With my marathon debut one week away (!?!), I started panicking a bit yesterday, and thought it was worth starting a separate thread for this event.
The name "Ribbemaraton" refers to the fact that you're meant to be running off the fat from the pork belly/ribs that people in Oslo traditionally eat for Xmas. The event goes from one running shop west of Oslo to another one southeast of Oslo, and is fairly informal. The runners need to keep track of where they're going themselves, and stop at gas stations and the like to refuel and go to the toilet. Apparently they've parked cars at certain locations to offer buns and Coke on the way in the past. It's considered a social run, and one person is responsible for making sure the backpackers (me, I would think) find their way, and take as long as they need. No bling, but a race beanie upon arrival.
As I've mentioned before, the event passes by my living room window, which I now know happens at 24 K. This is what brought my attention to this event several years ago.
My training for the past month or so has not focused on the distance so much, as I pretty much plan to run for 20 minutes, walk for 1-2 minutes. I've been focusing on acquainting myself with the route. The middle section is my regular running route, although I generally run east to west. The final section is along a road I know fairly well, although I generally only run a small section of it - but after 3 or 4 runs along it recently, am fairly familiar with.
Yesterday I ran the first section. I was hoping to run all the way to my house, but I wasn't able to start til after 12, having to do some work first and take two trains to get there. I hadn't factored in that this would be the second-darkest day of the year, and that the sun would start setting around 2:30 pm. And as I was running without my contact lenses and it was pretty foggy by the time time I reached the city center, things were a bit risky!
I ran with my studded shoes, but it was really hard going as there was lots of snow. I had laminated a card with the route, but spent a lot of time trying to figure if I was going the right way. A lot of it was through residential areas where the snow hadn't been cleared. This meant that both the mental and physical effort stole an awful lot of my energy. By the time I hit the harbour promenade, I felt that the experience resembled the Ecotrail race I've done twice in May. I spent so much energy on the first 10 K that I didn't have much left for the supposedly easy part. I decided to be smart, and called it a day by the time I ran through the city center and got to the tram that goes up the hill to my home.
I took 2:35 to run 18K, which means that I have a 6-hour marathon ahead of me. I felt disheartened yesterday, but have checked the event results from the past two years, and there have been participants who have taken up to 7:11 to complete, so unless I break down completely, I should be OK. And to be fair, if I feel completely dead by the time I reach my house, I can call it a day. At least I now know the whole route, so hopefully I won't need to spend as much mental energy trying to navigate the course!
I've decided to end my running streak, and give my legs a chance to be eager and willing to run next Wednesday. The race director recommends trail shoes, so I'll probably do a short run tomorrow in my trail shoes to see if I feel safe running in them. I'm not so sure. He's Norwegian, and an ultra runner, so his shoe needs are different than mine!