I wasn't really in the mood. I spent the whole day thinking about not going. I had a bad week and didn't feel like I was mentally prepared for running 42km again.
5 minutes before the start, I couldn't change my mood yet and when we started I thought about never ever doing that again. That would "definitely" be my last one. After all, there is no fuc*£# reason to do this: Why do people run 42km to get back to the exactly same place?
But here is what followed:
Km1: ok, that's a confortable pace. If I run like this until the end I can make it within 4 hours.
Km8: only 8? Really? Oh man... I won't make it. Maybe I should just stop at the next refreshment point.
Km 10 (at the r.p.): ok, let's just do at least half-marathon.
Km 15: I wanna go home.
Km18: I ran in the flow with some people running faster than I should if I wanted to finish the marathon, but I wasn't really considering that anymore and "the faster I run, the faster I got to the next refreshment point, where I will stop", I thought.
Km22: I realized I was still running with the "faster group" and forgot to stop. "Ok, let's run until 30, then".
Km30: I saw Bas, who was running much faster than I until there. He was walking and apparently not feeling well. If I stopped there, he would probably do the same. "Shit, let's just keep running until he doesn't see me anymore and then I stop!".
Km31: the pacers for 4:00h reached me and when I asked they said they were running for 3h57' and invited me to join the group. I just pased the most windy part of the route and thought that was a great idea. "Yes, I will join the group until I can and let's see what happens".
Km36: I was still with them but I couldn't wait anymore to pee. I stopped and, as a matter of fact, peed a lot. Which means I was also doing great on the hydration strategy.
Km37: "oh, sh*t! Stopping now doesn't make any sense. I have to finnish this thing".
Km38: "well, if I keep this pace, I might end within 4 hours" - which has been my goal since I ran my first marathon, in February.
Km39: another refreshment point and I couldn't avoid stopping to take a sport drink. People try to motivate us saying we are almost there, but try to think about running even 100m when your mind is telling you to stop right now.
Km40: I reached a group of guys who were struggling more than I and if they didn't hurry I wouldn't make within 4h anymore. I asked them for space and surpassed them. "Now, you bitch, just run - because these men won't forgive you if they reach you back" I thought.
Km41: "come on!!! Where the fu*k is the finnish line?"
Km41,5: people scream "a few meters to go, come on!!!" And I realize I would make it just in time.
Km42: watch showed 3 hours 59 minutes and 25 seconds. There were still 125m to go. I ran the faster I could and with my heart almost coming out through my mouth, I crossed the finnish line with the ofical time of 3h 59 minutes and 46 seconds.
The event itself was amazing: lovely people cheering on the way, beautiful route and everything perfectly organised (more than enough refreshment points, helpful volunteers, first aid, traffic manipulation and etc). It's always nice to see how people are willing to dedicate their time to help us; those (crazy) people called runners!!!
After a week where many things went wrong, sport didn't let me down!!!
I also managed to end as the 7th on my division. Not bad for a beginner at all!! I am really proud and satisfied.
And by the way, I am pretty sure it was not my last one!!!!