When I arrived back in the little country of many islands: Denmark, everything bascially looked the same, though everything was as different from the US as it had ever been. The most obvious difference is you feel like you're entering a miniature doll house when you get outside. The cars, roads, carts at the aiport. Everything is tiny.
Beyond that, the air is damp and the sky is more white than blue. The wind is always blowing cooly. The little white anemone flowers are covering the forest floors like a blanket. They always bloom in mid-April.
Everything in Denmark is groomed and small. There are no plants, animals, bugs or tornadoes that could kill you. Denmark may in fact encompass the tamest parcels of land on earth.
Arriving on Easter Sunday, without the rest of my family, I had lunch with SR's parents and his brother's family. Then, though I knew I shouldn't, I went for a run. Easter lasts 5 days here, so going out on a run on one or any of the five is not only tolerated, but expected. I told myself it would be brief. For the entire first mile, my left knee was in near-excruciating pain. I hand't run since the Mad City 50k a week before. Then I had a terrible shock of pain down my left hamstring and I stopped. But only for a few seconds. I pushed on and had a pretty good run, about 10 miles, though I had to walk up and down all of the hills because of the pain in my knee.
I haven't run a step since. In fact, I can't walk without pain. Life is in bloom, the sun is out and, yes, today was the Copenhagen Ultramarathon 100k, which I was hoping to run in under 9 hours to make the Danish national team, but alas... maybe next year. yeah, and I'm not Danish either, I know.
I am, instead, nursing myself back to health. Mattias isn't here to nurse, so I have to nurse something and that is me for once. (although, I am nursing the breast pump, though it is just a dumb piece of plastic.).
The reason I can't run, most simply put: iliotibial band "syndrome"
Danes call it "runner's knee".
Since one of my pet peeves is running blogs with anatomical pictures (ha,even I am guilty of it), I will just assume we all know what it is.
Ok, ok, ok. I can't help it. Anything to get your attention/gross you out. It is actually an amazing looking structure that band. And I mean it has an important job.
Yes, but the real problem is getting my head right. My life since Mattias was born has been a constant push, push, push. I don't know why. I have been back in Denmark a week now and I can't shake this post-ictal feeling. Like as if I had a major seizure and I am starting to come out of it into a big haze. I mean, what on earth has been going on? Even while here, every night, I wake up screaming in a panic that I am dying of some terrible thing and find myself so soaked in sweat that I have to change my clothing and the blanket.
I am, if you couldn't guess, back here for work and the people who my study employs were, they told me eventually, shocked to see how I looked. As I've said before, in the US, it is cool to "pull off" being thin, basically because you have beat all the odds. But in Denmark, I appear ill, though in all honesty am I not weak. I told them about my psychiatric, er, adventures, while I was in the US, about not sleeping, not eating, running in the middle of the night, etc.. They could hardly believe it. It also surprised me when they indicated that to them, I had always been a model of good health, in all senses of the word, and now I had come out with this. And they are employed by me. Granted, they seemed happy I was so honest with them; trust me, I have never witnessed such a captive audience when telling a story.
While here, I of course can't get myself to not exercise. And I know the key to recovering from IT band problems is not NOT exercising. Here is what I am doing:
massage, stretching, strengthening all my muscles but avoiding using the darn left quadriceps
Today I feel less pain. Last night I had a massage and then this morning I went to 1 hour "stomach, butt, thighs", 1 hour yoga+pilates, 1 hour spinning at very low resistance, high cadence and then 30 minutes CX Worx Core. Awesome! It wasn't quite like running 100km, but I wish I had time to do this every day. Then for sure my leg would be ready for Chippewa.
But what happened today in The Copenhagen Ultra? Well, the Danish record in the 50k was broken by Jesper Noer in 3:16:57. Okay, so it is a great time, but just two weeks ago three guys at the Mad City 50k ran faster than that! Wisconsin does have higher standards than Denmark when it comes to ultra running. I honestly think anything with the word "ultra" attached to it does not appeal to the Danish psyche. Maybe that is why there are all of these Danes who have run over 100 marathons, but have never even considered an "ultra".
Perhaps that is the reason that, as far as I can tell, I have the Danish Record in the 50km for women. That would however require me to be Danish, I guess. Today at the Copenhagen Ultra, Rikke Heinessen, did get close in a time of 4:12:56. But this is a flat route. Though who is keeping track? I am, because I'm grumpy since I can't run.
So I'll eat a flødebol instead.
The women's 100km race was very exciting, though unfortunately no one broke the 9:30 needed to be an alternate on the 100k national team. The 2nd-5th place women were less than 10 minutes apart and there were only 8 women finishers!
Here is Helle coming in in 10:04, in 5th place, looking strong.
And my good friend, Henriette, came in not long after.
Now, since Danni will ask, the title is a song by the Danish-Norwegian band Aqua (think "Barbie Girl"). It just makes me laugh because it is played so much on the radio here and I just can't imagine a song like that ever making it in the US. The US sure is a pious place. And Aqua was sure deluding themselves if they thought it would be big overseas.
Finally, has anyone else been following the Marathon des Sables? Meghan Hicks is in 5th for the women! Last stage is today but results aren't in.