Photo from the 2014 Ice Age Trail 50 Miler by Ali Engin. Permission to use header photo must be obtained through Ali Elgin.

"It's better to feel pain than nothing at all. The opposite of love's indifference." - The Lumineers

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Double 5k PR & IAU World Championships

Here we are in Allerød. Natti and I decided to fit a 5k race into our trip to Copenhagen and it ended up being in support of the Allerød Athletic Club - and Super Best (the grocery store). Some races raise money to fight devastating diseases or children in the 3rd world- others, a grocery store. Yippee!
Pavement, flat, cool, protected from the wind. This course had all of the elements to make this PR thing happen for both of us. What if I could get under that elusive 19 minute mark? What if Natti could break 30?

As I was warming up by running the course, who do I SEE running with her almost 12 year old daughter, but Dorte Dahl. Oh my gosh, we are absolutely destined to run together. She was running the 10k, though.

Ok- so let's just cut to the chase, right? I line up with Dorte at the start and she points out the woman who is going to beat me. Thank you, Dorte. And then my Garmin goes dead. Oh, well. Who needs it anyways? They time these things, right? (are you good at detecting foreshadowing?)

And do not ask me to remember what time we started at (minutes or seconds) because I have number dyslexia and if I don't write a number down- even if I do, I write it backwards, but it is all hopeless and getting worse with age (which honestly is no joke, since I work with statistics on a daily basis and need to quadruple check everything I do). Anyway. Why did I not start my stop watch?

Off we go and I run with Dorte and this gal Karina (turns out she is an ex professional cyclist turned runner at 30) for the first 2.5km. Ok, I'm thinking we are going super fast, but have no clue what kind of pace it is. Then it feels like Karina and Dorte suddenly start running even faster, but of course I am the one slowing.

I felt OK until the last 1km where the right sided stomach cramps return (pavement, I love you!) and cross the finish line at unknown time.

I ask- do you know my time? Blank stares. Woman looks at timer in her hand - says 19:19, but won't say if that was my time or the time at the moment.  Sometimes chip timers suck and sometimes they are really nice. Am I obsessive?

I talked to Karina who came in not too far ahead of me. "What was your time?" She looks at her Garmin - 18:40. And it seemed like I was right behind her. So what was my time? Somewhere between 18:40 and 19:19. So there is a range. And of course 19:19 needs to be considered the PR because Í have no proof it was faster; I have just been running intervals that would predict around a 19 minute 5k.

I run to the car - honestly with tears in my eyes because I am so freaking stupid - grab a drink and then run back out on the route to finish with Natti. And in seriously no time, there she is, about to win for the girls and finish in (what they say was) 27:48. Anyway- a nearly 3 minute PR for her - and after a very little sleep slumber party. I am so happy for her and proud of her. All of her running and her dad's genes are working to her advantage. Soon she will beat me.

Here is Dorte with her loot from the 10k win
Tomorrow Dorte and I and Anne-Mette head to Fyn to run some trails in what Dorte calls "The Danish Alps" as part of the Salomon Trail Tour. (you can still sign up tomorrow!)

IAU World Championships

I have not been able to find the words or the time to write about this yet. When something so out of proportion to your talent and ability happens, - and it is so wonderful - well...

So, I mentioned earlier the IAU Championships in Ultra Trail running because there had been discussion about sending a Danish team and maybe Denmark would send Dorte, Pia, me, among other women. Then it was pointed out I was American. Well, I have really wanted to be on a national ultra running team and I guess, who wouldn't right? I never in my WILDEST dreams thought I would make it onto the American team, but a highly unusual alignment of the stars happened when Michele Yates (this woman is an amazingly talented runner, folks, and has a shot at winning the individual womens' category) was looking for a couple women to fill in for two women who had dropped off of the team. I had some recommendation help from Olga and sent in a racing resume (I had luckily made an "athlete bio" just one week prior) and poof! I was on the team.

So I am going from my Western States research in California- to a brief stop home in Næstved  to Wales for the July 6th race. 75 km of trails in Gwydyr Forest, Snowdonia Wales.

Is there anything not to like about this?
It is such a huge honor to represent the United States in the sport of trail ultra marathoning, which is- beyond the loved ones in my life, what I am most passionate about - and as my family and friends in the US congratulate me, I am truly overwhelmed by this opportunity. It is no more and no less than it is. It is awesome.

Here is an article about the championships and the team from by Nancy Hobbs in The Examiner http://www.examiner.com/article/team-usa-to-compete-the-iau-world-trail-championships. (take a look at who the elder stateswoman is on the team! Yikes!)

Song of the day (only because I am dying to know if it is as popular in the US as it is in Denmark) Get Lucky by Daft Punk (seriously, are they German? They actually write GOOD music! hehehehe)

9 comments:

mmmonyka said...

That is so freaking awesome!!!!!! Huge congrats. I am so stocked for you!!!

Something always ALWAYS happens to you in those short races. I guess it is you destiny.

Rebecca said...

Congratulations!!! The only time my American pride rears its (sometimes) ugly head is during international sporting events. At no other time can one hear me shout USA USA or see me tear up with pride for a country I have otherwise mostly rejected... Even for someone who has adopted another country than U.S. as her own, (I think you've written before about feeling more Danish than American at times, no?) I can't even imagine how excited and proud you must be. It is especially awesome, I think, not because USA is somehow superior to other countries or boasts inherently better athletes, but when you think of the difference in size/population (and from there, the difference in number of potential elite athletes), how amazing to have earned this opportunity!

SteveQ said...

Get Lucky has been picked to be the song of the summer by those who spot trends. I'm sick of it already.

Olga King said...

I am so happy the stars knew what they were doing! Chances are what often make our lives, well, what it is. Grab yours!

Anonymous said...

one wonders how much blog exposure influences sponsorships and invites as opposed to a true running resume these days. does a 19 minute 5k really translate to a spot on the USA team? I guess so, congrats.

sea legs girl said...

Anon- yeah, one would think something like that came into play here, but neither Michele nor Jason, the team captain, had read my blog or knew me ahead of time. I just had to send an ultra trail running resumé. They never asked about my 5k PR, so that must not be the thing that tends to decide who makes the US trail ultra running team. But thanks for inspiring confidence ;0). Anyway- I said it myself that I was luck and as Olga said - "Chances are what make our lives - Grab yous!" Whatever elements went into the decision, for now I don't care - I'm grabbing my chance! I imagine you'd do the same.

sea legs girl said...

It's funny, Steve, I was sick of Get Lucky already after the first listen, but then I tried it on a run and it was genius! Thanks for the feeback. It is good to know Daft Punk has made it to the radio there - though if we're talking The Current, I guess they've always played music like that.

Rebecca said...

Blog or no blog, I cannot really imagine that a 5k time is high on the list of qualifications when it comes to selecting ultra runners. Even if one's 5k times were astonishingly fast, they would not necessarily translate to impressive ultra talent and performance. Having built up years of experience and solid performances in long, grueling ultras, however, qualifies you for the position on the team. A coach looking for 5k athletes is more interested in athletes' 5k times, maybe mile times, but not how fast s/he can run 200m! I imagine that the same goes for selecting athletes for ultras.

Helen said...

Wales will be an awesome experience!!! To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw: "The people who get on in this world are those who don't sit around waiting for things to happen, they make them happen."

P.S. I don't know which is more surprising - that Anon thinks ultra teams should be made up of 5k specialists or that commenting on your (most honest and open) blog without leaving a real name is cool.