My most successful Saaremaa 3-day marathon was 2 years ago. Back then on the first day I ran 10 km in total 0:43:15.5, on the second day 16.195 km in 01:13:44.1 and on the last 16 km in total 01:13:22.8. All in all, the time was 03:09:20,4. Unfortunately last year I only ran 10 km on the first day with time 0:49:25.9. The next few days I gave up running because of an injury and it was actually a very good decision.
This year I made Saaremaa three-day marathon one of the most important races of the season for me because I thought I was going to be able to show at least “some kind of a condition” by then. Before the Saaremaa event I took part in two competitions traditional for me. – The Grand Race Round Lake Viljandi (where I retired because of my “burnout” and fear), the second race was Tallinn Half Marathon where I came through the troubles. – That was a sign for me that my condition wasn’t good enough. Viljar suggested that if the first day “markers” are good enough, then I could make the most of it and take it easier on the next following days.
Day one in Saaremaa: On board ferry Piret it was windy outside and ferry Piret was really “rocking it”. It didn’t bring me any joy and when I got to the destination it started to rain. It kept raining until the start of the competition. Otherwise, the weather was favorable for running. Before the kick-off we had a deal with a clubmate to run at a pace of 4:20- 4:40. I was able to lead the tempo ahead Jana (my clubmate) the first 6 km and then my strength started to decrease and till the finish I continued a bit slower than Jana. To summarize I was pleased with myself that I was able to cover the track with proper effort. The time result of 10 km was 00:45:37.4. After finishing training companion Häli came to me and said that she had to make an effort to catch me at the end. I was glad to hear that I could get someone else to make an effort.
Photo: Riho Lüüs
Day two in Saaremaa. The weather continued to be windy, it was upsetting for me. – That of course had an impact on my performance. I should learn to get over those little things, but it is easier said than done. We made an agreement with some of the training companions to go at pace of 4:40-4:50. This time I was able to keep up for 5 km, from there it was very uncomfortable to run. Plus, my head was filled up with different ideas like quitting the attempt for the day and etc. Thank God, it was not like at lake Viljandi 😊. The last 4 km I took slower and some parts of it I even walked. Many of my clubmates ran by and looked at me with surprised faces ☹. Luckily, I struggled through till the end but my disappointment was huge and I even considered the possibility of not attempting on Sunday at all. In the evening I managed to rethink things and I still found some of „competitive spirit” in me. My time result of 16,195 km was 01:23:51,2.
Photo: Riho Lüüs
Third day in Saaremaa: Last evening I had decided to take it easy on the next day. Surprisingly I did not have as much strength as previous times. At the start line I stayed among the ones behind, and I suggested to Janika that we could run together at her pace. After our first kilometre Aire joined with us and so the three of us ran together around 9 km. Then Aire decided to get a little bit ahead of us. 500 m before the finish I decided to leave Jaanika behind and I tried to make “a final sprint” towards the end. – Most of the run our pace was approximately between 5:05-5:20, by the finish line my pace was 4:43. The weather was nice. After the run I had a good feeling. 16 km accomplished with 01:21:48,8.
Photo: Riho Lüüs
That is one of those competitions I wouldn’t want to miss out. That competition is always rich in thrills. One day you are “on a high”, second day “lower than the grass” and on the third day “on a high” again. I have not yet managed to put all three days together so that I could be happy with myself.