Matt and I are going to be part of a team of five people running the 25-km Bellman’s Relay on Saturday. It’s a 5X5: the 5-km route tracks through the northern part of the Djurgården, through forest and pastures. Matt heads off first, starting at 12:06 pm, and I’m running third, at who knows what time.
I’ve not seen the whole course, but I took a quick spin on some roads nearby on Sunday afternoon. The day before, I ran my first workout that hit 10 km; I felt elated by the run through the woods and down to the edge of the Baltic Sea, enough so that it did not seem hard to push myself home and then a little farther to get past that 10-k mark.
I expected to take a short jaunt on Sunday afternoon, which ended up closer to 6 km. I wanted to take it easy, see parts of the course, and just be outside moving. I think it took me 40 minutes to get to 5.8 km. That’s a 7-minute kilometer on average.
As usual, my fastest kilometer was the second, at close to 6 minutes, but somewhere in the middle, I started to lollygag. It turns out that I have a hard time running nonstop. Usually, it’s because I want to take a break because I’m tired. But a good part of the time, it’s because I stop to take photos of things. This time, somewhere around the middle of kilometer 3, I stopped to snap a photo of a tree. Whammo: 7 min 30 sec.
Maybe you’ve seen my elephant and camel photos; they make me stop every time I’m heading out into the fields near Gärdet! But so it seems I also stop to snap dogs, trees, nice views — even snails.
So, we will see how fast I can run my part of the relay on Saturday. I have not ran in a race since high school. I assume I will be carried along by adrenaline and the crowd of runners, and by the pressure to run fast and in good time for my team. But I feel compelled to make no promises if I see a particularly good photo of one of the King’s shaggy cattle.