On my feet for 130km – My run from Tallinn to Pärnu
On the 24th May I ran 130 km – the start was from Peetri Village, the destination – Pärnu.
The aim of the run was to do a longer distance to polish my running technique, and for my muscles to memorise at least one longer run.
Of course, the idea was completely spontaneous – what would happen if I ran to Pärnu?
It is incredible how people are actually capable of much more than they think. That is what truly motivates me – leaving the comfort zone. In today’s society, comfort is everything people want, meaning, getting somewhere needs to be as quick and effortless as possible.
I, on the other hand, have recently been inspired by the less popular attitude, and all I can say is that I can certainly feel the internal growth.
The day before the run
A few days before the run, I did not work out at all, I just rested. On Wednesday morning, I went for a short jog, in order to slightly tone my muscles, and in the evening I went to sleep at 10 pm. I took two sleeping pills, so that I would fall asleep quickly and feel rested in the morning. It worked. I woke up at 2 am in the morning and had a quick smoothie with chia seeds to properly fuel my body with with carbohydrates. I personally like to have such light meals before running. After that, I checked that I have all the necessary things with me: energy bars, gels and, of course, a small first aid kit. This time I ran without an entourage, so I had to carefully plan the entire distance, and be ready to refuel my body when I get tired.
A run in the beautiful nature of Estonia
The start of the run was great, because I was feeling good and I particularly enjoyed seeing different forrest animals, the fog, the weather changing and, of course, the sunrise. It was just breathtakingly beautiful. Just imagine running alone, and everywhere you look, you see pure nature with not a human around. At the same time, the nature offers the kind of beauty that, at first glance, seems unbelievable.
When I had been running for 6 hours at a pace of 7 to 7:30 min/km, I started feeling sleepy for the first time, but after another 30 minutes of running I somehow felt good again.
I had reached one of the most difficult roads in Estonia – the Tallinn-Pärnu highway – where after 42 km I felt a standstill in my mind. I immediately used my energy gel and the meditation I learned in yoga. I don’t know exactly what worked, the energy gel or the meditation, but somehow I got my strength back and ran on towards Märjamaa Circle K. I had only 0.5 litres of water left, and wasn’t sure if it would last me until then. Fortunately, there was a café on the road before Circle K, where I filled my bottle with cold water and cooled down for a moment. I knew that I did not have much left until my pitstop and did not want to add too much weight at the expense of water.
The hard part was still ahead
The first big refuelling was in Märjamaa Circle K, where I had quick meal. I drank a lot of water and had something savoury to eat, because I had had enough of sweet snacks already. I also met a friend with whom, of course, I did not have time to talk to. I was in my bubble and it seemed like I was loosing my mind a little bit. I guess it really was the case!
When I reached the middle of the Tallinn-Pärnu highway, I felt like I was back in the wilderness, like during the last year’s Marathon Des Sables 32, where I had to cool my body down the same way.
An inside fight
The next part of the run was a fight against sun-induced drowsiness and muscle pains. When I left the Märjamaa gas station and had been running for about 30 minutes, the sun completely wore me out. I felt like my body was thrown on a grill alive. It was so unpleasant that I felt like I was losing consciousness, but I prevented it with a small guarana shot (https://matkasport.ee/products/MDY-Liquid-Pure-Guarana), which instantly made everything clear. I also began to think that I had blisters, because my legs felt very strange. I took off my socks to check, and fortunately everything was fine. Taking all that into consideration, I can say that the Inov-8 equipment is just great (https://www.facebook.com/inov8estonia/).
For the onward run, I had planned to have enough water until the next Olerex gas station. Because of the blazing sun, though, I ran out of water 10 km before the planned stop, and so the torture began. The pace slowed down, the sun was blazing, and the only bursts of cool air came from the big trucks passing me. This moment can not be described in any other word than simply “horrible”.
When I reached the Olerex gas station, I immediately drank one Borjomi water and a smoothie, and ate a sprat sandwich. After having ran for 85 km, the Olerex gas station was one of the best things, since I could use the toilet and of course I needed to properly cool down. Every time I stopped, I poured a large bottle of cold water directly onto my head and clothes to cool my body. That is how I confused my heart rate a bit as well.
The last part – fight till the end
Now the pace was already somewhat lower, but I fought against myself and told myself that pain is just an illusion and nothing else. I had to use two pain killers to soften the blows of the asphalt to my feet.
There was 40 km was left to Pärnu and my next stop was Are, I jogged forward and tried to keep a steady heart rate, keep track of my feet, and make sure I have enough water and other supplies.
Before reaching Are, I reached Alexela gas station, where I just had to run in to cool my body down, because I felt like I was about to die. From there, I still had 25 km to go, and the end was so slow, that I thought about giving up at least three times. When I reached Are, a former acquaintance from Pärnu came to meet me, and brought me cold water and savoury seljanka soup. In addition to everything, I also got a slight cramp, after which my movement was more of jogging/walking and at the end the pace was 9 min/km. The fact that my acquaintance and his friends had to come to meet me and ran with me was very positive, because the last 13 km just passed so slowly that I really wanted to end all this “crap” 😀
I thought that walking would mess up my average time, but in fact it was very good. All in all, everything went well.
But the main thing is, that whenever a run is over, I always feel good, and I think that this feeling is the reason I keep doing things like this.
Finally, I would like to thank all my followers for their support on social media. And you know what?…. Our Estonia is one of the most beautiful places in the world. As Estonians, we have to be happy that we were born here.
Thank you very much!