Sunday, November 6, 2011

Redemtion :)

I've had a cold for a few days and had hoped that it would be gone before todays marathon but noo .. it has just become worse and worse. I had planed to set a PR today aiming at 4:30 but coughs and a snotty nose made me wonder if it was doable.

I got up at around 5 AM after a night with multiple trips to my youngest bed giving her her pacifier. Not really the ideal night before a race. A few hours later my wife got up and took care of the childs so I could reach the race in time. Sunday is her day for sleeping late so I felt kinda bad that she had to get up at 7:30 AM.

I hadn't registered for the race online so I had do be there a bit earlier than most. The registering part didn't really go that well and my mood was getting lower. I went back to my car to change clothes. When done I headed for the starting area. On the way I meet a colleague and her husband. They were running a half marathon today. Time was short and I had to run a little to make it in time, since the parking was nearly 1.5 km from the starting area. 

Once I reached the starting area I ran into SLG and her husband SR. I have the greatest respect for the two. We said hi and talked a little about the route. SR was going for a PR today and so was I. SLG was a little nervous about the route but I told her not to be. We had both run the skovløberen marathon recently and I told her that this was much easier.

The race started and off we went. I had planed to keep a average pace of 6:23 but I couldn't help myself. My legs felt great and a few kilometers in I found a great running partner. At first I took the lead but later he took his turn. It was great to have someone to run with but I knew that the pace we kept would bite me in my arse later on. After about 18 kilometers we got mixed with the 10k runners and it was a great feeling overtaking them one by one. At times we were running close to pace 5:00 and after 21 km I could feel that I needed to slow down. The good thing about parsing 21.1 km was that there were going to be cola at the water post! At least that was what the website said. I really felt like having some cola for a boost. For some reason the hills from 22 km to 25 km felt really really hard and my pace dropped to something like 6:30. Auch .. now I got nervous. Had I pushed myself too much in the first half. Was I going to be able to make a PR after all?

My running partner had understandably left me when my pace dropped but at 26 km my friend from last weeks 30 km PR was waiting for me on his bike. He asked if it was okay for me that he biked along. I was more than thrilled to have some company :) The paths was wide and there was no other runners close by so it wasn't going to be a problem for anyone. When I reached 30 km after 3:02 I stopped to walk a little. I tried to calculate the pace I needed to keep to reach the finish line in 4:30. My brain was numb. After having walked for 100 meters I started running again I could see the next water post and hoped for some cola. By then I had passed 2 water post with no cola .. and reaching this water post I added one to the count. I grapped some energy drink instead and took my last Gel. The next 3 km was a mix of walking uphill and running flats and downhill. But then I started feeling good again. Well .. 'good' might not be the correct word but I was able to keep running even uphill. I started overtaking people again and I was focused on reaching the finishing line as close to 4:30 as possible. Time for the next water post .. still no cola. I did notice some empty bottles though and I concluded that there had been cola but there were nothing left by now, doh. By now I kinda figured that I would never see a drop of cola before I reached the finishing line. Have a banana someone said. I didn't feel like having a banana. I wanted cola ;) Normally I DO like eating bananas when racing though I prefer apples or oranges. The pattern repeated itself at the two remaining water posts .. empty bottles, no cola. Cola or no cola, I felt like a tank. Uphill or downhill didn't matter I was 100% focused on reaching the finishing line in time. Anything between 4:30 and 4:40 was acceptable to me. I met and passed less focused runners that didn't look like they were in worse shape than me but they didn't wanted it as bad as I did. As I got closer and closer to the finishing line I ran faster and faster. THIS is running, this is was a marathon is about. Giving all you have and then some, passing people that have 'given up' and settled with what ever time they get.

The last 600 meters felt like a sprint and I was quite sure that I would pass out when I passed the finishing line. I didn't. Instead I was handed a bag by a girl who said I had own it as a sprint price. Thanks I said and sat down. I had made it. 4:36. A 25 minutes improvement of my last marathon PR. I sat down and shed a tear or two.


  1. Awesome! That is more like it. What a huge PR! I looked up your result right away when we got home and was so proud of you :).

  2. Flot klaret! Godt løbet og tillykke med din nye PR.