Such a strong word. I had this in my bucket list since I was a child. And I always knew I would do it. I didn’t know where, how, and when. But I knew that I would have a check mark beside this word on my list.
I have always done a kind of a sport. I have never achieved anything in my childhood, but I tried and tried. I run often since 1992. I didn’t measure anything at that time, so I don’t know how much, how fast and how far. Nevertheless, with the knowledge that measuring gave me so far, I can say that it was impressive even then, without GPS and other runner’s helpers.
In 2012, I had to start running outside again. It all happened without plan. I sold my Orbitrek and had a sudden bill to pay, so I didn’t have money at that time to buy a good treadmill.
Therefore, I went outside. I gathered kilometre, per kilometre… then it was five kilometres, eight, ten, and twelve… then I managed something around half marathon, longer, longer…. I run, like in the movie: Run, Forrest, Run. So I run.
I have participated in several small races, 5K, 10K, 12K and I was not the last. Guess I am not the Champion material. Still, I run again.
It was by chance that on some business trip in Portugal I saw that there is a race that day in Porto. I was so excited. I asked the organizer to participate in the short race – 6K. You know it is a special occasion when you run in a different city, and especially in a different country. The organizer replied that I can participate, but that there are only places in the Half Marathon race. I agreed.
I should maybe mention that the longest run at that time for me was 12K, and I was travelling in Porto in two days. No time for training?
I came there. It was special. My result was funny. It took me more than 2:40h to come to the end of this 21K, but I did it. And the laud voice “Parabens menina“… will always remain in my head. “Parabens” for now on is always special feeling.
Then I met an interesting person that told me that he runs in the nature, uphill. He runs relays, in forest…
Hmmm. I thought. New challenge?
Yes. I put it on my bucket list.
Around me, there was no one interested. My running every other day was considered stupid by the ones that I knew. It is better to eat some extra large portion of food and drink a gallon of beer. Ok. It’s your choice – I thought. I prefer running.
Then I noticed one advertisement on the web. “First trekking school”.
This must be forest. I was not sure what the difference between trail and trekking is, and since I believed that I would definitely meet some other people that think positive about running and that maybe in the future they will be interested in “run and travel”.
Therefore, adventure started. Trail – trekking – trail, mountains, and wonderful landscapes, seaside… just to mention a few. Out of a hindered of people that started the trekking school, at the end I realised that there is a nice group of some 50 people that really like “run and travel”.
Bingo. I have new running friends. In a race where you spend several hours running, searching, trekking and enjoying nature, friendships become stronger and more long lasting. Moreover, what I like the most, we are all the same. The fast one, the slower one, the old, the young – we are all the same, we are all humans.
Sometimes I play giveaways. I know that I cannot win everything. Nevertheless, sometimes, something that I really want can come to me.
“You will have to run a lot to finish this race“. I heard the man talking aloud and looking at the piece of paper in his hand. He looked me in the eyes. Although it was a crowd of people around me – I know I won. I won a Berlin. I won the first prize in this lottery – travel arrangement and participation voucher for Marathon in Berlin. I was in heaven. Marathon and Berlin. It couldn’t be better – I thought.
It was the beginning of July, so I had only three months for training. I had a rather busy schedule at that time and at least three mountain races (longer than 20K) in my calendar. I also wanted to do a bicycle marathon that year. Moreover, the most important, I was feeling very exhausted. My iron level was around 1-2. In addition, considering my previous achievements, I received many strange comments. They all thought – I guess – that I will not be able to finish that in a time limit. The time limit was six hours. I knew I could do it.
Once, I trained myself according to FIRST. I like books, so when I saw the short description of this book in the bookstore, I decided it to read it and test it on myself. My first training according to this training program was for a Half Marathon. After my first HM that I did in more than 2:40, I managed with a shorter version of training (only 12 weeks) to cut this time to 2:20. I thought it is impressive enough to say that the method works.
So, I made a plan for Marathon. Huh! I don’t even have 12 weeks, and I am exhausted and not in a good health. I had to work harder, but how?
Therefore, I decided to train as much as I can, to add a bit of protein in my diet, to go on the races that I wanted to do that year. I paid the participation for bicycle marathon too. I bought three bottles of the finest Blackberry Wine and a pack of iron supplement. To be sure that I can do it, I had to run this 42K at least once before Berlin. Should I mention that this year was supposed to be the year without meat (Another challenging New Year Resolution that I could not break under any circumstances – ha ha ha). It is funny how the life is sometimes playing games with us, isn’t it?
And I run, run, run. I heard also sometimes: Run – Forrest – Run in my head… so I continued. I run in the rain, in the morning in the night. I run when there was almost 40 degrees of Celsius outside. I also trained a bicycle and a bit of swimming in the sea.
Bicycle marathon was planned for the end of the summer. Moreover, although I do not have long experience with cycling – I also knew that I could do it. I only needed a bicycle – a good one.
With my CUBE, it was a piece of cake. However, I will talk about it in some other story.
Berlin marathon was approaching, and although I have trained a lot, I still didn’t run the 42K distance.
I didn’t have much time left, only few weeks and yes, another two races that I had to participate in. You understand, don’t you?
It was 10th of September, the day when an 11K race was organized in my town in a scope of the European Week of Sport named #BeActive. I had to participate, off course. And I did. In addition, I also had to run my “pilot Marathon” that day. I just didn’t know if I would calculate this 11K in the 42K, or not?
Well, I didn’t. I had a rest of almost one hour, after the 11K race because I wanted to see the program of this meeting. So, it wouldn’t be ok to count this 11K in, would it?
I did my “Pilot-Marathon” that day. It was sunny day, with around 33 degrees of Celsius. I started one hour after noon. It took me too long, but I did it. I needed six hours to finish it. I was exhausted. The last two kilometres I did not know how to force myself to lift the legs in running positions. I guess I did not look like I was running at all 🙂 In total, I made 54K that day.
Ok. Now I was ready for Berlin 🙂
Berlin? It was easy. I was in a kind of an ecstatic state… with my photo camera, laughing, happy, knowing that I can do it. With such a support from the people on the streets of Berlin, with music, with a huge amount of other runners, I run my first official marathon.
It took me 4:54:14 to finish the race. Considering my trainings and previous “Pilot-Marathon”, I think it is amazing. Moreover, I am very proud about this result. It mine, unique and so far the PB Marathon, made in Berlin.
Ok, I wrote all of this because The Daily Prompt was Marathon.
It could have been a marathon of many things… but after such and experience last year, for me – it had to be about Berlin Marathon.
And a song of my life…..this time … by U2