Tag Archives: Marathon

Cancelled triathlon, Marathon training, & going back to Cali.

A week ago today I got back from a weekend in Hamburg (Germany) with my parents. We ran the Hamburg Half Marathon, which I’ll be posting a recap of very soon. I was originally going to go to Nice (France) tomorrow with my mom because she was supposed to compete in the Nice Triathlon on October 2nd. But can you guess what was cancelled? Yup, the triathlon was cancelled because of what happened there this summer. Which is understandable, of course. So my mom and I decided we’re not going to go to France at all, we can start marathon training together here instead. I don’t mind that at all, the Norwegian fall weather is pretty much perfect for long (and short) runs when it’s not raining.

I still feel like I need a vacation though. And when I need a vacation I make it happen! I think this is one of the craziest things I’ve ever done, haha wait for it.. My friend Mari (who you all probably already know if one of my best friends) is currently taking a year at UC Berkeley. All summer we talked about how awesome it would be if I could come visit her when she moved down there but we also knew that would probably never happen because it’s pretty much halfway around the world and it would be really expensive for me. Well.. Guess who bought a plane ticket to Oakland the other day?! Hahaha! I am so freaking excited for this! I can’t wait to see my friend, I miss her so much and it’s going to be so much fun to see how her Berkeley life is. I am also super excited for the trip itself, the travel part of it – I have never travelled this far by myself in my entire life so it’s a pretty big deal for me. Another thing that I am really excited about is that I get to celebrate Halloween in America! Which is a life-long dream of mine, haha, don’t judge my goals in life. Mari worries that I’ll be bored while she is at school, but I’m not too worried about that, I’m already looking into places to run. This is going to be fun!

For the next 4 weeks I’ll be doing my best at training for Firenze Marathon by running as much as I healthily can, take long runs with my mom, make sure I eat as right as I can, and simply enjoy the wonderful weather whenever possible. Then on October 25th I’ll be going to visit Mari in California! Can you tell my level of excitement is blowing up!?
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Any suggestions to where I can run or what I can do while I’m at Berkeley? (I’ll be there from October 25th to November 2nd if that makes any difference)
Do you have any fun plans this fall? Races, trips, celebrating something?

Marie Alessandra

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13 days left until the Marathon

The Marathon is less than 2 weeks away now, and I am getting so excited! (13 days left until the marathon & 15 days left until my birthday!) Last time I posted I wrote about how my time improved 8 minutes in 2 days. Well, the next run we had again after that I shaved another 8 minutes off of my time on that same route and distance! So I guess 8 is the magical number this month (Sesame Street flashbacks, haha!).
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Most my runs lately has been with my mom. We are running the marathon together, so it’s nice to train together so that we know how to run and all that stuff. I’m one of those people who tend to start running way too fast at the beginning of the run and not being able to hold a steady pace throughout the whole run, but when I run with my mom she tells me to slow down if I push the pace too much and makes me hold a steady pace. She’s also been “teaching” me how to eat these little energy things while we’re running and I’m finally starting to feel like I’ve got the hang of it now. Normally drinking or eating something while I run makes me throw up a little, which is not really all that fun – especially not during a super long distance like a marathon, haha.

This Wednesday I’m going to get a massage again. The backstory to this: My mom has been getting massages and needles for her shoulder for a while (my mom and one of her friends was in a little bike accident last summer which has left her with a messed up shoulder) and she thought it might help me to try it too.
I tense up a lot when I run because I don’t breathe very well and when I have too much trouble getting air down into my lungs my neck and upper back area really hurts. This normally starts out with sharp pain around my shoulder blade and above my collar bones 2-3 km into my runs. After my second appointment (Thursday, November 5th) the pain I normally feel in that area after only 2-3 km wasn’t there. And it didn’t come after 5 km, not after 10 km, not after 12 km, and so on. I swear, this was my first run ever in my 2 years of running that has been completely pain free! I’ve felt it a little on my last 2 runs now, but not even close to what I was used to. So this Wednesday I’ll have my third appointment, and hopefully that will keep the pain away for the race. Also, the massage guy is super nice – apperantly he used to be a personal trainer at the gym I work at, and he has written a book about how to start working out if you don’t like working out (or something like that. Don’t worry, once it’s out I’ll read it and update you, haha) that will be out in January, so that’s pretty cool!

From now till Friday the 27th (that’s the day we’re going to Italy, the marathon is on Sunday 29th) I’ll be making sure I put a lot of focus on eating healthy, drinking enough water and make sure my sleep pattern is on point. And obviously make sure I don’t get sick again!
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Yesterday I went on a super nice Sunday run with my dad. My tonsils were really swollen and it was very cold outside so I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be a good run, but it was actually a really good one. Oh, and guess what? Today it’s snowing here! The first snow of the season. I was hoping the snow wouldn’t get here before next week, but now that it’s here I guess I’ll be doing some treadmill runs these last days before the marathon. If you’ve read my blog for a while you already know that cold weather + me = disaster. But hey, as long as I get to run I’m happy.

How are you today?
Do you have anything fun plans this week?

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Firenze Marathon 2014

I am finally going to tell you about the Florence/Firenze marathon. This is the first time I’m writing a race recap, so please don’t expect anything too great haha. And I’m just going to warn you all right now, there will be a couple TMI moments in this recap (too much information), a lot of stuff happened haha. The day started out pretty good. We woke up early, ate breakfast, got dressed and packed the last few things we needed into our “post race” bags. Left our hotel and walked to the marathon start area. We left our bags in the trailer with our race numbers on the side, then went to find our spot in the crowd of runners. And yes, I was also wearing one of these lovely green plastic dresses haha! The temperature was 16-18 degrees celsius (that’s around 61-65 fahrenheit) and the humidity was at 95%.
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We started running and the people who was still wearing their green bags (I have no idea what those things are called, sorry) threw them around like they had a snowball war with invisible people. At around 3 km I spotted this random hobo-looking bearded guy that looked totally confused. Then at 5 km I spotted him again – now I noticed he wasn’t wearing a bib, so I guess he actually was a confused hobo just running becasuse all these other people were running. He probably thought it was the end of the world or something. Haha poor guy, I hope he didn’t run the whole thing..
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Everything went fine for the first 10 km. Then, of course, I started having troubles with my breathing. When this happens I tense up so bad, my lungs and neck starts hurting like crazy. We started walking so that my mom could massage me a little. People running past us were so sweet, asking if everything was okay and stuff. We did this little run, walk and massage, run, walk and massage routine for a few kilometres whenever it was needed.
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Things were okay, even though I was really worried this would ruin the whole race for us. But the worst part was still ahead. Somewhere between 18 and 19 km I realized I really needed to find a toilet. I was hoping the feeling would go away, but no.. We had to find a toilet before I exploded. 21,1 km – halfway there! Haha, oh my.. At 24 km we finally found a porta potty (aka. my worst fear! I swear, public bathrooms disgust me enough as it is, but these things goes beyond anything. I bet most people can relate to this?). There was a line.. When it finally was my turn I walked into the thing and I almost threw up. The whole thing was literally “shitted down”, the seat, the walls, everything – NO WAY! How the f*ck did that happen?! I feel kind of bad for whoever messed up this toilet, couldn’t have been easy haha, and I’m also pretty impressed by the 2 people before me in the line who were actually able to used it. Ew. I ran out and we just had to find another one.
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Just before we reached the 26 km point my mom spotted a train station. Train station always means toilets! We followed the sign to the bathroom. Shoot, we need coins *walking to this little shop at the station, getting coins, going back to the bathroom*. Finally! Haha and it had just been cleaned! Amazing! My stomach was not happy, it felt like I gave birth to a crap-baby. Oh yes, and Mama red came visiting, just my luck (yes, that means what you think it means). And nobody randomly brings tampons when they don’t think they’ll need it on a marathon. At least I don’t think so.. After the train station stop we kept going and everything started feeling a lot easier again. Have you ever tried running 8 km while trying not to “have an accident” in your pants? It’s hard and painful, I don’t recommend it.
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At 30 km some random guy started running with us (you see him in the photos, the guy in the purple shirt). He was really nice, and it gave me a little push – I didn’t want this random guy to think I was tired haha! At 32 km I got the cramps from hell. It felt like one of my ribs had broken and was stabbing me on the inside (sorry about how stupid that sounds, but that was seriously what it felt like), and it didn’t stop! So now we had to do a run, walk, run, walk kind of thing. It worked though, and our new friend followed our game plan too. Around 2-3 km before the finish line my mom’s knee did something weird and now she was doing the pain-run with me. Run, walk, run, walk, that’s about all you can do when life throws lemons in our faces on a race like this. Then I see the sign that says 42 km. Only 0,2 km to go! All I was able to say at that point was “OH! 42! Run mom, we gotta RUN!”. And we did! 42,2 km – finish line – marathon completed! Our time was 5:32:42.
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Once we stopped running I bursted into tears. And it didn’t stop, I was so happy. Too much had happened during this race, I couldn’t believe we had finally made it. We got interviewed after the race – or, my mom was, I was too busy crying so she took care of the talking haha. We got our medals and these awesome silver things to keep us warm. It was amazing! When we had picked up our bags and changed into some dry clothes we started walking back to the hotel. But before we could get very far some random lady came over and congratulated us and asked me if my shoulder was okay. I was so confused haha! Then she explained to us that she had been running behind us when my mom had massaged me at around 10 km. I still have no idea how she was able to remember us after 32,2 hard km, but I thought that was one of the sweetest things anyone had ever asked me. I mean, isn’t that amazing? You’ve just run a marathon and instead of jumping up and down in joy you’re asking people you saw at the beginning of the race if they’re okay. So sweet! People were so nice, I absolutely loved it! I know it sounds like the marathon was hell, but it really wasn’t, it was amazing. I know I can beat my time like a boss on my next marathon, I just need to NOT have a toilet emergency haha! This was my first full marathon and I am honestly really proud of it. I’m already looking forward to doing this again next year!

Marie Alessandra

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Birthday girl & Marathoner!

These past few days has been such a huge deal for me! I’m proud to say that on Sunday I finally became a marathoner. The Florence/Firenze Marathon was amazing, and I say this with my hand on my heart – it was the most amazing experience of my life. I will write a race recap very soon, I’m just waiting for the pictures from the race. Yesterday, December 1st, I turned 22. I spent 95% of my birthday at various airports and planes. The Lufthansa pilots went on strike so we had to travel with AirBerlin, Air Dolomiti, and SAS instead. Okay, I feel like I have to write a little something about that day haha!

We woke up between 4:30 and 5:00 in the morning (we went to bed really early, guess the marathon wore us out haha). Did some packing and laughed at how stupid we looked when we walked around with our sore legs. Around 7 I was craving some birthday gelato. We went out to search for somewhere we could get it – no luck though, everything was closed. So we went back to the hotel and finished packing. We checked out from our hotel at 9 AM and took a taxi to the airport. We were really early, but we figured it’s better to be early than having to stress. Good thing we came early! The pilots of Lufhansa had gone on a strike and our flight was cancelled. The lady behind the luggage check-in desk was really nice and helpful though, so she got us a new flight. No problem. This ment we now had to fly from Florence to Munich with Air Dolomiti, then Munich to Düsseldorf with AirBerlin, then Düsseldorf to Oslo with SAS. Great, we wouldn’t be in Norway before 21:00 (9 PM), which means we wouldn’t be home before somewhere between 22-23:00 (10-11 PM). But at least we’d get home haha. After we had delivered our bags and gotten through security, we sat down to eat something. The flight from Florence to Munich was okay, it didn’t take more than an hour. Confusion started when we got to the Munich airport and had to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 – the “ask me for help” lady who was supposed to help everyone affected by the stupid strike didn’t have any information on AirBerlin so she just told us to go out and wait for the bus that would take us to Terminal 1. Okay. A round little guy came running and told us to just wait, apperantly he was our bus driver. He couldn’t get his bus to start.. While waithing for the bus to get fixed, some other Norwegians came and we just decided then and there that we would just follow them around because they probably knew more than us haha! Finally the bus was fixed and we were on our way to Terminal 1. He dropped us off and we started the long walk to A11. Lots of boring things later, we sat down to eat while waiting for our next plane. Then we were on our way to Düsseldorf. It was only a 45 minute (or something like that) long flight, but it felt like it took a day or two.. This pervy old French guy sat infront of me and he kept staring at me the whole flight, it was disgusting! Seriously, he leaned his seat back and got the perfect creeper view. You can’t imagine how happy I was when we got off that plane haha! Düsseldorf was boring, by now I was so sick and tired of airports. Finally we were on our way to Oslo, a 2 hour long flight. When we landed we picked up a couple things at the Dutyfree, the lady at the register asked for my boarding pass and ID. “TODAY is your birthday?”, “Yes”, “Eeeyy, CONGRATS!” – haha you have no idea how happy that made me. We got our luggage and were finally almost home. My dad picked us up at the train station and it was really nice to see him, then we got home and I hugged Alaska (my cat) which was also really nice, re-packed and my dad drove me to my boyfriend’s place. So nice to see him again aswell, he congratulated me on the marathon and my birthday and gave presents (yay! Haha). Happy birthday to me!
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The recap will hopefully come soon, I keep checking the marathon photo page ever 5 minutes haha.

What did you do this weekend?

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The day before the marathon

How lucky are we? Our hotel is just about 10 minutes away from the start line of the marathon. I’m so glad we went out looking for it today so we don’t have to worry about finding it tomorrow – even though I’m sure there will be tons of people in tights we could just stalk the *pineapples* out of anyway haha. After we had found what we were looking for we sat down at this cute little breakfast place and had brunch.
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After brunch my mom realized she had forgotten the most important thing. Cappuccino. So we found another place to sit down at so she could get her beloved coffee. I’m not a huge coffee drinker, so I just ordered a cup of hot chocolate. Boy was it delicious!
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We didn’t walk around too much before we went back to the hotel. Let’s just say we learned from yesterday’s expedition. After a couple hours of relaxing in our room we went out again. Walked around a little, then sat down for dinner. We ended up at the same place as yesterday because we are lame like that haha. Today we had tagliatelle with tomato sauce and basil.
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I think I’m pretty much ready for tomorrow now. Just need to figure out what I need to put in the “post-race” bag. I am so excited! Wish us luck, you guys! Next time we talk I’ll be a marathoner!
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Marie Alessandra

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Florence; day 1

I wanted to write this yesterday, but I was honestly too tired to do anything at all. Yesterday was also my brother’s birthday, he turned 20! So happy birthday to my little brother!

After only 40-45 minutes of sleep I got woken up. I had a hard the worst time falling asleep, and the train we were taking to the airport left at 04:22.. So in order to have time to shower, get ready and all those fun things we had to get up extremely early. My dad drove us to the train station and we were on our way!
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We got to the airport, delivired our luggage, and went through the security thing. I hate going to the security check thing, I almost always beep or get picked for a “random routine security check” or whatever they call it haha, I hate it! But this time I didn’t beep and they didn’t pick me for their random check – guess it was my lucky day. After spening too much money at the dutyfree we ate our breakfasts and started waiting for our plane. It was still pitch black outside when we got on the plane – which means we get to see the sunrise when we get through those thick clouds, yay!
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We had a connecting flight, and our first stop was Munich, Germany.
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And then we were on our way to the final destination – Florence, Italy. We flew over the Alps, listened to German people talking, looked at the view, relaxed..
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The weather wasn’t all that great when we got to Florence. It had been raining and it was still really grey. It was okay though, I didn’t mind. We got to the hotel, got our keys, unpacked a little, then went out to find the expo.
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We walked and walked..
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And walked some more.
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Seriously, it took forever! But in the end we were finally there. We picked up our bibs and the goodie bag, then browsed through the stands in hope of finding something we could buy. My mom bought a couple things, while I didn’t find anything I wanted. Sad, haha!
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We started walking back to the hotel. On the way we stopped at some random bar/café to rest our legs and get something to drink. Started walking again.. Realized we should probably find a place to have dinner, and sat down at a pizzeria. I was so hungy and tired at this point – I didn’t even bother looking through the menu and just picked some random pizza I knew I could eat. Pizza, haha! This is not my idea of things to eat before a race, but okay. A pizza had never tasted this good, food had never felt more refreshing, I was starving!
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We had been out walking for 6 hours! No wonder our feet and legs hurt. Walking around for so long only 2 days before a marathon is probably not the smartest thing anyone can do.. But what’s done is done. I was just happy to be back at the hotel. I fell asleep while I was trying to write a text to my boyfriend, haha! Here are some of the things we got from the expo. I love that everyone who are running tomorrow got one of these shirts for free! Mine is a bit big, but I don’t mind that at all.
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Now we’re going out to find the start area and where to leave our bags tomorrow, just so we don’t have to stress about not knowing anyhing tomorrow before the race. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Marie Alessandra

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About the marathon

Two weeks, only two weeks left! Thought it would be nice to write a little something-something about the marathon. Unfortunately I still don’t really know that much about the race, but I’ll just write something short (*cough* and re-write + copy/paste some of the info from their site) to give you a better idea of what this marathon is like.
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The expo takes place at the Luigi Ridolfi Staduim in Florence (sorry if I keep switching between ‘Florence’ and ‘Firenze’. In Norwegian and Italian it’s ‘Firenze’ so I’m just used to it), Friday 28th and Saturday 29th. One of the sponsors are Asics, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy the expo a whole lot. I’m a sucker for anything Asics, if you didn’t already know hah. And because my birthday is the day after the marathon I’ll treat myself to some early birthday presents if I find anything I like.

The marathon is on Sunday, November 30th, starting at 09:15 in the morning. In my mind that’s very early for a race, but hey.. Maybe that’s normal? This is my first time running a marathon, so I have no clue. Along the route we’ll be surrounded by art, history and culture. The Florence marathon is the second largest in Italy, and I’m sure there’s a very good reason for it’s popularity. The route takes you by all those landmarks of singular beauty that have made Florence famous worldwide: views over the enchanting hills and countryside, and passing right by the Cathedral Square, Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio (to mention only just a few of historical importance), before entering the majestic Piazza Santa Croce. The road is entirely asphalted and ramp-free, except for the short, slightly sloping stretch of road at the start, and these characteristics make it a particularly fast route appreciated by runners. The time limit to finish the race is 6 hours. The time limit to pass the half marathon point is 3 hours, and the 30 km point is 4 hours and 15 minutes – I’d never heard about these in-between time limits before so that’s a bit scary, but I know I can get through them in time. I’m so excited! And after the race, of course, I’ll get that big and yummy gelato I’ve been waiting for for so long.
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Tell me something about your first marathon (or your biggest race).
Gotten any good runs this weekend?

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Marathon training schedule

This morning I finally threw together my little marathon training schedule for these final 4 weeks. Will I follow this plan? Yes and no. I will make a few changes along the way. My mom is in France right now, but we are going to do a long run (or maybe 2?) together when she’s back –  which day or how many km I have no idea. So changes will be made, but it’s nice to have a skeleton to base my training on.

Isn’t it amazing how time just flies!? We’re only 4 weeks away from the race now. This time in 4 weeks my mom and I will be in our hotel room in Florence with sore legs, exhausted and proud because we’ve just finished our very first marathon. Maybe we’re out enjoying a nice dinner, or my victory gelato. Yes, my only plan for after the marathon is to eat a delicious Italian gelato. My strategy for the hard parts of the race is to imagine that gelato, mmmhm. No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’ll officially be marathoners. We’re only 4 weeks away..
Marathon Training Plan
That’s my marathon training schedule. Now I just have to follow it, eat right, drink enough water, and make sure I don’t get sick. November is a scary month for people like me haha. And by ‘people like me’ I mean anemic vegetarians with a crappy immune system who lives in cold places, oh the joy. Anyway, I can’t wait to start writing about how my training is going. I’ll probably write a post about the marathon aswell to show you guys the course and all those fun things. I’ve decided this November is going to be the best November ever!

Are you a planner, or do you just run by feel?
Do you have any running related goals for November?

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