Report of my first Marathon
The Cracow´s Marathon was yesterday, 22nd of April 2012, but this story began around one year and ago, more or less in March 2011.
It was the last year in Elche, my hometown, I had been running one year before but I had to stop due to a backache, but after my exams I tried to run one day, I felt good and the day after I saw a poster about the half marathon in Elche, in one and a half month, and I though could be good idea to have that goal to at least training during one and a half month and also to try to finish it, but I wasn’t sure yet, but the following days I told to my friend Antonio “ey there is a half marathon in Elche, I´d like to run it” and he told me he had made the registration already and he had been training since September, so with that I was totally sure about trying to run it.
We were this time training, sometimes together in the river of Elche and thought the city, I used to run 40 km per week, finally the Half marathon was a success, both of us could finish it, weeks after Antonio told me about another race in one city close to Elche the final weekend of may, we still training and that race was successfully as well, but harder, because was plenty of uphills and the weather was so hot.
After these two races my training was a bit softer due to my exams and because the temperatures were too high, the summer came and I used to run in Santa Pola, a coast village where I used to spend my summertime there, I was training 4 days per week but one hour per day at the most.
In October I came to Cracow, the city where I am living right now, doing my Erasmus, well, here my life changed radically, instead of run four of five days per week and only go clubbing once per week and eat properly, I eat a lot, drink a lot and too much party, trips, etc, so with this kind of lifestyle you can´t run even a ten kilometers race, and a very important matter, the weather is fucking hard, during the winter the temperature used to be under minus fifteen degrees every day, so the days I could run, I just ran 40 minutes because running in the cold is not so comfortable, but around two months ago, when the weather got better, or at least a bit better, I started to run three times per week more or less, and I felt good, I had in my mind the marathon of Cracow since I came here, but it was a so far away goal in those days, but in March I decided to pay the registration, thanks to my friend Martin I could it, because without his help I couldn’t make the registration because all the information was in polish, and he made all the stuff in connection with the registration, as I had done one year before, the aim of this goal was to run more frequently and to eat a bit healthy, it was still difficult for me cause, in March I was persevering with my training until I went travelling during two weeks, when I arrived to Cracow I started again, I said I wouldn’t run the marathon if I didn´t run at least one day thirty kilometers, but I couldn´t because I didn’t have enough time and the race was so close, so I decided to risk, to run the marathon without at least one training of thirty kilometers, the maximum distance I had run until that time was twenty two kilometers.
One week left to the marathon, during this week I ran two days, fifty minutes in a slow pace and, one hour slow as well the other day, on Wednesday I took my bike with my friend David and we were riding through the track to reconnoiter it, this week I only ate pasta and water to drink, nothing of beer, nothing of vodka, the first time since I was in Cracow.
The day of the race had arrived, I woke up at half past seven, the race started at nine thirty, I ate some bread with oil and ham, a banana and a piece of energetic bar, I wasn’t so hungry, I had an appointment with my friends David and Martin in the start line at nine o´clock, I was stretching in my room for a while, a took a shower and I went to Blonia, it was the park where the start point took place, there I saw my friends, they wish me good luck and the race started.
I stayed in the area of four hours, but I kept my sight in the three hours forty five minutes balloon, we started to run, as always was so difficult during the first five kilometers because the runners, then the race became more comfortable, during the ten first kilometers I was running in a slow pace, but after that I started to run faster and overtaking a lot of runners as I did on the half marathons, I thought I was too fast and I tried to go slower but was difficult for me , I don’t know why, so I kept running like the race was a half marathon instead of a marathon, then we were running through the old town, I noticed when we arrived to Rynek, that is the main square of Cracow, runners started to increase their pace and finally I overtook the 3:45 hours balloon, when I pass the fifteen kilometer I felt already a bit tired, but the water made me feel better.
In the kilometer seventeen I caught an around 45-year-old guy, he was running in a fast pace and I though could be good idea to keep my pace, following him, sometimes I overtook him but we were so close to each other, I realized that in the refreshing points he stopped to drink water during ten seconds, maybe to recover himself and then he started again to run, finally I made the same as him, the old and experimented runners can give you good ideas and tips, we were running together during ten kilometers more or less, I passed the line of half marathon in one hour and forty nine minutes, to be a marathon, too fast as I said, I that point I ate one of my two gels, I had to mix it with water cause it was to dry. I was running in that pace until the kilometer twenty seven more or less, finally the guy overtook me and I couldn´t caught him again, I thought I had to go down my pace, otherwise I wouldn’t finish the race, from the kilometer thirty my strength weren´t the same as five kilometers before, I started to run more with my mind than with my body, but in that moment I saw martin with his bike and he could cheer me up, he was talking with me for a while and following the race next to me during three kilometers, but he had to ride on the walk side because was forbidden to the rest of the people to stay in the race way, in the thirty three kilometer I was already fucking wasted, almost three hours running, I decided to eat my second gel, and then some orange from a catering point, plus water of course, but those stuff weren´t enough for me, I was so weak, in that point of the race each kilometer was like ten.
In the kilometer thirty six I had to stop, I couldn’t even walk, I stretched a bit my legs and I kept on running, then I saw the Wisła river, the last kilometers will be there, and I almost seeing the end of the race, but still five kilometer left, I had to stop again several times in the river cause my strength were disappearing, my legs were shaking, I ate a piece of banana, I saw Martin and he told me “vamos vamos ximo you look so good”, totally a lie, but anyway it was good to cheer me up, I needed it, I got off the river, two kilometers left, I was running so slow, I arrived to Blonia, the last kilometer, I kept on running, I stopped once again but from there I started to run fast again, I felt better, many people cheering up close to the meta, I saw again Martin and then Mathias, I gave him five, only twenty meters, I ran as in the beginning of the race and finally I crossed the meta line, marathon finisher.
Maybe one of the longest three hours and forty five minutes of my life, but definitely is worth it, the people of the organization gave me a space blanket, a heavy bag with stuff like water, chocolate, a banana, I couldn’t hold it, I went to the common area of the runners, I couldn’t even be standing, I had never felt my legs like that, I sat down on the floor covering myself with the blanket because I got cold .
Then I moved to the place when I saw Mathias to talk with him and Martin but I couldn’t find them, I couldn´t walk so I layed on the grass of Blonia during half an hour until I came back home, it took to me twenty minutes the way I used to do in five hahah.
Of course, this marathon has been the hardest race I have ever run, but in the same time, the most enriching. During the marathon you can see people from eighteen to eighty, and then you realize about the incredible capacity for overcoming boundaries of some people. After this challenge I am wondering how people can do the iron man…
I hope these two year running such kind of races are just the beginning of much more years practicing this nice sport, more half marathons, more marathons, and who knows, maybe I will start to do triathlons in a nearby future.
By the way, if I would have written this story in Spanish would have been much more interesting and funny, but I wanted to write it in English, is an effort I have to make to improve it.