Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kungsholmen Runt

Crossing the finish line of a race is a truly glorious moment. Whether a 1-kilometer competition or a 42-kilometer marathon, the sense of accomplishment almost always overshadows the feeling of exhaustion, which anyone is bound to feel if they've given it their all. 

On Saturday morning, I ran the 10-kilometer Kungsholmen Runt around the island of Kungsholmen in central Stockholm. I hadn't raced in almost a year (the last time being the Annapolis 10 Miler last August, during which I puked 3 times, again after, and had to have 2 IVs pumped into me to keep any liquids). But crossing the finish line on Saturday, I remembered what it is that brought me back. Fortunately this time, sans puke.

this is me, not looking my finest, but about to cross the finish

A friend asked me to run the Kungsholmen Runt with her the Thursday before, giving me a total of 2 days to prepare. Not to worry, though. I've been cycling to work almost every day for the last few weeks, and have been running a bit - well, a very little bit - lately. But in those 2 days, I trained mentally, deciding to aim for a decent time, but also not pressure myself to the point of sickness.

The weather on Saturday (as the last few days in Stockholm have been) was incredibly gorgeous: not a cloud in the sky - which nearly never happens in Sweden - and temperatures around 75 in the sun. It felt like heaven, and only 4 days after what I hope will be the last snowfall! 

The bana, or course, itself was a beautiful loop around the edge of the island, with views of the city, starting and finishing in a lovely park by the water. I got to the start line less than a minute before the starting gun fired. Still, I was able to settle into a good pace early on, and stayed pretty constant throughout the 10K. I finished in around 52:49 (my chip actually didn't register so it's an estimation based on video footage). Regardless of the precise time, it felt great - and the bullars (sweet buns) at the end never tasted so good!