After a pretty easy 8K a few days ago, and after receiving my race info packet from Tjejmilen, where I learned that at my current pace I should start in the eighth of nine pace groups, I decided my conditioning is good enough to complete the 10K and I should use the remaining few weeks to work on my speed so that I can start in the seventh pace group. It’s a sad goal, but it’s important to have goals nonetheless, right?

Even though I’ve been running fun runs off and on for almost 9 years now, and even ran a marathon six years ago, I’ve never really done anything in particular to try to improve my speed, other than just push myself to run faster and sometimes do fartleks (it’s a Swedish word, but in common usage!) where you change up your pace for short distances. When I did the marathon I did a training program, the goal of which was just to get us to finish the damn thing, so there was no talk of improving speed.

I did some internet research on improving 10K times and now I am doing all kinds of crazy shit like walking lunges around my apartment on my off days and running 5K at just under a pace that would kill me. Today I went to the track and ran fast 1200 meters alternated with slow recovery runs. The total time for the 6K I ran was more than it would take at my normal slow pace, since the recovery runs were really slow. Well, also I was running in the outermost lane, so maybe I ran more than 6K.

While I was running I was treated to the scene of two American football teams warming up for their game. To clarify, the teams weren’t American, the football was. Actually, I think one of the coaches was American, since he was shouting at his team in English. I didn’t stick around to watch the game, because one of the reasons I’m an expat is that I hate American football. But American things like football and classic cars are really popular in the Swedish redneck community, which is pretty sizeable around here.