Sunday, September 14, 2014

The post about an epic run and a bra jobbat at the Stockholm Halv

Before, during and after the race.

  • Ran an epic race with my gal Tanya yesterday. What made this race epic? The fact that it was Tanya's first half marathon, and my first international race. I wore a Canada shirt that I bought at the Running Room. I had to represent!
  • It was a strange start time for me. Four o'clock in the afternoon! I have never done a long run late in the day. I am a morning runner. I'm not sure it worked out well for me. I wasn't sure what I should eat. I didn't want to have any stomach issues during the race. Running for 2+ hours can really suck if you have indigestion. 
  • I came to Stockholm to run with Tanya so the plan was that we would stay together and take our time. We had fun. That was the whole point. I don't even know what our time was. We crossed the start line together and crossed the finish line together. We probably did a 2.5 hour half. That is a great time for a first half and truth be told, I was not in my best running form.
  • I took scale back week to the extreme. I ran 18K on the Sunday before the half...then didn't run again until I ran the half. NOT A GOOD PLAN and an important lesson learned. My hammies were so tight by around 15K it wasn't funny. My toes were also cramped up real good by this time. The last 6K was pretty painful with the  Morton's Neuroma. I could feel the neuroma pressing down into my shoe every step I took.
  • Some interesting observations during this race. There were lots of spectators. We ran through very touristy areas of Stockholm. The people were an excited and high energy group. But no one makes poster board signs. Not a sign to be seen anywhere. Everyone yelled "bra jobbat" pronounced bra yobbit which means "good job".
  • Stockholm is a very hilly city. We ran up and down so may hills. We walked around all day Friday and I didn't really take note of the hills until I had to run them. Hilly but beautiful.
  • We started the race by running through a tunnel for about 700m. I've decided that I do not like running through tunnels. It was freaking hot in there! No air flow and boy did I sweat...then got immediately chilled once we ran outdoors again.
  • The refreshment stations served water, sports drinks, Pepsi, bananas, energy bars and some candies that reminded me of Sweet Tarts. I'm sure they had electrolites in them but they were powdery. It seemed strange to not get any gels. I can't eat food while I run because if anyone's gonna expire during a run, it will be me trying to choke down an energy bar. I did take a bite and they were yummy peanut butter flavor, but I couldn't have more than a small nibble.
  • There was a station near the end of the race where they sprayed your legs with a special muscle spray. It made my calves tingle and the jury's still out on whether or not I liked it.Throughout the course were live bands set up on stages with different genres of music. The Garmin Power Station had a metal band which made me immediately think of Linda:-)
  • After the race we got a bag of goodies which included a banana, cashews, raisins, Pepsi, a Swedish chocolate bar and cooling muscle gel. We also got water and sweet buns (which I declined). 
  • All in all the race was well organized. They did staggered starts. The elites started at 3:30 pm, I was supposed to start at 3:55 pm, but started at 4:05 pm with Tanya. When I tried to go into her corral, they kept telling me I had to go to F. Strict! But I got to stay with Tanya. There were lots of water stations and toilets. And baggage check was a dream.
  • This was an awesome experience. I am so proud of Tanya for completing her first half marathon upright and smiling...which was our ultimate goal. Stockholm is a beautiful city to run through and the weather was perfect fall weather to run in. Once we got home, we opened a Red California Zinfandel to celebrate and ate a couple squares  of dark chocolate each with it. Well deserved treats for an awesome run and a bra jobbat:-)

Medals and California zinfandel. A winning combination!