Now I’m finally sitting in bed, it’s warm and comfy, my knees hurt but I’m loving my salt-and-vinegar-crisps, this year’s first mulled wine and of course the medallion that hangs around my neck.
So, how was my day? Incredible. Unexpected. Those two words grasp it so well. After a massive breakfast and several snacks to stock up on my energy reserves, and after 2 litres of water (I took a big bottle and challenged myself to empty it – I did it!), my grandpa drove me to Tampere. I got a bit nervous, because he’s a really slow driver and even lost the way at some point, but we managed to arrive right before the registration time ended. After that I had time to take one last bite of my protein bar, jump around and stretch (my muscles hurt after all after yesterday’s workout!) before the run started.
Right in time for the run I started both my NikeRunning-app and my Polar watch. Those two were really helpful! The Nike app told me every kilometre how far I had got, the watch showed me how fast I was. I usually run a kilometre in about 6 minutes or a bit more, so I had planned to stay below those 6 minutes this time. I ended up running at a pace of 5:30min/km or less, for three rounds I even joined a woman who ran at 5:00 – 5:18min/km!
I can only recommend choosing a person, who runs a bit faster than you would, as a running hare, and try to stay with him or her as long as you can! I would have never ever run at this pace, but I just switched my brain off, turned all my power resources on and stayed with this woman as long as I could!
I have to admit that a half marathon, especially if you try to be fast, is a two-hour-torment for your legs. But then again I knew that I would be disappointed later if I hadn’t given it all! So I did my best and pushed my legs to their absolute limits. What really helped, were the cheering people. The managed to conjure a smile in my face and strength in my legs. The parts with cheering crowds I ran so much faster, thank you everyone who has ever cheered at runners! It is so helpful and I couldn’t stop grinning! And the best thing ever is when you have your own fan cheering just for you: my grandpa was there at each round, always clapping his hands and shouting how many rounds I had left! It was so so so so wonderful!
At 15k I thought about walking, because the run started to get extremely hard. But my only goal that I had set me was to run the entire half marathon without breaks, and I wanted to manage just that! The last round at 17k was super tough too. I barely felt my legs anymore and what I felt, hurt. I kept murmuring to myself that it’s the last round, that I can do it, that I will soon be on our way back, that it’s only two more kilometres, which is nothing! Some people ran the full marathon or even 50 or 100k that day (big respect!), my 21k were nothing in comparison! So I even managed a little sprint at the last few hundred metres. And then I ran through the goal, where my grandpa was awaiting me together with a man, who hung a medal around my neck and told me that I finished seventh of all half-marathon runners! I couldn’t believe it, just looked at him and started crying. And that unknown man gave me a big hug. It was incredible!
My goal was to reach the goal. My goal was to run the entire half marathon. My dream goal was to run a similar time like at my last half marathon, which was 2:16. My goal was to have fun and see that running really is worth something. My goal was to show myself what I’m capable of. I ended up running 1:56 and finishing seventh, which I still can barely grasp. How did I even do it? I habe no idea, but I am so proud!
Behind the finish line I got some soup and some soda and then my grandpa drove me home and heated the sauna for me. I spent an hour in the sauna, swallowed a big bag of crisps (which I really needed because of the salt that I had lost while sweating!) and am now laying in bed hoping that I can still walk tomorrow. And I am so thankful for all your support, your instagram messages, your snaps, your comments here. And I already know that I’ll soon run another half marathon, because the feeling afterwards is indescribable. Who knows, maybe I’ll even sign up for the half marathon in Berlin in April and meet some bloggers and maybe even some of you guys there?
Who knows. But I can only encourage you to sign up for a run too. Nothing beats the feeling of having trained for something and then crossing the finish line. Nothing makes one more proud, more satisfied, more happy. For me it is something really personal too. I have had issues with my self esteem, but any time I feel bad about myself or feel like my legs are not pretty enough, I just remind myself, that I can run half marathons and finish them in less than two hours. I have something to be grateful for. Myself.
Good night now!