Day before the race
Saturday, 17.30 – realised that I supposed to pick up my racing kit the latest 18.00 today or I cannot go for a run. Thanks god, I can dress in 30 seconds and a taxi driver was super nice to drive there in 16 minutes instead of regular 25.
Saturday, 17.55 – running through the old airport where running Expo is located and of course the point where you pick it up located at the very end of the Expo. It was a nice warm up 🙂 but very disappointing to know that a race kit could have been anyway picked up at the day of the race. Damn Germans, could have distributed information better.
Saturday, 18.15 – bought special pins for putting racing number to the clothes that would kinda be the biggest puzzle during the race.
Race day (starting time 10.00 am)
8.45 – still at the room, not sure what kind of clothes to wear and deciding what to eat for breakfast.
9.15 – belgium waffles with cream and a latte – champion’s breakfast (not!). Very nerve braking sitting and watching other runners dressed just in t-shirts and shorts whilst I am wearing long socks, long tights, light sweater and a windstopper. Couldn’t decide whether it is majority weird or me (well, yeah, me of course but too late to regret).
9.25 – took off light sweater, put on windstopper, took off windstopper, left light sweater, realised that light sweater doesn’t have pockets for the energi gels, took off light sweater…On top of that, the problem with the racing number appeared. You supposed to make it visible during the whole run and I put the race number to the windstopper. Well, since I bought awesome pins that look awesome, hold great and not are not supposed to change on the go, I needed to decide whether I want to have windstopper or a light sweater and change the racing number accordingly, I chose to stay in a windstopper (as i would realise on second kilometer, that was soo wrong decision).
Start – I applied to the slowest group, which means that my group waits for everybody else to start that took almost 35 minutes. I was pretty happy with the windstopper at this moment.
Start to 2,5 km – Marc Ronson in the ears, people cheering all around and me trying not to cry of being sooooo thrilled that I am doing it, people around me doing it and spectators have all kind of cute handmade signs ‘Run mama run’ that 3 years old are holding surrounded by grandparents.
3 km – OMG, how i was wrong with the clothes. “Windstopper, long tights and long socks – REALLY? WHAT THE *#€% WERE YOU THINKING?!” – cannot think about anything else, though all the spectators are still thrilling me.
4,5 km – I can see Victory Column, tanks and cannot believe that I am doing this. Emotoins are overwhelming, If somebody would tell me 5 years ago, whilst I was hardly cycling the same route, that I would run half-marathon here, I would think that the person is totally out of his mind.
6 km – suddenly, I see ton of plastic cups on the ground, wet asphalt and realise that it is a water supply point and I was supposed to eat energi gel before it. I open the little bag fast with my teeth, make first sip and USSSH HOW DISGUSTING IS THIS?! I make myself eat at least half (never ever strawberry taste again), grab glass of water and feel that another ruuner poured his glass right on my left shoe. Yup, second lesson learned – be aware of the water at water supply points. Plastic cups under my feet make sound for another 400 meters after water supply point.
8 km – WHY WHY WHY am I wearing this windstopper? It is at least a perfect spring day with 14 degrees and sun and I am dressed for +3C run. If I take a windstopper, where should I put last energy gel? What to do with the racing nu,ber, because obviously I cannot repin it on the run.
8,5 km – still annoyed with being too warm and trying to think logically: I have electronical chip in my right shoe that tracks the time for the official record, I do not care that much about “professional” photos, I have sports bra-slash-top-that-I-can-wear-in.public under my windstopper (and come on, it is Germany, for God’s sake, they do mixed naked sauna on a regular basis) and I am fine running and having windstopper around my hips and holding energu drink in my right hand. So yup, hello, Sharlottenburg, from me in a sports-bra-slash-top.
8,8 km – hell ya, how awesome it is to run and not to be too warm! I am very happy again, back to the please-do-not-cry-right-now mode and giving high fives to the kids.
10 km – almost haaalf way there and made 10k in 1:03, how awesome is that! Once I think that another runner pours water 1 cm from my left shoe and I realise that it is another water station. This time I am very careful, once I grabbed my glass try to avoid every other runner on the left side of the track.
11 km – holding energi gel in my hand – it is that type that doesn’t require any water after and makes funny sound when I shake it. I hold it tight and think that I am going to eat it once I see P., who is trying hard to catch me, but I am too fast (I am not, but he is kinda not a public transport person and the whole area is impossible to reach by taxi).
12 km – Holy Molly, I ran more than a half! Kurfurstendam and all nice but closed boutiques are passing by on the left and I start to think, how awesome it is that people come here to shop and I am running my first half marathon here. I notice huge store of a great Swedish brand Filippa K and remember that I need that awesome black office dress that I saw a week ago but didn’t have time to try it on.
13,2 km – Oh, Zoo area, half ruined church and ton of memories from the trip with my girlfriends in 2009. Cannot decide whether to eat energi gel now before water station or to wait a little bit more.
14 km – just three sips of water on a water station and avoid other runners water traps and I am fine. Starting to feel a little bit tired, decided to wait eating energy gel until 16th kilometer.
14,5 km – left foot- right foot – left foot – right foot – nice orchestra to the left – high five to three toddlers – do not hold energy gel too tight, it might get warm and too disgusting.
15,5 km – P. is going to wait after 19th kilometer, my please-do-not-cry-right-now mode is back on and I am not sure that I am myself anymore. I cannot actually think about anything, just “5,5 km to go, OMG have I really never started to walk yet?”.
15,9 km – I open energy gel and, thanks God, it is not disgusting (lesson learned again – try all the gels BEFOREHAND).
16 km – last water station before the finish. Though my gel is kinda already mixed with water, I am super thirsty. Take three sips and go further. 5k to go, OMG really?!
16-19 km – I kinda can think only about how am I going make it without starting to walk. People around me are starting to walk-run-walk and it is so tempting to give muscles a break just for 40 seconds. But I cannot, that was my goal – never started to walk during half marathon. Realisation of this though is harder and harder, muscles are getting too strained and I don’t actually notice that much around me anymore. Just run-smile-high five to toddlers mode.
19,2 km – I can see P. though he doesn’t see me. I am superthirsty and hope that he has a bottler of water. I am very proud that I still haven’t started to walk and during our 2 seconds cheering I manage to drink water and tell him how prou I am of myself.
20,5 km – I cannot do it anymore and I don’t see a Finish line, is it there? where?
20,7 km – yaaaaaay, Finish line is right around the corner, I seeeeee iiiiiiit.
21 km – OMG OMG OMG OMG I just did it, without started to walk, without major problems, without actually proper training beforehand, I DIIIIID IT! It is kinda both fullfilling and wasting feeling at the same time – I don’t know why I did this but the fact that I did makes me so proud of myself.
21,2 km – happy medals “ceremony”, funny selfie (thanks for the photobombs, guys!) and feeling that it s hard to do anything, even to talk. Just want to get out of the crowd fast and actually think about what I just accomplished.
2 days after the race
The realisation that I did what I have planned and actually delivered well is just crazy. I still pretty sore in my legs, but don’t have that big problem even going down the stairs. Thanks ton of Magnesium, Vitargo and good sleep.