My Marathons 2011- Part II

In Part II of this series I will account for my races in Denmark. In case you didn’t know we have a zillion marathon races in Denmark each year, many of them being small local events. However, we do also have marathons with international class and appeal, first and foremost the two biggest events: Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon and H.C. Andersen Marathon in Odense. Although I really treasure many of my other Danish races, these two take a very special place and this year is no exception. Although I was a bit disappointed with my performance in Copenhagen I was extremely delighted with the organization of the race and also very pleased with the new route which I find very scenic and representative for our Capital.

Nykredit Copenhagen Marathon 2011 – pictures

“Organization to perfection” is also the phrase that comes to mind about H.C. Andersen Marathon. This year proved to be quite if not catastrophically rainy on the race day, nevertheless I managed to book a new suberb PB in Odense (more to come about this in Part III). You may browse the wet pictures here: H.C. Andersen Marathon 2011 – pictures

Before these events I had run the usual classic winter races in Kalundborg, Holstebro and the infamous Dr. Nielsen in Vejle and also seen some improvement in my form at Sydkyst Maraton in Greve where I actually ran my 2’nd best marathontime at the time. But the races that I will remember the most are probably those three where I was lucky to celebrate some of my friends on days very special to them, namely the Marathon Wedding (!) for Peter Buhr and wife Lotte,

Wedding Marathon – pictures

marathon no. 100 for Morten Pihlsbech and Susanne Gren,

2*100 Marathon – pictures

and marathon no. 500 for Anders Munch Madsen, the latter also being my own event at LøbeMagasinet Rudersdal Marathon on beautiful Zeeland.

LøbeMagasinet Rudersdal Marathon – pictures

The friendships are an important part of all this running and it is for the same reason sad to note that 2011 saw some abuse on that account, i.e. so-called friends clearly overstepping the “unspoken conventions”. Who knows, perhaps life needs to include some idiots in order for us to spot the fine people in our lives. Thus, I am actually pleased to scrap the garbage, cf. #1 in this fine list of advice: 30-things-to-stop-doing-to-yourself, but it is of course a little confusing if “trust” is not a common part of the marathon community anymore.

I will indeed enter 2012 with some rage in mind and body, but even worse: with sadness in the heart. Not so much for saying “f*ck-off” to these few assh*les, not at all, no, I am more concerned that other friendships may be at stake. I foresee divisions. I liked running more 4-5 years ago when the friendships were clean.

My Marathons 2011 – Part 1

My marathon year 2011 has come to an end, perhaps a bit earlier than normally but various events have led me to this decision. I will train speed for the remainings of December and then look forward to see my marathon friends next year. Friendships is one of the great assets of the sport, right ?

Anyways, I will make a few posts on my phenomenal 2011. This year I managed to cut 24 minutes off my PB and to finally achieve a sub-4 hours result. The latter came about in my marathon no. 218 (!) in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, and by the graceful coaching by my friend Vagn Kirkelund, a very strong runner currently on the Danish National Team for 24 hours races.

Vancouver Marathon 2011 – pictures

My international year started off in Barcelona, Spain, a race I have now visited three times and this year was for sure the best experience and also my best performance though the streets of the Catalunyan capital (Barcelona Marathon 2011 pictures here). The next race abroad was also in Spain, this time Madrid Marathon (Madrid Marathon 2011 pictures) which was an interesting, varied and quite tough run to complete ! The night before I had the pleasure of watching “Il Classico” between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Santiago Bernabeau (1-1) and I could easily make a habit out of combining marathon running with visiting other great sports events.

Ok, then came Vancouver in May and later the mountains of Liechtenstein in June, sadly in rain but an awesome challenge in which I did rather well, I think, cutting off at least an hour compared with my previous and very similar mountain marathons.

LGT Alpin Marathon 2011 – pictures

Then came summer and thus a pause in marathon travelling. The next marathon was “partly” on Danish soil but then again not, namely the breathtaking Thorshavn Marathon in the Faroe Islands. Thorshavn Marathon is easliy one of the most beautiful marathons I have ever participated in, do check out the stunning pictures: Thorshavn Marathon 2011 – pictures

Then came October and the much anticipated Amsterdam Marathon. An unusual high number of Danes had found their way to this event and my friend Mogens Pedersen was amongst them. What luck for me that was ! Mogens simply assisted me to book the “unheard” finish time 3.42.39 and we had a great time in the Dutch capital. Amsterdam Marathon is for sure one of those races where you can expect to break your old records if you’re well prepared.

Amsterdam Marathon 2011 – pictures

Last exotic marathon was then the biggest of them all – New York City Marathon !!! It was my second attempt through the five borroughs and this year I managed to secure a sub-4 even running in my Spiderman suit. New York City is just such a cool place to be, so I can only recommend a trip to this perhaps “most wanted” marathon in the world. See for yourself: Spiderman runs New York City Marathon 2011 – pictures

In the next Part I will look into some of the best Danish races during the year (i.e. on my list).

New York City Marathon 2011

Some experiences makes you transcend your own life and give rise to a rebirth of your spirit and soul in ways you would not imagine possible. For some  this could be doing the laundry, for others like myself it could be visiting great places like New York, that is New York as in New York, New York, United States of America ! Wooo !

So, I did !

Running the New York City Marathon was of course the main purpose of the trip but indeed just being in New York City is a great, blessing and loveable experience. There is so much to see, the skyline, the shops, the parks, the hectic but also friendly atmosphere. For persons like me New York widens one’s perspective and I come home renewed, refueled, reborn ! I come home with a great sense of humility of what the World has to offer and how much we should enjoy every single opportunity in life to experience stuff, to improve, to love, to give and to share.

To you, I give you this: the pictures from the awesome New York City Marathon 2011 (link below), a race which itself gives a lot to charity and outlasting moments of both pain and joy for those who participate, for those lucky and brave to endure the 26.2 miles through the five borroughs of New York. For me, the day started with the ferry trip to Staten Island passing the Statue of Liberty…

… and reaching Staten Island with this poetic view. A beautiful start of a very memorable day.

The race begins with the task of passing the Verrazano Bridge…

… followed by nuking Brooklyn….

… the tough Queensboro Bridge…

… Manhatten and the First Avenue, the latter completly stuffed with spectators and a outrageous crazy atmosphere…

… the Bronx…

… and back on Manhatten the Fifth Avenue, Columbus and the great finish in Central Park.

Surely, Time passes you by in New York (City Marathon) like a flash but believe me, the impressions are imprinted for the remains of your life. It is called: perspective. It is called: wisdom. It is called: love.

I love NY.

All the visuals are here: Spiderman runs New York City Marathon 2011 – pictures

and in English: Spiderman runs New York City Marathon 2011 – pictures (US version).

Another PB ECCOs in Amsterdam

Listen now, this is instructive !

Ever since the book ELSK AT LØBE was completed I have had two goals for my marathon running: 1) to do a sub-4 hours and 2) to attempt a sub 3.45 realizing that such a feat could very well be out of my reach as for now. Goal 1) was DONE in Vancouver Marathon with my friend Vagn Kirkelund (who just completed Chicago Marathon, the last of the five World Majors for him, congrats) and wouldn’t you know it, goal #2 was pinned with success this very past weekend in Amsterdam. There, I had yet another pro pace-bunny, Mogens Pedersen of Denmark, to help me achieve a stunning 3.42.39 as a new personal best (PB) time.

So what is the catch here ? Well… that the theory in the book works ! I could point out five or six sentences that have transformed my mindset as a runner completely. Indeed, my whole life is changed ! It is indeed very pleasing to see and feel a direct connection between the things being changed and worked on and the results, the marathon results. If I should highlight just three things it should be 1) weight reduction, 2) training with high intensity and 3) constant focus on the “metabolic fitness”, the latter being an important new concept in the context of running and an extremely important concept for your overall health and avoidance of the so-called life-style illnesses of the modern world.

There are also some subtle details that play a part. E.g. my shift to the phenomenal ECCO BIOM B shoes when running for time and the positive encouragements and help from my many marathon friends, e.g. Niels Høg Henriksen whom we see on this photo (and the ECCO BIOM Bs on my feet).

I could mention a number of other things and factors… but I will keep them for myself a little while longer… and just relax for a bit and enjoy the memories from Amsterdam Marathon 2011.

You find a full report here: Amsterdam Marathon 2011 – pictures.

Men, Multitasking and Running

It is often said that men can’t multitask. That is obviously nonsens ! We can e.g. drive a car and think about sex, be in a business meeting and think about sex, and we can even have sex and think about sex with others 😉 So don’t say we can’t multitask !

So what has this to do with running ? Absolutely nothing ! Well, perhaps a little bit. Beceause if we change the word “sex” with “running” we are getting where I would like to be the next two years. We are in The State of Mental Running. That’s what I will call it, anyways. A State where thoughts about running are present in your mind at least subconsciously all the time and where many – not all ! – of your decisions and actions throughout the day are connected to your training and goals as a Runner.

Importantly, your subconscious Running Sensor is questioning everything you choose to eat and drink – with the end that you probably choose to eat a bit differently than “if not”. Basically, your Runnning Sensor will be responsible for keeping you on track with your goals both as a Runner and as a Human. So now you may ask: where do I get this Running Sensor, how do I find into this Running State ? The answer is simple: in your Mind ! You just have to decide !

Well, that’s what I have done. I realized after the writing of the book (ELSK AT LØBE) that things would only change for me if I changed my thoughts and actions. This is merely repeating that if you want different outcomes in your life, you have to undertake different (new) actions – and different actions start in the Mind with different thoughts and mind-sets.

So the next two years I will opt for a revised Running State for myself. I will indeed be multitasking on how to improve my running technique, on how to get more traning into my normal working days, on dropping those extra kilos and so forth. I will be reading and cross-referencing running literature with self-improvement books and again cross-referenced with Music and other means of getting into “states”, into the famous FLOW as coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. I will be a Runner 24/7/365 and I will  not settle for less  😉

More will follow on this topic – The State of Mental Running or, for me, Marathon Multitasking. Make no mistake: this is not just a spacy mental excercise or superficial words on a blog. This is the essense, the destilate, of the teachings from the book that will be used in the hard and patient training and strenghtening of my body with the declared goal to run a sub-3 marathon before 2014. This sounds like a ridiculous goal for me to achieve – just making it even more compelling.

I’ll catch you out there.