Copenhagen Half Marathon 2015 Race Report

So this race started like any other race – with the mandatory kit lay down.

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As per usual by this point, Copenhagen greeted me and Cata with heavy rain. Not to mention the fact that everything went wrong for Cata, from choosing the wrong underwear to forgetting her headphones.

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But we weren’t gonna let all that be against us and we set out to make the best that we could out of the race.

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Cata was struggling a bit but I felt around the 10K mark that I might have it in me to do a sub-2 despite not having properly trained for it. So I set off with the best intentions to at least try to get a PB if nothing else.

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And it worked! Despite everything being against us we both ran our best half marathon times to date and I got a PB of 2h 02m! We were totally overjoyed!

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We decided to treat ourselves to some post-race beers on the train and man, I dont think a beer has ever tasted that good!

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MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 9: Be prepared

I kicked off week 8 with a bang and did my speediest run to date. The Sunday run had given me confidence and I was feeling good about myself and my form.

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Sadly that didn’t last very long and after a super difficult strength training session on Tuesday morning, coupled with the speedy run in the evening, my Wednesday mid-long run felt sluggish and tiring. I was generally not impressed and I even had to pause in the middle because my left knee was still feeling a bit dodgy.

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My Thursday short run was even worse and even though I wasn’t aiming on running it fast, it didn’t feel good at all. (my pissed off look says it all!)

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The Saturday swim session got cancelled due to two burst water mains that left us without running water for most of the day which was a real shame as I was looming forward to it.

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Sunday started super early since we had a half marathon to run in Milton Keynes. It was meant to be a super sunny day so I decided to run it in shorts and a t-shirt which was a very good move!

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training week 8 - MK half Cata Orsi

The race course was meant to be relatively flat but it wasn’t…! There was a lot of small inclines all around and at mile 12.5 we had to run up a super steep hill (the sort of hill that you go up in a park to get the best view over the entire city!) to then be lured into some sort of 8 shaped loop (where you could see the finish) before we could actually cross the finish line (so in other words – A REALLY MEAN 600 METERS!).

I wanted to give up around mile 10 because the heat from the sun (and no wind) was literally cooking me and I lost the feeling in my right arm for a while. But Cata encouraged me to continue and we even ran up that devils hill before the finish without stopping!

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This race really made me worried about how Im going to cope with heat on marathon race day. I usually don’t drink during the race when I run a half marathon or shorter, but on Sunday I took water every other mile, even pouring it over my head towards the end and not even that helped!

Anybody have any tips on how to deal with the sun if you really can’t handle heat? I felt like I had energy left to run longer, but it got destroyed by the heat stroke I was more or less having…

This really was the last “easy” week and from now on it’s full steam ahead with longer weekday runs, as well as weekend runs.

MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 9

MON: REST – DONE
TUE: Strength training & 4 miles – Did 7 miles and no strength
WED: 7 miles – Did 4 miles
THU: Strength training & 3 miles – Did 3 miles and no strength
FRI: REST – DONE
SAT: Swimming – DONE
SUN: 10 miles – Did 14 miles!

Sweden break and Malmö Half Marathon

Hello my friends!

It has been a quiet August here on the blog, mainly because I took a well needed break from work and the internet, jumped on a plane, and went to see my family in Sweden.

It was by far one of the best trips I have had back there for a while. It made me re-appreciate not just Malmö, but my family and the people I care about by putting some things in my life into (kind of) new perspectives.

I kicked off the trip by running the Malmö half marathon with Sam and Cata. Due to my detox regime that took up 6 weeks in May/June and then the heatwave hitting London in July, it is safe to say that my initial hardcore training had gone out the window, and I was actually scared and worried I wouldn’t be able to complete the race!

Not having the confidence to do it on my own, I decided to run the race with Cata since I knew that my dream of getting a sub-2 was definite no-go. The weather report had predicted rain, so I came dressed in long leggings and a tee – ALL IN BLACK – and when clouds fully parted and the sun popped out at around 7-8km I thought I was going to melt into a puddle of sweat and die. (DON’T BE A FOOL LIKE ME – HYDRATE MORE THAN JUST FEW HOURS BEFORE A RACE!)

Having Cata there by my side throughout the entire race really helped me mentally, and I got such a kick out of seeing my mum and granny just before the 10km mark (my granny has never seen me run before!). Despite the struggles we had along the way, we defeated our demons and I managed to scream enough at Cata the last 3 miles that she ended up with a PB, shaving off around 9½ minutes from her previous half marathon time!! I WAS, AND AM, SO DAMN PROUD!!

The race reaffirmed why she is one of my very few “ride or die” people in this world. I know some have their doubts about the whole affair, but I am so excited to be buying a flat with her. We’ve come a long way these past 10-11 years and I think we’re finally in a place where we really value each other and the relationship we have because we’ve realised how special it actually is. (Going a bit off topic here but…) It felt great to run our home town together – we left it together 8 years ago not knowing what London and the future would hold – and look at us now… :’)

The rest of the trip was spent mainly EATING (oh my god…!), seeing family and friends, walking around and shopping.

We visited some amazing restaurants, but to be honest, nothing beats the Falafel no.1 falafel that you can get in Malmö – one of the best in the world, mark my words!

We more or less overdosed on a lot of Swedish food like fish and seafood related products – mainly lax, gravad lax, Kalles kaviar, cray fish, shrimps, romsås, skagenröra and so on…

We even attended a traditional Swedish cray fish party 10 hours before our flight where we ate all the traditional dishes, drank proper Swedish snaps and sang snaps songs!

We caught some proper “Malmö weather” whilst being over there – meaning that it couldn’t make up it’s mind and kept switching from heavy rain to some sunshine. But we still had some fun adventures including exploring Copenhagen, discovering Malmö with a wonderful cycle tour around the beach, the parks and the city (probably one of my favourite days), as well as quickly checking out the Malmö festival!

I really needed this break and it felt so good seeing everybody and having such a relaxing time. Now I can’t wait to go to Sardinia with Cata for 10 days in the middle of September! It will be my first beach holiday in 5 years!