Traveling to Stockholm and Pre-Race Day

to-race-or-not-to-race

As we were traveling to Stockholm, I kept asking myself if I was going to race or not going to race. I weighed the pros and cons. I would talk myself into running. And then I would talk myself out of it.

Why was I agonizing like this on pre-race day?

It’s quite an easy decision, right? Maybe not.

Coming from a traditional Chinese family,  it’s no surprise to anyone that my parents wanted us to get good grades in school (straight A’s) and be really good at playing the piano.

I still remember how diligent they were at taking us to our lessons, attending piano recitals and making us practice.

I had to practice 30 minutes a day.  I dreaded sitting down at the piano and practicing scales and the same songs over and over again, while watching the minute hand on the old, white clock sitting on the mantle tick slowly by. Those minutes seemed to just drag on.

Sports are not for me

I was never into sports when I was younger. I’m not sure if it’s because my parents weren’t really interested in it enough to push me or maybe I wasn’t interested enough in something myself. I dabbled a little in acrobatics, gymnastics, tennis and ice skating, but was never serious about becoming good in any them.

After college, I started getting interested in working out at the gym. So much so, that I became a gym rat in my spare time.  I loved to lift weights and do aerobics. I even became an aerobics instructor for several years.  It was fun to be part of a group of people who were interested in the same things as I was.

This love for the gym never left me, even when I moved to Norway.

In the first few years that I was here, I joined a gym, but somehow, the interest wasn’t the same. Something had changed. Maybe it was the people or the environment, or my expectations. I’m not sure.

A little rain never hurt nobody

What I do know is that Norwegians are sporty people, as you’ve read before in my earlier posts. They aren’t gym rats. They train outside. They don’t care about the weather. Anyone who is anyone skis, hikes and/ or bikes. And if you don’t enjoy those things, well, it’s kind of hard to fit in.

For years, I couldn’t bring myself to go outside if it was raining or if it was too cold. I wasn’t into skiing because I was afraid to fall. I didn’t like hiking because I found it to be very boring. I liked to bike, but only in good weather.

Consistent good weather in Norway is impossible.

To race or not to race. That is the question.

Training for this half-marathon has made me do things that I always thought I could never do. I trained in the cold and in the dark. I even trained in the rain — which is a total surprise to even myself.

So, when I was told that I shouldn’t run in the half-marathon, I have to say that it was really hard to accept. I worked really hard and not only that, I had planned and trained to do this with my sister – something that I really, really wanted t do.

I went back and forth in my head all day about whether or not I should race. The agreement with the physical therapist was that if I had to run, I could only run 10-12km. He said that I would set myself back for at least 6 weeks if I ran.  6 weeks is a long time off if you’ve already got other plans for training. I didn’t want to be a couch potato.

I couldn’t decide what to do all day. The question was always in the back of my mind. What I was afraid of the most was the pain that I would feel afterwards and how that would be. But, on the other hand, it didn’t feel too bad when I was walking around the town….what to do?

Pre-race day

Even though I had the niggling doubts, that still didn’t stop us from flying to Stockholm. I still had to cheer Sandy on, didn’t I?

flying-to-stockholm

After only 4 hours of sleep, here we are on the plane from Oslo to Stockholm.

jennifer-and-sandy-at-the-expo

The first thing we had to do was to go to the Expo and pick up our start numbers.

stockholm-half-start-number-jennifer

We were surprised that T-shirts didn’t come with the start package and that we actually had to BUY our shirts. Good thing they still had some cute shirts left in our size!

sandy-shopping-at-the-expo

And, of course, you don’t leave the Expo without a little shopping, right?

lunch-at-tgif-stockholm

And all that shopping made us a little hungry. Check out the food. I love running. You can pretty much eat whatever you want and it still doesn’t go to your hips – most of the time.

spaghetti-vongole

I chose Spaghetti Vongole as my last supper at Taverna.

And this is also where I decided that I would run 10-12 km in the race the next morning.

I mean, what was a little pain, right? I could take a couple of ibuprofen and manage 10-12km.

I just didn’t want to miss out on running in the race with my sister, for goodness sakes. The sister who flew all the way from Texas to do this together with me.

It was an experience that I didn’t want to miss — even if it was only for half of a half marathon.

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