“I thought they said RUM!”
We have now done a few long-distance competitions but there was one problem (basic problem). Erki had not done any running marathons yet, so we decided we need to fix this thing!
Just a week after we participated in a mighty winter swimming competition there was another sporty event coming out, a running marathon. (Yep yep you heard right) During the Christmas period usually, only the good kids get presents. But one thing is 100% sure, everyone is getting lots of extra pounds (we usually have that tradition).
Because of that, it seemed like the right idea to lose some pounds through a marathon before a fattening period. As already mentioned, Christmas is the time for charity and also this event supports people who need little help. A small percentage of the registration fee was donated to the charity.
We thought that the more good we do the more presents we get! Seems a good idea!?
“In Christmas period usually only the good kids gets presents…but one thing is 100% sure, everyone is getting lots of extra pounds”
How the Preparation Went?
Are the experts when it comes to the preparation? I think rather no!
About the running history: Martin already knows what it means to run a marathon, but for Erki it would be the first running marathon and the longest distance he has ever run before was a half marathon (what a joke).
Running A Testing Marathon
Two weeks before the competition we thought that it would be a wise move to run a testing marathon. So before the actual competition, we know what is coming up. The fact is that in recent months Martin did run a massive ultra marathon (100km) and Erki on the other hand has not run straight over 10 km. Interesting statistics before the run. We started the testing marathon in slow tempo because we wanted to keep the heart rate down and get more time on the feet.
It took us about five hours to finish 42 km, but it came with some backfires. So Martin was not fully recovered from the Ultramarathon and an old injury came back. It was bad news for Martin because it canceled his plans to run the actual marathon (but he still donated for the charity). We marked this stupid action as a marathon, so we found some positive notes on the situation: “We ran a marathon, yeah!” Our test marathon also ruined Erki´s preparation for the actual one and so he managed to run 10 km in total before the main day.
Time for the First Marathon
About the Running Conditions
It was three days before Christmas Eve and usually in that period as winter, the temperature is pretty chilly. But the weather was near to perfect to run a marathon or have a little suntan. So the weather conditions were on my side, so I can’t blame about bad weather.
My goal was to run below four hours. Well, it would be a pretty optimistic goal after I managed to run my first test marathon below six hours, but I knew what I am capable of and I wanted to impress others and our team chief Martin, that running below four hours is possible. The distance was divided equally into five laps, which was in total 42.195 km like a marathon should be. So during the run, I saw the same places five times, which is pretty annoying, but it does not affect me to get a bad result in a marathon.
”There is a saying: “Slow runners make fast runners look good!”
Ready, set, GO
The first three laps went well and the feeling was amazing. I stayed with my tactics, which were staying at an equal pace and never slowing down or taking a rest time (walking). We have a rule not to walk! I knew that it would be easier to run it through nonstop, so I refused to stop. I had a really good mentality until at the end of the third lap when I felt some tiredness. I knew that I needed some energy gel before the fourth lap and this time I was grateful that I had a team chief, known as Martin.
He was always at the beginning of the lap to support me and our other friends, but in that exact lap, something strange happened. Martin was not there. As a good sports chief, you also have to feel well, otherwise, you would make mistakes. Martin felt that the oatmeal that he ate in the morning was not enough, so he needs to refill. Martin went eating (good guy).
Setbacks After Third Lap
Oh, damn, I was so exhausted on that lap and wanted to thank our team chief for that tactical move. When one side of the head said that “take it easy, you are tired” then the other, wiser side of my head told me very rationally “the faster you go, the faster you finish and end your pains”. With a strong mentality I kept my goal to run below four hours and even the thing that I had to pee from the lap one, I refused to stop. I did not just fight with my head, I also fought with a big need to do peeing break (at least there was no number two).
Before the last lap, I did get my energy gel from the team chief and I have to tell it was a tactical move because I needed it most before the last lap. I felt like I was flying in the last lap, new energy on my legs, fresh thoughts in my head, and also I did not feel that I needed to do a peeing break (I did not pee on my pants). So I ran like a new man in the last lap and I was thinking about a sauna, where all participants can go after the finish.
A Long Awaited Finish Line
Finally, I crossed a finishing line, and then I was exhausted. After I saw my final time I was pleased because I reached my goal and finished with time 3:46:37. I can tell I improved my time by over one hour and overall it is a really good time for the first marathon.
When one side of the head said that “take it easy, you are tired” then the other, wiser side of my head told me very rationally “the faster you go, the faster you finish and end your pains”.
Well, I was really happy with the time, but I was not happy with my knees! These sons of a… hurt badly and my biggest enemy was stairs. It took me ages to get on the next floor. When I have a choice between stairs and elevators, I usually take the stairs. But this time I would do vice versa.
Pain is temporary, but the amazing feeling that I got from running a marathon below four hours stays permanently. Till the next marathon!