In pouring rain, one hour after the gunshot for the elite, it was only the slowest left to start the 46th Berlin Marathon, and among them – me. As so often before, I had time to repeatedly ask myself the question: Why on earth are you doing this? And the answer is quite simple and it hasn’t got to do with the joy of running or anything like that; I simply do not want my boyfriend to be the only one with a medal around his neck at the end of the day – affectionately mocking me with phrases like “pain is temporary – quitting lasts forever” (true story after I had to leave the race after 25 km in Stockholm due to an injury a few years ago). That is why I did not forfeit, despite fever and sore throat, but decided to give the medal hunt a try.
After just a couple of km I realized that this was going to be tough one (so, what else is new…?). My leg felt like led, and I was not at all able to keep the wanted pace without jumping to pulse zone 4. Not a great start, in other words… After only 15 km I felt completely depleted and then the heavy rain started. Perfect! From here on I was able to wog my way to the finishing line, but the jogging part became constantly shorter and shorter. For the approx. 10 last km, I was actually able to increase the jogging intervals, but that was simply because just walking was too painful to endure.
For the first time in history I used wireless airbuds, with a promised durance of 5 hours, but which only lasted for about 3 (thank you Bose Soundsport). Luckily I had foreseen this problem and had brought the portable charger, so after approx 10 minutes, the airbuds lasted for another hour before I had to repeat the charge.
Nourishment during a race always constitutes a big problem for meg, since my stomach cannot take any kind of sport gels. I did, however, bring with me 2 x baby smoothies, which I was able to digest during the marathon along with a couple of banana bites. Not much, but at least enough to keep me going.
For the last km, up the Under the Linden and to Brandenburger Tor, I was so motivated by the fact that I was approaching the finishing line, so this km was actually my fastest one. If you are thinking “If that was your fastest, then you had more to go on earlier in the race” think again. I REALLY did not! The mere thought of the finishing line along with the cheers of the spectators still left along the course, just gives me a second wind.
FINALLY, I could cross the finishing line and collect my fourth big, fat, Berlin Marathon Medal. My boyfriend had graciously been waiting for me for 90 minutes, so when I had regained my strengths and gotten changed, we left the area. Still runners were out in the course, but now they had closed off the finishing line, so the runners were not able to cross it or collect a medal. It was really heartbroken to watch… I mean, I do get that after 6:15 you do not get an official time, but someone could at least stay behind and give the slowest participants a medal for their effort!
Anyway, since this was my fourth time in Berlin and my boyfriend’s fifth, we have now decided to go for the jubilee membership (10 x Beriln Marathon), so we are already looking forward to next year and hopefully it will be a bit easier than this year.
To sum up: I got the medal, and nothing else matters 🙂