1. WAKING UP DOG-GONED LATE FOR THE RACE. This was really poor; I had never anticipated this.
2. As a result, squeezing with people in bottlenecks.
3. Bad race etiquette amplifies in bottlenecks.
4. Dropping one packet of gummy bears 3km into the race.
5. Left hip acting up mysteriously after years.
1. Hitting my goal after 7 long arduous tries.
2. Managed to keep my cramps at bay.
3. Sticking to nutrition plan which turned out ok.
Every marathon was so bad that, I immediately had plans to quit long distance running right after the race. Not this year, which was an oddity. A busy work schedule meant managing at most 4 runs a week, with 3 being the norm. The runs had to have quality, something I didn’t appreciate when I started out. And I started long distance running way too young.
It took me 7 tries to get it right. Lack of mileage, bad shoes, overtraining, sleep deprivation, poor racing nutrition; it’s like throwing a spanner into your race cake. When I woke up late, I had seriously contemplated not turning up. Defying what seemed logical at that point, I rushed out of the house and practically laced up in the cab. When you arrive late you can expect to queue up behind everyone else at the baggage deposit. I ended up starting 25 minutes after the flag off, and probably wasted about 5 minutes jostling with people for the first 8km. It became a little more upbeat thereafter, and I tried to stick to my simple refueling plan. 3 gels, which didn’t happen because the gel stations went into a blackhole. I ended up having 1 at 15km and another at 27km, while easing up on isotonic drinks that made the experience sickenly sweet. A half guess was that it interfered with digestion and absorption. Did I mention I had a small packet of Haribos? Thankfully, it all proved sufficient, barely, as I held on albeit slowing down on the last 5km.
I would say it has been a great running year. The organisation quality has declined dramatically though (omitting the 2 gel and 1 banana station was awful); support is critical for many and honestly with them raising the prices every year, it’s taboo. It was also crowded enough and bad racing behavior sticks out like a sore thumb. I’ll pick my races now, thank you.