Yesterday I did the Stockholm Winter marathon, an old event, which is actually Swedens second largest marathon. I have tried to slot in a marathon the last few weeks but I had to cancel the really flat and fast Göteborg and Växjö marathon due to a slight illness. I didn’t go to Frankfurt as I thought it became too big a project. So the Stockholm Wnter marathon would suit me well.
There are also some good runners there, last year Jonas Buud took the race,, which he repeated again this year.
Anyway, I had a great preparation the night before by staying at my very old friends house. Fantastic hospitality, even too much (considering I had a jog to do the day after… 🙂
I wasn’t too stressed before the run, but a good anticipation. As I have outed before, my aim is sub 2.40 on the marathon, but I was unsure if I could make it. This marathon was more like a test in order to understand my current capacity. I have run a 2.46 marathon before, but that was 4 (5?) years ago, a Marathon which I actually won. Now, the preps have been OK, but unfortunately completely lack of long runs during the last 6 weeks or so. Again due to the illness I’ve had several weeks. So I guess I knew what I could expect from the marathon.
The race started, it is a round course of 6.5 laps. there is also a short run which is 1.5 laps. I started of well, together with the strong runners (thinking that “I wonder when they will realize I am not a runner at all…. and call my bluff”).
I was in about 10-15th position and even took some positions, but when I passed the rounding spot (after 1.5 laps), they announced I was actually in third place (as almost all of the runners I was running with was only doing 8 km’s!)
It was a mixed feeling. I felt strong but at the same time i feared I had started to hard. No sh*t Sherlock, the splits were like 3.37, 3.34, 3.40, 3.38 etc.
The laps went by and I kept my third position until 2.5 laps, when I was passed and couldn’t really respond.
I had a strong run until 21 k, which I passed at 1.18 or 1.19, It had been really fast and quite easy. But I was slowing down now by every kilometer. I really couldnt keep the speed. It was a fight agains the average pace. With 2 laps to go, I had 2 seconds in average up on my goal time (3.45 vs 3.47). I knew the lack of long runs was taking its toll. 1 lap to go and I was on goal pace, but I knew it was lost.
The average time was close to goal average time, but my watch actually measured a but conservative on the distance. So the actual average time was probably a couple of seconds more.
Last lap was painful, but It was difficult to force my legs going faster. several kilometers at or above 4 m/km.
It was a great feeling to finish, albeit mixed. I finished 2.43, almost 4 minutes better than personal best, but also 4 minutes to go to my goal time. The distance was 500 meters on my watch was 500 meters longer, maybe due to some sharp corners that wasn’t measured correctly. Or is the course too long? If so, I was only 90 seconds away from my goal…. Most likely the course is of correct lenght.
There were 6 runners in front of me in this second largest marathon in Sweden, all specialists of running, including one of the best ultra runners in the world, Jonas Buud. It was a training run for him for his 100 k world champs in 2 weeks time. He finished steadily at 2.27.
Next up for me? I really want to do the 2.40 marathon, ant I may be looking at a fast and flat one in April. Paris it said to be one?
Below are the GOOD splits (the first 21 k). If you are interested in the BAD ones, you have to scout my Garmin Connect page.
Thanks for the support Milebreaker, and GoCoCo! I had no chafe during the run, and steady energy. 2 shots of beet-IT shots for breakfast!