Friday, June 06, 2014

02 Stockholm Marathon 2014

Marcus pre marathon report

Today we jump back to Saturday May 31st 2014 as we relive the events of our first Stockholm Marathon.

Late to rise
Marathon is not until noon so a gentle and late rise.   We had brought Porridge from Switzerland  (transported from England!)  specially for a healthy breakfast.

Next get on our 2XU and other specialist running clothes on and got ready our energy gels for the race.

Walking to the Marathon start
There is something both civilised and privileged in walking from your Apartment to a marathon start.  We were in such a position.

It Started raining again
We had studiously consulted runkeeper multiple times before the race and the forecast was dry, with temperatures upto 16 degrees C, and chance of strong winds.

A surprise then when about 10 minutes before the noon race start moderate rain began.  Marcus began to crouch in a ball to avoid getting everything wet,   clever Agata had come dressed in a large Bin liner, so she stayed dry.

As we were to discover the weather was to osciallate from sunny, to overcast to rain,  with the promised gusty winds thrown in for amusement.

Marathon Report Marcus

Marcus post marathon report

A rainy start led to what was a first 10Km of traffic.  By which I mean literally thousands of people ahead of me all running at the wrong speed.

Marcus's strategy was to religiously stick to the left lane and if necessary run on the pavement to pass people.  This did seem to work but is pretty inefficient from an energy perspective.

I passed the 03:30 man and was pleased thinking that at last I might get back to faster marathon running times ....

In this vein I began to rely on the Tomtom GPS watch to try and run in excess of 13Km/h.  All seemed well upto about Km 15 when I began to feel a little tired.

Already I was running with the disadvantages of my rib accident injury (meaning no deep breaths) and also both ankles had some pains and aches.

I thought I would ignore all of that!

But about Km21+ whilst the speed was still good energy levels begin to drop.  At KM 27 I was so exhausted that I seriously considered quitting the race, something I have never ever done before.

At 30Km almost exactly the 03.30 pace runner caught me.  I was devastated.  Actually there were over 5, 03.30 pace runners all running in a sort of pack.  Most bizzare.  The penultimate one even prodded me in the back, I suppose to ask me to move over! Either that or to say /so I caught you back up slow-coach/.

From Km 30 then it was a battle of wills.  my body wanted me to stop, and my mind said a resounding no.  However the compromise agreement between the two was to steadily get slower and slower.   Intensely annoying.

10 minutes before the end another 03.30 pace group arrived and I thought for a moment I could keep up but again no and they just edged away from me.

I battled on, but I've reviewed my finishing 50 and 25 metre footage.  it is just embarrassing!   Still I finished, no collapsing, just too tired considering that this is /just a mere/ marathon and not an ultra. Hmmm.

Agata Marathon Report
Like the husband I too had some energy level issues leaving me markedly slower on the last half of the Marathon.

There were also a few annoyances!  My Nestle Powerbar gels split as I took them out of my waistbelt, depositing sticky energy gel onto my hands not into my mouth.  Also whilst I love Gherkins the ones they handed out at a food stop made me feel ill and my post half marathon time was adversely affected by a bad tummy.

The course was more hilly than I expected and all these factors worked together to mean that I was just outside the 4 hour marathon time I had hoped to be under.  On my last marathons I've always managed a sub 4 hour time, so this was a real disappointment.

Still the weather was not wet  (Marcus had some showers) and the crowds were cheering and smiling.   I had a tough time but also a great time.

Post marathon Marcus waits for Agata to show up

Agata arrives, changes but is very tired.

Take me home husband!   Agata says

Marcus Run Technology

Mio Link continuous heart rate monitor

I am still testing out the Mio Link in combination with my TomTom Multisports watch.


Marcus time 03:29

Agata stats

Agata time 04:03

Marcus Drank/ Ate
3 USN energy gels, 1 SIS energy gel, drank about 5 cups of isotonic drink from stations,  4 white dextrose glucose tablets.

Agata Drank/ Ate
Agata had switched to Powerbar energy gels.   They split! Well 2 out of 3.  She was most cross.  Also a poisonous Gherkin!

We walked back

Marcus had a lie down and waited for Agata and when we were at last again together we strolled back to our Stockholm apartment.

We stopped to applaud some fun runners who were still out on the course.

Battling with the Washing machine
After a good Marathon or Ultra race you need two things desperately:

a) A shower
b) A washing machine.

In Sweden as in Switzerland most apartments have washing days and we had booked this Saturday night.  We struggled to find the room and then had to go out to buy washing powder, then we were perplexed by the Swedish instructions.

Finally we got it together, got the first load going and headed out for a Celebration meal.

Dinner Out

A large Indian Curry later we returned ... to the washing machine.

Time for washing load 2.

Wine and Bed

Wine is only available from special government shops in Sweden.  We had googled this issue and had visited Friday and got some provisions in, of course!

Marcus went the extra mile and got specially Swiss coloured Punschrulle for dessert.

Whilst out final washing was circulating Agata and Marcus talked more in detail of the best and most challenging aspects of the race with each other:

- Hillier than expected
- We both had lower than anticipated energy levels
- It rained for Marcus
- There were some odd food stops: Gherkins and oatmeal slices : neither worked out well!  A coffee stop leaving the ground all sticky   (Marcus was so tired he was thinking, I can't lift my feet off the ground here I am so tired)
- Agata saw an Ice-Power stop giving massage cooling gel to runners
-Water spray showers became attractive towards the end of race as energy levels waned

Although it has been a tough day it was still a very enjoyable one.  We are very pleased to have participated in the Stockholm Marathon 2014.

Stockholm Marathon Videos
01 First day in Stockholm