micke-midlife on November 22nd, 2008

micke-midlife had to prove himself in the second test today. and it looked good, almost too good.

the aktia cup is a 10k run winter series held in vantaa, north of helsinki. the series started today and consists of 5 runs, one per month from november to march. registration, start and finish organized in and at a local school buidling with an adjacent car park. that one was needed, it filled up pretty quickly. there was quite a crowd out there. and apparently a good one, guessing from the running gear and the thorough warm up. already an hour ahead of start gazelle like, functional asics gear wearing groups trotted along the first kilometers of the race route to warm up. either they were just show-offs or actually good runners.

quickly after the start it turned out to be the latter. there was a sizable group of runners ahead of our hero right away. however, we missed out on the old trick. when warming up do some very late accelerations just before the start and approach the starting field from the front. this way you end up in the front of the pack, not a couple of rows further behind and have to push and jump your first 200m between slower runners in front of you. we were pampered with the relaxed atmosphere at the first test race. in vantaa the elbow rules apply. juhana, a colleague from work knew to play this game better. there he stood in the first or second row.

never the less, the first km appeared way too fast, 3:21min, this normally takes revenge towards the end of the race distance (and it did). the race route was quite boring, it’s 5km in one direction, then a u-turn and back again. the first half in 17:57min still appeared really fast, some hope arose that this could be a result way below target. the second half on the way back taught us differently. km times were suddenly above target and attempts to raise running speed even a little were rather short lived. it more or less went the other way. the second but last km was in 3:50min quite disappointing. this was running at the (current) limit. finally when turning on to the home straight with the finish in front of the eyes some helpers stood chatting in front of the the official race time clock. if looks could kill this moment had seen some casualities - death by deadly looks right through the chest…

When crossing the finish line i saw the clock stopping for me at 36:40min. another race at clockwork presicion, 3:40min/km was the target, a 5 sec/km improvement over the previous, the first test race. satisfaction and an inner smile for the rest of the day.

results of the race

juhana’s version of the race (in finnish), he runs at surprisingly similar heart rates.