onsdag 23 september 2009

A nice slow run, a bit chilly, in beautiful woods

So much more clothes than I am used to, a completely different thing! Looking at the temperature, it says 14 C, which is quite ok. To me, it feels like -14 C...
Now I remember my sensitive ears. I have to protect them when it is colder than +15 C, otherwise they hurt..

Listening to my spanish lessons on MP3, running slowly towards the beautiful area of Nackareservatet. So many tracks, it is impossible to keep track of where I am. Luckily, I have my GPS, so I just run along some trails, enjoying the views before heading back.

Link to the run in Funbeat: http://www.funbeat.se/tracks/index.aspx?RouteID=234811

tisdag 22 september 2009

Pura Voluntad en Suecia. A fantastic September day and tough competition

Day was clear, clear blue skye and fresh air. A fantastic day for running. For looking forward. And for a few moments with my own thoughts, senses and heart.

I took the bus out to the island where I was born outside Stockholm, Ekerö. After one of the toughest weeks in my life, not even the edge of a competition could get my adrenaline working. But this was my time, a few moments in a fantastic environment.

After a fast marathon, 3.35, in Panama and a few 5 k races just over 20 minutes in Panama, I decided to go for a time below 41 minutes. Considering that my personal best was 42.15, this was a good goal. Warming up before the race, I could see a few of the elite guys (no, not from Club Elite in Panama, that is something completely different..). The "around 30 minutes" dudes that would leave the rest of us far behind. What beautiful steps they have!

Mälarömilen, http://www1.idrottonline.se/templates/Page.aspx?id=380204, a 10 k race in a beautiful enviroment, passing the castle of Ekebyhov, a beautiful park. And a flat race.. :-)

"2 minutes left until the start!". Slightly better organized and slightly better at keeping the time here compared to other countries. Such as Panama.. Dont missunderstand me, I love Panama and I love the races there.
But if it takes 33 years to realize that it might be good to have somewhere to shit before the marathon, not having to look for a bush beside the shopping mall Multi Plaza. Well, lets just say that those races have some interesting aspects! But again, I love those races and they are so warm (warm people), everyone cheering, saying hello. If I had to chose, I would chose a race in Panama anytime before a race anywhere else!!!

Back to the 10k race on Ekerö. Off we go, and its slightly uphill the first km. Good feeling, starting a bit fast as usual, around 3.57 min the first km. Keeping the pace in the next uphill, and pass 2 km after around 8 min.
The race is a 2 lap race, 5 km per lap, and when I get close to the 5 k mark, I realize that I actually have a chance of making my "dream time" on 5 km, below 20 minutes. Actually, I pass the 5 k mark exactly after 20 minutes. A little too fast, but very good feeling of after half the race already have beaten a personal best!

After 6 km, I get passed by a green runner that looks very strong. "Shit, you look strong!". I manage to keep his pace, and after passing the castle (Ekebyhovs Castle) after 7 km, there is a slight uphill where I manage to pass the green dude.

I realize I have a good chance of making 41 minutes, but I need to stretch out my steps and try to gain speed on the flats. 8 km, and I have around 20 meters on the green runner. The last steep downhill, I look back, and the green dude is clearly trying to catch up. He sounds like a steam engine, pounding downhill. I take even longer steps, speed now around 3.30 min/km, and manage to keep the distance.

Last km, and now there is no way I am gonna let him pass! Into the arena, and the last 400 meter lap before running for the goal. "And here comes number 41, Joakim Westerberg, from.. hrmpf... from.... Hufrmulfmummelmummel..". Eehhh... Well, I guess it didnt even cross his mind that someone from outside the island could participate...

40 minutes 39 seconds!!! A time that would normally put me fairly high up, at least within the 10 % or something like that. Now it means place 24 of 56 (in the mens class). Wow, this race must have had a lot of good runners! Probably, its a tempting race for good runners. Flat, fairly late in the season and one week before the big race Lidingöloppet, the fantastic 30k race outside Stockholm.

Now I know that I can do 10k below 40 minutes with just a little more speed training. But I will save that goal for later. Now is the time to focus on long distance again.