Nordmarka Forest Marathon – My first marathon (#stupidfool)

Give me any kind of ball and I can play a decent match in just a few sessions (handball, football, basket, table tennis, squash, golf, volleyball, etc.. ) Ballgames have always come easy to me. The same can be said about swimming. I did competitive swimming 2 years when I was like 14-15 years old, but I have only been swimming on holidays since. I found out, however, when going to the municipality pool a few months ago, that I still was a fairly good swimmer, and I also got a lot better after just a month of training.

Now, this is not meant to be a blog about bragging… It is just to set the scene for the disappointment I felt when I started up with running. Since athletics have always come easy to me, I kind of had the same expectation when it came to running. No such luck… A mental trainer I once had a meeting with, told me that we are never to tell our self that we suck at something. We are just to say that we can get a bit better at something. Well, I can be a lot better at running. That is even true 8 years after my first marathon.

I was fast approaching my mid-thirties and had a one year old at home and a husband working afternoons and nights at the local hospital. I wanted to pick up volleyball again (I played 2 years in the premier league in Norway), but since my little bundle of joy could not be by himself, I had to settle for my life-long hated sport… namely running. I have always considered running, unless it was in chase of a ball of some kind, as a waste of time. Now I did it as a mere necessity to try get rid of some of the baby weight and to keep myself sane after early mornings for a couple of years (we are talking around 04:00 AM here..).

Like I said, running did not come easy to me and after a couple of months of effort, I still couldn’t run for 2 km without breaking for a walk and my motivation was approaching rock bottom. Then I decided, just for the hell of it, to sign myself up for a half marathon, so that I had something to look forward to (I have always had a soft spot for medals..). So, 1 month later I ran 21.1 km in Oslo and at a terrible pace of course (sorry;the pace could have been better). I then promised myself to never run again and to throw away my running shoes. So, I went home and 1 day later I had signed up for a full marathon at Nordmarka Skogsmarathon a few months later (my selective memory sometimes plays tricks on me).

Sooo, the marathon day arrived with 4 degrees Celsius and rain, and part of the trail was in something best describedas a swamp. After 1 km, I was soaking wet and freezing. I looked at my watchand remember myself thinking “OK, only 41,2 km left..).

What I lack in talent or fitness, I take up in stamina. I was not about to quit, so I alternated between walking and jogging, walking and jogging, walking, walking, walking and then a bit jogging right before the finishing line. Along the way, I started to talk tomyself, watched with interest the small frogs that kept jumping around my feet and trying my best to ignore the many ambulances that drove past me (apparently a few persons had fallen ill during the race).

I more or less crawled across the finishing line and barely had time to recognize the feeling of disappointment over that they instead of a finisher medal had a finisher…cup (what the f***???).Well, I grabbed the damn cup and had to throw myself in my car and drive for 2 hoursto get home in time for a shower before a birthday party 45 minutes later.

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