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

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Griseløbet 10k. The race of pain.



But first, seeing Kenneth Munk in this outfit was not the painful part. Doesn't look the like woman handing out the awards was in pain either.

So dang it all. I arrived this morning feeling I had golden legs. What could go wrong? Nice weather - right around freezing (32F), light wind. It was a PR kind of day. PR kind of course.

The first 3km went exactly as planned despite the headwind - a 3:50min/km pace. Just rolling along, feeling good. Then a bike pulled out in front of me and the guy pushed me over and said "I'm gonna get you Sea Legs Girl".

Alright, I'm just kidding. What really happened is a pacing bike pulled out beside me after a guy said to him "here's the first female". All fine and and well. Rolling along.

Then I had a stabbing pain in my stomach on the right side. If you have ever played soccer as a child and went out really hard running right after drinking a huge cup of orange drink- THIS is what it felt like. I kept praying it would go away but it didn't. In fact it spread to my entire stomach. I had tears in my eyes and was making noises like a horse giving birth. The guy on the bike kept looking at me. Despite my pain I had to laugh on the inside. Was he looking at me because of my neighing and winniing or because I was slowing down. Anyway, I was so embarrassed. Tons of men kept passing me. Where were the women?

I was 1 micrometer from dropping when I told myself to get behind a guy and take some deep breaths and calm down. The pain didn't go away, but I was able to run and felt at least I could finish.

Finish I did in 41:15. First female but probably THE most disappointed runner there today. The conditions were perfect and something still went wrong. My time was similar to what I have been running on 10k tempos just in training. This just isn't right.

Wondering what I ate for breakfast? A Clif Builders Bar like always - over 3 hours before the race. I just don't get it. It wasn't like I downed water right before the start. Why on earth did this happen?

Anyway, I won the following loot. Technical long sleeved shirt, techincal tank, running pants, 2 pairs of running socks, a water bottle, 50kr. and a1½ hour spa treatment/facial/massage right here in Næstved. I'll take a picture of my winnings when I'm not feeling so lazy.

This race is one of the best organized races I have had the pleasure or participating in. And the route is so fast and fun. Griseløbet is THE race for a fast time - for most.

Because my mom is in town, I even got to go to Bikram Yoga right after the race. It was AWESOME. I don't even feel sore or tight now. I also learned what I was doing wrong that keeps injuring my right foot - hint - don't sit Japanese style if your ankle isn't flexible enough.

I love this song- it makes me happy under any circumstance (so far). For some reason I keep thinking this song is so good that it should be made illegal. Especially the parts in harmony.


Friday, 15 March 2013

From the Eastern Kingdom

This week was different. Christian is growing up. He can ski with us now. And he is darn good. Parents- start your kids early. We started him at 3 years old and I am so glad we did. As a mom, kids can be really draining on you- but when you suddenly can ski with them, yes, well, now I feel we have truly arriven at a happy place in life.

 St. Johann in Tirol. I love Tyrol, however you choose to spell it. They have technically belonged to many countries and empires- but when push comes to shove, no one can fight the Tyrolean mountain people. They kill their enemies with avalanches.
the dramatic ascents of the Austrian Alps

And Tyrol will always make me think of WWI and the deadly fighting that happened here. But what a peaceful place now.






 And what a beautiful young girl, Natali has turned out to be. And she is always taking everything in stride. Christian's constant "Natty fell, but I didn't" never even got to her. She just laughed.


My mom, much to our surprise, celebrated her 62nd birthday on skiis. 13 years after breaking her leg in a skiing accident, she decided to forget her fear and, as she said, "If I die skiing with my grandson, at least I will die happy".
There were of course fights here and there over beautiful women.
But age old rivalries between the Montagues and Capulets were resolved. 

And why is it that Mr. and Mrs. Capulet

look younger than Romeo and Juliet?



 Did it ever occur to you what a strange name Juliet Capulet is?


Terrible moments

turned into good moments very suddenly and for no apparent reason
And I got a break from it all when I was allowed to try randonée skiing. I made it nearly to the top of Kitzbüler Horn with the skins on my skiis keeping me from sliding backwards. I removed the skins and (should have) skied down like normal. The guy at the rental shop had not adjusted the bindings to fit my boots, so I had to telemark ski down (I had always wanted to try that, too) without the back clicked in.



view from our window



looking down on St. Johann




Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Beating the girl in purple and 800's

He spotted her at the start line. Along with her two brothers: the main competition for the 3.3km race. And for winning "the gold". The entire race Christian worried she was catching up and "put on the jets" whenever she got close. But when we reached the track and the finish line neared, the girl was getting dangerously close.
The girl in purple.

And Christian started screaming. And holding his belly. There was no way on God's green earth this girl was going to beat him.

100 meters to the finish.

There was almost a photo finish, but he edged her out and took 2 minutes off of his PR - 30:23. I don't think either SR or I had ever witnessed such an exciting (or humorous) race. The best part was the girl in purple didn't seem to know anyone was racing her.

Contrast this with Natty who coolly crossed the finish line in just over 20 minutes.




Putting on the jets.

It is safe to say I also have some g i r l s in purple.  And maybe that's why I do something as painful as running 800's so fast that I lose feeling in my arms and suffer from a headache the rest of the day. (and take a day off the day before just to be able to really, really do it). Let's just say the crowd of Herlufsholm maintenance men standing by the track watching me at the end was alone enough to justify my efforts.

And today was perfect for running. Cool, sunny, light wind.

Oh, you would like to know the times? 800m x 6 (3 min. rest)

2.47
2.47
2.52
2.51
2.56
2.53
Those were the times after my Garmin said I had run 800 meters, though.

Apparently I take really wide turns (or something), because by the time I actually crossed the 800 meter line on the track (same track pictured above), the times were as follows:
2.52

2.55

2.56

2.57

3.02

2.59
I recorded both times so that I can compare the first to 800 meters on the road measured by Mr. Garmin and the second times to 800 meters run on the track. And all of this can be found under my profile on Endomondo.

I am pleased. Not that my intervals ever predict my race times with any reliability. But I am over 10 seconds per 800 faster than I was this past fall.  I am just wondering if I should admit that right now my main girl in purple is a guy - in my house. When are we going to run a marathon together, honey?

(Pretentious) book question: I have been reading exclusively historical fiction from southern Europe from the early 20th century and I'm looking for a new good book in this genre. Any recommendations? (best ones so far were Embers by Sándor Márai and A Farewell to Arms by Ernest (Ernie) Hemingway. (Haha. SR just said if he didn't know me and read this paragraph, he would hate me)

Cultural quiz (about two great running songs): Which one is in Swedish and which in Danish? And how do you know? (sorry Danes and Swedes not allowed).