I recently took a little break away from the city life but to start my holiday I ran 10km in the Berlin Marathon. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I injured myself during the Berlin Half Marathon and was not able to run for six months. I secured a spot in the Berlin marathon but simply did not have the training to be able to run the whole circuit. I had been so excited for so long about that this day that I decided to take part for only 10km of the run.
The pick up for the race numbers takes place at Tempelhof Airport. It’s a massive running show with really good deals, and thousands of runners and their families from all over the world attend. The air is filled with nervous and positive energy. Each person is given a blue security arm band and as I spent the rest of the weekend walking around the city it was clearly marked who would be running. Mentally I was pretty relaxed as I only had a 10km run in front of me, but for me this was an important mile stone as it was to be the longest I have run since my injury. The night before I ate my pasta, went to bed early and had all the traditional pre-run jitters.
I woke up very early, ate my energy breakfast and hopped out into the city. People came from all corners of the city carrying their branded marathon bags. Each stop, the S-bahn filled up with more and more people. As we exited you would have thought you were going to a sold out Madonna show. I arrived at the Reichstag building and slowly made my way to the starting line.
I was amazed at how calm the atmosphere was. Everyone was in a good and positive mood. Thousands of people huddled at the starting line and once the gun went off we were on our way. The streets were packed with supporters and the bands were pumping out their tunes. It was such a great buzz that I wanted it to last forever. As I ran through the familiar neighborhoods and street I approached The Circus Hotel where I knew all my close friends and family would be waiting for me. I was almost too quick and I barely saw everyone out of the corner of my eye. That gave me all I needed just to finish the last couple hundred meters.
The rest of the day I spent watching the runners approaching the Brandenburg Gate – their exhausted bodies not wanting to go any further, but their minds forcing them on until the end. It’s a wonderful site to see people overcome with joy that they have just completed a major mile stone. I was so inspired and felt so good after this experience that I realised that my injury seems to be stable and I feel that I will again be able to train for next year’s Berlin Marathon.
I then decided that since there was a lot of running traffic at the marathon that I wanted to see what my body was capable of. So I signed up for the Asics Grand 10. This takes place starting at the Schloss Charlottenburg and is known to be flat and fast. I was relaxed for this race as I knew I could do it and I wanted to do it well.
During this race I wanted to test myself and see where my physical limits were. Is my body prepared for what’s to come in the next months? I gave it almost all I had. I kept a steady fast pace, I had to fight to not pass out when my head started to tingle, this was the feeling that I missed. Push and push hard and in the end, after many months of not training for races, I came out with a 56:51 for 10km. I’m pretty proud of this time and am content that I gave it my all.
Race season is over. Now its time to forget about running times and concentrate on getting the body used to running again. I will now concentrate on my training and prepare myself for next years Berlin Half Marathon in April.
Two great experiences in two weeks.