It’s now 44 hours after I crossed the finish line and I sit here with considerable pain in most leg muscles and my right foot is somewhat strained too. The training build for the race was too short in duration and the long runs were also too short in time and distance. On the morning of the race I had resigned myself to the fact that there would be no silver medal (Sub-2:15 time) so I decided to enjoy the race for as long as possible, dig deep when the time came and leave nothing out there.
The race started and the first surprise came early; after running at sub-4:00 pace for the opening section of the race, it still took five minutes to cross the 29km to go marker which meant I was 30 seconds off sub 2:15 pace already. I later found out that the race was actually 30.25km long and the first marker comes after 1.25km… Once I realized that I was behind I then decided to leave the watch alone and just run on feel. Even though I was feeling pretty good I guessed that I was running as close to threshold as was possible – which was the plan.
The next time I looked at my watch was at the 15km to go marker; I crossed this in just under 1:05:00 which was a great surprise to me, it made me feel both good and bad. Good in the sense that I was on for sub-2:15, bad in the sense that I now had a pace determined for me. I knew that the next 4 kilometers was the most difficult section of the course so I decided to run the next 5km without looking at the watch and then assess the potential workload for the remaining 10km.
The 10km to go point came just after 1:27:00 of running – that left me 48 minutes to cover the last 10km. I was fairly sure I was going to go under 2:15 at this point but still unsure how Grönstabcken, Abborrbacken and Karinsbacken would effect me. It took me 46:22 to run the last 10km putting me well under the time needed to get the silver medal: 2:13:40 – almost exactly six minutes faster than my previous PB.
My season is over – time to get back into the gym and put a little muscle on my little frame.
I also have to decide what I want to be next year…