Ever since I’ve signed up for this semi marathon, I’ve always doubted myself that I will be able to finish it. I’m not a runner, I’m not a guy that does too much physical activity. As I was saying in my story about my weight loss, I do little to none.
Since March I started to run, but the most that I’ve managed to run till now was 5 kilometres. And that run had exhausted me. But time doesn’t wait and little by little, day by day, the set day for the semi marathon arrived. No matter if I was prepared or not.
23rd of April 2017.
I woke up as usual for my week-end days. Around 6:30. I was trying to pump up myself. I was thinking about those 21km from the beginning of the day. I made myself a light breakfast and I started to do some stretching, I’ve massaged my feet, trying to be in my best condition for the run.
My biggest fear on this run is was that my body will break down. That my feet will give up. In my training runs, I’ve always had issues with this. After the first kilometer, my feet hurt. My shins burned. And this is why I’ve never managed to run more than 5km.
At 8:30 I take the road. It’s one more hour until the start. As I step out of the apartment building, I can see rain drops falling from the sky. I was hoping that it wouldn’t happen. I was hoping that it will be a nice day, without any rainfall. The weather was really bad in the last days and I was hoping that at least this one will be nice. Fortunately, it wasn’t raining, just a few drops that stopped soon.
I arrive at the start line around 9 o’clock. I meet up with my friends and we start to chat. In my head the anxiety starts to set it. I look at the whole crowd of people there and, I’m not sure why, I don’t feel that confident. But as those feelings were swarming around me, I was saying to myself “Little by little, we will do it”.
It’s 9:30. The race is starting. I start to run as well, along with the other 300+ people participating in this semi marathon. I’m trying to keep a good pace. For now is good. I’m feeling good. After the first kilometer, I’m feeling so good, that I picked up the pace and I start to run faster. I’m not sure why.
We run through the city, and I thought that I know how much distance is between some streets, but boy, I have never been so wrong.
After 3 km, I can feel that my feet are starting to hurt a little bit, but it’s still good. I’m still having a good pace. I mostly run than I walk. I’m in luck that a part of the race, it’s a downhill, so that helps as well.
The 5km point. Here is where the fun begins. This was the point that I’ve run the most until now. From here on, every step it’s a new territory. The 5km point was a checkpoint as well, I took a cup of water and I continue to run.
Rain starts to fall down. My hair is wet, my shirt is heavy. My breathing is getting heavier and I can feel a sting in my left ankle.
I reach the hill, that I was running down a few minutes ago. Now I have to run back up, it’s a lap race, so what goes down, have to go back up to reach the finish line.
Because of my sting in the left ankle, I’m thinking about quitting the race. After I will reach the second checkpoint, which was at the start line, I will stop. It ran enough. 10,5 Kilometers it’s a good distance. I’ve done my best. Those were my thoughts for a good part of the race. I was thinking only of that. Only that I will reach the checkpoint and I will stop. That kept me going. Otherwise I think I would’ve stopped right there.
After 1 hour and 10 minutes from the start of the race I reach the point from where I started. The middle of the race. The point where I was saying that I will stop once reaching.
But… I kept going. A group of really nice girls, volunteers or in the organizing committee, meet me with refreshments. I took a cup of juice and a banana and I continued to run. “You’re crazy” the little voice in my head. And indeed I was.
From here on out, to be honest, there isn’t too much to be told. It ran, and walked and then ran again. I was out of breath, my feet hurt like hell. And the rain started to fall once again.
After I reached the 3rd checkpoint, there was only will, I didn’t have any more energy. I continued that run-walk duet, until the end.
When I finally saw the finish line, I had a spur of energy and I made a sprint finishing the my 21 km in a strong way.
I’ve done it. 21 km. 2 hours, 26 minutes and 47 seconds. I never imagined that I would be able to do it. But I’ve done it.
I woke up today with pains. Every muscle in my body hurts like hell. But I will do it again. Next year I will try to improve my time. And who knows, maybe I will run more races like this. It’s fun.