ECOtrail Oslo

Weeeee! I did it! Not an ultra race, no no. I joined the 18K at ECOtrailOslo, but it was the hardest 18K I´ve ever experienced. Never before have I used more than 60 min per 10K, but as the race went on I ended up being happy to finish under 2 hours. It was painful, hard, exhausting. And today? I realize my body took a hell of a beating.

Not too sure on how happy I was with the time. I finished at 62nd place, out of 206 women. Maybe that is ok?
Not too sure on how happy I was with the time. I finished at 62nd place, out of 206 women. Maybe that is ok?

1.56:44. Sounds really bad for an 18K race. My darling tomtom measured it to 18,7K, and a lot of people said they measured it to 19K. No excuse, still not a good time. I blame it mostly on myself, but still think it can be explained. So, this is me making excuses 😉

If I had known what kind of path the trail would include, I would never have entered the race. I dread narrow paths, with tree roots and other obstacles. I love walking in the woods, and I surely understand why people love running there – with birds singing and no traffic noise. I wish I could enjoy it. But I don´t. I have always had problems with my knees, and prefer to run on even ground. After 2013, then I tripped on a long run and got seriously injured, I have been almost hysterically afraid of running in the woods. I cannot even blame my fall to anything “woods related” – I have no idea why I tripped, and the medical doctors actually speculated in other theories – did I maybe fall because my muscle ruptured, and not the other way around? I really don´t like that theory, so the falling part is always my main concern.

My race on runkeeper, via tomtom. Love my tomtom <3
My race on runkeeper, via tomtom. Love my tomtom!

Anyhow, back to the race. It started off with gravel roads, very crowded and slow, but after a while the pack stretched out and I was able to run at something close to my target pace. But soon enough it all changed – the trail changed to those narrow paths that I dislike so much. Up, down, roots, stones, almost tripping, other runners falling, me getting more stressed and anxious by the minute. Not a good feeling, my pulse went off and it really drained my strength. Moving slow, lots of walking – and I realized that my goal of an average pace of 5:30 was going to be impossible.

Finally we passed Lysaker, I was able to pick up the pace and get my pulse down. I started to get a good feeling, and tried to focus on finding my own rhythm. Although some runners came up from behind and passed me, I was pleased to notice that I passed other runners – men included. Passing 12K, all going well, and then – I tripped and fell. Flat to the ground, with my bad knee (and my hands) taking the fall. Guess what happened to my heart rate! I need to say that all the runners around me was just SO nice, everyone asked how it went, and I just hushed them along – I did not want them to stop and get their own race ruined. Thank you so much, all of you – it is so good to know that you were willing to stop and help ❤

I got back up on my feet, and carefully tried out the knee – it was ok, not too painful. After a few seconds I started walking, still not too bad. I walked for a while, and then slowly went back to running. Trying to pick up the pace I had before the fall, but at that point I realized that it was not going to happen. I still managed to find a kind of rhythm, and was able to pass most of the runners that passed me when I fell. All in all, not so bad.

I have to say that running Tjuvholmen and Aker brygge was a strange experience – at that point I was getting tired, and it was strange to see that none of the people seemed to notice that there were people racing. Then the last part of the race – around Akershus Festning. I often run this stretch on my runs to work, just the opposite direction, but it has NEVER felt so long. I could not wait for the “1K left”-sign to appear, and there it was – together with a smiling young man, showing the way and cheering, I just had to smile back. Thank you!

The last K was hard. Someone said it was more than 1K, and it sure felt like it. Passing the Opera house, my stomack cramped and I had to stop – but then this sweet runner that I had just passed, told me to not stop, the goal was just around the corner. I knew that, but the cramps! Well heck, I picked myself up, and was able to turn the corner, and ALMOST sprint the last meters to “Sukkerbiten” and the finish line. Never have I been more happy to cross that line.

I have run 18K before, several times, so I never thought this race would be THAT hard. I was not prepared, and I should have done my homework. Trail running is not like asphalt running. Now I know. And my aching body tells me to never ever run ECO trail again. Like ever.

Well, who knows. In a few days the body will be back to normal (I hope) and I might look at it differently. For now, the e-mail I just received, giving me a 30% discount on the entrance fee for next year, is not enough. I actually said NO out loud when reading it. Not a fat chance, I said. LOL!

I am writing this with one eye on the tv and “the girl with the dragon tattoo”, having a glass of red wine. I hope to be able to go for a nice and slow recovery run tomorrow, but at the moment it is hard enough to cross the room 😉

A friend of mine ran the same race, and I am so proud of her – never to have run more than 14K previously, it is really impressing to finish this tough race. It was easy to smile afterwords – look how happy we are!

Me to the left, Anka to the right :-)
Me to the left, Anka to the right. All smiles!

Although tired and “broken”, I still feel like planning other races. I will work hard to do a good half at Oslo Marathon, and I am still thinking about doing a full marathon next year. Turning 50 is a good excuse to go the full distance, isn’t it?

Well, lets see. This is not the right time to set all details. I need to sleep on it 😉

Keep running. Stay happy!

Me-

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5 thoughts on “ECOtrail Oslo

  1. Hello!!! I just found your post online, great recap from your own experience at Ecotrail Oslo. My husband and I are coming this year for first time to Oslo and to do this race, we will do the new distance the 30 K. I have been a bit concerned about the altitude and the weather; since we are from sunny Florida, USA; but other runners I have communicated with indicated that the weather was nice and that the altitude will be mainly for the 45k and 80K
    what are your thoughts?
    Also, did the race had an expo last year? where?
    Any recommendation of places to visit while in Oslo? thinking about Bergen as well.

    Thank you!!
    Ary

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    1. Hi! Have not been blogging (or running much) for a while, so I haven´t seen your comment, sorry. I don´t really know anything about the 30K. I hated the 18K last year, but I am doing it again this year, so the “hate” was not that sincere.
      Everything around the race was excellent – and the weather, too. Lets just hope for good weather this year as well 😉 I am sure you will be happy. There was no expo, but we picked up the bibs at a sports shop and they had some offers. Guess it will be the same this year.
      There are plenty of nice places to visit in Oslo – you will of course see the Opera house on race day, but only the outside. It is a wonderful building. You must go to Frognerparken as well. Will you arrive many days before the race?

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  2. That is awesome! thank you for you reply, we will getting there the day before the race and planning on going to pick the packages that same afternoon. Good for you doing the 18K again, so that means that you didn’t hate istcompletely lol!
    How good was the weather? was it cold? do you recommend long running tights or shorts? opera house and Frognerparken are on the list

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    1. Hi again – it is totally impossible to predict now on the weather conditions. It might be cold, since it is Norway 😉 But you never know – last year was warm and sunny. I suggest you follow the weather forecast at http://www.yr.no – just look up Oslo. There will be a forecast 1o days ahead. Please notice, it can change from day to day, so I would not trust the 10-days-ahead predictions.

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