My 4th marathon – Learning a lot each time I cross that finish line at the 42,195!
Marathons and life go together hand in hand. A marathon shows you that if you want something you really have to fight for it. The planning for my marathon perhaps was not the best; however I trained like a beast to be honest with you. Track sessions and long runs are not easy if you do not have a strong team that support you. So now you are thinking why do you push yourself so much? Why do you pay 50 euros to suffer during a race? The answer is very easy: training every day and crossing the finish line make me feel fulfilled and more alive.
Everyone is capable to run 42,195 there is no limit for anyone. We are the first to limit ourselves. There are no barriers between you and the famous distance. Let me tell you that once you run one you will do it again and again.
This year I was planning to do a marathon but I was not sure which, Barcelona or Sevilla? I ran Sevilla four years ago which was my first experience of running 4 hour’s non-stop. My mate Tolo was also really interested to run Sevilla and I liked the idea to run at home and visit the family. Decision made.
All the pre-race went perfectly, I felt very healthy and the atmosphere was great (not like the stomach problems the night before Berlin). We had a great lunch and dinner the day before. I have the best chef in the world “My mum was cooking for us… what else could you ask for?!!!!!..”
The night before I didn’t sleep very well but this is not unusual for me, I am jealous of all these people that have a good deep sleep and arrive chilled out the morning of the race. For me it is really difficult to control myself; my mind is already running many hours before. So the more people involved as part of your team the better, however that does mean the more people to suffer my pre-race panic-stress 🙂
HIGHWAY TO HELL
We made a big mistake as we started to warm up in the wrong place! We then had to run 3kms to get to our start location for the marathon. When we arrived we nearly had to carry on running as it was so close to the start time. As for Tolo this was his first marathon but his background as a trail runner is quite substantial, he was also ready for the party.
So the race started and Highway to Hell was pumping from the speakers ♫ No stop signs, Speed limit, Nobody’s gonna slow me down Like a wheel ♫, I was in a cloud… It was my moment after three months of hard training to push myself during the 42kms.. Let´s go!!!!!!
My goal for this marathon was to run under 3 hours. I think, physically after all the training I was ready but mentally I was not sure. The marathon is really tough race where every mistake that you make at the beginning of the race, you will be paying for at the end and really hard. Normally you will hit the wall, which was my biggest fear.
The strategy was to run progressively, starting slow and continue to go faster and faster. The idea was start on 4.35 and go under 4.10 on the second half. The first lesson I learnt was that never run progressively, better to do it naturally and then my pace will emerge naturally.
The first 10km’s were very packed, Sevilla Marathon with 13.000 runners and not starting in the best place for my pace. I did a very slow 10km for my goal, so from the 10km to the half marathon I tried to go faster but I didn’t find a comfortable pace. I was thinking if I should into push it a little bit more or not… My half was in 1h31´and from the 21km I got lost in the perception of the timing until I reached the meeting point.
On the 30km I reached “Benito Villamarín”. Betis Stadium was the place I would see my girlfriend and family. This part of the race is very important, just to see them can give you the boost you need to finish strong. I realized that I was very late when I checked my Garmin, so now I would have to run like a beast the last 12km to be sub3h in this marathon.
PLAZA DE ESPAÑA. WHERE´S THE WALL?
The most painful part was going around the Plaza de España at a fast pace to try to finish under 3 hours but it was getting tough. I had started to suffer by this point and a feeling somewhere between exhaustion and anxiety started to reach its target. We left the square and I started to push even harder passing most of the people. The atmosphere was amazing passing by the Cathedral, so I gave it another chance running under 4.10 per km and feeling strong. Km 38 I started to realize that it was not going to be possible to do it, however as I write this now I have to feel proud of myself ending a marathon at those paces. I do not know maybe if it was fear of failure, a bad strategy or maybe a mix of both. I will never lose my respect for this massive race that put everyone in their place.
2kms to the finish line and it happened, something I thought never would, but I started to cry, far too many emotions running around my head. It was the best release after all the tension during the race. So now facing the last 1km to the Olympic Stadium, the place was full, I could hear the crowd. I entered the stadium and sprinted the last 500 meters right to the end of this chapter and the beginning of many more to come.
Once I finished my legs were destroyed and I waited to see if I can find my mate Tolo. He didn’t make his best time due to his injury and due to his really busy last month at work. I know that we will run another one together, but next time we will go for an ultra, right?? hahahaha!
This performance would not be have possible without all the support of you guys, my family and my Osteopath Robert Grech. However my number one support is my girlfriend. The one that pushes me every day me and has to listen to all my running adversities :)).. Muchas Gracias!!!