Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Last couple of years I had trouble understanding the summer-training-people. The ones that huddle on the buses and in their cars during winter only to get panicked when spring is upon them and they throw themselves out of the door in order to hit "beach 2013". I never really understood. What's the matter, can't you just dress warmer? If it's icy outside, just get some spiked tires for you bike, right? You'll get warm when you run.

This year though, I do understand. It started in late October when I got called away on a business trip to Armenia. (And yes, I had to look it up on Wikipedia as well, but if you do, pay attention, it's a really nice little country). I was there 10 days but didn't really feel comfortable out running for various reasons. And when I came home I was hit with the longest, toughest cold of my life. 2 months in the drain popping pain killers and generally just trying to stay upright. And after that? Swedish winter. Go figure. Cold, dark and snowy.

Getting home from work I just couldn't get myself out of the door. I'd be cold and hungry and grumpy and feeling fat and lonely. So yes, I do understand: sometimes it damn hard just to get started.

What to do?

Well first of all, remember the fun. Remember to smile. Also, remember that the only real failure is to not try. If you try and fail that's alright because you might learn something from it. But if you don't try at all? Nope, can't do. So I decided to start moving my ass, but do it little by little. Start walking back from work. Spend 20 minute in the gym now and again. Bring out the bike and start using it. With the goal of trying a little every day.

And the damnedest thing is that it seems to work. Yesterday I popped 8 km after work in a leisurely 5.30 min/km and I found myself enjoying it immensely. And every time I met someone I'd start smiling again. Which is, let me tell you, a strange thing to do for a Swedish runner: you'd be amazed how good people you meet on the trail here are at no-quite meeting your eyes, and looking grim with the headphones firmly attached and beach 2013 fixed in their minds.

But if it's a reboot, let's do it properly! So yesterday I ordered a new pair of Merrel Trail Gloves for better bootin', and also signed up for Lidingöloppet in September. Tagged as "the largest cross-country race in the world" it's not quite what you'd think of as "trail" but neither is it "street". And it's a huge classic in Sweden: last year 44,000 people toed the starting line for 30 km of no-quite-trail fun. It'll be my longest race by far and I'm giddy with excitement already.

Oh, and what team did I sign up under? Why, team Run Smiley Collective of course!