OMG the day is finally here. I’ve train for this for so long, and so much. I gave everything I had in my training.
After realising there’s no kettle in the hotel room I had to have pastry with yoghurt for breakfast. We left our hotel around 7.15am, because I really wanted to be part of the group charity photo. We agreed to meet up by Starbucks at 8am.
When we got on the train it was full with runners. I felt so happy. I can’t describe it. All the training I’ve put in the last few months, and today is race day. I knew it well that it will be over so soon. So tried to enjoy every minute of it.
After the photo I’ve said goodbye to my husband and went to my start zone, I was starting from Zone H. At this point I still had about 1.5 hours before the start.
Luckily at registration I’ve chosen to have a poncho, so didn’t need to queue up for the bag drop off. If I would do the race again I’d pick the poncho again, it saves so much time. No need to queue at all, just straight to the starting zone.
When I got to my start zone, it was still early, roughly about 8.30am, so not many people around. Had a quick loo break, and didn’t have to queue at all for it.
As the different waves started we cheered all of them. Then slowly the clock turned to 10.05am and it was our turn to start. Heard the countdown then heard the starting gun. It was time to do it, time to run. All the mixed emotions I had before were all gone by this point. I just felt happy, I felt free, glad to be there.
My first meeting point with my husband was at the 6km mark, which happened to be just in front of our hotel. I literally had no idea about this when I’ve booked the hotel. We just seen the blue line being painted on Saturday evening. Wow. Great hotel.
I felt really good about the first part of the race. Jeffing worked as well, and also seen other run-walk-runners.
My half point split was 02.52.27
It’s still about 6-8mins slower than my training runs and my best half marathon time. But even with this I was well on time to beat my target time. The first few miles were really crowded and had to take over many runners. So I assume I’ve lost some time there.
But I was still cheerful and happy. Seen Luke just after the half way mark and that gave me a massive boost.
After seeing him there, our next meeting point was at the 35km mark.
I was still going strong for a few miles, and hydrated really well, even ate some apples too from the tables.
By the time I’ve got the 35km mark I’ve lost the race mentally. My first 5k time was 39mins, the 5k between the 30-35km mark was 47 minutes. I did not get tired physically it was unfortunately more like a mental weakness. All my training runs were done by myself, so I really thought that it will help me during the race. But it did not. I was running thousands of others but I’ve felt totally alone. I felt alone, and I’ve struggled with my thoughts. I even started to question myself, why am I doing this? Other people go to the beach to have fun, not to run 26.2miles. At some point I even thought I’m not even worth to be there and I should really cancel my Chicago/Tokyo/Boston entry. At this point I’ve decided just to walk the rest of the race. I did not care if the sweeper bus picks me up and get a DNF next to my name.
Because of this mental weakness my predicted finish time went passed my dream finish of 6hrs. When I’ve seen that I really did not want to continue. I know its sounds so childish, but that’s what I’ve trained for. I wanted to be under 6hr. I wanted to be better than myself. But I failed miserably.
I felt like a total failure , I’ve trained for something but could not deliver it.
Luke even got my a Nutella pancake at the 35km mark, hoping it will cheer me up . But it did not work unfortunately. I don’t think anything could have cheered me up.
Then I’ve seen Meagan speed walking past me. She’s the founding member of the Berlin marathon Facebook group. I only chatted with her online, but this was the first time seeing her. She was struggling was her walk was faster than my attempted run. I though this is a sign, I have to keep up with her. I can walk, cant I?
So I’ve walked the last 7.192km with her. OMG. I had a look at my splits and those km walked were faster than my running pace in the last few km. We walked , chatted, walked, smiled to the camera guys. I felt great again, I felt alive. I felt like I could go again for hours and hours.
Then I’ve realised why I’ve lost my race, I’ve lost it because I was out there alone. I literally had no one to talk to for 30km, no one to share my struggles, or even my happiness when I was running great splits. Yes, I’ve seen hubby a few timed during the race, but it’s not the same. He couldn’t run with me.
We’ve crossed the finish line together with Meagan. I’ll be forever grateful for her. To pick me up at km 35 and fast walk with me to the finish line. She kept me going, even when I thought I can’t go any longer. Thank you so so much !!!
We’ve crossed that magic finish line in 06:22:52.
To my surprise I even PBd! This time is a whole 10 mins faster than my time in New York in last November. I can’t believe it. What would have happened if I wont lose it mentally at km35?
As you can see I’m back at my happy self at the finish 🙂 Like nothing has happened. But I knew that I’m struggled a lot, and I need to sort this out by the time I get to Chicago. I know im strong physically just need to get my mental game on.
So I’ve got a PB even though I had the worst race of my life. I have 2 weeks to sort myself out, and get out there and get a better performance in Chicago. I CAN do it and I WILL do it.