After a summer of niggling injuries that will just not go away I had 3 objectives with this race:
- Get to the start. OK, as I was in Stockholm so I was going to achieve that one
- Get to the finish. I was not sure how much of it I would run, but I wanted to get to the end
- The ultimate target, run every step
Given the injuries, lack of miles and the longest run in ages being 13km (the weekend before), I was not sure if that was achievable or not, but too my surprise I did!
I had basically given up on anything else and not prepared properly. I also had no idea in terms of fuelling, 15:30 is a new start time for me and when staying in a hotel it is not easy to control the fuel.
So with all that in mind, I went to the start with zero expectations but for some reason I was feeling quite nervous, possibly because I was not sure how the body would hold up. I had a mantra in mind, slow and steady gets to the end. I was going to try and keep it as steady and consistent as possible, without getting carried away at the start, which I have been guilty of before.
The weather was about perfect other than a bit of a breeze and the location of the start in front of the Royal Palace was pretty good and everyone seemed in a good mood for the run.
Setting off I got in to a reasonable comfy pace and tried to stick with it, regardless of what others did.
I was quite pleased with the first couple of km, but then slight pain came in to the achilles (the latest problem in the left leg), but it was manageable and luckily it stayed at that level through the whole run, phew!
Through the first 5km in just under 27 minutes was OK and a fraction quicker than I thought, but I was starting to tick off the milestones in my head, 5, 10, longest run in the come back, 15, 20 and then finish.
Through 10 things were still OK, but the heart rate was starting to climb, but the effort levels remained about the same. A split of 26:13 was OK for the next 5km and through 10km in 53:03 was perfectly acceptable (in fact much better than I thought).
From here on in it was counting down the KMs and when I had gone past the length of the run last weekend I was starting to be in stubborn mode and really wanting to get to the end.
I kept monitoring the body and easing back the effort when I found it going up.
The stretch from 17km to 18.5km was a tough one with a drag up, but after that it was flat or down.
I know I was at the limit in what I could do and it was just a question of getting to the end. Zero chance of a sprint finish, just get to the line! Really pleased with two things, the body held up reasonably well and the bloody mindedness to keep running, it would have been so easy to walk. 1:52:18 is not exactly quick, but I am pleased with the pretty even splits and getting to the end!
So Stockholm, you know how to do a run. Some amazing entertainment on the road, bands, DJ’s, tumblers, he power zone at the end and the crowds all helped to keep things going. Even at the end, the beer, which I do not normally drink, helped make the event
I do like Stockholm, a beautiful city and hopefully will be back one year to do this again, but fully fit! If nothing else so I can have an excuse to visit more of the exciting restaurants and wine bars as part of the trip 🙂