Oslo Marathon Race Report

I'm officially a marathoner!!

16 weeks of dedicated training came to an end...and I am not going to say that the marathon was my "victory lap" for all that training, because it sure did not feel like that. But I'll start from the beginning.

I was so excited to go to the running expo and get my number. Adidas was the first half, and the other half had some 2XU, Garmin, Maxim sport fuel and other random stalls for compression wear and Runner's World Norway. Jack Waitz (husband of Grete Waitz) was also there signing a copy of his book. I've become such a Norwegian that I didn't get a picture with him, but I probably should have. I say that I'm a Norwegian because if they see someone famous they observe from afar and do not want to disturb them.

Got home with my goodie bag, which was mainly tons of brochures for things. I got one little sample bottle of soap (less than 1 oz) and a pink sweat band. At least I got a free copy of Runner's World Norway. But DOH! I realized I was missing my bracelet that would get me gels along the run. I paid an extra 150 kroners to get Maxim energy gels 4 times along the course (a worthwhile investment!).

Woke up a little before 6:30 the next morning, turned on "Desert Runners", and made some pancakes and coffee. To my surprise, Marius woke up with me. We caught the bus downtown with some other runners to get there 30 minutes before the start. I sported my new American flag shorts and a black tshirt. I should have had a flashy shirt to make it easier for Marius and Rigmor to find me in more crowded areas, but the shorts were a good start!

Ready to go!

After a little delay we were finally on our way! Nearly 3000 runners took off down the streets of Oslo. My Garmin was having trouble getting signal for the first 4 kms, I'm guessing because it was overcast? So I had to pace the old fashioned way and try to find the 400 or 415 balloons. The balloons are marked with a time goal and tied to pacers for those who don't have a fancy GPS watch to guide them. I didn't realize how slow I actually started out of the gate! Finally after about 10 kms I caught up with the 400 balloon. I was feeling fantastic for a while...then the magic number 12...

In the beginning of my training, the 12th km brought on left knee ITBS-like symptoms. I did not experience them as I added more mileage, but race day did not give me a break. Despite that I was able to maintain a nice pace for the whole first half of the marathon and I was so happy to see Rigmor cheering me on at a couple different corners between km 19 and 20. I was even cheered on by a couple of other women in the crowd I did not know from before, but they saw me (and I presume, my shorts), and each time they saw me they would really shout and cheer me on. I loved that! It was the best motivation!

Ahead of the 400 balloon and feelin' good!

Thanks to my Garmin's brain fart, I don't know how long it took me to run the first half, but I crossed half way in front of the 400 balloon, so that was good. But of course my left knee got progressively worse, and then my right quad began cramping. The whole second half of the race was a struggle. Every few minutes I stopped to try to stretch out my cramping right quad, but it was like a vicious circle! Run a little bit, but then my quad would cramp harder...Stop running and then it felt even more difficult to begin running again! The second portion of the race was definitely a shuffle. Every fuel station I would take an energy gel, pour a water over my head and then take a cup of sports drink.

Finally at km 40 I could see the light. Rigmor recruited some random other people in the crowd to cheer me on, and my one fan from the Opera house stretch had even moved to km 40 and hollered for me, and I yelled back "There you are! I missed you!".

A couple of girls came sprinting up behind me, but I just didn't have the fuel in my legs to get them to move faster. When I ran my half marathons I had enough fuel in the tank to sprint the last couple hundred meters, but not today. I definitely gave it all I had. I crossed the finish line in 4:09:13.

Look at that determination! You can barely tell that I'm in pain! 

Born in the USA finally came on my playlist ;)
Very pleased with that result for my first marathon! When I found Marius, he asked me how I was doing. I started to cry a little and said "I'm never doing that again! I was in so much pain the last 20 kms."...Let's just say that 1 hour later that went 180 degrees, and now I'm thinking about when I can try to finish my second marathon in less than 4 hours!

Summary: 247 of 465 women running the marathon
86 of 177 in my class (K24-34)

I wish they had done an overall place that includes the men's times, but they kept us separate. Here you can see how I went up in the ranks for the first half, and then a landslide back down haha

Split Gross result Net result Lap time min/km km/h Place
4 km 21:24 21:21 21:21 05.20 11.2         225
8 km 42:34 42:31 21:11 05.18 11.3         175
12 km 1:04:22 1:04:19 21:48 05.27 11.0         161
15,5 km 1:24:32 1:24:29        20:10 05.46 10.4         155
21,1 km 1:55:31 1:55:28 31:00 05.32 10.8         178
25,1 km 2:17:42 2:17:39 22:11 05.32 10.8         183
29,1 km 2:42:28 2:42:25 24:46 06.11 9.7         198
33,1 km 3:09:22 3:09:19 26:55 06.44 8.9         217
36,6 km 3:33:37 3:33:34 24:15 06.56 8.7         203
Mål         4:09:16 4:09:13 35:40 06.22 9.4         247

Obviously, the second half was a struggle.

Ran two laps of the half marathon course

Hardest thing I have ever done. And I am so proud of myself.

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