Sunday, 22 May 2011


I've been thinking about speed a lot since yesterday. I've talked to friends, discussed finishing times and agreed that the atmosphere during the race was amazing. The slower ones of us marvelled at the winner's finishing time (just over an hour) and also at those of our friends who run faster than us (that is, most of them). Some of our fast friends were pleased with their results. Others wanted to run even faster.

I think it's unbelievable how ”amateurs” can maintain such high speed over the course of 21 km. Elite athletes do nothing else all day but train. It's their job. So even if it is amazing finishing times they achieve, even if it is world records, I can't help admiring my friends just a little bit more. The ones that have a day job and a family. The ones that have no coach. No sponsors. No dieticians. The ones that get by and succeed on their own. The unsung heroes.

I am slow by comparison, but I don't mind. I run because I enjoy being out there, in the forest or by the sea, alone or with others, moving at my own pace. I've never run a half-marathon faster than 1:50, and I probably never will, because my motivation with running is not to shave off some minutes from an official time, but to have fun. I simply don't train to run fast.

Yet, there is something glorious and inspiring about fast athletes, be it elite or amateurs. Most people want to run faster, to break their personal records or to beat their work pal. Even those who claim that they only want to get around the course – I believe that they also have a time goal, however modest it might be. Everyone wants to move their limits a little bit further. To outdo themselves, to prove to themselves that in that moment they are doing something grand. In that moment, they are immortal.


  1. Your comment about the skort made me laugh :)
    I am not fast either (my current half marathon fastest time is 2.19) but like you, I enjoy it and so do it for fun. I do like to give myself little targets and improve on my times, but it is not why I do it. And you are right, normal people who get near to or elite times are so amazing.

  2. Brilliant well written post. Before getting injured I don't mind admitting I was obsessed with speed and running faster all the time - which ultimately led to my injury. All this time off has made me realise that getting all wrapped up in times, I had forgotton why I was doing it all in the first place (To have fun and enjoy myself!).

  3. Sv: svårt att säga om jag kommer kunna ta mig fram utanför asfalt eller springa utan att operera korsbandet. Och då är jag tillbaka mer eller mindre på ruta 1 igen med ortos och kryckor och får göra rehabresan igen.

    Och det är inte samma knägenskaper som behövs för yoga som för löpning så det kan bli lurigt med det ena eller andra ändå även om jag opereras.

    Såhär blir det iaf: jag fortsätter m rehab till i höst. Då tar vi ingrepp om jag inte kan röra mig i terräng.

  4. Jag hade definitivt haft tidsmål om jag hade kunnat springa varvet, även om jag inte har någon imponerande fart. Även om det egentligen inte handlar om tid, eftersom jag aldrig kommer att kunna bli så snabb att "det räknas", alltså, jag kommer ju aldrig vinna något lopp eller så. Men det är kul att följa sina resultat och se framsteg, även om de får komma i sin egen takt. Just nu vore ju ett framsteg att överhuvudtaget kunna springa, och att våga anmäla mig till något lopp senare under året eller så. Vi får se efter att jag träffat ortopeden 9 juni.

  5. Nikki: Exactly! I think that speed can lead to a long career. Of injuries, that is. Especially if we don't listen to our bodies. Go slow, I say!
    AKA: Neeeej!!! Jag lider med dig. Verkligen :((((((
    Lotta: Jag hoppas att det går bra hos ortopeden, jag ser fram emot att läsa vad han/hon säger! Det var en märklig skada du hade...

  6. märkligt var ordet.. japp, hoppas på något slags klargörande i alla fall.