Last Sunday i competed in the Dresden Marathon,my first marathon after about four years break from any sort of serious running, i have been slowly trying to get back into running races over the last year or so since i have been in England and specifically since i joined the Vegan Runners UK,..who have been very inspirational!! 🙂 This marathon was more of a training inspiration to get me back into proper training discipline,rather than a great push to improve on previous times.
The weather in Dresden was cold-about 4 degrees-and rainy,there was a field of over 7000 runners for the full and half marathon and the 10 ks.A good turn out for a strictly amateur race.I was feeling really really under-trained and set myself the goal of at least completing in under 4 hours.
The first half of the marathon went well, i was steady and all my splits were exactly as i wanted them to be to come in for a 4 hour time.Despite the weather and freezing freezing cold hands, even in gloves, i really enjoyed all of about the first,…27 k’s,..then it started to get a little less fun!Around that mark all of my skipped long runs,or lazy maintainance runs,became apparent, it became a real mental struggle,alot harder than physical where essentially,other than of course being tired,there were no problems.I didnt dare walk even through the aid stations but i basically allowed my body to slow and slow and slow until i was worried i wasnt even going to make under 4 hours, the horrible thing being that my mind had given up!It had allowed my body to stay slowed-down and didnt care that people kept passing me over the kilometers.I kept little chunks of distance as my inspiration to keep chugging along,at 32ks thinking just 10 more to go,then just 7, just 6,!It was such a battle of mental stamina for me,i spent the last hour of the run promising myself the minute i get back to london im going to write up a training schedule and im going to push myself so hard!I also promised myself that the next marathon i run,no matter what time i get i WILL complete half an hour faster!!(watch this space folks!? )
At about half way between the 36 and the 37ks,..i noticed coming up beside me a pace setter who had a orange balloon with 4:00 written on it!!!I think i probably looked cartoonish double taking at this guy and the small group he was dragging in his wake,..he was my last chance!And whats so telling is how easy it was for me to pick my pace up to match his,i could of kicked myself at this reaslisation,that physically the run could have been faster the whole time,and that it was mentally that i’d handicapped myself!(something i need to take into consideration next time round eh)so he was my new buddy and i ran in perfect stride with him for nearly all of the next 5 ks,around the 41k mark he took off,obviously A LOT fitter than me he effortlessly strode off to make the most of his finish leaving me to trail behind and finish in a satisfactory 3:58:09 !!
(I thanked him heartily after the race!)
Also this was my first marathon wearing the Vegan Runners shirt.About one kilometer into the race i amazingly spotted another vegan runner sporting the familiar green and black vest,so not being able to resist,and probably coming across as very weird and creepy i tapped her on the shoulder and showed her a corner of my vest that was at this stage under a jacket!Was very nice to have a ‘team’ member out on the course with me,even if (at this stage)i didnt know who she was.(Hello Andrea Hayn from Berlin!)I was also very pleasantly surprised by the number of fellow runners who approached me either during the race or afterwards to comment on my vegan vest and to show their support!
In light of the promise to myself about training and improving and driving forward,i went for my first run yesterday.It felt great.I have big expectations for myself for the next time,all in all this was deffinately a great run, if nothing eles because it was exactly the inspiration and motivation i was looking for to get myself back into proper running again!!Im very proud and pleased with myself 🙂
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