Grenaderløpet – into the heart of darkness

15 Jan

Trained for the 90km Grenaderløpet today. Left from home and got into the above marked race route at km 10. Hopped off at about km 43 after the Løvlia forest lodge.

I therefore sampled the “heart of darkness” of the race route. The truly worst part is between Kikut lodge at km 17 and Løvlia. At certain points you nearly want to laugh. Or cry. It’s like a bad joke. The nasty herringbone climbs just keep coming. I go diagonal through the entire Birkebeiner route with one little exception just before Midtfjellet. But on the Grenaderløype there’s no choice, you have to eat a lot of herring(bone).

I’m guesstimating today’s total route as 68km. My IPhone GPS program died just after 4km, so I’m getting that figure from a combination of other trips where GPS has functioned and the Skiforeningen ski society’s data. I’ve attempted to estimate low, if anything.

Here are the distances from the different parts of my route:

Total time was 5:09. If I use the above distance, that puts me right on my Grenaderløpet target pace of 13,1 kmh. That’s not bad considering I was heavy-laden with lots of water and even my headlight and its battery which I took as a matter of precaution in the event the trip took longer than planned. In the race there will be drink stations and I obviously won’t need the headlight.

In addition to a better level of fitness compared to when I did a slightly shorter variant of the same route last year, the big difference this year was probably nutrition. I brought some glucose gel packs. Only “ate” one of the disgusting things, but it probably staved off the worst of the “metabolic moments”. I still had occasional crises where I got gloomy, bitchy and violent and my technique fell apart, but taking a shot of the sticky gunk seemed to perk me up. Maybe my body just decided to behave to avoid ingesting more of that crap.

Once I arrived at my destination at Sørkedalen skole, I stopped in at the café while waiting for my bus and had two hot chocolates, a waffle and a bowl of rice porridge.

Now while writing this I feel surprisingly good. Not particularly tired. My butt muscles ache, but that’s about it. Knees feel great. We’ll see what the morning brings.

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