Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Race Report – Berlin Marathon 2012/09/30

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Planned: 3:20/3:22, not too fast first half – giving all possible last 10KM

Actual: official 3:22.26 (corrected from Garmin:3:22:29)- new PR by 4min 6sec from Dubai 8-months ago (Jan-2012)! Very satisfied of the result as the 3:25 mark has been bothering me since London-bad ending… But enough of this one. No world record this year on the marathon.

Race Results:
place (M/W) 236
place (ag) 48
age/grade: 68.29% (Dubai:66.6/ London:66.47/SF:65.66)
time total (netto) 03:22:26
time total (brutto) 03:23:52

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Planned to run first half @1:40 (4.44/km): Started in Group D(3:00-3:15) – lots of people, a bit crowded at the start but despite this, first km ended @4.47 (planned it just under 5!) and soon after 1km, it became less crowded (well in the turns it is always a bit tricky but did not suffer of the crowd experience as other felt previous years).
Good feeling thereafter and noticed that I was a lot in advance compare to Virtual partner on Garmin (set to 4:45) so after 5K I stop looking at it! Avg pace was then @ 4:36 and feeling good. So decided to go on even though “strategy” was to have it easy first half.(km1 @4.28 was a bit of a surprise afterwards!)
> Followed a guy from km15 up to half-mara: Great as he was same length, same pace, same footstep – if he was slightly faster, I could catch up and same for him: great pull-help! Unfortunately I left him at half-mara when doing my acceleration 😦
Image>km17+: almost stopped at water station for vitargo gel + water therefore slower pace. Took a couple of km to get back the previous pace.
> seeing the half-mara arriving, just felt feather on my back and accelerate as feeling good (still smiling as well!)
> Checked from time to time my pulse and saw it was above 170 from km4 or so and skipped looking at it afterwards (though it would take longer to reach this level!)
> second half was different: Until km30 no problem, similar pace, just enjoying and felt like running at “talking tempo” (even though did not have really someone to talk to!)
>km29 slower due to stop/walking while taking vitargo gel + water : REALLY crowded water station 😦 but catch up went fine
> THEN arrive km35. Had trained on the route km34 to the end and it is really flat and easy. But something just did that could not concentrate/focus and just wished to let go. HOPEFULLY I catch up a guy and asked him to “not leave me until the end”… Believe it or not, he didn’t! He stayed by my side ALL the way to km 41.5. When I stopped and walked, he slowed down and turned back to stay with me. Happened to be French 🙂
>km38 was a real pain as the marathon km-signs where until half-mara between 50 & 200 meters (more of those ones!) ahead of my Garmin. But for km38, the Garmin showed already 38.8!!! when reaching the sign… So was really feeling I had been used there (Yaa.. the mind ain’t working much after a while). Anyway, the king French caught me on this one and even slow me down at a moment so I would have enough strength until the end.
> km41.5 after pulling the guy 2 times after km40.5, I did want an acceleration and polish a nice finish, but he could not follow so I went solo from this mark. THEN almost @km42 both thighs started cramping and short after the hamstring/calves… well no good. Needed a strong mindset to convince myself to continue pushing until the end, smiling and finish strong (i.e by that not limping during the end of the marathon: I was to cross the Brandenburg Torn! so no crippling!).
>> went fastest speed I though as the Garmin registered the last 800m in 3:49 (pace 4:46 which was my expected pace for the last 5K…)

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Well-deserved medal came after almost fainting in the arms of an official – but it was the legs not holding any longer!
Massage afterwards + they help with little painful wrists.
During the race: slight pain in the knees (side as usual) after 2km or so, although I would put that on the chilly weather/no possibility really to warm up correctly before the race or to keep warm (forgot my long trousers!) / little stomach pain(or cramp after half-way, but disappeared as quick as it came. From km35, cannot recall any real “pain” anywhere, apart from the mind not really wishing to continue running (or rightly said: “wishing to stop and walk as would probably feel better”…)

Weather: chilly in the morning – although skipped the t-shirt under singlet right before the start. Soon after, got sunny and even warm from time to time. Windy (slightly) at some places though

Food:
> carbo-loading on natural food – no Vitargo carbo-load at all (as for 4 previous marathons) Morning before race eating cereals/milk/chocolate @5pm
> during the race: 1 vitargo @km 17.5, @27.5 and 34. Dextrosol tablets: 1 @ km36 & km39
> just after race: all that was given in the bag! (bananas 3!, small brioche (dry!), water, 2 tea)
> later on: 3 hours after arrival: pizza napolitana + Coca cola / tea and short after warm chocolate @Starbucks 🙂

Gear: ASICS Vesta shorts/UNICEF singlet – flying-lightSkyspeed perfect shoes for this race!

Difficult to set the difficulty of the race. The last 5km were definitely of an average 19/20 (last time experienced this was in august 2011 in Greece – run my ever first 30K under Greek sun…) But before that I would have set actually a 14+/15 because it was really feeling good and flowing very well.
=> So deciding for a 16+ because of those last 5km (much different from the 17 in London and Dubai!

GREAT RACE! Definitely worth trying (even though no planning a PB). Felt like enjoying the race until km34/35 before all broke down!
Enjoyed as well company of jogg-friend both day before race and after race-pizza!

NOTE: Mara on the watch shows 42.8km (!!!)
NOTE2: Rest for a week as NY is soon to come…
NOTE3: Day after marathon: slight pain in lower back – same as in Dubai & GV2010 – also much less! Legs are fine but calves are tired 🙂 A bit of walking during the day will do good

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