Stockholm Marathon: Known as that time I didn’t train

Waiting for the Stockholm airport bus to take me to the city.

As you know, I run many half marathons and am addicted to Ragnar Relays.  But I’ve only done one full marathon and that was in January this year while in Dubai (See blog post on Dubai Marathon).

Outside Karolinska Institutet’s new lecture hall complex – the Aula Medica where we set up the Tinnitus interview.

That one was surprisingly easy.

Well…maybe not super easy. I’m not going to say that I sailed through it, but I was able to get up the next day and go sailing without feeling any pain.


So when I went to Stockholm to interview a scientist on the latest tinnitus research on the same weekend as the Stockholm marathon, I thought, “Why not?”

One of the many bridges in Stockholm

Yeah…now that it’s over.  I can tell you “Why not.” I didn’t train.

Apparently, training for a marathon is really helpful.  And you know how they say your muscles will remember? Ha, ha, ha, ha…I think my muscles did remember — and instead of running, they were thinking “hell, no!”.

Beginning of the Stockholm Marathon

So did I complete it? Absolutely!

In Dubai, my time was 4 hours and 29 minutes. So I figured this time, I should run with the 4:20 team.

Remember, I have not trained as it’s been a rainy spring in Switzerland and I’ve been traveling for work a lot.  But, I am obviously a little delusional about how fit I am.

These were people who were still running after I was done. They look as miserable as I felt.

So off I went.

I’m going to tell you straight off that the Stockholm course is a little harder than the Dubai course.  First of all, it’s not at sea level.  Secondly, they have hills and bridges. Thirdly, they have wind. All three of these are excuses for why I sucked, but I’m sticking to them.

Surprisingly (maybe it’s because I’m too stubborn to admit defeat), I did keep up with the 4:20 pacer until about Mile 18. Then my legs decided they were done with this and I had to slow down to the 4:30 pacer…and then at Mile 23 to the 4:40 pacer.

By then, I no longer cared about my time. I just wanted it to be over…but wait… what was that coming up? Another stupid bridge with a hill? Man.

There was also a can of beer which I left at the pick up area and a protein shake which I drank hoping it would miraculously take away my pain. Nope. Just loaded with empty calories.

I finished the race, but barely.

Then I had to walk the 2 miles home which were the longest two miles in history. Really. You know those stories about how your grandpa had to walk 2 miles in the snow, dragging 50 pounds of books with him? Well, this was harder. I had to drag my tired butt home AND a bag of free race goodies.

My only condolence was that I got to walk past all the runners who were still running (suckers!!!). They looked as bad as I felt – thankfully.  I really do love company when miserable.

Thankfully, Stockholm is a great place to sit and watch people – when your legs no longer want to move.

The next day, I was still feeling the marathon. I could barely walk and when trying to jaywalk across the street, I told my legs to run, and they refused.  Running was no longer an option. I didn’t just hit the proverbial marathon wall; it collapsed on me and pinned me down. I was going to have to move in painful slow motion if I was going to move at all.

On the bright side, my interview with Chris Cederroth and his returned turned out fantastic.  See below.


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