Oslo Marathon Race Report

Long story short, I missed my PR by 42 seconds. Darn!!

But now I'll go back to the beginning. I had some great training weeks logging over 40 miles a week before we brought home Pancho. The last six weeks of training were average, but not stellar; at least not quite up to a standard for a PR as with my half-marathon training. And I think the problem was mainly that and that I didn't have as big of a breakfast as usual because I worried about feeling sick during the race. In addition, I read last night that poor core strength leads to poor posture later in the race thus setting off a chain of events that lead to muscle cramps in the legs.

Friday before the race I worked a half day, and Marius and I loaded up the car and headed east to Oslo - an 8 hour drive from Bergen over the mountains. We gave Pancho a motion sickness pill, before we left only to realize too late that he should have taken the pill 90 minutes before we left. So he got sick in his cage, and then I had to move to the back seat and sit next to him for him to sleep the rest of the drive. But we finally got in around 8:30 and I was able to eat a little more before bed. 

Next sign of bad luck was my alarm. I set it to go off at 5:30, but I forgot that I didn't turn it on for the weekend. Luckily my internal clock woke me at 6:30! I had a bowl of oatmeal, a banana and a cup of coffee for breakfast before driving down to pick up my start number...but DOH! I forgot my ID needed to collect my start number...but they said it was ok. Phew! 

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9:15 and I got myself to the start. Sporting my American flag shorts made it very easy for another American to introduce herself. Liz - from Washington DC who was currently living in Dublin -- running her 14th marathon. She and I stuck together most of the race, but after about 32km (20 miles) I lost the 4 hr balloon and she was able to soldier on.

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The fist lap went well - as does every half-marathon. I felt that I was doing well to maintain a pace with the 4hr pacers without pain in my knees....but of course the troublesome left knee began to ache. I then tried to fend off the leg cramps as long as I could, but could only hold off til the 32nd km. The last 10 kms were a slow shuffle with one or two pauses to stretch. It's almost like the stretching makes it worse. I cramped up first in my groin area before it also shot down my right quad. 

I shuffled through the finish and was slightly disappointed, but also glad to be done and that I didn't go way over my previous time. I had gone in thinking that I could easily get a sub-4 hr PR, only to find out that I was only 42 seconds slower this year than the last. The Engebrethsens brought Pancho down with them to cheer me on and greet me at the finish, and at 29km Rigmor held Pancho up for me to give him a hug and a kiss for some inspiration --- Tron joked that that is probably where I lost the 42 seconds...He's probably right. 

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Running towards my pup for a mid-race motivation cuddle 
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He didn't recognize me at first but was then really unhappy that I ran away from him

All in all, I think the Oslo Marathon organizers did a great job. We got so much great stuff at the end of the race in a goodie bag: chocoalte bar, banana, ice coffee, norwegian style bread rolls, norwegian sausage slices, mini cinnamon rolls, and a protein bar. Everything unhealthy, but well deserved!

I told Marius and his parents that I think that will be my last marathon for a while...but as per usual, I'm thinking about Berlin for next year, and think that maybe my course record for Oslo is a consistent 4:09 ...maybe a less hilly race will give me my desired sub-4. But first, I'll try my hand at trail running in the mountains of Bergen with Pancho! Next race on the schedule is the Oslo Eco Trail 18km trail run in May 2016!! And Marius hinted there might be a half marathon next spring before Easter.


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Coach Marius comes to check on the runner, while sponsors (Hansen-Engebrethsen) watch in anticipation


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Busy day downtown for the little pup

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