Berlin Marathon, second time in my life, this round with a lot to deal with and a long way in supposed preparation.
In reality, preparation was biased and totally ruined all the way to that specific level where one not only anxiously doubts whether a marathon distance is achiavable but having serious signs of giving up thoughts prior race. Not a healthy and perfect condition for the line-up at the start line.
And therefore I had to deal with even more to deal with. Intervalls, fartleks failed during my training period, in fact me training for a race failed big time. Long runs I ran close to none on the other hand totally questioned the serious commitment to run Berlin at all.
Cheating on trainings, getting my soul sink under surface, still loosing essential electrolytes in fun runs and putting on characters to avoid serious conversations with others, the long lost motivation and giving up on willpower, feeling worthless and undesirable – this is how I got into the crew BMW to ride to Berlin. Silent mode I told the others and I kept busy along the way with my dumb thoughts of nada, brainwashed as much as one could be, with a little bit of coughing here and there still carrying from my dehydrating vacation in Cyprus. Weak is a weak word for how I felt, but coach and M were there so I could not completely loose myself.
We had a little no-talk issue with M and I really felt uneasy about the weekend, us sleeping under the same roof, supposively best friends among the running world, us who don’t talk much lately but also us who keep each other high on cheers and encouragement. I knew I probably would fail keeping myself angry with him, because I really wanted him to run his goal and to give him a hifive and a huge hug after finish.
We drove silently and even though I felt supercold, I rather kept my mouth shut and set my mind on the unavoidable as we passed borders and realization occured: there is no turning back, marathon run is soon to begin.
I really hoped I could be prepared and mind set to do the extraordinary and run my heart out. State of mind and current physical being however made me rethink the whole meaning once again just weeks prior the race. I was not ready, nor prepared. In fact I was a wreck mentally, and inside-and-out.
By the time we got to the border of Germany I also knew I got a cold, but it just made me laugh, at least I can blame my result on this afterwards. If I could finish the race. At all.
On a serious note, I wasn’t really sure I would be able to run 42K at once at all. No whining, pure facts.
Berlin however did not dissapoint me for a second. Arriving, settling and eating at a thai restaurant 5 steps from our flat meeting up with friends made me ease down, in fact I laughed and all of a sudden I was no longer mad at M at all. We drank and laughed the night away stayed up in the 8 persons apartment running and dancing around, just the 3 of us, we only had a day before the rest of the crew arrived and the flat would be packed with running gear and buddies. Started to feel some marathon vibe finally.
Next morning we went for a run with coach, M stayed in being lazy. Run felt uneasy and chest hurt. I even considered having bronchitis, but later decided I for the first time in my life just had been hipohondriac. Got home and threw up. Went to the expo and vomited again. Am I pregnant I thought but had no time to think as I had to rush back to the ladies room. Rest of the day spent running from one restroom to the other. Nothing stayed inside, so after a while I gave up on trying. By the time the rest of the crew arrived to the flat in the evening I was one powerless heavy medicine ball laying on the couch almost unable to move. I whispered M that I need a rest and moved to my bed. I could hear they have fun in the living room, but than I finally fall asleep. Dreamed to sleep it out.
Morning we attended breakfast run with outernational runners but none of my BTG friends. No racer crewmember akong with coach went for a longer session, so it was just the two of us with M and the guy driving us to the run as I was so weak they decided to take me there. Hate to feel vulnerable but sick even more, but this 6K in 6min pace I had to do not to totally lose the spirit. It never occured to me that this route contains no mobile toilets on the way… M waited on me outside of a posh little cafeteria packed with nicely dressed up westerners with happy wrinkles and highquality outfits. Other side of the wall kinda elderly took a moment to see my miserable face than sipped another from their ceramic coffeemugs.
However, the crowd running the breakfast run made me focus on my challenge of the tommorrow and somehow my mind set to keenly awaiting mode for the marathon. I realized, I don’t need to stick with the plan and I can just run the whole marathon at 5:30, it’s all about me. Me enjoying. And this made me calm down. I told M my feelings and that I don’t want to talk to him run with him on the race. And I also told him I would throw tantrums if he would act the way he acted two weeks ago on the half marathon race. He went insane there, and could not ease him at all, and it seemed this time around I would have the same issues. Day went by pretty fast, afternoon with some cheering for the inline skaters, going to bridge the gapping formsome shake out run and greet some I’ve never met before – this will be another post – and I felt ready to race. Except that as coach diagnosed me, I had fever adding to the already weird physical conditions of mine. Had nothing to eat for two days now and none to drink either just in case.
Early going to bed, chatting a bit with M in the dark and dreams of the marathon. M calmed me down although I was too tired to be nervous even.
Sunday. Race day. Between M and the Veteran to hold me tight as I still wasn’t my finest. No food no coffee in order to avoid any toilet visits. Empty stomach I listened to some music on the U-bahn, when Veteran realized he left his chip home, this made me active finally calling the cheersquad to look for it in the flat. M behaved well, no freaking out, in fact all smiles and ready to race. This is how we lined up into the crowd heading to the startline. Holding hands not to lose each other, special moments to remember. Anxious and ready we went under the start. And off we ran.
I enjoyed, trully, gracefully and with no gels no drinks until 32k. From than on I stopped at every refreshment stand to calmly drink the cup of water. Never done that before, the stopping, I usually rushed tru trying to sip some from the cups I always ended uo throwing the water into my nose accidentally. This time I took the time. And it also felt good. Had not checked on the watch, cared not about the time. i enjoyed being there running this Major once again. And I even did pretty good considerably. 3:18. For a moment I had the thought of killing myself to stop drinking like 4 times on the last 10k but quickly passed the bad thoughts and kept running to meet M to finally hug him, because he did it, his goal achieved.
Mine too. I enjoyed and left some thoughts and feelings along the way. Later that night I watched the full moon rising and shining, and realized I finally like running and myself again.
A week later, back in town back at work and I miss running again. And I smile. Still smile.
Danke sehr Berlin!