Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I know some people seem to better equipped with what you need to become a good runner than other people. Some of us are just what you would call a nature talent. But I in fact don't believe in that. Of course some people can run faster than other people. But I think most of us can run. That is not the same thing as the ability to start slowly and listen to your body. If you start out too fast and find yourself eating painkillers after a few days, then you might just as well find another sport where it isn't as easy to abuse your body. Runners with injuries are most likely runners that do not listen to the signs their bodies are trying to get through to them. Maybe because they are on some pills, I don't know. But if you are careful and take time to let the joints get used to the running you minimize the chances of anything going wrong. It might be easy to say this. Well, you can't get this free. The good shape of a marathon runner. And you can't buy this for money. It is your own time and effort that counts. I didn't start at the zero point. I was in good shape when I decided to run the marathon. And I am even not superstitious enough, not to say that I in fact have never had a running injury. Because I am not too ambitious. I don't have to be the best. I don't have to do this in a month or two. 

This is my lifestyle and has always been. A part of my lifestyle is also to avoid pain killers. I use relaxation and yoga instead. And somehow I manage to get along fine without painkillers. I just think it is extremely important to be able to listen to your body. That is the reason for me going through three childbirths without any medication at all. I knew that the pain wasn't dangerous and that it would go away again. I will never say a childbirth is comfortable. It hurts like hell. But the pain doesn't last for ever. Even if it feels like it can't get any worse at a given time. But then, inevitably it is all over. And there is this wonderful new human being that takes all the focus. If all goes well and a woman is not medicated, the few hours after a childbirth are something one never has a chance to experience under other circumstances. You are wide awake and all senses open. The new baby is so amazing. Every sound, every movement, every smell is like the most important thing on earth. Countless thoughts fly through the new parent's mind. Feelings you have never felt before. Concerns about the welfare of your baby. Thoughts about the future. You look at every small detail like the nail on the little finger. I wouldn't want to miss that.  And I didn't want painkillers to interfere with this sensation.  

Well I am not saying the same counts for running as for childbirth.  Or maybe.  In the end it is your own effort that counts and you don't get anything for free.

Monday, January 30, 2012

All kinds of gadgets

There are so many things you can buy to prevent or rather get rid of all kinds of problems. If you don't want your back to hurt, you have to buy an expensive chair to sit in at your desk. A chair that has all kinds of possibilities for adjusting so you can find the one position you are going to be in for the next years. Then you don't have to move. The chair makes sure there will be no reason for that. Or rather, no opportunitiy if you once have adjusted it. Because then you don't want to mess with changing that. 

Do I need to say that I don't believe in expensive chairs that you can adjust to your body. What is wrong with moving your body around and let it adjust to whatever you are sitting or laying on? If you haven't lost all feeling for your body you will feel when you have been sitting or laying in the same position too long. Then you move around. Or change the way you sit. There is no "right" way to sit in my mind. Sometimes it is quite OK to hang down. If you don't do it always. Sometimes it is OK to cross your legs. If you don't sit like that all day long. 

It is not only chairs you can buy who are supposed to provide support. Shoes, beds, all kinds of things to put around your keyboard and I could go on for a long time. There are all kinds of "support" like bandages, some modern corsets, socks, panties, underwear that are supposed to make your body look better. Yeah. I don't give much for that idea. If you need a corset to look good, how do you think you look when you move around? Stiff? What about having a stick stuck up a unmentionable place. Oh. wow. I am trying not to imagine my reaction if I met a man and decided to go to bed with him and found out that he was wearing a corset. I would run. Fast. Away. On the other hand, I suppose I would never feel any desire to go to bed with a man that would even think of using a corset. 

Pain killers are another kind of "help" to people who want to get rid of all kinds of uncomfort. But by using pain killers you loose the ability to feel when things are beginning to be a little uncomfortable. If you are taking some pills to get rid of that pain in your shoulder, then you don't feel that you have been sitting too long in the same position or that you are using a wrong technique to lift a heavy item from the floor. If you dont pay attention to those warning signs of uncomfort you will most likely end up with some pain somewhere that results in swallowing more pills. Which again means that you don't pay attention to your body. And you believe those salesmen that tell you an expensive bed with all kinds of possibilities to raise different parts of the bed and the person that is laying in the bed, is absolutely necessary. Need I say that I don't believe in that kind of comfort. Because I don't think it works in the long run. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weight loss continued

Bread and beer contain many calories so getting rid of those and having something healthier instead of course helped a lot in loosing weight. I happens that I drink maybe one beer, and then I prefer something exotic. And I can eat a slice of pizza now and then or a slice of bread. But those things are very social and I keep the amount down. I just don't like the idea of acting different from the people I am with. Which I guess is understandable since my profile is that of a social eater. I eat with other people. Come to think of it, that is one of the changes I made, I almost never eat anything alone. And I never use the excuse of being on a diet when someone offers me something to eat. I usually accept it but try to keep the portions small. As I see it there is a huge difference between eating a whole box of chocolates or just taking one piece.

I really don't want to play the role of the person on diet. I don't want the attention, I don't like the comments. It's OK that people say I have lost weight if I have. And of course people see it when someone that has been 20 kilos overweight becomes reasonably thin. I guess what I dread now is the thought of me getting comments about being anorectic when I keep on. Because there are a few more kilos I want to loose. I don't like attention. I don't like comments about my appearance. I just want to fit in.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k

I decided to take part in the Boring Runner's Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k
Well.. It is January and I promised myself last winter that I wouldn't freeze my butt off again running like crazy outside during wintertime.  I would only run slowly and only if I wanted to.  And I wanted to participate in this fun game :)

This morning I was awake when the papers arrived and I thought I would be a good mom and let my son enjoy his teenage dreams a bit longer this Saturday morning and I decided that my 5k today would be his paper route.  At least the distance would not be far from 5k.
I must admit I had some second thoughts when I saw how thick the papers were, 250 grams, which makes 110 of them 27,5 kilos.  Quite heavy.  And you have to go all the way up steps and down to dark cellars to get to peoples front doors and make sure the paper is all the way in.  No throwing around with the papers, and on this route no one has a postbox by the street.

The weather today isn't as cold as yesterday, in fact it is 10°C warmer today than yesterday, which means the snow is melting and there is wet ice on the streets.  There is no way getting around reasonably safely without spikes.

I didn't see a living soul out there.
I decided I would be content with any speed faster than walking speed and I think my time 54:24 is pretty good all things taken into consideration.

The kid is still sleeping. And probably will be until noon.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Loosing weight

I have never bought the idea of stepping on the scale just once a week. Because the daily swings would be there anyway, especially when you aren't loosing weight very fast. Our memory span is so short. At least mine is, that I have to weigh myself every day to keep my motivation going. Seriously, I can't see anything wrong with seeing the results immediately if I eat too much one night. Then the weight is bound to show that next morning. Maybe I would be careful the day before a weighing day, but isn't it better to be careful every day? This is a lifestyle, a marathon, not a sprint or a short diet. Life isn't about running a short distance to a goal. We are going to be here for a long time. And if stepping on the scale every morning is a part of what I need to stay thin, I will do that for the rest of my life. 

I was asked yesterday if it didn't take a lot of self control to count calories as I do. Yes, it does. But so does getting out of bed every morning and go to work. I have to keep a calendar at work, I have to write down everything I do. And If I don't do it immediately I forget things and the quality of my work isn't the same. The same thing counts for eating. Because I have to eat. I can't just stop that as I would do if I was trying to get out of some bad habit like smoking or drinking. Then I could think it was sufficient just to stop doing what I don't want to do and that's it. Although I am afraid things aren't that simple if you are an alcoholic and want to get out of the addiction. You would still crave the substance every day and have to change a life style to stay free. But as I see it, the main difference between loosing weight and stopping drinking is that when you want to loose weight you can't just stop eating. 

Because you have to eat every day. There are no simple solutions. People sometimes ask me what I did to loose weight. Especially when they find out that it isn't just the running because I was also running when I was fat. There are so many things I do. I keep log, I count calories, I step on the scale every day, I eat a lot of vegetables. I try to avoid empty calories. I avoid yeast by not eating to much bread and I rarely drink beer. 

This last thing is something I do because I heard that in Iceland, this country where my ancestors didn't eat bread or drink beer for a thousand years, it is possible that our digestive system isn't geared to digest all that yeast. I can't recite the theories behind this conclusion, but I decided  years ago to give it a try. Not to eat bread or drink beer. And I could feel difference. Before that I had symptoms from my colon that were pretty annoying. It hurt sometimes and I was bloated. Those symptoms disappeared almost entirely when I changed my diet. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I decided few years ago that the time had come I had to develop my own style. There is one thing I want to emphasize. I run because it is healthy. It feels good to be in good shape. I am not in this because I want to win some race somewhere. And I am even not in this because of the company. I get to meet lots of people at work and sometimes I just need to get out there on my own. That is my meditation and relaxation from the busy life i am leading. On the other side I enjoy being a part of a huge street run where thousands of people are moving the same way. And just disappear in the crowd. I can easily see myself joining the big races in the big cities around the world. Yes, that is a good idea. 

Need I say I have never taken any psychofarmaca. The running is enough to keep me in good spirits. This topic could easily get me into the gear of talking about health for days. I think I will start right now. First I would like to say that I think it is plain stupid not to care about ones health. I have never understood why people do not care if the put themselves at risk by eating unhealthy food, smoke, drink too much, not exercise and so on. I mean, you choose to start smoking. And what do you get out of it? Years of couching, burn huge amounts of money and high risk for all kinds of diseases. Or if you take the elevator and not the stairs. Or the car and not the bicycle. Plain stupid I'd say. And about exercise. It is tremendously important. Not because one stays good looking, but because it prevents all kinds of diseases. OK, the good looks are a bonus. I for sure can't imagine life without running. Or if I couldn't run I would probably bicycle, swim, walk... I don't know. I have always liked being outside. Grew up in the countryside in a big family. Was a girl scout. Climbed mountains, hiked, bicycled, walked. Yes, and went swimming outdoors. A little skiing also. 

What about you?  Why do you run?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The view out of my window right now

A "runner"?

I like to be outside and I like to be active. It has always been like that. I think the summer when I was 13 I hardly walked. I remember people saying that I couldn't walk, I always ran where I was going. Then I was in a High School where you were supposed to run outside before work out. Not far, but you had to do it. In fact this wasn't as difficult for me as many of the other kids. Then I didn't have a clue on how important the gear is. The shoes and the bra. In spite of this ignorance I ran off and on for the next few years. Then I met my children's father. He was and is a runner. When I was with him I always felt I wasn't running just for my own sake. My kid's father was the fastest runner in his school as a kid. He was very athletic and competed in all kinds of distances. And he even managed to run three marathons before I met him. He made one attempt shortly after we met and gave up at 33 kilometers. I know he was pushing himself to run too fast. But that was his way of doing things. He says he is better at the shorter distances. 

I am a totally different personality. I can run fast if I want to. Not as fast as my children's father though. But he got this unbearable overbearing look on his face when we were running together so I quit running with him. Anyway, we had to take turns running and babysitting. But of course, him being such a good runner was good for me also. He often did win some kinds of lotteries and prizes at the runs he participated in and I got a pair of shoes from him once and a trip to Paris with him once. Not bad. 

Old posts from my diary

One Sunday in April 2006 I wrote this: I can jog 10 kilometers without walking. I think I went 13 or 14 kilometers today. I blame the dog and the snowy northern wind for the fact that I had to walk up the hill at the airport. BMI is still 26.7 or somewhere between normal and overweight. BP is 112/74 right now, which means I quit worrying about that. Pulse is ridiculously low, 40 or something. Ergo: I am in great shape. I dare not think about how far I could run if my BMI was in the middle of the normal range. Seriously, I could run without walking cross the camping site, down the street by the hospital, over the bridge across the big river, to the south on the other side, the old road back over the rivers and then against the wind on the road along the hot water pipe. Across from the airport the dog was acting like crazy so I gave up running. Maybe I try running long distance without the dog next time.

Ten days later I wrote: It is so unbelievably beautiful here early in the morning. I jogged along with my dog south the old Main Street at half past six this morning. Walked up the hill above the Ice Skating Arena. It was completely wind still and the sun was trying to get through the clouds above the mountain on the other side of the fjord. The sea was like a mirror. The mountains still mostly covered in white snow and the trees getting greener every day. The rowan trees are almost green and the larches also, even if the birches don't let good weather early in the spring fool them to start out too early. They only have a slightly reddish beam. It is understandable that the Icelandic trees grow slowly since there is such a short time each year they got green leaves. Up on the hill, in south of the graveyard two whimbrels live. I remember seeing them at this same spot last year. They are pretty loud. Walk back and forth on this tiny peace of grass and sing their thrills.

And the first of April 2007 I wrote in my journal: In march I ran almost 200 kilometers and lost almost five kilos. Not bad. Not bad at all. Today is April the first, but I am not letting anyone be an April fool by saying this. And then... What should I do in April? I guess the goal should be to run 200 kilometers and loose another 5 kilos. Now I have measured exactly how long the distance is on the route I plan on running in the morning before work. This is the most important thing in my New Year's resolution. The preparation for me to be ABLE to participate in a whole marathon race. Sometimes during easter I might run the road in the country, the big cirkle and cross the bridge there. I think it is 32 kilometers. I don't promise I will run the whole way, but it could be interesting to see how it goes. I guess I have to practice drinking some enery drink while I am running. One has to practice drinking while running. I have hear of a wall marathon runners run into in their marathon races. It is somewhere in between 30 and 40 kilometers. In order to keep that wall low is necessary to consume some energy on the way. To bad for me that I think people with bottles in their hands while jogging or power walking look pretty silly.

Three weeks later:
I was afraid that my left ankle was sending signs of me putting too much strain on my body. That all this running was too much. That I had developed a training injury. Because yesterday my ankle felt as if I had stepped wrong on high heels, without that happening in fact. So, yesterday I didn't run although I went for a long walk without any problems whatsoever. Today I decided to try. I put on nice warm and woolen ankle warmers and avoided rock hard surfaces like concrete. The walking paths in woods are soft and nice now. It was very obvious that when I had warmed up, the uncomfort disappeared and hasn't bothered me since. I hope that will do the trick. 

But the summer doesn't always follow spring: The first day after Easter I wrote: First day at work. I feel dizzy. To do list is down half of my computer screen. Coworker is at home with a sick child and what do you do? You take her to do list as well. I tried to get into my usual morning routine today which isn't too hard this time of the year since I seem to wake up when it gets light outside. But that happened early today! I might have to get better curtains for my bedroom window. Outside everything was in different gray tones. And a little yellow. The road was yellow somewhere. And one house. Apart from that there was gray snow everywhere. The wind from west was blowing the snow over the ground like in the middle of the winter. But, I and dog ran a route I think is 8 kilometers. Or something like that. We might start running the big circle in the morning. The one that is 14 kilometers. Oh... the weather will be allowed to get a little better before we do that. I look forward to get home from work today and lay down a little.

And a few days later again:
14 kilometers in the morning without a hair band, just a buff to keep the hair from the face result in an afro. Especially in a gray weather like yesterday. And Arcade Fire is the best running music I have found so far.
This is so much fun! I just realized that I have run more than 10 kilometers average a day in april. And my tiny little pink iPod is genial.

May 1st 2007.
No, but now there is a new month coming and last months report is due. As I recall I said something about running 200 kilometers in April, but I did far better than that. 307 kilometers. But not 5 kilos, only two and a half or something like that. But that is just fine. It is so much easier to run several hundreds of kilometers than to loose weight. OK. I might as well set the goal at ten marathons in may and one of them in one day. And to get down to what I think is my ideal weight which isn't far away anyway. And register for the race. Avoid sweets of all kinds. That one isn't difficult.

But this wasn't always easy. Sometimes in late July I wrote: 
I am sitting here wearing running outfit, trying to decide if I go outside before breakfast or after breakfast. I was reading a book. I would most of all like to continue sitting here reading the book. But that isn't an option. It isn't raining right now. But it could start in a while. I might go down to the cellar and get a proper running t-shirt that hangs on the clothing line down there. I really do not feel up to running out there. But, if I wait it probably will start raining before I go. It is cold outside.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On and on

Doesn't everyone just love it when someone keeps on and on talking about his interest. I mean, some people are interested in football, or soccer, or formula something car racing. And they seem to think it isn't rude to keep on and on talking about those interests. I am joking. Because... Well... football and car racing don't interest me. Not a tiny bit. Nor does the life of the stars in Hollywood. Or in Bollywood. Or in Reykjavik. It doesn't even interest me if the guy that lives in the house across the parking lot is having an affair. That is his affair and as long as I am not the one he is cheating on or having sex with, it just isn't my business. And if someone wants to entertain me by telling me about who cheated on whom and when, I have huge difficulties looking seriously interested. Sometimes I even give a lecture on moral. Tell the storyteller that it isn't right to stick ones nose in other peoples private affairs as he is doing. And yes, speaking of football or soccer. Once there was this guy who was trying to convince me that we were made for each other. He said: "we both like soccer and we both have dogs, we are just alike". I started laughing uncontrollable but then he rescued himself out of this by saying: "at least I can make you laugh". He was funny, I agree. But that didn't make me any more interested in soccer. Soccer is fine. I can see that the kids that play soccer seem to be healthy and happy. And that is good. Although I don't know what to think of earlier soccer players that seem to have grown a ball in front of their abs and sit in a sofa all day long nursing that ball. Watching soccer on TV. If that counts as sports I am out. 

Yes, I am out. I like to be out there myself. Doing the sport myself instead of just participating by watching others run around behind a TV screen. But I admit, I am guilty of talking about my interest. Sometimes nonstop. I like writing on my blog about running. I don't care if anyone reads it, I am not writing this for anyone who isn't interested in running. This is just my story.  Everything in here is true. But then, it can't be difficult to tell the truth when you mostly babble on and on about your opinions and interests. In fact I consider myself pretty lucky having the opportunity to write this without bothering about some picky readers. 

Maybe what I am trying to say is that I am writing this just as I would talk to a fellow runner who wanted to hear my story. My story is just my own story. It isn't the story of the guy I sometimes see running on Sundays. And it isn't the story of any other person in my running group. We all got different backgrounds. OK, you can find some similarities if you try. I think most of the people in running group got academic education. Don't know why. And there are quite a few physicians and teachers there. I guess it is just natural to find out that people that share one interest also share other interests as well. That is part of the fun. 

All the excuses one could use

Think, how many excuses I could have found if I was into that way of thinking. I could have had my focus on some pain somewhere. I could have said to myself that I didn't have the time to run. I could have said to myself that there was no use trying to run a whole marathon if I still was overweight. And then I could have used all kinds of excuses to eat. I could have consumed a liter of ice cream with chocolate chips every time I felt down. I could have used the excuse that I have always been overweight since my first pregnancy. I could have said to my self that my metabolism just is too slow like many women my age in fact do, just because they do not need to eat as much now as they did when they were younger. Mostly because they do not exercise at all. I could have said to myself that since I got this big car with all the expenses that follow having a car I might as well use the car as much as possible. I could have said to myself that I look stupid running with all this overweight. I could have said to myself that running is uncomfortable. Or I could have said that I wasn't endorphin junkie so I didn't need to get high from running. Oh wow, what a lot of excuses I haven't used! Not to mention the excuse that I don't want to risk falling by running when it could be slippery outside. And that I don't want to risk getting the common cold, or flu, or pneumonia by running when it is cold outside. 

The focus was on the marathon. Or rather to be exact, the first year my focus was on the half marathon. Then I shifted focus and made it a whole marathon. My focus just wasn't on all those possible excuses. And boy, am I glad that I didn't waste my time and energy on such boring and negative thoughts. I have always been pretty bad at feeling sorry for myself. Poor me, being so bad at this. Joke!

Having a goal

You can't rely on strong genes, some machines or some expensive diet program to keep you fit and healthy. And you most certainly can't rely on someone else to keep you healthy. You can't even blame someone else for your bad health. It isn't your mothers fault if you have always been obese. She didn't make you obese on purpose. She would be happy to see you do something about it. 

Having a goal is extremely important. Some definition of how you want things to be. Something you actually are able to do some time. A clearly defined goal. Like being able to run a whole marathon on august the 18th. Or like weighing 65 kilos or less at a given date in the future. A vague goal like "loosing weight sometimes" is useless. Or "using the car less". What are you going to do instead? Clearly defined goals and clearly defined methods to get there are my mantra. Oh well. I am getting a little too carried away here. Let's try again. Think about what you want. 

I know that I want to be fit, reasonably slim and in good health. That is probably my goal for the future. And it isn't just something I want to last for a week or so sometimes. I want to be like that for the rest of my life. I don't mind the hard work I have to do in order to get this goal. Seven years ago I was in reasonably good health apart from my elevated blood pressure. But I most certainly was not slim. And I don't really know how to define the word "fit". But at least I didn't think then that I deserved that description. This wasn't a good goal because it was hard to know exactly when I would have achieved that. The definition of those words is too vague. To be able to run 42.2 kilometers in less that 5 hours on a given date is clearly defined goal. You can show that you can reach a goal like that. But fit and slim varies. No two persons would understand those words in exact the same way. 

So, in order to get fit, reasonably slim and in good health I was going to train running and watch my weight until I was able to run a whole marathon. The date for this marathon was to be august the 18th 2007. 

Runner's high?

Sometimes I come across people who seriously think runners run because it makes them high in the same way heroin makes a heroin junky high. There are people out there who think runners do run because they are addicted to those natural highs the body produces when you exercise execcively. Need I say this is bullshit? Yes, runners talk about being addicted to run. But what they mean by that is just that it makes one feel good to exercise. The feeling of tiredness and the relaxation afterwards is pleasant. And it can be fun to run out there. Runners also sometimes use the term "Runner's high". By that they just mean the good spirits you can get into by exercising. But mostly it is just heavy work. It can sometimes feel as if you are never going to get through that 10k route you decided to run that day. And you can feel ever so heavy and not up to it. But once you get used to this way of getting your exercise nothing else seems to have the same effect.  Ok, maybe swimming or spinning. But running is one of the activities you burn most calories in shortest time. And if that is your goal, to burn calories, then running is the thing to engage in. Even if the time sometimes seems to stop when you are out there. It doesn't have anything to do with addiction to want to be in good shape. There are no negative overtones in wanting to reduce the risk of health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, overweight and musculo-skeletal problems. Running and walking are healthy physical activities for everyone.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The announcement

I didn't tell anybody about my plans to run a halfmarathon in 2006. I don't know why I kept all this secret. Well... of course my family knew I was running, but there was nothing new in that.  But no one knew I was as conscious about weight loss as I was. I succeeded in loosing 10 kilos over a few months. Then the weight stood still for a long time. But I felt totally different and had no problem what so ever in signing up to a half marathon in Reykjavik that summer. Even if I didn't tell anyone about it. Not until a few days before. And even then, most people thought I was going to run the 10k, not the half marathon. But I was there, feeling really fat but also great. The whole run was such fun. My time was slow, 2:20. I was happy and content. It felt great to have achieved this. I was never in doubt I could do it because I had once before run this distance. And I knew it would be OK to walk the whole way if I wanted. But I ran. All the way. Slowly and steadily. 

After the half marathon I said I could of course loose 10 kilos more and run a whole marathon next year. But I think those who heard me say this thought I was just joking. I wasn't. And there I was five years ago. Weighing 10 kilos too much, but quite determined to run a whole marathon in 2007. December 31th I ran a long distance. Probably 14k. And thought about my blog post where I announced my New Year's resolution. The blog post sounded like this: 

"I have for a long time ruminated on a dream of running a whole marathon. 42,2 km. Last year my top secret New Year's resolution was to run a half marathon in the year of 2006. I succeeded, among other things because I registered early and knew I wouldn't back out. Now I will take the next step and loose 10 kilos more and finish the whole marathon. Time doesn't matter. It is the training and just being a part of a 42,2k street run I want to achieve. The details follow later. Details on how far I will run each week and things like that.

So. Now I will get out of bed. Eat a little. Put on running gear and jog a long tour with the dog. Then the dog will be more relaxed the rest of the day and the evening. I could use some tranquilizer myself. A tour out there, up and down hills, between rocks and trees, is my Fontex"

When I was younger..

I have always been a runner. I was an active child who liked to play and run outside. I continued doing that through school. Then there were a few years when I was in University and I didn't run much, but I didn't have a car either so I bicycled a lot. Then I met my ex husband who was a runner. Still is. He tought me some useful things like how to choose running shoes and that things like running bras existed. Then nothing was keeping me back and I participated in my first real run when I was 26 years old. 12 kilometers in 70 minutes. Then I weighed maybe 60 kilos. What I didn't know was also that I was pregnant. Need I say that the child turned out to be a runner? Well. The pregnancy meant that I had to take it easy and the next years the street runs weren't that many because other pregnancies followed that first one. And 20 extra kilos as well. Or 22 kilos to be exact. Despite of those extra kilos I alway continued to run and participated in maybe one run a year. I was very energetic one summer when my youngest child was sick and I couldn't work because of that. Then I ran 12k run, half marathon and a bicycle race. But that was the most I did. Until five years ago when I decided I didn't want to be fat and slow for the rest of my life.

Maybe I should start a year earlier. Almost six years ago. Then I discovered all of a sudden that I was way to heavy. Like that would be a surprise. No, seriously, one morning I went on the scale and saw some numbers there I had never seen before. And then somehow I got into a circle of doing things right. Went out running, ate healthy, kept a journal.  So, most mornings I went out with my dog, wrote down what I ate and kept track of both my kilometers and my weight. Of course it is very motivating to see some advances, and I did see some. So, almost two years ago my top secret New Year's resolution was to run a half marathon in Reykjavik marathon in August 2006. 

New Year's resolution

Five years ago in December, I got this common cold and had to lay in bed for a few days. As usual I went to work but after work I crashed into bed and stayed there until I had to get up again and go to work. After this period of sickness I was so happy to be able to get outside again that I promised myself that I would do something like setting a goal. I would try to go out running every day before work and see how many days that would last. And of course while I was doing this, running out there like crazy, I could feel that my shape was getting better every week. Then Christmas came with a few days off work and I used those days to run even more. Usual week days I only could run like 5 kilometers in the morning before work. But I tried to get out every morning. I got addicted to it and the work day just felt wrong if I hadn't run in the morning. 

There was this day in December when I went outside. The wind was blowing from south and that means it isn't very cold although the wind can be pretty annoying. It is absolutely necessary to wear something to keep the hair out of ones face. Running in wind makes one pretty busy doing other things than running. Like keeping the buff in its place over the hair. But I felt great that particular day. It felt really good to be able to escape from the holiday stress in my home and see how nature changes every day. It had been snowing the week before that and then a couple of days before the snow melted all of a sudden. The temperature outside changed from maybe -2°C to +14°c over night. Which meant floods and mud slides. I had a favorite path leading through a forest near my little town and that path had huge holes in it in several places. The melted snow had made the creeks into rivers that took bridges with them. Behind every bend of the path there was another surprise.

Then I went out a couple of days later in a totally different weather. It was a bit colder but wind still. And it felt really pleasant to be out there. I just wanted to go on and on for hours. Walking and running. But that day I didn't have unlimited time because I was invited to a wedding later that day. And I sat at the wedding and thought about the running, eager to get out there again. That day I probably decided what my New Year's resolution would be. This was December 30th. And yes, I decided that I would run a whole marathon, 42.2 kilometers in the year of 2007. And I would not keep it a secret, I would tell everyone about it. I would announce it on my blog. I would talk about it at work. I would tell my family about it. Then there would be no way back. Well.. I knew that even if I registered to some street run, I could get sick and not be able to participate. But then I always could run the marathon distance by myself some other time. 


This is a story about a journey that started maybe several years ago. Maybe it started when my parents made me, I don't know. But I didn't know of it until a few years ago. Maybe earlier, maybe later. At that time, some things happened that seemed to be a turning point for me. Now... where was I five years ago? Probably right where I am now, in bed with my laptop on my lap. I must admit that I have spent more time on the internet than most people would consider healthy. And far more time than the average lady of my age would do. But that is not the story I am going to tell now. I am going to tell about my journey from being just another average wife and mother to being a marathon runner.  And a mother.  And then an ultra maraton runner.