The Week of the Tromso Marathon

The Week of the Tromso Marathon!

(i.e. the Midnight Sun Marathon!)

Race week is always a little bit of a weird one- mentally and physically!

Here’s how it went down!

So, my last marathon was the Barcelona marathon on March 10, which was a blast, and Dustin’s last marathon was the London marathon on April 21 (he’s still working on a guest post!)

We decided to register for Tromso for the experience, as this “Midnight Sun Marathon” runs at night during the 24 hr daylight in this region of Norway- sounded like a unique experience, right?

Here’s how the final week of the training/taper went:

Monday: Last short little “session”: warm-up, 3×6 minutes at marathon pace, 2 min jog in between, cooldown for 7 miles, core and upper body after.

Tuesday: Run commute + office run, 7.6 miles total, work summer party that evening- not perfect timing for a party to toast the arrival of summer in London, but life doesn’t plan around marathons and tapers, does it?

Wednesday: Slept in so decided to fit in my run as a run commute home; it was a quieter day in the office anyways, since Wednesday was a holiday in the U.S. (not in the U.K.)

Thursday: Rest from running, fly to Tromso! There are no direct flights from London, so we had to go through Oslo, which made for a longer day of travel, but some of the most interesting places are the hardest ones to get to, right?

We met a lot of Americans there (including Cari) who all had a much farther trip to get there than we did! But Tromso was well worth the travel time.

We arrived around 5 pm, took the airport shuttle into town. The town is quite small and walkable, so we could easily find our hotel the Clarion Edge.

We had a nicer dinner booked at Mathallen, which was walkable from our hotel as well. We both tried the 4-course tasting menu and 2 of the 4 courses were WHALE. I actually think it was my first time eating whale. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite, but it wasn’t terrible.

Friday: We were asleep by 10 pm on Thursday, so it wasn’t too hard to get up and meet for the 8 am shakeout run hosted by “Northern Runners” run club.

This running group puts the “north” in Northern Runners! They must be one of the northernmost run clubs in the world, I mean, we are quite far up here in Tromso; farther north than when we went skiing in Finland two Christmases ago (Read about that trip HERE.)

The Northern Runners gave us a lovely tour of their town! They were all so friendly and kind. It was a really neat cultural experience and I’m glad we joined the group run.

(Thanks to Cari for the suggestion.)

And how amazing was it to meet Cari, a fellow fitness blogger from the U.S., here above the Arctic Circle! She ran the half marathon on Saturday; it was so great to meet her after years of reading her blog and following along with her running journey (and life in general!)

The shake-out run was a little longer than I would normally go the day before a marathon (over 5 miles) but we took it very easy with lots of stops for photos (and even a stop for a few people to get interviewed for the local news!)

We zipped back to the hotel post-run for the breakfast that was included in our stay (which was an incredible spread- they even had peanut butter, ha! It’s the little things…)

After breakfast, I had a call with my running coach Donal to talk race strategy, and then Dustin and I walked out of our hotel and onto a boat (seriously, right outside the hotel) for a half day fjord cruise. I figured a cruise was a nice way to see more of the area without too much walking.

After the fjord boat cruise, we stopped by the pickup picket. It was small, but they did have some MSM (Midnight Sun Marathon) merch, so we both bought a jacket.

Saturday (night- into Sunday!) Tromso Marathon!

Of course, the unique part of this race experience is the fact that it starts at 8:30 pm, so Saturday-day was a weird one. We had had a late dinner Friday (at Casa Inferno, very good pizzas!) We slept in as late as we possibly could Saturday morning. We ate the hotel breakfast around 10:30 am, went to a Troll Museum, which was kind of silly, but we needed to do something!

Then I took a nap from about 3-4 pm, and then it was a lot of waiting for time to pass, ha! It was a weird day, that’s for sure. If there was one thing I didn’t like about the race, it was starting at 8:30 pm, but it had to happen in order to run with the midnight sun!

And, spoiler alert, I did it- I ran a night marathon. I ran marathon #45 under the magical midnight sun. We lucked out with the weather- cool and clear. Perfect running conditions and I couldn’t get over the views. I took my phone out of my pocket a few times to take photos and would see the time, which was maybe 10:30 pm and the sun was BRIGHT. It was surreal. Loved it.

Marathon #45 complete. I did not achieve my goal of a good for age for the London Marathon (sub-3:45) though I kept it under 4 hours.

I had a tough final 10k with some nausea. I’m sure my fueling wasn’t perfect, but that was sort of to be expected shocking my body with this whole nighttime running thing. I still felt strong for most of it, and really enjoyed this marathon experience. I’m so grateful that I am healthy and able to participate in something this special.

The post-race coke really helped with my nausea! And that looks like Champagne in the cup, but it was the sport drink that they handed out.

I’m working on my race recap and hope to have it posted with all the pics by next weekend’s link-up. Stay tuned for more!

Dustin finished in 3:08 and was happy with that time; not the sub-3 that he did at London, but still a time he’s proud of on a tough course!

And yes, I connected with Cari post-race for a 2 am SUNNY celebratory tiki drink! So fun and memorable.

Sunday: Rest! After going to bed Saturday night – er, Sunday morning!- around 2:30 am, my body was all out of whack. But we were up for the hotel breakfast and then walked across the long bridge (my nemesis from the race, ha!) to take a cable car up to a nice viewing point above Tromso. We hiked/walked around up top for 3-4 miles before heading back into the town for lunch. Then we had booked a sauna/ cold plunge time at Pust, which was pretty fun too!

Overall, a really memorable trip to Tromso. More to come on this amazing marathon experience!

Summary: 55-ish miles.

I’m linking up with Running on the Fly and Confessions of a Mother Runner; check out their blogs to connect with other fitness bloggers for workout ideas and inspiration!

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