Monday, June 23, 2008

I've been challenged

THIS has to stop!!!

Friday was one of the few Swedish days that I like to celebrate, namely midsummer! We went to Shanghai and met up a bunch of Noggys and Finns (even though the Noggys don’t normally celebrate midsummer they still seemed happy to have an occasion to drink for!) and went of for dinner and drinks to celebrate that summer is here. (Well… I am not sure if you can say summer is here. It has been raining non stop for the last 3 weeks but there’s no need to get pessimistic. At least it is hot enough out there: 30 and humid… mmmmm).

Now, what most people do on midsummer is to have one too many and eventually pass out in a corner. What I did on midsummer, however, was to engage in a fiery discussion about the upcoming Shanghai marathon in November. And, by the end of the night, an overwhelming amount of sake had made me agree to take a challenge. Here goes.

I bet I can run Shanghai’s half marathon within 1.5 hours.
(Everyone else -including my bf- bet I can't.)

At a party night like Midsummer, this obviously feels like a very possible and most likely to happen challenge… You are happy and drunk, and the thought of running fast for 1.5 hours feels like a nice idea. But the day after… aooch. What have I gotten myself into? The thing is, that there is a lot of money at stake. I am not going to reveal the exact number, but trust me on this one..: If I make this, I get a lot of cash! And why? Well, simply because NO ONE believes I can do it! So they were basically willing to bet me thousands of kuais, seeing that they don’t even expect me to try anyways. (I asked them again the day after and the offer still stands).

Looks tempting, doesn't it?

So… how do I do this now? I am definitely not a fast runner! Stubborn, maybe, but not fast. My fastest half marathon time is 1 hour 50 minutes (and this was in 2005 when I was a fit bomb compared to what I am now), and after this I almost fainted of exhaustion. So there u go: I am not fast. I don’t even enjoy running fast. I am a normal: 60 km/hour girl. I feel comfortable running in that pace. 6min/km. Now I have to go down to… what is it… 4min/km?! Geeeez.

But I HAVE to do it. Mainly because no one thinks I can. I have to prove them all wrong. Besides: Shanghai marathon is by possible one of the flattest races ever. No hill whatsoever. So it should be possible. I just have to make sure that this year I end up in the front of the massive amount of people taking this race, and not behind the smokers at the back that I did last time…

Uh…. Any experienced half marathon 1.5 hour runner out there with some training advices?! Anything appreciated… I better get started. The race is in the end of November. I only have 5 months!?

Next midsummer, I'll just focus on being drunk and happy with my girlfriends instead!


Anonymous said...

I have no useful advice, but I really, really want you to succeed at this!

Actually, give me a few minutes - I'm going to twitter this and see if we can't get some expert advice over here. Hang on.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Hey Melissa, thanks a lot for your support :) I am quite hyped, I just got back from the gym and it feels much more fun to work out now when I've got a goal! If you get any advice maybe u can email it to me instead? my email address is at my profile page.. or, first name, last name, at

Sky said...

Hi Jonna - I responded to your RW forum post. If you end up picking up Daniel's book and need some help with it give a holler. I'm following it for a half marathon in October. Good luck!

W1nd0wB1rd said...

That's a tall order. I've been working towards doing a half since March but I've run off and on before. If I had to do it today, I think I would be at about 1:50 on running about 30 miles per week. There are a lot of training plans on Runner's World. I think you'd probably have to average about 70 miles per week. Once a week, you do a long run. The rest of the week is balanced out with easy runs, tempo (faster paced runs close to your half pace or faster), and speed work (shorter multiple fast runs on a track 400m, 800m etc). I would also suggest doing some hill work (repeating short sprints up a hill) to build leg strength and stamina. You would probably have have to do two a days (morning and evening run) to get the mileage in once you feel comfortable running almost everyday. Hope that helps. Watch the clip below for some added inspiration. Good luck! Oh, running some shorter races in between will help you get used to the race environment.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Sky -let me know how you go with your race/following the book's training advices.. I'll order the book online and hopefully it has made it to Scandinavia by July.

W1nd0wB1rd -I know it is a tall order. But isn't that the whole point with challenges... they are supposed to be almost impossible?! Anyways, I might obviously not be able to pull it off, but it's worth a try, right? Thanks for your tips!

Anonymous said...

add oil,give gas:)

Jonna Wibelius said...

Kista -yup. Better add a LOT of oil though!