It was my fourth ever half marathon (run alone) and I was scared. With running I am always scared as I am never sure what I have in me. I don’t feel like I have it under control yet. I had trained for sure but my ability to run is a daily lottery. There are days where I run and it feels easy and somehow I pick up pace but then there are days where I feel okay I go out and nothing is physically possible.
September is the month to run the Wachaumarathon. Race was scheduled for a Sunday and of course the night before I was invited to a birthday party – literately at the end of the world. Well, of Austria – almost in Czech Republic. So I got home at 1a.m. Lucky I had to drive and had lots of water and no wine at that party.
The race started at 10 a.m. PERFECT. Wachau is about 1hour drive – not too perfect but well worth it. Running along the Danube through the wineries. After picking up my running buddy Karin we were off. Off to Krems where the rain was waiting for us. I am a big fan of being hydrated before a race and so I drank 1,5 lt. of electrolytes. Shoot, I did not see the traffic jam coming. Combination of 1,5l water and stuck in a car is another story.
The course is lovely and starts 21km in a little town called Spitz with the finish line in Krems. Along the Danube river all the way. The organiser did a perfect job with the logistics of getting the crowed of athletes to the start. Out of Krems you could take the train, bus or boat to the start. We took the LAST bus:-). By the time we got there and dropped off our cloths it was almost run time. Of course my 1,5l hydration forced me to another urgent stop. While the first runners took off like a machine we were still in the line for the toilet. Well, of course everything was timed perfect and we managed a flying start out of the toilet onto the course.
Guess what – I did not have any. Karin just had a Baby an started only recently with running again and mentioned she wanted to be faster than 7min/km. No brainer that this is happening. My personal uncertainty was if we would run this together or do individual races. At the end this was another no brainer for me. Karin was the one who pushed me through the first half marathon ever and I felt its my time now to return the favour and be her pace maker. The idea was not to go slower than 6:30min/km. And so we did!! At some point while running I heard someone shouting my name. Isi caught up with us. Isi was doing here first half marathon ever and did fantastic. We did some training sessions together. For a while it was the three of us running before Isi was off. I decided to slow down almost walk at the aidstations. I deeply believe that I am faster in the long run when walking/jogging those stations in order to get proper refuelling done. Mostly water and gels with caffeine did the job. Sometimes a sip of red bull. No solid food while running.
The second half
12km was the mark where we split and did our own thing. Now I was on my own and my head was good. Not perfect but good. I started thinking about last year race. Last years half marathon was the first one I actually ran through. Yes I suffered badly and this year – I ran. My legs were fine. My head – hmm…kinda as well. When passing some landmarks I remembered some of the emotions I felt last year. So different than this year. I was not suffering.I just kept running. I found myself a paceamaker – a girl wearing bright cloths and headphones, easy to spot. I followed her. I caught up with her then she caught up with me….
There is one mean mean thing about this course. When you run into the city of Krems you pass the finish line where all the party is rocking with still 3km to go. Those 3km are through the city in some very very quiet spots. On the other hand I saw the atmosphere when passing the finish line and could not wait to cross. The pace maker girl was still there and I felt like she wasn’t running fast but as much as I tried I did not get her. So my last turn into the last 800m stretch right into the finish line I decided that now is the time to get those legs moving. About 100min before the line, already on the blue carpet – thats when I got her – before the finish line…. With 2:11:58 I was happy. Very happy. Isi was already waiting and not long after my finish Karin showed.. Bang nailed it far better than 7min/km. She rocks!! Both of those running mommies are amazing!
Next goal 2018: Sub 2hrs
2:11:58 vs 2:24 same race last year. Could not be prouder of myself. This is for sure not the end of the road. Its been a goal for me to become a runner and I am certain that this will happen eventually. Am I able to complete a marathon. Maybe some day but first I am ready to go Sub 2 in a half marathon next year. Thats another 12minutes off my time of this years race. Nothing is impossible.