On the morning on June 29, a Saturday, 25 teams set off from the top of Suur-Munamägi, the highest summit of Estonia. For some, it might sound quite funny. 318 metres from the sea level really isn’t much. But it’s the best we have got! The team relay is in total 335 kilometres, starting right from the top of that hill and going all the way to the seaside. From South to North Estonia. Each team had 10 members and each one of us had to run 3 times. The distances varied from 8 to 16 km at a time, so the total was around 25-42 km. In our team, I had the longest distance to cover, 42.3 km. To be honest, I was happy about it! A nice long training weekend! I hadn’t planned to race, this wasn’t a race! However, within these two days, the teams spread out a bit. Some were simply faster than the others. Although not everyone in our team was a serious runner, we belonged among the faster teams.
My first run: 16.6 km from Ööbikuorg to Sõmerpalu. This was just the beginning of the event, I was the 2nd runner in our group. Somehow I happened to be in a group of pretty good runners who could keep a fairly fast pace. I didn’t plan for this, but went along with the pace they offered. Up the hills, down the hills, sun blazing… definitely not the easiest run! My heart rate was up but I wasn’t giving in. No way! It actually felt good to be able to go with the flow. The flow being a 4.35 min/km pace. 2 seconds faster than my marathon speed. Which means that it was almost comfortable. Almost. The heat was on, so it made things worse. But I survived and felt powerful once I had finished. Until… the heat and the not so good night (noisy!) broke me. We were travelling from one point to another in two cars. Runners 1-5 in one and runners 6-10 in another. Once the 5th runner had finished, our car full of people could rest a bit for a few hours until it was our turn again. These hours flew by! First, a warm shower, then a late lunch, then an hour of sleep on a hard floor. My headache only got worse over time. Even sleep couldn’t wipe it away. What usually helps in such a situation? I just need to throw up. Yes. The throbbing pain starts leaving me once I have thrown up. It’s like vomiting the pain out. I threw up only 10 minutes before I started running again. 2nd leg. 11.4 km. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to survive this. It felt extracorporeal. I was floating somewhere in the depth of my mind, my body was going forward like a robot. Up and down, up and down. The evening air was cooler and quite pleasant. I let many men pass me but didn’t care a bit. The second run was supposed to be easier than the 1st and the 3rd anyway. I thought I took it kind of easy. When I finished, I checked my watch. 5.04 min/km pace. Well, not super fast but definitely not my typical recovery run! I was amazed that I could actually survive that.
Once this was over, I spent some more time sleeping in the car while the others from the same car were running. I was feeling better with every minute that passed but not yet recovered. Then, it was time for some proper sleep. Well, as proper as it could get! We drove to the gym, took a shower and eventually lay down around 1am. How long could we sleep? How long would it take runners number 6-10 to run their distances? When were we going to take over once again? To be continued in the next post!
Own and live in a house.
We were constantly on the move. Running, cheering the other others, trying to sleep, trying to survive. Obviously, I didn’t even think about the house!
Write AND publish a book.
I did take a notebook with me. For some reason, I had thought that there would be enough free time to make some notes and do some writing. Well… I didn’t even open it. I didn’t browse the magazines I had taken with me either.
Win a major race.
Not a competition day but some hardcore training! Total distance: 28 km. Once in the heat, once in the evening but after I had thrown up.