10 Things I Think About The Berlin Marathon 2018
I think I had one of those really good body days that you get every so often where everything is in a happy place. My legs felt incredible during the warm up jog from the hotel to the S-Bahn station at the Zoo, I’ve never had such good legs before, so bouncy. I wish I could have bouncy legs the whole time. I like bouncy legs.
I think I had a good plan in that I didn’t really have a plan, my basic plan was to keep the GPS pace under 6 minute miles while not breathing heavily, I wasn’t really worried how far below just so long as it was below. Marathon pace is easy to find, it’s as fast as you can run without making breathing noises.
3. Maor Uisce
I think we were privileged to have three fantastic water carriers. Alan, Sinéad and Frank did a great job. I wasn’t able to drink all of the water which almost feels rude but I gave it to the Spaniards in the group I was running with who said gracias.
I think I was too happy at halfway, I was still bouncy and I got to troll John O'Connell mid race which was great. I wish I’d had my phone, it would have made an excellent Insta story.
5. Exploding Toes
I think I knew that something would go wrong during the marathon. I didn’t think that my toe would explode at 24k. I wasn’t too upset when my toe exploded because my toes have exploded previously. The danger with an exploded toe is that you start to compensate to stay off the exploded toe because it’s sore. I knew from past experience that if you run into the pain of an exploded toe for about 2k your brain will accept the pain and allow you to continue. It worked.
6. The Urge
I think that I probably made the quickest pitstop of anyone during the race. The urge came on me all of a sudden at 25k just as I passed the toilets, I thought about it for about a minute and decided that it was going to have to happen. I timed it at 28 seconds, although I’m not sure when the clock stops and starts.
I think I’ll have to start using gels for marathons. I took one from the water station at 30k because after the pitstop I was confident that my stomach was completely empty. It was a coffee cola gel, like a warm mister freeze, despicably horrible, it definitely helped a bit, I should have grabbed a few more.
I think that the marathon is a bit of a mystery. It should be very easy and up to 20 miles it is. The last few miles are the problem. It’s not a heart rate thing like in other races, it’s just a gradual slowing of everything. I was trying desperately to run the same pace but the messages just weren’t being delivered to the legs. It felt like the same pace as the start but it wasn’t.
9. Bad Beating
I think I gave Vivian Foley a bad beating. He deserved it after he humiliated me at 41k last year. I was convinced that he’d appear there again this year. I was passed by a lot of people in the last k but no Vivs. In fairness Viv took his beating well and was kind enough to wait for me outside the medical tent while the carnage around my exploded toe was cleaned up.
10. Dynamic Dancing
I think that sometime I’d like to try recovering properly from a marathon just to see how much of the badness is due to running alone. My excellent dancing at the race after party has left me in a bad way. I felt and looked like John O’Connell after Electric Picnic, very shook.