There is still so much about our experience in Sweden that I want to share, and since we are approaching running season here in Abu Dhabi, I was reminded about one of my favorite running experiences in Sweden: the Malmö Höstmil.
Awesome event and a quick trip to a city we had never visited before!
I’ve talked about some of my running before, but as a refresher, in 2014 I started running again 10-11 months after Porter was born and eventually worked up the courage to sign up for a race in Sweden. Initially, I was hesitant to even consider it because there didn’t seem to be a lot of “hobby joggers” around Linköping. There’s a lot of fast, fit runners, and a lot of walkers, but…not a lot of women with, like, “mom-bod” running around. Since I was a self-conscious lady just trying to fit in and failing miserably due to having the exact opposite of a Swedish body, and not really being a fast runner anyway, I sort of got it in my head (incorrectly) that I’d just embarrass myself if I signed up for a run/race. But then I came across information on the Tjejmilen – an all women’s race in Stockholm, and signed my fabulous ass up. It is an annual 10k (Swedish mile, or mil) run around Djurgården, and a massive event, so no matter what I probably wouldn’t stick out…or finish last. Nothing wrong with finishing last, but I can’t deny my former-athlete ego and somewhat type-A personality, meaning: I don’t want to finish last, okay?
After running the Tjejmilen, I decided that this was actually the very best thing in the world. Why? Because I could see parts of Stockholm that I’d been wanting to see, while doing something I loved – running. And as I’ve mentioned before, medals given to me for any reason (to include me paying for one when I sign up for a race) became addictive. I signed up for another race two weeks later in Motala, then another race two weeks after that in Malmö. Both places that I got to “discover” a little bit while running the race through them.
P.S. I call it a “race” but these are, of course, just an organized fun runs. I’m under no illusion that I am racing anybody. Except for myself.
SO, the Malmö run that I did was their “fall half marathon/10k”, and I did the 10k because after an hour of running my ass off, I’m done, please give me a beer. The 10K route weaved from the stadiums, past a park, to the downtown/Gamla Stan/Stora Torget area, past Malmö castle, and back to the stadiums. It was unique and fun to run around the city (cobblestones! castles!). I’m totally fine with traveling places just to run around them! But I want a medal at the end, and a beer; those are my requirements/motivation. This particular race was a pretty difficult one for me because I was out to beat my previous 10k times, so I was pushing it. I felt like a disaster at, like, 3 different points during the race, but I finished strong and ever so slightly faster than before. SCORE.
Malmö left a great impression on us, but we were only there for 2 days. The race was in the afternoon, and since we had a one-year-old with us we didn’t go out that evening. The next morning we got up early, checked out of the hotel and went to the downtown area to explore a bit, but it was a Sunday morning in Sweden, which means everything was closed. Because Swedes are very religious and take their Sunday mornings seriously HAHAHA. But what was open? STARBUCKS. One of TWO in the entire country.
Here’s what. Before moving to Sweden, I tolerated Starbucks for the convenience, but I was more inclined to try to go to local places first (so cute, I was a coffee snob before coffee snobs became cool, aw). But…then we fell into the GD Starbucks mug trap after a few trips and now we collect like absolute BASIC, loser Americans. And we’re OK with that. So it was pretty exciting to get our Sweden and Malmö mugs. Pete broke the beautiful Malmö mug like a week later after failing to stop himself from a full-on sprint through the apartment and crashed into our couch side table which held 1) my precious morning coffee, in 2) my precious new mug. Sighhhhh. I guess we’ll have to re-visit Malmö!
I digress. Jesus this is getting long, I just wanted to share pictures. So we went to the train station, which had Starbucks, and we hung out for a bit drinking coffees before heading on to wander around Stora Torget, and then over to the castle where there were some really pretty gardens.
Shortly thereafter we had to leave to drive back home to Linköping. On the way home there are drive-through moose farms. Sounds like exactly what it is: places to drive through to see moose. In our case, also some buffalo! Because we had been in Sweden for a while and I’d still never seen a proper moose. Of course, as soon as we paid to see moose we drove by “wild” ones. Figures.
So! There’s a bit about the random weekend we took to Malmö!