Posted: 02/11/2015 at 21:54
So, I had a cold, missed the start by 20 minutes and had no garmin. This really had to be run to feel. I had a wrist watch on so once I got to 5k I tried to use that to keep an eye on the 5k splits. I had set Strava away on my phone but was paranoid about having no battery at the end.
I dimmed the screen right down and when I checked it at halfway it was completely dead. However, I realised later on in the day that I just couldn't see the screen outdoors! So I do have splits to look back on.
Miles 1, 2, 3 (8:45, 9:04, 8:57) I wasn't hard to start slow as I was running with very slow runners! The roads were also narrow in places so it was hard to get past in places but I just went with the flow and pushed on where I could but didn't worry about slowing when I had no other choice.
Miles 4, 5, 6 (8:05 - very downhill, 8:52, 7:50 - again downhill) These first few miles were beautiful out of the city.
Miles 7, 8, 9 (8:45, 8:26, 8:17) Starting to get back into the city now. The crowds were excellent, not quite as big as London but definitely louder! 'Good Job', 'You Got This', 'Go Germany'. Yes, my club vest is the colours of the German flag...
Miles 10, 11, 12 (8:30, 8:26, 8:17) I was feeling quite good at this stage. The aim was to try to keep the effort minimal. It was quite easy to do this because if I started to go too fast I started to cough. I used that as my guide! 'You're doing this, Germany'
Miles 13, 14, 15 (8:28, 8:26, 8:18) I was pleased to be passed the halfway mark. We were in the city now and I swear I saw the Washington Monument from every angle possible! Every time I turned around it was there! 'Good Job'
Miles 16, 17, 18 (8:22, 8:23, 8:30) This stretched included the blue mile in which fallen servicemen are commemorated. I have to say it was quite emotional, but maybe it was because the running was starting to hurt! 'oh there's a German..'
Miles 19, 20, 21 (8:38, 8:53, 8:30) Ok this is starting to feel uncomfortable. I tried to tell myself this was impossible as these last few miles are always my favourite marathon miles. My legs were arguing.
Miles 22, 23, 24 (8:51, 8:35, 8:43) I was still passing people but I felt I had barely more than a shuffle left in me. Oh, why hadn't I trained more? I knew I'd get to the end but it wasn't going to be pleasant. I stopped at a the 24 miles drink station and took a minute to have a proper drink and give myself a talking to.
Miles 25, 26 and the rest (9:05, 9:04.... 10:08!) Oh god this hurt. I can honestly say I have never experienced this pain before. It wasn't muscular it was bone. My bones were disintegrating. I looked down at one point and expected my legs to melting. Get to mile 25, then to 26. Thank god, not far to go now. Then, shocker, there was a hill and it wasn't a small hill. It was like going up a multistory carpark. Where was the finish... eventually got the the top and still couldn't see the finish. I was practically crying and could have just stopped right there, but of course I didn't. Over the line in 3:51.
Although at the time it felt like hell on earth afterwards I concluded that I had really enjoyed lots of things about it. I loved the course, the crowds and it was a great test to run without a garmin and totally run to feel. It was the second slowest of my 13 marathons but I felt I learnt a lot from it. Mainly not to wear my club vest when running abroad!
The good news was my legs recovered very quickly, although my cold took a cold fo