Tjejvättern, cycling race in Sweden 100 km - Martinas story

- The nervousness before, holy shit, it was extreme! Once on the starting line, however, I was most excited and eager to get going.

- I started the race by cycling with a group from Power Woman but I ended up a little wrong, behind some other girls, so I saw that my group started before me and I was slowed down by those in front of me. I tried to catch up but then my heart rate became too high and I didn't feel like pushing too hard at the beginning so I let them go and decided to run my own race.

- There was a tailwind and I had a good flow with alert and strong legs. I passed a lot of people and I enjoyed cycling on the roads without stops and disturbing moments. I didn't look at the distance on my watch so when I suddenly saw the depot sign I was shocked. WHAT? I had already cycled a little over 30km?

- Full of energy, I stopped and went to the toilet, drank some coffee and ate a banana. I took a gel every half hour plus sports drink and never felt low on energy. (Maurtens was a good choice, my stomach has never been so good! I've had stomach problems before with too many gels and sports drinks).

- Off again and straight to the famous hill at Omberg. I was pretty scared of this one. I've had quite a few incidents on hills where I've shifted wrong and the chain has jumped off and I've fallen. Not great for self-confidence directly. I immediately felt that, nope, I will not fight too hard in this one so I went up half.

- After I got up the hill, it then went quickly downhill and suddenly I hear something fall from the bike. A screw had gone off and I became quite nervous as it went so fast downhill. It turned out that the bike shoes were completely loose and the screws had come loose. Now I also started to get tired mentally and just wanted to get to the depot. Once there, Andreas, my husband, had made his way there and helped me with the shoes. I drank blueberry soup and took a bun. More coffee and chatted with people. There was a lot of time in this depot because of the trouble with the shoes.

- The road to the next and last depot to 79 km was hard with a terrible headwind and now my lower back and down to the back of the thigh began to hurt. I tried to move and tilt my back as I cycled to relieve the pressure on my back. I cycled on with light legs anyway but wondered if the depot will NEVER show up. I thought to myself that "if my back did not hurt, I would have had it as "easy" as possible". It felt like a whole eternity and in the end I could not cycle more so stopped and tried to stretch and move.

- Once at the last depot, I visited the toilet AGAIN, I was crazy needing to pee. (how much can a person pee really?😂) And then I will not go into how many times I was in the toilet BEFORE the race. haha!)

- The headwind that now came from the side continued and I was so SICK of it howling in my ears and leading a damn life. I wanted peace and quiet! The legs cycled on easy and with high cadence to save energy. The pain in my back released a little and I got lots of energy when I realized that it was not so far away. The wind died down and it became a tailwind and I smiled to myself. I had cycled stably in zones 2 and 3 all the way and now I thought it was time to shit in the zones and just drive!

- When I saw the Motala sign, I got a laughing attack while crying a little. Imagine that what I was so nervous about before, became a completely different story. I who so easily get catastrophic thoughts felt NONE of it. I trusted my body!

I cycled all I could into the finish and I roared with joy!

- I am so incredibly proud of how I tackled my first long bike race and I got confirmation that my training has paid off. I was energized afterwards and not exhausted. I had a desire to get around in under 4 hours, it did not happen but the final time was 4.45 but considering that I stayed quite long in depots with trouble, the goal was not so far away. I am crazy happy about my journey which is not only about a physical performance but so much more.

I felt the fear and did it anyway.

- The next day I woke up with the craving again. I WANT MORE! Exactly what remains to be seen, maybe run next year with my own group? There are so many possibilities and nothing stops me from reaching my dreams.


Folllow Martina on Instagram @maskroskraft

Martina´s clothes are found here >>

Read more about Martinas preparations for the race here >>

Martina´s first Triathlon race >>

June 13, 2023 — Anna Wretling