Go forward in time to June 2009.
Jokes aside, during conferences and travels it's always easy to break the training routine (unless you are really into it), so having an excuse to actually run, let's say, 10k would probably be a good idea.
I just noticed that the examples and documentation packages for libhildon are not present in the Maemo 5 SDK Beta. If you want to have a look at the API using Devhelp or want to toy with the examples, I'd recommend you to either 1) get the source package and build it (good) or 2) clone the git repository and build it from there (better).
At some point in the very near future, I'd like to start publishing updated tarballs regularly in the garage page, but at the moment a few (probably quite trivial) issues prevent us from doing it. If I find a bit of time this week, I might fix them. If you want to help, just clone the repo, run make distcheck and see for yourself. The mailing list is waiting for your patches.
Yesterday was the 1/2 Marathon: Helsinki City Run. I took part in it and learned the hard way what it means to run more than 20k (is there an easy way?).
Originally, I had been running since January in the cold Helsinki, around Töölönlahti, sometimes with around -10⁰C, with icy and slippery roads, starting from around 5k to 15k in my best moment. Motivated by Dirk-Jan and Ann-Christin, I had the idea to run the Helsinki City Run but due to external factors I wasn't sure if I would even be in Helsinki for this date and didn't sign up.
A bit demotivated when the deadline passed, and affected by a flu during the last two weeks, I had stopped my running routine, waiting to feel better. In the meantime, Iván recommended me a book by the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, What I talk about when I talk about running. In this book, Murakami writes about his experience as a long-distance runner, his motivations to run, and how running helped him to become the writer he is. Certainly an interesting read for any runner (and probably even for non runners), that somehow managed to rise my motivation to run. But still, running the City Run wouldn't be possible.
But thanks to one of these great coincidences, things turned out in a favorable direction. On Friday afternoon I got a call from Ann-Christin, telling me that she was picking up the runner's pack from the Olympic Stadium and had found out that, since Marius wouldn't run, it was possible for me to take his place. After thinking for 3 seconds about how lazy I had been in the last weeks and doubting, I went crazy and told her to sign me up. Went home, had spaghetti for dinner, and started drinking water as crazy. I would finally run the HCR.
Saturday turned up to be a cold, rainy, and windy day. Nervous about the race I didn't manage to sleep well enough but as time of the race approached, I started to feel full of energy. Drank lots of water and ate mostly cereals and bread up to two hours before the race, and got to the stadium. I was certainly excited about all this!
The competition had about 11.000 participants. The Olympic stadium, although windy and cold, was looking beautiful. Runners of all ages, colors, and shapes were warming up all around the place. Adrenalin could just go higher as the start approached. And once we started running I couldn't feel happier. Of course, I had no idea how painful this would turn to be.
The first 10k were absolutely fine. The circuit went along my beloved Töölönlahti, and it felt like home while I tried to make my way between all the people. Between 10k and 12k I was still feeling things to go well, but entering the 13k was the beginning of the real race. Starting from there, it only got more and more difficult. With each kilometer pain in my legs increased and feet friction started to bug me. Hydration and breathing were however fine, so I knew that it would only be a matter of pushing enough and I would make it. But, of course, this belief decreased as the distance completed increased.
After 17k, pain was starting to get really annoying. Being the first time I ran more than 15k this was completely new and it was hard to know whether I would get all the cramps at some point or whether I could even walk to the finish line. Of course, I didn't want to retire nor walk the last kilometers, so I just kept pushing, and pushing.
When we finally reached the 20k mark, just around the Olympic Stadium, I knew I would make it, even when my legs were almost not responding. The last few hundred meters before entering the stadium are basically a small uphill. Were these actually more than 100mt? I don't even know, but these certainly felt like a few km. People were just walking at that point, but I wouldn't give in. I had managed to run all the way there, no way I would walk this bloody hill.
Entering the stadium was probably one of the most exciting moments. For whatever reason, entering the running track brought all the energy back and I ran through the finish line with a smile on my face. An official time of 2:25:00 for the 21,097 m that I thought it would be impossible to achieve. I got the medal, some bananas, and water. Found a warm spot where to cover me with my towel, pullover, and jacket, and met Luc, Dirk-Jan, Ann-Christin and the other runners. Champagne to celebrate, and then the real pain started.
Looking back at yesterday's experience and how good I have felt since, I have to say that running is now definitively something I'll be doing more seriously. I know very well that 2:25:00 is not a time to feel proud of, but given the circumstances, I am more than happy with it. I'll probably start running shorter distances, since I would like to start swimming as well, but running a half marathon under 2 hours is going to be the goal for the next season. Let's see how it goes.
Go backwards in time to April 2009.