30 Days

I started walking in March of 2012. Mainly to heal myself, to be honest. Losing my grandma had a deep impact on me and I felt so helpless, I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I did the one thing, I knew how to do: walk. And then I started running at the end of May 2012. My dad is a strong runner and he suggested to run the first time with me and that he did. He encouraged me to go on and just try to run, he said I’d come to enjoy it. And I did. So much in fact, that I started training for a half-marathon. In 30 days that’s exactly what I am going to do, with my dad by my side: run a half-marathon in Bergen, Norway, December 1st of 2012. Neither of us has ever been to Bergen, but that’s the beauty of it, neither of us knows what really to expect. Why December? My grandma died on December 4th of 2011. Cancer got the better of her. One of the last things I remember of my grandma is that although she was in a lot of pain, she tried to walk and watching her struggling, broke my heart. And then she stopped walking. So the walking, the running, the moving forward, is for her, because to me, she is the greatest hero of all time and I wish she was here now, seeing my dad and me run this marathon, for us – for her.

November 1st: Going for a run at 7 a.m. It’s warmer than I expected it to be, after all we are in Norway and it was snowing just a couple days ago. But today it’s surprisingly warm. I run for about 60 minutes trying to keep my heart frequency (hf) between 145-154.

November 2nd: Intervall training 8 times 1000 meters in 6 minutes, 1 minute running slowly in between. By the time I start running, the sun is already setting, about 4.30pm. It’s cold and I’m freezing but I have to do this, so I do. I warm up by running to a close sports-field and then I start my rounds. Every round is about 300 meters so I have to run 3 rounds a bit longer to get a full 1000 meters. 6 minutes seem like an eternity when your heart is pounding out your chest. 175-183, that’s the hf I’m in. The first time is alright… the second one is okay… the third one is cruel. I can feel the cold in my inner chest but I fight it off and run the 4th time… then the 5th. I want to give up, because running this fast, pains me a lot. But I was thought to never give up, so I run the 6th time and then the 7th and then the 8th. By then it’s pitch-dark and I am glad that I am heading back. I feel like I just got run over by a bus, but happy. I did it.

November 3rd: I don’t have to work today, so I have all day to do my running. The plan says to run 105 minutes in a hf between 124-134. That’s a very slow run for me, but after yesterday’s painful run, this suits me just well. I have never run 105 minutes without a break in between and I am determined to finish 105 minutes and I do.

November 4th: I can honestly say, I have never run that much in my lifetime. 120 minutes with a heartfrequency between 136-144. It was hard, I’m not going to lie about it but I did it anyways.

November 5th: A well deserved day off.

November 6th: My feet are itching. I want to run, but I take another day off.

November 7th: I already felt the burning desire in me to run. But I had to wait until late that night to actually be able to run. I feel alive again after 60 minutes hf 145-154.

November 8th: day off

November 9th: I dread the intense runnings on Fridays. But I know I have to do them anyways, to strengthen my muscles. So I run 4 times 2000 meters in 11 minutes and 50 seconds, 3 minutes pause in between. Surprisingly this is not half as exhausting as I make it in my mind to be. I do feel my legs burning, but it’s the good kind of burn, letting you know you accomplished something. After all 2k in less than 12 minutes? Wouldn’t have been able to say this only a month ago.

November 10th: I had a long day at work but I feel energized, so I get ready for a 105 minute long run in a heartfrequence between 136-144. To be honest, I could have ran another hour, but I need to stick to my plan…

November 11th: 2 hours feel like an eternity. Especially when every step hurts but you fight through it. Because you know in the end, what doesn’t break you makes you stronger. I might also have watched one too many old Sylvester Stallone movies… Either way after 120 minutes with a hf between 136-144 I finally make it home again – alive.

November 12th: Monday morning, I have to write a take-home exam this week and every moment I get I want to invest into writing. So I decide to run 75 minutes (124-136) in the morning. Turns out it’s quite amazing running when the sun rises. People look at you like you are crazy, after all it’s freezing outside and when I start running, around 7.30 it’s pitch-dark outside but then again, this is why I love running. It makes you feel like you can conquer the world.

November 13th: day off spending half my day at the dentist and the other half at work

November 14th: another day off, sitting at home, working on my paper and my feet are aching. They want to run but will have to wait another two days until we are in London.

November 15th: My deadline is today so I have to hurry to get in school on time to deliver my paper. Then I’m on my way to work and then heading off to London. Yes, you read it right. London calling.

November 16th: No running but a lot of sightseeing in the UK. Stonehenge was awesome.

November 17th: Sightseeing in London

November 18th: seeing sights in London and Charles Dicken’s most favorite bar.

November 19th: After practically a week “off”, finally back in my running shoes and psyched. 90 min (hf 136-144) in the dark and cold of Oslo and it’s just simply awesome.

November 20th: Finally a long and well-deserved day off. No work, no exercise but class and class-reading and taking a break feels ridiculously awesome.

November 21st: This will be my last 120 min session before the half-marathon. I run in a hf between 136 and 144 and it feels great. I would have run even longer, but I got hungry.

November 22nd: I work all day from 10-6 and then am off to my second job and from there I go home, lay down in my bed and don’t move until 6am the next morning. Happy Thanksgiving, btw.

November 23rd: My last intense run, 3 times 3000 meters in 15.45 minutes and 5 minute run-break in between. This is killing me, but once I finish, I feel like a new person.

November 24th: Since tomorrow we are having a belated Thanksgiving dinner, I chose to run today. 75 minutes between 136-144. I can feel the pain in my legs from yesterday’s run, but it’s, oddly enough, a good kind of pain. Only 7 days until the marathon, I am excited.

November 25th: We are having a Thanksgiving dinner today. So all I can think about is Turkey, stuffing and apple crisp.

November 26th: I am still so stuffed from last night, I couldn’t run more than 50 minutes (136-144), without feeling the urge to lay down and sleep. Food coma is the best and the worst at the same time. Only 5 days left.

November 27th: I have a day off, which I will be spending reading, studying and thinking about the marathon, only 4 days left.

November 28th: I skipped the run since there is so much going on, I’m so excited…

November 29th: My dad is arriving tonight. I am psyched. We will travel to Bergen tomorrow. No running. Relaxing. Only 2 days left.

November 30th: The 6 hour train-ride was tiresome but the scenery was awesome. Tomorrow is the day.

December 1st: 12.00, my very first half-marathon in Bergen, Norway. The race starts at 12.00. I can hardly wait. I am so excited and thrilled and I know, I can do this. I just hope for sunshine, no rain, no snow, no ice, no cold… basically I wish I would have picked a different country to do this run at. This continues…

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