Student RUN (in Oulu)

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Student RUN event was held on Tuesday 13th of September in nine different cities simultaneously. This 5 kilometer (3 mile) charity run’s 10 euro participation fee was directed fully for the well-being of the Baltic Sea. One of our TTK14SN class student had noticed this event only a week earlier, but we still managed to form a group of five participants, me included. In the end we accounted for ~14 % of all the runners as only 36 people took part in Oulu. The weather was not to blame. It was a beautiful and sunny day with +12’C degrees (although the wind was chilly).

I arranged a little playful competition of my run time at this blog’s Facebook page. It gathered a nice amount of quesses of which a large portion seemed quite optimistic even though I didn’t have a clear idea of my speed either. I had not run for a year or two other than occasionally. I have done lengthy 10-15 km (6-9 mi) with a brisk 7 – 7 ½ km/h (4 ½ mph) pace. My knees start to really ache at 10 km  (6 mi) by latest when running and even before if I’m on hard surfaces, so 5 km as distance suited me nicely. I don’t have “runner’s anatomy” either and I haven’t been to running schools. And it’s only been 7 months from my hip surgery, but on the other hand my fitness base was quite good and broad (although interval style) due to my versatile exercise routines.

I set a basic goal of running under 30 minutes. This was based on my earlier running period (in 2012-2014) when I ran more regularly and usually did a 10 km (6 mi) jog in an hour. I also knew that the competition atmosphere gives a boost of its own. And I knew that I’d give my everything when running against the clock. So, a hefty salad lunch under the belt a few hours before the start, a little foam rolling on the calves and hip flexors as well some stretching, compression tights and top on, a little preventive pain medicine and combining a ½ hour Student RUN playlist in Spotify. 🙂

Do’s and don’ts

Mental preparation for the run was a home run, but physical… just awful. I was caring for my friend’s dog and went for a 12, 13 and 14 km (7, 8 and 9 mi) walks previous to the day of the run. And as if this wasn’t enough I had played an hour of futsal late at evening prior to the run believing that my feet would recover. Well, they didn’t. 😀

As I started walking from home to the Oulu city theatre building where the run would start I felt how my shins were crying out for mercy. They were all cluttered up from futsal. I managed to rub them open pretty well before the run, but as I was soon to find out the main problem would be my lower back. Right after 100 meters of run (300 feet) it went first totally numb, then totally stiff and then started cramping. A “perfect” Via Dolorosa started as my back was so much in pain that I had to stop and walk on two separate occasions. I noticed gaining at least a few amused gazes from onlookers along the route as I was running crouched and dripping drivel from the corner of the mouth with an anguished look on my face. 😀

Summa summarum

I completed my run without any major mistakes except that I started way too fast. My first ½ km (0.3 mi) went with an average speed of 15 km/h (9 ½ mph) with the leading group (I got tagged along). However my long-lasting maximum at the moment is closer to the whole run’s average speed of 11 km/h (7 mph).

My finishing time was 27.08 in which I’m more than pleased. I would not have believed my time was this good after all that agony I went through while running. The feeling after crossing the finishing line was terrific – I had given my all and probably resembled Gabriela Andersen‘s finish in the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. 😀

You can see all my run’s statistics in this Sports Tracker workout. I couldn’t have done much better in any circumstances with this current fitness – the average heart rate of 169 bpm tell me that (it maxed in 182). Without the lower back’s problems and with some good rest prior to to the run in addition to even some kind of a preparatory running exercising routine I could reach a time of 25 minutes (average speed of 12 km/h, or 7 ½ mph). That could be my goal next time around. The best time run in Oulu was as tough as a little over 16 minutes. The official Finnish record in 5000 metres is from 1972 by Lasse Viren, 13.16.