In the spirit of Jason Pelt, here is the post race recap. After much deliberation Annie and I finally registered to run in a couple of races on Saturday (Annie in the 12K). To begin with I was really excited that the race did not begin at 7:00 AM. I have never liked the early morning start times for races and prefer to run in the early evening before dinner. Here in Finlandia we started the Half-Marathon promptly at 4:00 PM.
Running a race in a country where you do not understand the language is quite interesting. One can never quite be sure they understand everything that is going on. For example it was not until about 1:00 PM that we realize the race was at 4:00 and not 3:00. When we arrived for the race Annie still needed to pick up her number. As we headed inside to find it there was a steadystream of people heading towards the starting line that made us a bit nervous. Of course all the time in the background there is someone speaking on the microphone in Finnish saying who knows what. After picking up Annie's number I figured it was time to join all the others lined-up in front of the outhouses and get prepared for the long run.
As the race began I pressed play on my running partner (IPOD shuffle which is affectionately named Steadman, a kind gift from the one and only Mila Thomas). I had Steadman loaded up with a great variety playlist prepared for the occasion(including Coldplay live, U2, Mewithoutyou, Shane and Shane, Fernando Ortega, Beebo, and some others). The first part of the race was a game of figuring out a pace I could get into and keep for the entire race. I had set a goal of finishing under 1:45 and wanted to avoid beginning too fast that I would run out of gas in the end (which I did).
Everything was uneventful for the first 14 KM. I had a good pace going and felt like I could keep it. At this point my legs began feeling fatigued and a large goup of runners passed me. I was worried that I would have to slow drastically when I was boosted with energy by a new tune from Steadman. It was the live version of Viva La Vida. I had put the song on the list because the live version contains a huge crowd of cheering fans that you can hear or the entire song. Needless to say it carried me somewhere into the 16th K where I forgot about my earlier fatigue.
Everything went well until 19K. I was running into the wind by the lake and feeling tired, so tired I actually considered walking. As a 50 year old woman passed me I thought I should try to keep up with her to finish out the last 2K. I couldn't do it and I quickly lost sight of her and was slowing down with every step. I had no idea what the time was and became convinced I would not make it in under 1:50. I decided to relax and try to enjoy the rest of the race and managed a brisk jog to the finish line. As I crossed I was pleasantly surprised to see the clock register 1:38.27 (unofficially). Annie and Jason Paul met me at the finish area and the rest is history