Making the connection between giving birth and running a marathon was something my mother used to do in her work as an ob/gyn. That is why I use my marathon training and races as an opportunity to honor her memory with raising money to help making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere.
My primary event this year was Stockholm Marathon on June 2nd, the same one I did last year. I'm also running the local Karmøy Maraton on November 17th. You can follow my training on Instagram @MarathonForBirthHelp where I'll be posting images from my runs.
I'm hoping people will donate one dollar per kilometer (or mile) of a marathon. ($42 or $26) Any donation helps, as well as sharing this information with others.
Race Report Stockholm Marathon
Got up bright and early to catch a plane at 7:20. Met up with the rest of Skeisvang Marathon Group and made it to Stockholm. Did lunch (lasagna), shopping (sports stuff) and a beer before checking in to the apartment in Gamla Stan (Old Town). Right next to the 25km mark, so we can feel the event is getting close. Check the weather reports, and it's still an expected 30 degrees C (85 F). Tomorrow will be HOT. Head up to the expo to get our start numbers and go to the pasta party at the stadium. Lovely to sit in the old olympic stadium and feel the atmosphere. This is where the race ends, and pre-race excitement is getting to the right levels. Pre-race selfie with the goal, have to keep Instagram updated. Get back to the apartment and get all the equipment ready. What I can control is under control, just have to hope the leg won't be too much of an issue.
Wake up and check the fundraiser, over $700 raised. Thank you all. Go over the new course one last time before breakfast with the gang. Race plans and goals are discussed, and we all share tips about how to best deal with the heat. We all know our results may not be as good as hoped, but are still in good spirits. At least it's not raining, nor will we break the heat record from 2007. I can feel the leg, but it's not painful. Dare I hope it'll last all day?
Stop to buy some bananas and vitamin water on our way to the underground, which is free for all marathon racers today. It is absolutely full with other runners, and the excitement keeps increasing. Also keep being impressed with how efficient underground systems are for mass transport. Get back above ground and find our pre-arranged spot in the warm-up area. I'm with seasoned travelers, so we know where to meet up. Find the shade of a tree to sit in while last minute prep is made and team photos taken. High-fives and good luck to all. "Sea-gulls fly, we run!"
I'm in seeding group D, so pretty far ahead this year. Music is playing, we're all getting ramped up. Fighter jets do a fly-by and then the Swedish national anthem is performed live. Goosebumps. So ready for the race. I'm right below the five-gun salute that starts it all. Let's go.
1 km - What the heck was that? They only allowed us to use half the road in the start? It's a freaking bottle-neck with no room to advance! I'm 30 seconds behind my planned pace. Keep calm, don't try to compensate yet, just get to the speed you want.
2 km - That's better. 4:45 is 5 seconds slower than pace, but looking at the pulse this is where I'll stay today. Moving along nicely!
3-6 km - Moving right along. Didn't like the steep downhill, but nothing much to do about it. Stable running time, and water intake has begun. All in all a good start, on pace to about 3:25.
7 km - Uh oh, I'm freezing. That's the heat. Better extend the stay at each drinking station to make sure I don't overheat. Still OK pulse-wise though.
8-12 km - Spending about 20 seconds per stop, and they're every second km. Average time is about 5 min/km, so let's go for 3:30. The leg is getting more painful though, that sucks.
13-16 km - The 3:30 pacers are here. Keeping up with them, so still going strong. The Achilles is getting pretty bad though, not a lot of juice when kicking-off and have to compensate with the rest of the body. Hanging in though. 3:30 still possible. Keeping cool by pouring water over my head, but it also drenches the shorts and shirt, which is not very comfortable.
17-20 km - Bye-bye 3:30 pacers. It's just too painful to keep up, and the rest of my legs are starting to hurt as well from compensating. This is going to be a long day.
21.1 km - Half-marathon passed in 1:46 and I can't keep pushing like this any more if I want to finish at all. Time to cast aside previous goals, now it'll be about finishing the race.
22-24 km - Readjusting the pace. Everyone is flowing/flying past me. This sucks. Nice views though, passing the castle. A guy with a hose that has real pressure, let's run through to really cool down. Guy with a camera, let's try to give him some good photos. The least I can do since the time won't be good.
25-28 km - Passing the apartment. Not quitting! Mother's can't quit labor, I can't quit this. It's just pain. That's just the French word for bread. I could probably open a bakery though...
29 km - Look down and see that some idiot bled over my shirt. Hang on. I'm the idiot that's bleeding all over my shirt. Great! My nipples are chafing. That's never happened before, so of course it happens today. Aaand I'm over 6 min per km. Haven't run this slow in ages. At least I'm still going though.
30-35 km - The crowds are awesome. I'm slow, but they're awesome. Sooo glad the atmosphere is still there. Approaching Västerbron and just keep trotting on. Pain has become me, but I soldier on.
35-40 km - This is weird. I'm not tired. I'm in pain, I can't really run, but there is still plenty left in the tank. And I'm confident I'll finish in less than four hours, which is still pretty darn impressive all things considered. How long can I ignore the pain? Let's increase the pace a bit, and then have a good finish. Maybe I can beat last year's finish?
41 km - Let's run! OUCH! Run! Yeah! Flying past people is great. Crowds are awesome, let's give them a round of applause. Yep, that worked. I can see the stadium. And a team-mate. He's having an even worse day than I am. Try to push him to keep up the last few hundred meters.
41.9 km - Enter the stadium. The crowds! #TFW I'm almost there. Let's crank it up to 11! This will be a great finish.
42 195 m - I DID IT! Marathon number 2 finished in high temperatures, with a leg injury and in less than four hours. 3:53:43. Over half an hour more than planned and 10 minutes behind last year. But at least I did it.
Post race - Get the clothing, take a post-race selfie with the medal, find the others and relax. Still not particularly tired, just in a lot of pain. And happy that an additional $150 was donated while I was running! Most of us did worse than we hoped for, but we made it through. Just hanging out in the sun and waiting for the rest. Check the app and see that dad is doing great, on par to beat his NY time by quite a lot. Head up to the stadium again to watch him finish and capture some photos. Time to head back to the apartment to suit up and celebrate the achievement.
Bummed that the race got spoiled by injury. I KNOW I'm good for a much better time. So time to rest until the achilles is healed. And then find a fall-marathon to race...