Monday, April 4, 2016

Berliner Halbmarathon 2016

Last year, I ran the half marathon in Berlin and it was a really great run. Beautiful course, amazing crowd support, tons of runners and an incredible energy. I didn't think the opportunity to run it again would come so soon!
Once the idea of moving to Berlin had become slightly more real, I registered for the race. I registered even before having a plane ticket or having any concrete idea of my plans. I just knew I needed to get myself to Berlin and experience this run once again.

So I did! It was such a gorgeous day! It was about 20 degrees, bright and sunny, with a breeze here and there.
A few weeks ago, I met Gaurav in a running group. Both of us we're training for this race, so we decided to train together and maybe even run together. Though by the 7km mark, I couldn't keep up and we separated. I was dealing with some nasty shin splints in my right leg and they started feeling better around 9km.

I was running at a pretty good pace all the way to 10km, then slowed down considerably. I was exhausted, having barely slept the night before and dealing with the pain of shin splints also takes a toll on your body. I do also have to admit that I really wasn't ready for the hot weather...! There were time during the run where I barely even knew if my legs were still moving or not. All I knew is that I was going forward somehow. I quickly adopted the 10-1 run/walk method, which really helped keep me going, though I definitely walk most of the last 2km. Once I turned the corner and saw the 21km flag, I gathered my last bit of energy and sprinted as fast as I could, zig-zagging between people and crossed the finish line.

I finished with a time of 2:20:01. This is my worst time since my first ever disaster-half.... I'm honestly really disappointed that I couldn't at least do my average of 2:15. My goal was to try and beat my PR of 2:07, but it just wasn't possible.
Gaurav, by the way, made an excellent time of 2:02:38!

Not every race will be a good one. I have to keep reminding myself that I crossed the finish line. I finished. I have to be proud that I sprinted to the finish line instead of walking. I have to be proud that I'm barely sore today. I have to be proud that this is my seventh half marathon in less than 3 years.

I've got a few more races coming up, and you can be sure that I'm going to train even harder for those ones. I don't expect to beat my PR, but I now have even more motivation to beat my average.

Here are a couple facts about this year's half marathon:
-32,753 people registered for the half marathon, only 11,964 of them were from Berlin.
-103 different countries were represented
-25,000 liters of water was poured for the runners on the course and at the finish line
-Over 250,000 people came to watch and support the runners
-540 police officers watched over the course, keeping it safe for runners
-About 38 bands played music along the course
-The winner of the race had a time of 59:58

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