- What? Copenhagen Marathon
- When? May 13th, 2018
- How far? 42.195 kilometers
- Where? Copenhagen, Denmark
- Strava activity
- Finish – Completed
- Finish under 4:30 – Not completed
- 5K – 00:31:07
- 10K – 01:04:07
- 15K – 01:37:16
- 20K – 02:11:21
- 21.097K – 02:19:37
- 25K – 02:46:18
- 30K – 03:23:15
- 35K – 04:01:44
- 40K – 04:40:39
- 42.195K – 04:55:58
No training except for races building up to this. I wouldn’t say I had a bad runup, running half marathons to build up endurance and a marathon to prove to myself that I could finish was crucial. The timing was not. I had left myself 3 weeks to recover from the Vienna marathon which is really not ideal at all and I got sick 2 weeks before as well which was not a good way to recover from the Vienna Marathon.
I decided to eat 3 hours before to ensure that the food would be completely digested and had 4 pieces of rye bread and 4 eggs. Which was clearly too much as I struggled to eat it all. I biked out to the start area and was relaxing. I, unfortunately, arrived too early and was freezing as it was quite cold in the morning and cloud cover blocked out the sun.
The race start was actually not too crowded with enough space in the corrals and clearly marked pacers with oversized balloons tied to them. I met up with two friends who would be running as well and it was their first marathon. So I shared my experience of Vienna and of the heat and hoped that we would get colder weather in Copenhagen. A quick pee (but long time standing in the queue) and we were off.
I aimed for the 4:30 pacers and kept the speed for a while. The sun came out just as we started so I dreaded running in the sun again and took a mental note to not only drink water at each station but also drench myself whenever I could. The crowds had come out for this sunny day and from the start all the way to the finish there were so many people to cheer you on. At about 4K I ran past my apartment and my friend was there to cheer me on. I had kept up the pace with the 4:30 balloon and felt pretty good although I could feel some tiredness from Vienna still in my legs. That didn’t bode well but I was determined to keep pace with the 4:30 balloon.
At 7K I could definitely feel that the legs would not be able to keep up the pace and decided to run in a more comfortable place and aim for a finish and a time below 5 hours and at least faster than Vienna. I dropped back and saw the pacers and their balloons slowly overtake me. This was also the stretch where we ran on East-West streets which meant little suncover anywhere. I could already see people trying to run in the shade but at this point I felt that weaving in and out would just tire me more than actually just running. I did start to find some rhythm now so that was pretty encouraging.
At 20K I saw another friend who came to cheer me on which gave me a bit of strength. I ran up towards the halfway mark and towards the water station to grab some more water and bananas. Unfortunately this station was not prepared as they were frantically cutting bananas. I had a bad experience where we were almost queuing to get bananas and as three pieces of bananas were being put into the basked, somebody just decides to grab a piece of banana that I had taken, even as they had already taken another piece. Super uncool.
Anyway I continue on and this is where I historically get most tempted to quit. The dreaded 26K-32K where it’s more than my usual half marathon but still too far to go before I can start counting down from 10K. As it would happen a third friend was waiting for me at 28K which provided a small boost again.
From 28K to 40K, my pace was not going in the right way and I struggle more and more. Luckily my friend at 28K was walking around town trying to find me again and I manage to spot her 3 times overall and I saw my friend from 4K and another friend at 36K so there was plenty of awesome support to keep me going. At 40K I just really wanted to finish. The sun had been beating down on all the runners all day and I was really feeling the hurt now. I make it to the finish line and attempt a sprint but quickly forgets all about it as the energy gels that I had been eating were threathening to come out again. I finish at 4:55:58, two minutes better than Vienna!
I met up with my two friends running their first marathon and it turned out that I was not the only one struggling as they had run about an hour slower than what they anticipated. We were happy to finish however and I get some chocolate milk and cinnamon rolls (it’s a Nordic thing) for some energy. I get a quick video at the PR bell and then spend an hour getting to my bike and biking home for a shower. Surprisingly, biking was completely fine compared to walking. After lying in bed for two hours and contemplating the purpose of inflicting so much pain on myself I got out of bed and gathered some friends for a celebration burger!
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