Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Monday, 30 May 2011
Sunday, 29 May 2011
Saturday, 28 May 2011
|Photo by Andreas Nilsson|
Friday, 27 May 2011
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Saturday, 21 May 2011
|I just want to go out for a run!|
Friday, 20 May 2011
And suddenly, when the work week is over and the mind has time to deal with other things, it all becomes very, very real. I don't have a racing plan! Should I have a plan? Aren't I supposed to be drinking lots of water today? What clothes am I going to wear? Will I freeze to death before the start? Or will it be too warm? What time do I have to be there? What bus do I have to take? Is there a chance for a sub 2-hour finishing time, when I'll most likely have to elbow my way forward in the crowd? WILL I BE ABLE TO SLEEP TONIGHT?!
Thursday, 19 May 2011
|Photo by Dapeel|
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Monday, 16 May 2011
|I'm slow compared to him. Look, he's won a medal and all.|
Sunday, 15 May 2011
Saturday, 14 May 2011
|Nature was at its best today|
Friday, 13 May 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Monday, 9 May 2011
Sunday, 8 May 2011
No long run today either. A vague plan to run the hilly 10km- route immediately vaporised when I started running and felt like I had to force my legs to move. I chose to run to the lake and see how it went from there.
I reached the woods. As I approached the lake, I saw an older man waving at me. ”Excuse me”, he said. ”Which way to the 2,5km trail?” I pointed in the direction of the trail but then he noticed the Midnattsloppet t-shirt I had on. We started chatting about races and training. This gentleman has run 20 marathons in his life and knows the ultra-legend (and idol of mine) Rune Larsson. I was very impressed, and in no hurry to start running again. He's also planning on participating in the same ultra as I, in August. We talked for about 20 minutes, and, had it not been a bit chilly, I would have gladly listened to him talk about running some more. I always find it interesting to talk to people who have been running for a long time. I certainly hope I am as active as he is when I'm a pensioner.
Our chat gave me a kick and I attacked the first 4-5 hills on the path with gusto and great determination. Then it was as if I suddenly realised what I was doing. Yesterday's 20 km hike had left me tired. No, not tired. Exhausted. My bones were tired. My muscles were tired. Every fibre in my body was tired. So I eased into a jog and ran a bit longer instead. I came home tired but content, still on a buzz from the inspirational chat. 8 kilometres richer.
Saturday, 7 May 2011
Some of you might remember that I ran Torrekullaleden a couple of weeks ago. This time, we hiked it clockwise, and I was curious to see if it would feel just as tough as counter-clockwise. It did. But that didn't deter me from wanting to try to run it in that direction next time.
This last week I have felt completely unmotivated to run. Nothing inspired me to put my shoes on and head to the woods. I have heard about post marathon depression and I wonder if I've been having a lite-version of it, after my easy 31-km run last Saturday. Not that I've been depressed, but when your goal is to run further, and you achieve that goal, then you have to set new goals: either run faster, or further. Right now I can do neither.
Beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice
I'm not particularly worried about this dip in my training; I don't follow a specific schedule and I don't care that much if I run fast. I'll never be a fast runner and I'm perfectly fine with that. As long as I can run far! Mostly I run when I feel like it, as far as I feel like and as fast as the mood takes me. If I don't feel like running one day (or two, or three), I don't push myself. My motivation comes back eventually.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
I packed my heavy climbing gear in my Inov8 backpack and studied maps. I wanted to take a shortcut through Änggårdsbergen, a nature reserve. I've only gone for walks there before and I've wanted to try running its hilly paths for ages.
The sky was littered with small white clouds, but I could see some really dark ones in the distance. After 5 km of tarmac, I entered the woods. There was a variety of trees, anything from spruce to birch to cherry trees. The narrow path winded among them. It was fairytale beautiful.
I soon came to a crossroads, where a woman was walking her dog. I asked her for directions, because, yes, I was already lost 300 meters after entering the nature reserve. She explained that I had two choices: either run to the left and through the whole nature reserve, or run right and get back to civilisation. I decided not to risk getting lost in the woods. I didn't have time for that. I chose civilisation.
After these spectacular 300 meters of nature, I was back among the houses and people. Luckily, the houses surrounding that side of the nature reserve are very pretty. But luck was not completely on my side. As I struggled up a long hill, those dark clouds in the distance moved over my head and hail started pouring down from the sky. I wasn't a happy bunny. I didn't have a change of clothes with me, and there was still a few kilometres left to go. I took shelter under a tree and waited for the worst to pass.
The hail went as fast as it had come. I continued up the hill. It seemed endless. Looking at the map in SportTracks now, it almost was. One kilometre of moving one foot in front of the other, promising myself I could stop at the next lamp post, or that little stone over there, or that car further away. That way, I managed to make it without stopping, and was rewarded with the other side of the hill. The one with the declining slope.
I arrived at our meeting place after 11 km. The sun was once again shining.
It is rare, but some days I don't feel like running. Today is one of them. I tried imagining how wonderful it would be to go for a run in the woods, follow the tough undulating trail, get some strength in my legs and then come home almost shaking from the exertion. When that didn't do it, I tried to remember how it felt last winter, when I couldn't run because of my foot. I even tried threats, that if I don't go out for some hill intervals, my legs will fall off. Nothing. I felt no excitement, no anticipation.
I slept for almost 9 hours, something that is extremely unusual for me. Yet I was very reluctant to get up, let alone go for a morning run. Frost had painted the house roofs white, and after yesterday's freak snow fall, with flakes big and heavy enough to make a crater when they landed, I felt like spending the day hibernating. Sometimes it doesn't matter how much you sleep or how well you eat. Sometimes you just have to take an extra rest day.
Yesterday afternoon I met up with a girl that wanted to sell me her place in Göteborgsvarvet, one of the biggest running events in the world, with almost 60.000 participants running the half-marathon this year. This is an event I've been snubbing for years because of how crowded it is. Besides, I had intended to run Stockholm Marathon a week later, so I never entered the race. Then I got injured and had to drop out of the Marathon. But then my foot got better and last Saturday I ran 31 easy kilometres in training, which planted the seed of doubt in my mind: I probably could have run the Marathon anyway. So this half-marathon might help get my mind off what I won't be doing.
Monday, 2 May 2011
You might have noticed that my motivation to write in this blog has been weaning a bit lately. You hadn't? Well, it has. A lot of it has to do with the alternatives being more attractive, for example go for a walk in the sunshine or write on the computer? Gee, let me think. But a larger part of it is because it rarely feels worth it to write a report of my run commute. My lack of enthusiasm when I run the same old round for the umpteenth time would make for a very boring blog post. I would probably go so far as to finish my post with ”yadda, yadda, yadda” and an implied shrug of the shoulders. It's not a path I want to go down.
It is also an accurate reflection of most of my current training. Normally I don't follow a schedule. I run as the mood takes me. Today, for instance, I incorporated some fartlek into my run. It made it more interesting. As in, I didn't die like I feared I would. But most days when I run home from work, I'm too tired to do anything more than the absolute minimum. It's just out of necessity, hardly worth to write about. Who cares, really, if I ran home from work 2 seconds faster than yesterday?
Running, for me, is never more inspirational than when it is spontaneous and free. When I have no time limits, when I don't have to carry a backpack full of clothes, when I'm not tired from a day's work. When I can pick and choose where I run. When I can let my thoughts wander. When I do it because I feel like it and not because I have to. Run commuting serves a purpose in that it takes me from A to B. Its initial charm was that it is so functional: I run because I have to get somewhere and I might as well use my legs to get there, and in the process I collect valuable kilometres. But this functionality is a double edged sword: it takes away the freedom of running, my inspiration.