So, we have been even worse at blogging lately. We really don’t know where our time goes at the moment, but it clearly isn’t going to our blog to share our love with all our followers. We’re sorry about that! So here is a catch up for the last THREE weekends. 🙂
It is now spring in Sweden, and we have both recovered from our colds. It also means that we have more hours of daylight and are able to ride and run in the evenings, when we can. So this is what we have been trying to do lately. Our focus is a bit more on running at the moment, as we are running Göteborgsvarvet (the Gothenburg half marathon) in two weeks’ time.
So two weeks ago (week 17), we went for a 13 km run over both bridges in Gothenburg to try and find our running form again. (Jason’s run, Sofi’s run.) It turned out to be quite a windy run, but we came in with an average of 5:25/km, which is Sofi’s target pace for the half marathon. On the Sunday I (Jason) went for a nice bike ride with my club, HCK. Then we relaxed in the evening, eating homemade scones, and prepared for the short work week to come (the Friday was a bank holiday).
I actually took the Thursday (April 30) off work, as I was wanting to cycle down to Skåne because we were going to be there cycling over the weekend. The weather was against me though, so I managed 130 km in the wind and rain, and had to throw in the towel once I got to Falkenberg (just over half way). I had cycled in the rain for over 4 hours, so I was pleased with my perseverance, but I was probably risking another cold (if not hypothermia) if I carried on. Sofi was able to leave work early, so took an earlier train than expected so I actually got on the train she was on at Falkenberg! Once we got off the train, I was saddened to see that further south they had blue skies and dry roads…oh well, there’s always next time! 😉 But my main thoughts were on cleaning my bike, so I did that once we got to the house and she looked much happier afterwards, chilling by the lake.
On the Friday we went to “kosläpp”, which is where the cows are released from their barns for the first time since winter. It is quite a big thing in Sweden, and it always attracts a lot of people (but that could also be because of the cinnamon buns and milk you get for attending). The cows are always happy and even jump around. It was my first time seeing it, so I thought it was really fun (despite a fear of cows). After we got back home, I did a 50 km ride against the clock – this is my little time trial/test route where Sofi’s parents live. My legs were knackered from the ride on Thursday, and it was a bit windy at points, but I averaged 33.5 km/h and was really happy!
On the Saturday me and Sofi cycled around and over Söderåsen, a big national park just south of Sofi’s parents’ place. Sofi suffered in the head wind, but did well up the hills! There is a big ravine in the forest, and we wanted to see it, so after a short food stop, we cycled up there and took some photos before heading home. This time it was Sofi’s turn to throw in the towel, as we were doing a sportive ride the next day so she jumped in the team car 18 km from home (OK, so we called her dad and he picked Sofi up, but it was like our team car) 😉 So she did 83 km in total, but I soldiered on the whole way back and did just over 100 km.
On the Sunday we woke up early to cycle FIK Trampen, a 100 km sportive that was starting near Sofi’s parents’ (it is a good area for cycling, as you can probably tell – that’s one of the main reasons I like going down there so much…that and the team car and carers – well Sofi’s parents looking after us anyway). We started the ride just before 8 a.m., and it was 3°C when we started…a bit nippy! The longer we cycled, the warmer it got. Sofi was still really struggling on the bike though, and after 45 km, we considered heading the short way back to the finish, but Sofi decided she would rather try and find her form again, so we carried on. After a few km though, Sofi got a puncture in her rear tyre – her first! 😀 After fixing her puncture, we carried on and Sofi seemed much stronger, but we still kept the pace steady just to be safe. After 80 km we stopped at a food station and decided if we would finish the ride or not (we were a few km from the part on the course nearest her parents’, so it would be easy to get a lift now). Sofi wanted to finish though, and I wanted to help her do that. So we told her dad when we would be finished, and we carried on riding. It didn’t get easier though, despite having strength, Sofi saw the distance marker on her Garmin nearing 100 km and was wondering why we weren’t near the finish – that made her lose focus, motivation, and seemingly all capability to ride her bike! But we kept going until Sofi’s dad drove past us and pulled up ahead of us. Sofi wanted to give up, but me and Bosse, her dad, told her it was max 3 km to the finish, so realising he wouldn’t let her in the car she carried on, and even found her legs again for the last 3 km! She was totally finished once we arrived at the finish though.
I was so proud of her for wanting to carry on, and she showed such
stubbornness perseverance and strong character. 🙂 Oh it was about 20°C when we finished, so the weather was nice! My power meter ran out of battery though, but the figures would have been low anyway. (My ride, Sofi’s ride.) We then went back in the car, and after some lunch and a shower, we got on the train back to Göteborg…where we then had to cycle 5 km home, but it went well and we weren’t totally done in.
Last week, at last…makes me wish I wrote these all at the right time so I didn’t have to do them all at once! Last week was a big recovery week for both of us following our exploits over the long weekend. We both trained on Wednesday though, I had a very easy recovery spin of 40 km, where I kept the power low, but put in one interval just to feel the legs. Sofi did a nice 8 km run with an average of 5:18/km, so a tad quicker than her target race pace. We both felt a bit drained all week though, so rested while we could. I also got a Giro care package from my mum – two magazines to read as prep for the Giro, and my racing license came as well! So it wasn’t too hard to rest with the magazines to digest.
At the weekend though, it was back to Skåne, but this time to Helsingborg to run a 10 km race called Springtime with Lisa and Tommy. My sister Jasmine had also booked flights over fairly spontaneously, so she would be there as well 🙂 We arrived on the Friday and carb loaded with a delicious pasta meal we all made together.
The race was on Saturday afternoon, so after a chilled morning collecting our numbers and buying some bits for the evening, we went to a lovely salad bar called Holy Greens and bought some salads to have for lunch. I also had a beetroot juice to boost performance! Then it was race time! It’s quite funny looking at me, Sofi, Lisa, and Tommy together before we go for a run because we have different amounts of clothes on – it was the same when we ran the seeding race in March. I always have the least, then Sofi, then Lisa, then Tommy. This weekend, it looked like I was dressed for summer, Sofi and Lisa for spring/autumn, and Tommy for early/late winter!
The race was quite a tough course, and me, Sofi, and Lisa had originally said we would start together, keeping 5:00/km tempo, and dropping each other if the others got tired. After 1.5 km of flat, you run uphill for 1.5 km, so that was when the gaps started to form between us. I hadn’t expected it to feel as…nice(?) as it did, but I loved keeping my steady pace and picking people off left, right, and center as I went up the hill. At the top of the hill, the gaps between us had become a bit larger, so I pushed on and upped my tempo a bit because it was nice to find some running form again! There were still a few steep hills though, but I did my best to bounce up them and get them out the way 😉 After the last hill, it was down and then flat past Lisa and Tommy’s place (where my sister was cheering us on from), so I upped my pace a little, but couldn’t squeeze out much more. I was running next to/behind/in front of the same guy all the time, so we exchanged a few words of encouragement and pushed on to the finish. I finished in 47:23, and was really pleased with myself. Lisa came in 2 mins later, and Sofi another 2 mins after that in 51:31, with Tommy another 2 mins after that! How funny! We were all really pleased with ourselves, but I think Sofi was disappointed with her time, but she seemed to recover the best the next day, so maybe she had more in the tank than she realised. But she can run a fast 10 km on a flat course – this was good training for the half marathon, and she was well over her target pace! 🙂
After some recovery food and showers (and me watching the Giro!!!), we prepared for some friends of Lisa and Tommy to come over for dinner. Dinner was really nice, with a couple of salads and some barbecued food, as well as a few (OK, a lot) of drinks. We then played some fun games before the night was over and the beds called for our tired bodies!
We woke up on Sunday after a lie in and had a nice breakfast before heading north of Helsingborg along the coast for some sightseeing. The weather wasn’t that kind though, and we were being blown around the little village we stopped in, Arild. We then went to Flickorna Lundgren for lunch, and I had the most delicious vegetarian sandwich (mostly salad though!) I have had in a very long time!!!
After that we went back home and hung out before me and Sofi got the train back to Gothenburg. For dinner last night we made a simple tomato soup and caught up with the highlights from the Giro and the football.
This week is another short week, as Thursday is another bank holiday. What are we doing this week I hear you ask??? Going to Italy to watch the Giro!!! We’re flying to Rome on Wednesday evening and meeting my mum there, then after sightseeing in Rome on Thursday (because I’ve never been), we’re driving to Fiuggi to stay there for a couple of days because Friday’s stage finishes there and Saturday’s stage starts there. I hope we share our hotel with a team! Expect lots of pictures – we are planning on running while we’re there, so maybe an evening run on the Friday and a morning run on the Saturday are perfect for spying on the pro mechanics 😀
We hope you all have a good week, and we’re sorry for neglecting our blog for so long!
/Jason and Sofi