Last saturday it was time to put all my hard training to the test, it was time for my first marathon. My aim, and my previous runs, predicted a 4 h run plus minus 10 min. But I guess you cant prepare for everything, and the stomach pains I had the week before the run turned out to be stomach flu, and the anticipated 18 C weather (sun, maybe cloudy) turned out to be heavy rain, strong winds (14m/s) and 2-4C. Perceived temperature was -12C, the worst weather ever on Stockholm Marathon.
As people were waiting to start the journey they gather under trees and umbrellas, the trashbag DIY ponchos taking a beating by the wind creating an oddly soothing background music for the weather-show.
I saw no point in hiding, umbrellas lay dying on the ground, profusely abused by the wind,- and I knew I was next. 20 minutes before start my stomach decided to let me know how it felt.
And as the race started and progressed my mind shifted from thinking “this is so bloody cold”, “this is so amazing” , and “dear God, where are the toilets?”. I made about 13 pitstops, and since I lost so much fluid I had to double my intake at the energy- and fluid stations.
I learned pretty fast how to do the pinch-the-cup-to-avoid-spilling-sticky-fluid-trick, and thus got a pretty darn good detox during the run. The rain and wind also gave me a peeling, so for what I know I had a 42K Spa-trip with a very limited buffe. How can I complain? 😉
I remember a hill, this one on the picture, it was about 25 K in, and it was 1-2 K long. Uphill all the way, wind blowing against us, the rain spitting us in the face, and the temperature so cold milk would last two weeks. And my “find a ‘larger’ person and use as windshield”-plan didn’t work out as marathon runners are mostly tiny little things I learned, and I suspect I acted as a windshield for others instead. My pleasure. I’ll bill you’all later.
But listen here, it was amazing. I was so incredible happy for the whole run, smiling ear to ear. The feeling was unexplainable. It never hurt, I was never tired, I never considered stopping (not even as I passed the 42K mark), and I never ever regretted being a long distance runner or doing this run.
The streets were empty, even Marathon Photo photographers went home. It was just too cold. We felt like zombies running through an abandoned town. Chasing endorphins and a finishline.
My time was a disappointing 5 h, the ‘pitstops’ added to the time. (Didn’t hit a target, but ‘hey!’ – I survived the war! ) But since I was unhappy with the time, and very happy with the run, I booked a new marathon, Oslo Marathon, in three months. Can’t wait 😀