Ok, so I just got back from Berlin yesterday evening,
inevitably have been thinking about the marathon over the last few days, going over the little details, here's a bit more about how my day went:
we stayed in a hostel out east near Landsberger Allee (Generator hostel) but had a twin room so less noise disturbance - there were quite a lot of runners staying there - the night before they had an all you can eat pasta deal going for €8 and they started breakfast from 5am just for the runners on Sunday (so it was perfect prep)
ended up in a very
slow queue for the toilet on the Reichstag lawn before the race - took 20 or 30 mins - the upshot was that I had just 10 or 15 mins to get to the start from there - and with thousands of people doing the same thing there were traffic jams and I didn't get near the C pen - like to think I was in the back of D
as a result of this I ended up going through the start about 4.5 mins after the clock had started - had to overtake a lot of slower runners - for the first 3, maybe 5 km ended up running on footpaths, median strips etc, my first 2 km were particularly off the pace but got back on track by 5km - not really sure how this may have affected me overall - obviously it wasn't ideal but I was happy to get back on track and still feel quite strong
here are my splits: (target for sub 3 in brackets)
5 km 00:21:28 (21:20)
10 km 00:42:22 (42:40)
15 km 01:03:14 (1:03:59)
20 km 01:24:32
half 01:29:16 (1:30:00)
25 km 01:46:27 (1:46:39)
30 km 02:08:31 (2:07:59)
35 km 02:30:44 (2:29:18)
40 km 02:53:24 (2:50:38)
I should mention at this point that the target splits I had gotten off a bracelet from the Asics stand at the marathon expo the day before - of course because my friends were rushing me out the door to go to the race I left the bracelet behind me (
) and therefore spent approximately half my marathon calculating in my head what my next 5k split should be
I wsn't trying to put time in the bank - I had hoped to run an even split or better - in fact I felt really good during the first half and even remember (completely naively) thinking I could end up going under 2:59, never mind 3:00 at one brief point - well I could have if I kept up that pace...
got a stitch at about the 25km mark or maybe it was just after the half so had to slow down the pace there - shrugged it off though but it returned at around the 30km point and I stopped for about 10 or 15 seconds to try and get rid of it
I agree that the water cups were very difficult to drink out of, I had a belt with 4 small bottles on it and ended up pouring a cup into one of the bottles when I went through and then I could drink it at my leisure
some highlights for me along the course were those drummers under that bridge (incredible noise) and seeing a couple of different supporters with Irish flags and giving a big roar at them and getting the roar back! It is probably fair to say there were supporters along every stretch of the entire route which is some going really
back to my own run, so the stitch and stopping briefly were very obvious setbacks - I think I was a bit reluctant to drink too
much after that and maybe that was my downfall - I also had some jelly babies with me but maybe I didn't eat enough of these - all part of the learning experience! I felt quite weak around the 35k mark but didn't experience a massive "wall" but mentally I was obviously struggling a bit as I was looking at my watch and convinced myself that the next marker was the 40km one but when the 39km loomed ahead I knew that was it, the (admittedly a massive long shot) sub 3 dream was over for this day. Anyway, I carried on and when I got to 40k decided to push as hard as I could, I felt alright actually for those 2k and probably did them in 4:15 each (back at my planned pace or close to it) but the last 300m was a struggle - I never thought I wasn't going to make it or have to stop but I just wasn't powering along
after the race we hung out (ie. laid down!) on the Reichstag lawn for quite a while before heading back to lie on the old beds. My friends had no intentions of going out but I got a text from a German friend who was going to the post race party so I popped in there. I was struggling quite a lot with the muscle soreness and was a bit put out to find that the party looked really good - there were people dancing around like lunatics! I arrived late, had half a bottle of beer and then struggled back to my bed to let the healing begin. Would have loved to join the party and had planned to try catch up with some boardsies at the Europa centre but I just didn't have it in me. Next time!
had a good old look around Berlin, is really a lovely city. Don't think I appreciated the Brandenberg gate on Sunday, could only keep thinking as I went under it "Why isn't this the end?!? " - I did know well that the end wouldn't be for another few hundred metres or more
so now, the slight emptiness after such a long summer focussing on the 20th of September...Well, I'm really glad I'm in for Dublin too - still trying to decide how to approach it - we'll have to see about that one.
on my igoogle "quotes of the day" thing yesterday this one popped up yesterday (I never normally look at it tbh but just noticed it)
"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
John le Carre
just though I'd throw that in there!
- between now and Dublin am quite busy with wedding and stags and the like so we'll have to see how things are going- did my first gentle run last night - felt alright - lateral quads the worst hit -
If all goes ok I may well try carry out the same plan of attack for Dublin except not getting ahead of target at all, and maybe with some supporters and tactically located energy drinks etc along the way you never know what might happen. But I do feel it would be a big ask - in fact I think it would be a big ask to repeat the time I ran in Berlin in Dublin - am not going to get too focussed on it anyway, just gonna enjoy it!
and well done everyone else! I definitely want to go back for another crack at Berlin, maybe in 2011.....
PS: was just looking at the photos on Marathonfoto - some good ones