This entry was first posted on my private blog. I was disappoint. Back story is that I’d hurt my foot somehow (was worried it was a stress fracture at the time, was probably actually overtraining and some form of plantar fasciitis or ligament damage), so didn’t know if I’d even run the half – but had been fundraising and getting the tutu ready so was really hyped about doing it.
Firstly I’m bloody disappointed at myself for going out too fast. I don’t know if my foot would have held better if I’d started off slower, but I would have definitely beaten my April time, even if I missed sub2 by a few minutes.
Start time was 16:00, which is really annoying really, as I spent the whole day stressing not really managing to fuel up as well as I’d like for fear of cramping or being too full (easier with morning/lunch race as I don’t ponder too much the lunch, breakfast is easy) – I suspect I could have had more carbs during the day than I actually had, water intake was ok.
Start was outside the palace in Stockholm, very very very pretty run on the whole – I would totally recommend it to anyone as a really nice route overall, even if I kinda hated it this time around. The race was well organised and set up – with clear places where you started dependant on start group etc. I am a bit stressed in crowds (going to be great in London then….) but it went okay.
Start group G, there was a 2hour time keeper runner that I had planned on following, which I introduced myself to – she wasn’t really that friendly – but meh, might have been the srs tutu.
Found the woman who was running on my sisters bib, she seemed rather excited – and we then moved towards the start for our group. Nerves and excitement grew, then we were off (missed my mum and sister who were on the other side). The first km was through the main streets of stockholm with quite a few people watching before we went down into a tunnel. Close and uncomfortable, but soon we were out and running outside the train station and around Kungsholmen. I felt pretty uncomfortable, couldn’t find a rythmn but still hoped it would come. First few km were in high 5min/km numbers (5:09-5:30) which i wasnt paying enough attention to.
First water station came at 3km, unfortunately I skipped it as it was packed with people – I shouldn’t have really.
Come 7-8km I realised that I was in trouble, I was longing for 12km, where my mum and sister were going to wave at the Garmin Power Zone – and somewhere along there the 2:00 hour pace keepers ran past me. I tried so hard to keep up, but at that point they were running 5:20min/km and it just wasnt going to work (guessing they had started slower and gone up to get pace as their pace should have been nearer 5:40), I passed 10km at somewhere 58minutes ish, and felt so totally shitty that I wasn’t even half way there. Foot was mostly okay at this point – I decided to just try to get a new PB.
There were a few small hills, nothing deadly, but I was feeling quite meh – losing the 2:00 time keepers hit me hard, and it was getting tougher.
12km came up, I started looking out for my mum/sister, but couldn’t see them, that really hit hard. Had some pepsi at the energy zone – spilled a lot of it over myself which was quite crappy. Floor also got really sticky. We went under the trainstation bridge, then through the tunnel/walkway through the houses of parliment (the cobbles SUCKED in my fivefingers), out to run in front of the palace on our way to the second loop around Södermalm.
At this point the race is on both sides of the road, with the other side of the road being the people who have ran Södermalm and are running towards the finish line around about 500m away. Most. disheartening. bit. ever. managed to smile (maniacally) at the photgraphers, and enjoy for a second running in front of the palace, but then it was into a mini-tunnel, and out onto a long stretch I’d been dreading which goes past the smaller exhibition hall (where the tattoo convention is held), then up and around Södermalm before curving back to the finish line.
Here was 15km, and at that point I pretty much gave up, the demons in my head told me I sucked ass and I actually walked for a while /stopped to see if anyone was behind me to join up with. I regret this now – if I hadn’t mentally given in, sure my foot was hurting, I’d have got a new personal best. Again something to learn from. A band there was playing the proclaimers, which cheered me up a little bit, and I managed to get going again till around 17-18km when the 2:10 time keeper came past me, complimenting me on my skirt. I said I’d try keep up with her and her group, and for a few km it worked. She was quite lovely and I talked a little bit with her, but as the hills (tiny slopes more like) came up, the group slowly moved into the distance and again the demons told me I was rubbish and I gave up and walk/ran a while.
At this point my awesome friend Emelie caught up with me, and again I ran a little bit with her – she however was on track to get a personal best, and I was in no fit state to try keep up, so she went off into the distance.
Finally 20km came up, including an cyclist who managed to block off a bit of the route, a god awful ramp in front of Slussen (seriously ick) and cobbles (sucky, even if I tried to convince myself it was just a foot massage). Finally it was back to the straight at Gamla Stan, and the last stretch! There I talked a little with a few other runners, cheering each other on and the like…. I didn’t exactly manage to sprint though like some of my amazing friends, but all of a sudden… FINISH LINE (I did consider jumping into a porta potty just prior to the finish…. hahha) and Mum and Fay were there.
There was emotions, there were tears – but it was done. I know this sounds pretty negative, but I did have an overall ace experience – just not the one I had expected/hoped.
So much learning from that experience though, so much to take with me in the future.