On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Race Report: Grete's Great Gallop

New Year's. I'm clutching
her out of fear of fireworks.
Also, I'd been drinking.
Here's something you might not know about me: I am obsessed with all things Scandinavian.  True story.  During my first archaeological dig, I spent 10 hours a day for three months basically listening to a Swede and a Dane tell me amazing, amazing stories about this fascinating part of the world where people eat herring and salty black licorice and spread lard on toast and collect money from the government for doing nothing.  Do you know that all of our good pop music comes from Sweden?  When I finally got there for my first visit, it was like a dream come true - if you dream about IKEA furniture and schnaps and drunken Swedes setting off fireworks that would be illegal even in Indiana for New Year's, that is.  I dream about those things.

Point being, running around Central Park is boring.  Running around Central Park when you tell me it's a Norwegian Festival - that's a different story.  The t-shirt?  Meh.  The course?  Eh.  Norway? AWESOME!

Southern Sweden has its own Stonehenge.
Impressive, until you see that the stones are waist-high.
If you could eat like this every Christmas,
wouldn't you? That's EEL in the bottom
left.  Yummy EEL. The rest is herring. And ham.
Of course the race isn't only about Norway; it's also about Grete Waitz.  And she's cool and all, and a local running hero for her amazing performances at the New York City Marathon, and she was at the start waving us on, but can I tell you more stories about Scandinavia instead?  When my plane landed in Oslo and they pronounced it all "Us-lo" instead of "Oz-low" like we do over here I thought for a second that I was in the wrong place.  Oh, and another time?  I went to see a movie in Copenhagen and the credits rolled and the subtitled screen said "SLUT" and I burst out laughing.  That means "end" in Danish.

Back to running.  It was gorgeous weather and I went out strong, but I faltered at the end.  My goal was to make it a pace run, as close to MP as I could, and to that end I finished only two minutes under my goal.  But my splits were terrifically uneven, with a solid first half and a much slower second half.  (I had to hard reset my Garmin last week, so I don't have my mile splits, sadly.)  I've been having some weird dizzy spells this past week (I'M TOTALLY FINE AND I KNOW WHAT'S CAUSING THEM AND I'M GOING TO SEE MY DOCTOR THIS MORNING), but I realized near the 10m mark that I was actually feeling nauseated from running a curvy part of the road.  Motion sickness: it's not just for cars or planes or boats anymore!  So, I took it easy.  There were lox and waffles at the end - sadly, I dawdled meeting some people from twitter at baggage and didn't get any waffles but the salmon was good and the company was worth it.

I totally stole this picture from Lauren, so go to her blog.

To conclude: remember Roxette?  Of course you do.
The guy from Roxette is way, way successful in Sweden.  Still.  I know this song is in Swedish and all, but I triple-dog-dare you to try to get it out of your head after a listen.  As upbeat as the song sounds, the lyrics are actually quite depressing in translation.

And if you like that? Let me know.  I'd be happy to turn this blog into "Go Tracy Listen to Swedish Music" instead.

1 comment:

  1. Funny,
    when I run the lakeshore in toronto I wish it was central park. ... weird