To heal you from reading a single race report from each and every of the classical runs in Stockholm I have made a summary of the ones I been participating in this fall. If you are not interested in running you can skip this post.
First out in mid august were Midnattsloppet at Södermalm. Not my favorite race except for the atmosphere but still I sign up each and every year. I had a disaster day at work at my “summer job” and when I turned of the computer after 12,5 hours constant talking with colleagues, on the phone and sending a good one hundred emails I just wanted to get out and run. Or my body wanted to. Not really my brain. To much of sitting and I had loads of energy in my legs that needed to get out. I was laying down at my balcony for a few seconds before biking over to Söder. One random couple in their middle age that were in Stockholm for tourism stopped me at the street and asked what event was taking place and told me that I looked very fit. Good race boost. I was watching the warmup and wanted to bike home instead of hit the hilly course. But I it didn’t took long until it was my time to listen to “Just idag är jag stark…” and hit the road. I know that in this race you need to speed up above your desired pace the first three K’s in order to finish at a fair time if you are not good at hills since the second half is very hilly and I did. The second part was a disaster anyway. I walked up the largest hill to save energy. Some parts of the run I cannot even remember. They just passed by. I like to run in the dark but what I really don’t like is when there are strobe lights since they make me nauseous and I did of course also got that less nice feeling. The best moment of this run was when it was over and I could bike home and sleep since I had to work at 06:30 the following morning. My finish time was just above 48 minutes and I was absolutely not happy with that.
To start with I am slightly against gender specific events, it would never be allowed for a male only event so why a female only? another discussion but I like to run Tjejmilen. The course, the atmosphere and it is just a great event so I ignored my principles for a bit and joined the running party at Djurgården. As always it was well organized, the temperature was perfect for running and I could not wish for more. I had bought a start place at the open market so wasn’t running under my name or in the starting group I was supposed to but had a great ride in group 3. The first three kilometers I had no one in-front of me except the motorbike filming the event. Such a luxury. At Djurgårdskanalen I saw my friend that started ahead of me but she warmed up with the 10K Tjejmilen trail event before the 10K asphalt race. Great but crazy idea. I got some gently pepp from fellow runners and it wasn’t going to bad. Relaxed a bit for one kilometer since I know the last part is a little bit more challenging with some hills. It went quite well and a colleague of mine was cheering when there were just a few more kilometers to go. At the final approach I heard the speaker announcing that another friend of mine just crossed the finish line so I got some extra boost to use my last energy to not miss out catching up with her after the finish line. 46:11 minutes after departure I crossed the finish line. Fair enough. Two minutes better than the fail at Midnattsloppet but I know I can do better.
I had been in Stockholm for two weeks and more or less not working meaning loads of time to training in order to not bore out while everyone else was in for their duties. So adding 1+1 you can more or less figure what I been doing which isn’t the very best preparation if you want to run a good half marathon. I wasn’t even bothering buying a start place in my name since I was just going to take it easy around the course as a long quality run. Stockholm half marathon has been one of my favorite runs in Stockholm until they changed title sponsor and course but I had completed 9 runs so I had to do my 10th. Pouring rain before the start so I waited as long as possible to bike to the starting point, just arrived in time when my starting group were moving to the start position. Missed out the pre race atmosphere but escaped the rain. I knew I had a bit of a slow group so I headed to the frontline. The first two kilometers it was just myself and a few other runners and those kilometers are actually the ones I fear most since the long tunnel under the city center becomes a terrible humid place with no air to breath especially during rainy days. Of course my GPS watch freaked out there. Normally it sync’s back once you are out but it didn’t which annoyed me a lot so I checked the pace at 4K, felt I had a quite steady flow and turned it off. I been running enough to know the pace without a watch.
The course involves quite some hills but is more up and down than real challenging hills but enough to not run for a PB. There are also some narrow passes which are challenging but the big upside with this race is that loads of friends are out cheering bringing extra energy. I had a comfortable run passing fellow runners all the course. At 11ish kilometers I got flashback from the race 2018 when I had a good time chatting and running there together with Terese Alvén . She sadly passed away a few years ago due to cancer and somehow I got some extra energy here and my worst part from Slussen and at Hornsgatan went much smoother when I really, really appreciated life a bit extra. The remaining part of the run is quite easy so it was more or less nothing special. Met a big crowd I know at Tanto that was cheering and then it was almost over. The last kilometer I heard a few people screaming for me but could not see who it were. The 21K took me 1:42:24 which I am very happy with and I was far from killing myself for that time.
I have a love-hate relationship with Lidingöloppet. Somehow I keep on coming back to the race year after year, this was my 10th one and it is the same story every year. I really want to have the silver medal which you get if you finish the race in a certain time. For the distance I picked this year 15K you need to run below 1:15 hours as a female and that is rather tough. In 2022 it was only 68 out of 1397 females that made it. I was one of them finishing the race at 1:12:16 and place 46. Same story every year. I regret I have not practiced in the hilly terrain and I know my legs will die about 10K into the race. Also some leg training at the gym would be beneficial here but hey, that is nothing I love to do either so I avoid it as much as possible. Not the best pre-requisites to get the silver medal but with the right mindset and pain resistance it was possible also this year. The race was well arranged as always and I was team leader for my colleagues at this race so we all got VIP treatment with fast track and lounge after the race thanks to that TCS who is title sponsor is our IT partner. To sum up, everything except the running itself (apart from crossing the finish line) was a great experience. If I will get back next year or recommend the race to a friend. Most likely. The environment is great for running and I love this kind of terrain but not for chasing the clock and unfortunately my ego is to big to not do it.
That summed up the fall running season in Stockholm. From not running a lot during the summer to finishing all major Stockholm races. Have you been participating in any of these running events or do you plan doing so next year?
/ Pernilla that love running races