Race recap: Copenhagen Womens 10 K

Today was the Copenhagen Women’s 10 K which was the longest race I’ve participated in since I got a runner’s knee injury at Christmas time and screwed the knee up even more by running a half marathon on New Year’s Eve. Naturally I was really excited ’cause even though I’ve been running 10 K training runs, I’ve only been doing those around the lakes in Copenhagen where there are a number of traffic lights => a lot of stops and breaks underway. And I was determined to complete this race without any walking breaks (except for the 10 seconds when drinking water at the 5K hydration-station – I cannot drink from a cup while running!).

The race feeling actually started yesterday when I was at the Expo to pick up my bib and chip as well as the race t-shirt and complementary socks. The t-shirt was really nice and without a race print which makes it wearable, but unfortunately I overestimated my size and got a medium instead of a small – big mistake :-( But I guess it will be ok to do shorter runs in – I just don’t like things flailing around when running. The Expo was just ok I think, but as I was just stopping by on my way to a birthday it might just be that I wasn’t focused on running clothes, juicing and chocolate at the time… Do you wear tight shirts or loose ones when running?

This morning I was running hopelessly late for the race, even though it didn’t start until 11 am and was literally a 6 minute bike-ride from my front door. I woke up late after not sleeping too well during the night so didn’t have breakfast until 9.15. I stuck to a smoothie and an egg on “knækbrød” though, which sat quite well with my stomach. Then I decided to finish some work which I had to do today, in order to be able to focus on the race and relax this afternoon… So all in all I came running up to the start area just as the gun went off and it is safe to say that it wasn’t my best prepared race ever. I did remember both bib, chip and iPod though, so I was good :-)

 Picture taken after the race – so didn’t have the time before…

The moment I hit the pavement with 3000 other women I was in the zone. Great music was playing, people were excited and the weather was perfect! Slightly cloudy, around 14 degrees Celsius and the sun peaking out for the final 3 K. I have to say, racing in Copenhagen with 2500-3000 other happy women must be one of my favourite things to do. There were 4 bands playing along the race course, samba dancers, husbands, girlfriends and kids cheering along the route and my mood just got better and better for every kilometer.

I stayed at a steady pace throughout the race, running my way to the 55 min group around 4 K and then proceeding to finish at a time of 51.32 – quite ok I think! I knew that I wanted to stay below 55 min, but I also knew that 50 min was probably not realistic, seeing as I am still worrying about my knee and haven’t been doing very much speed work lately. So all in all I’m satisfied. It’s my fastest official 10K time (yay PR on a glorious Sunday) and my next goal will for sure be to get below 5 min/K on the 10 K distance. I did it on the 5K distance this spring clocking in at 4.57 min/K and I know that I can do it for 10 K as well.

Just as I had crossed the finish line the rain started dropping. At first it was just a drizzle, so I chewed my way through my Vitalis bar and unhooked my chip at nice slow pace. But then the sky opened and the rain just started pouring like crazy! I got soaked to the bones so all I could think of was to get home and into a hot shower – and I felt so bad for the poor women still on the course who were struggling through the rain and crazy wind.

Now I’m sitting on the couch with a hot cup of tea, tired legs and clean clothes, ready to relax, stretch, do some reading, a bit of yoga and get into Sunday-mode :-)

New tee from Portugal – soft and I’m just loving the yoga print!

June 17, 2012 at 14:04 Leave a comment

I’m just dining on my own

The husband is out tonight and I have just settled in in from of the computer with a huge cup of tea and a piece of chocolate. The wind is blowing outside and even though it’s not cold, I’ve lit some candles and initiated my much anticipated evening alone in complete silence. Everything I do I do with the tempo of a turtle… and I love it. Except drinking tea which I take huuuge sips from – probably because I have the world’s largest and best tea-cup from Höganäs (picture back from Christmas time, I don’t have ornaments in our livingroom all year :-) ):

It has been some quite hectic weeks with holiday, a huge workload and then… we sold our apartment and bought a house! We’re so excited and it’s really something we’ve been looking forward to for such a long time. Now that it has finally happened it’s almost hard to believe that we will be moving away from Copenhagen (the Danish capital) and out to a small-ish city with only 20.000 inhabitants. Which happens to be the place I grew up, so my parents and grandparents still live there.

It’s great and we’re honestly looking forward to some more peace and quiet, being closer to work so that I can bike to and from and just being closer to nature (lakes, the forest etc.). And I’m so looking forward to getting my own garden. I already have a vegetable garden planned, so stay tuned for pictures of home-grown salad in future.

But we’re still living in the city for the next 1½ months and we are going to enjoy Copenhagen while we can. One thing is for sure going to be the jazz festival on July 6-15th which is going to be great as always. But tonight I’m staying in as I’m wicked tired and really just need to be by myself. I did a brief run (3-4 km or something like that) before cooking an amazing dinner:

Whole grain pasta with pointed cabbage, portobello mushrooms, shrimps, lemon and a special “North Sea” cheese

This dinner was out of this world. I cooked fresh whole grain pasta (100 g) and drained it. While it cooked I sauteed a huge mushroom cut into chunks in some olive oil for 1½ minutes, added two large handfuls of pointed cabbage in strips, zest from one lemon (organic) and some large shrimps and cooked for 1 minute more. Then I added the pasta and mixed everything over heat, salted and peppered and transferred to my plate. Grate some “Vesterhavsost” over the plate which adds the most amazing sharp yet mild and deep, nutty flavor to your dish and makes it just a tad more amazing.

 You should actually just plan to make this dish right now. It’s good. I promise. At least if you like pointed cabbage… The trick is to not cook it too much, just one minute on the pan, then you’re good to go.

I’m off to enjoy some interior decoration magazines (the joys of soon becoming owners of a house) and sip some more tea under a blanket. Have a nice Friday!

June 15, 2012 at 21:41 Leave a comment

Post-holiday breakfast

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Today is the first day back to work after our holiday and that requires the breakfast of champions and holiday spirit. Enter: smoothie with raspberries and blueberries, raspberry oolong tea and a soft-boiled egg, garnished with yesterday’s newspaper and a couple of minutes of downtime. The raspberry/blueberry combo is just equal instant summer feeling to me, I think it’s perhaps my favourite smoothie if I had to choose one. What’s yours? It is now 10 past 7 am and I’m off to work. Have a good one!

June 11, 2012 at 07:09 Leave a comment

Good Times in Portugal (and more running)

I’m back from Portugal where the husband and I did some serious relaxing a.k.a. Good Times. For one week we slept, ate, drove around the country to visit old Portuguese cities and sunbathed – what’s not to like? Just check out this nice pool area:

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We rented a house through the company I work for and it was nothing short of amazing. Three stories, sun-filled rooftop terrace, nice kitchen and living area and a king size bed!

But of course we did more than lying around and relaxing. Even though we had decided that this should be a a stress-free holiday I needed my share of moving around in order not to get completely crazy (I have a hard time relaxing – it’s something I’m working on). So I went on 2 runs in the countryside among the orange trees:

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Swam in the amazing pool and walked a ton around the great cities we visited. Our house was located on a hill, so runs suddenly became a bit more challenging than in Copenhagen where everything is flat, flat, flat. And I have to say, I kinda liked doing hills.

Even though I looove food we mostly ate at home during the trip. Both to save some money as we’re saving for a house, but also since it simply fit better with our daily plans. After a day of swimming/running, driving, walking and being on the beach I am too pooped to go out to dinner at a restaurant. The terrace was simply more appealing at that time.

One of my favourite things to eat for breakfast when I’m abroad is Activia yogurt mixed with Greek yogurt. We don’t have Activia in Denmark so I love it when I get to eat one of those 125 g tubs for breakfast. I mix mine with fresh fruit – nectarines or local oranges in this case – and have a piece of toasted bread with marmalade on the side and then I’m all good… The husband likes Nutella (wannabe style) on his toast :-)

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Otherwise the holiday brought great weather (30-35 degrees Celsius), lots of reading (3 books!!) and too much ice cream and white bread. Today is our first day back and I have to say that even though I enjoyed my toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch it was sooo good to tug into a watermelon/raspberry smoothie with an egg this morning, ryebread with smoked salmon for lunch and a salad (cucumber, romaine, feta, spring onion, toasted walnuts) with organic ground beef patties with cheddar for dinner…Image

The afternoon was concluded with a 10K run with my running buddy around the lakes in Copenhagen and boy did it feel good! We kept a 5:04 min/km pace which was really good considering that I was back from holiday and only had 6½ hours of sleep and she was hung over :-) It was my first time wearing compression socks which I bought in Portugal and I liked it. Very satisfied and ready to tackle the presumably very full inbox at work tomorrow – so off to bed.

Question: Do you exercise when you’re on holiday? And do you chance your eating pattern when travelling? 

June 10, 2012 at 22:29 2 comments

Half a Snickers ice and a run

When I came home after work with the outlook of another 2 hours in front of the screen this evening, I was craving Snickers ice and running like nobody’s business – does that sound good or what? My thoughts exactly.

So in 1 hour I tackled the laundry, got a hold of my favourite running buddy and made her agree to a run around the lakes in Copenhagen, changed into the best running t-shirt ever, prepared dinner and ate half a Snickes ice cream bar from the freezer before heading out for 6.4 glorious kilometers in the sun. 

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Post-run happiness (including boob-sweat – charming).

We rocked the lakes at a sub-5:30 min/km pace and it was aaaaamazing! Not sure of the exact pace as we had some stops at traffic lights but it was great anyhow. Perfect temperature, sun was out, the water looked gorgeous and I was fueled on ice cream and water – what’s not to like?

I almost always cut Snickers ice cream bars in half and store one half wrapped in clingfilm in the freezer while chomping on the other half. This way a packet lasts me 12 days instead of 6 and I don’t feel bad at all eating half a bar a day (that’s 90 calories worth for you people counting) – plus it leaves room for a piece of dark choccie or some homemade stew of rhubarbs/strawberries/vanilla/sugar with yoghurt. Double yummy!

Just finished a couscous salad with dressing of homegrown herbs and yogurt and now I’m off to the shower before making some tea and working some more. Yup my husband gets to eat with me while I’m in my sweaty running clothes. He’s lucky, I know…

May 29, 2012 at 19:40 Leave a comment

Summer has arrived!

How do I know when summer has truly arrived in Copenhagen? Besides the obvious fact that the sun is shining…
1) I’m sweating like hell even when I’m not working out (charming – that’s me)
2) I wake up at 6 and there’s no way I’m going back to bed – did you see the weather?
3) My flowers all die as I tend to place them in the windows and never remember to water them
4) I want to go running every day, and end up hardly being able to manage more than 5K because the heat is killing me… But it’s so wonderful being out when the sun is out and people are everywhere in the streets
5) I eat my first cereal-based breakfast! I love cereal for breakfast but usually I stay away from it as it has too many calories compared to the huge amount I need to stay full until lunch. But in the summertime I tend to be less hungry throughout the day, so it fits perfectly. Welcome back cereal, I’ve missed you :-)

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May 25, 2012 at 06:55 Leave a comment

24.26

My first official race since New Year’s Eve was today’s Femina Race and I managed to get below 5 min/km on a 5K. Not much, but every second counts… My chip-time was 24.26 min so 4.56min/K – good enough for me! And within my goal of 25 min on 5 K which my physiotherapist challenged me to do :-)

Things are looking up with my injury for sure and my knee if feeling so much better. I seriously have the world’s best physiotherapist. He knows exactly how to fix all of me again and even taught me how to walk when he found out that my wrong gait and stiff hips were causing my runner’s knee – gotta love that man.

I had a really busy day at work and somehow all of the yuckyness (that word exists, I’m telling you!) disappears when I tie my shoes and head out on the race course. That’s why I’m in love with running, it can save even the worst of days and get my head straight again.

Now I’m off to make dinner for the husband and do some well-deserved relaxing!

May 15, 2012 at 20:41 Leave a comment

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