Months and months (before running the London Marathon) ago I entered myself into the Berlin Marathon. It was on the back of a successful Dublin Marathon and I thought what could go wrong…
Then London happened, confidence waivered, I spent the next few months training and most importantly praying for a dreary autumnal /early winter day and possibly if last year was anything to go by, some rain. The worst thing that could happen was it be hot.
Rolling on many months, the day before the Mararathon and I’m stood in our hotel bedroom opening the curtains. Not a single cloud in the sky. Bugger. I had always planned to do the international breakfast run on the Saturday and today I would get a glimpse of what was about to come…heat.
The run was very busy, thousands crammed the 6 km of roads up to the olympic stadium, finishing on the track. It was quite good fun and on top of that I was finally able to put a face to a name with James S who I had been in contact through our mutual friend, Sean at Audiofuel.
However, when we got to the end we were presented with a problem. Whilst heading into the stadium to watch us my fiance fell down a large step, really hurting her foot. We chatted to the medics there who iced it and then bandaged it. They said it wasnt broken as she could wiggle her toes but elevate it and see how it was later. Bugger. We headed out of the Stadium and back to the hotel, somehow managing to blag us a lift in an official race car!
Leaving Laura with her foot elevated on the bed I headed to collect my number. The expo was RAMMED and unfortunately there didnt seem to be any medium Adidas kit left. Shame really, as I have a technical T shirt from all of my other marathon campaigns. It was also pretty pricey, much more than the Adidas kit I get here im sure? Nevermind. We spent the afternoon lounging around the pool and chilling and we had dinner in the hotel restaurant. All very relaxed perfect preparation really.
At 630 my alarm went off. It was race day. Time to go. Meeting James in the lobby we walked to the start. Whilst it was a little cold it was clear were heading for a hot one as once again there was not a cloud in the sky. Rubbish really…
I had expectations of a highly efficient setup, vorsprung durk technique and all that. It felt far from that. The bag drop was all over the place, nowhere near enough toilets etc. Heading to the start I saw Sean and Francis of Audiofuel. With hindsight maybe I should have run with them but I wanted to go solo. Afterall a large percentage of a marathon is what it does to the head. Running as a group relieves some of this as you have someone to bounce off at the bad times, but it also seems the easy way out.
I had decided I would make a conscious effort to take on fluid at every station. As it was cups I stopped to walk whilst drinking, I wanted to not overheat again. My race was always going to be slower. For the first time EVER mid race I had to stop for a pee, perhaps at this stage I had overdone it with the fluid!
Whilst hot I managed to hide in the shade for the first 17 or so miles. Then the sun ended up directly overhead. No escape at the hotest part of the day. I slowed right down and sadly my head got the better of me, convinced I was going to go again. My breathing got heavier, I guess I was just worried. I think in the last 6 miles I probably dropped about 10 minutes however I was not going to pass out on this day so it was my sacrifice and it paid off. 3 hours 55 mins later I crossed the finish line no medic needed!
Sadly no finishers tshirt is given for free at the end of this race however a pint of beer was readily available, which I took. I headed back to the hotel on a rickshaw (don’t ask!) and spent the afternoon in the hotel pool, jacuzzi and ice bath. As I write this blog a few days later all this helped keep my legs relatively pain free!
So there we have it marathon start number 5, marathon medal number 4. Not bad for a 27 year old…
What next? Pass!
Ps On return to England Laura, my fiance, went to a&e where she was x-rayed. Turns out she broke her 5th metatarsal and is now in a cast and on crutches. She managed to survive on paracetamol and ibuprofen for 2 days and even managed to get to 2 points of the race to support me. The pain must have been immense, far greater than I was enduring on thats for sure! I don’t think I could ask for a more loyal supporter of my silly running campaigns. Thank you Laura. Xx