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

Friday, 18 April 2014

Skærtorsdagsløb 10k PR

"As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it." - Andy Warhol

It's fun. My life is otherwise pretty boring without SR and Christian here, so having a great race and seeing friends at the same time means a lot to me. I probably should have told my coach I was going to run it, but at the same time I have the need for small secrets.

I do 90% of my running training on either the trails or the track of Skærtorsdagsløb (Maundy Thursday Run) - right here in Næstved. And almost every time I am on these trails, I think of Skærtorsdagsløb. I think of the "mud wall" you have to run up and the shock I got the first time I ran the race and realized we needed to run up that thing. Now it's just a normal part of my training. It is really, really fun to get better at something. And to get better at running without needing to get pregnant again to do it, well, it fascinates me.

In the 1.1 km from my house to the track, it is hard not to notice the forest floor. The white and yellow flowers are anemone both in Danish and English though I had never heard of them before moving here.
Anette was my cycling friend when I was pregnant and during two trips to Mallorca. We have had long wonderful conversations and she was the time keeper yesterday.
Allan is the new head of HGATM and Maria is a rather famous cross triathlete and the last couple of months I have been her running coach, so we have gotten to be close. They both kept track of runners as they crossed the finish line.
Up to the race

My interval times the last 5-6 weeks have indicated to me that I can run a 10k in around 39 if given a flat, easy course. My goal for YEARS has been to run a 10k under 40 minutes and for YEARS I did not move one bit closer to that goal. Yesterday, I did not have that as a goal because this course is quite tough and last year, feeling I was in great shape, I ran it in 42:06. And I had run a 60k race 11 days earlier.

But a few major things have happened since last year:

1. My hip doesn't hurt during shorter races. Last Thursday, I went to see Søren Raunholt, my osteopath in Næstved, and he did some ART on my hip and reminded me- just as coach Ole does - proper running technique (shorter steps, avoiding heal landing) is going to be my saving grace.

I have a significant leg length discrepancy (pain in the hip of the longer leg) and I have known about this for years now. I have always walked with a limp. As a teenager, I really got made fun of for this because people thought I was trying to "walk like a gangster" :-) ... one time the mom of a kid with a neurologic disability came up to me and told me to stop imitating her son, who walked with a limp. Ha! As if I would make fun of someone with a limp?! That is just how I walked. At the time I didn't understand why I walked like that). Anyway, Søren said if I walked all day, he would give me an insert for my left shoe. I have been given these before. But he said that since what I do most is run that I can make up for the discrepancy by landing on my mid foot rather than my heal when I am running. We really all are "born to run" and not "born to walk".

2. I went to Bikram Yoga the day before the race and that always helps me run faster. Remember when you slightly stretch a muscle it gets stronger.

3. I weigh 49 kgs. That is a lot less than the 52 I weighed at the race last year. Anyone who says this makes no difference is wrong. I am not saying the weight is my healthiest weight, but it may be my fastest.

4. I have been training with Ole for a year and a half now and am really starting to see the results of consistent effort and continually mixing up my training.

5. Eating a healthy diet is the final element I needed to make my training effective and to decrease recovery time. I don't want to be known as the crazy diet woman, but added sugar really serves no purpose and I have also started slowly removing it from Mattias' diet, though I am trying to keep a level head and don't want any eating disorders in my family!

The race

It was just really solid. SR told me to run it as a tempo and for placement. There were no females anywhere near me, so I just kept an even, hard pace. I always go after perceived heartrate, so the hills were obviously slower. The race is half on asphalt and half on trails. It is quite hilly for a Danish race. I came through the 5k in 19:54 and honestly DOVE across the finish line to get this time, though it took me a second (or decisecond, I guess) to stop my garmin. Then they announced over the loudspeakers I was the first female in 39:59 :-). Whooohaa!

Maria was there to congratulate me and was kind of shocked, as it seemed others were, with my improvement.

The next part is kind of sad because, even in the time we have lived in Næstved, this race has gotten smaller and smaller. Herlufsholm (the namesake of the athletic club HGATM) is an old and prestigious boarding school in our small town. The track club is also old and prestigious, with this race being the oldest in Denmark; it was run for the 79th time yesterday. But there were only 340 participants in the 3, 5 and 10k put together and none of my old rivals was there. Mette Bøgard, the sub 3 marathoner ran it in 40:23 last year and I wish she would have been there to give me a good fight. But everything and everyone is moving out of the small towns and into the big cities or finding newer, fancier races. Even I have switched to running with Køge Atletik, though I didn't have the heart to tell anyone this yesterday. (It was just too hard to say no to the trip to Kenya they offered me!)
Awards for the top 3 females: jo, Heidi Fjellerad (blondina to the right) and Dorte Haslund in blue.

300 kr gift certificate prize

Right after I took this picture I was playing really wild with Mattias. Our usual games and he fell on his face with his nuk in his mouth and there was blood everywhere. Suddenly I hated the fact I had run the race and was more tired than I knew. I am quite used to emergencies, thank God and just controlled the bleeding. I thought he was going to lose a tooth, but the force of the nuk just made his gums bleed like crazy. Disaster averted. I think I will avoid wild play after races from now on. And it may be time to lose the nuk, though honestly he may have broken a tooth had it not been there.
Time for a bike ride to the beach with this guy! Enjoy your Easter weekend. Looking for some more running songs? Check out Jill's Iditarod playlist.


PiccolaPineCone said...

Sub 40! Woooo to the hoooo! Congratulations!

Alicia Hudelson said...

Wait what? Trip to Kenya??!

sea legs girl said...

PPC, it is so great to hear from you. I hope you are doing well in your new job (of course you are). I anxiously await all of your blog posts, fyi.

sea legs girl said...

Ahh, the fine print, Alicia. Yeah, in November and January they are arranging training camps in the area where Sylvia is from and have a lot of money in their club. I have already said yes, so we just need to work out the details, I think.

cherelli said...

I love reading of all your improvements even without pregnancy, you seem to just be getting better and better with every little tweak to your life/health/technique, congratulations on sub-40!