I`m allowed that say that right??). Seriously congratulations on a smart, smart race. A 35 second positive split is pretty darn impressive in a marathon. And you and FB are both looking very, very lean and fit. Wowza!

mmmonyka said...

Have you ever written a post about your thoughts on how pregnancy can boost athletic performance? I can't remember.

btw, this is not to imply that your awesome results (congrats by the way!:)) are entirely due to pregnancy but you yourself mentioned boost of speed that came with pregnancy.

SteveQ said...

Lately, I've been loving local band Halloween Alaska. Their songs are a little wimpy (er, "ethereal") for good running songs. The closest would be "Dance By Accident."

Mattias made it onto my blog today.

Katie said...

Great time! And congrats on making it to the podium! The picture of the trail is gorgeous. I'm not sure running a ton of marathons is great for me. I think one or two a year is good (for me). I also find it nice to change running focus. A few weeks ago I ran a marathon and now I'm running shorter stuff.

Ah Ah Alaska said...

I looked Denmark up on the map, couldn't resist the challenge. Who would have thunk, eh?
Congrats on the great race, love the pics. Nice that you don't have snow. Let me know if you'd like me to send you some, hee, hee.
Hugs to the little ones.

SteveQ said...

Oops. The Halloween, Alaska song I meant was "Empire Waist":
The other one sounds like a Police cover.

SteveQ said...

My nephew just told me he went to the Avett Brothers show in Milwaukee; you might've been in proximity... depending on which continent you were on that particular day.