Berlin or Bust


MONDAY. 6 Days to go

I have one week to get myself ready for the big day. Having spent the whole of Sunday in bed, I am hoping for some miraculous recovery Monday morning. It doesn’t come. I turn up to work, manage a cup of tea, then straight back home to bed. I don’t know what kinda cold this is, no visible symptoms, just very weak, dizzy and fatigued. Every now and then I feel a panic trying to rise; how the hell am I going to run Berlin marathon in a week’s time, I can’t even stand up. Everything is booked, the decision is made. I am going, so I better get used to it. ‘Stay cool honey bunny’ I keep telling myself, line from Pulp Fiction. I know, its weird, but I’m ill, and I feel like its helping!

TUESDAY. 5 days to go

After a good night’s sleep I still wake up feeling empty, hollowed out from the inside. Have to go to work today, don’t remember the first half of the day. My balance is terrible, my coordination is worse. Get my appetite back around lunchtime, which is great sign, and I start to come round. Go to track, legs feel heavy and weird, having spent last two days horizontal. The session is at marathon pace, and it feels ok, start to feel I could actually pull this off. If I can just shake this illness…

WEDNESDAY. 4 days to go

Still not 100% but starting to feel human again. At work I’m talking to myself all the time, ‘you can do this, you can do this’. As the heavens open the gods are shining down on me, I get half the day off due to the rain and spend it sleeping in the car.

THURSDAY. 3 days to go

Day off work. I wake up wanting to go for a run, really good sign. I save the energy though and spend the time packing meticulously. I want ‘zero drama’ on my trip to Berlin. Yes I am feeling better but I am right on the line. I am not a naturally organised person, but I make myself do it. I want everything to be smooth, I cannot waste any energy on being late, forgetting something or getting lost. I spend an hour reading to my kids in the library before I drive to airport. Even though it’s only 5 days, I know I will miss them like crazy. The journey goes really well. I get into my new bed in Berlin without having had the slightest stress.

FRIDAY. 2 days to go

My room is perfect, for a hobbit! I booked it on AirBnb and it is basically half of the kitchen, the top half! You can’t fully stand up in the room, but I figure I won’t be needing to stand up much anyway. The other residents are all quiet and respectful, there is a lovely cafe and a Lidl about 80m away. My run is slow, really slow. Don’t force it. Stay cool honey bunny. I get acquainted with my new GPS watch, which is lighter than my old one. Marginal gains. I take the exact journey I will need to do on race day, I want to know precisely where I am going and how long it will take. It is only 3 stops and a little walk. Berlin is beautiful in the Autumn sun. I go to the hotel where the elite athletes are staying to pick up my race number. It is like a cauldron in there; Journalists, reporters, cameras, sponsors, agents and supremely fit athletes all buzzing around. I am glad to get out as soon as possible.

SATURDAY. 1 day to go

Beautiful run around a lake just near my place. One loop is exactly a mile, and the track is ideal, hard packed earth lined with low trees. After a 3 mile warm up I let myself go for 2 miles, and it is all there. I am back. I don’t let myself get excited. I wrap it up and put it away for tomorrow. I get back into my little bed to watch boxsets (Fargo) for the rest of the day. I have access to the kitchen so can cook my own dinner, which is a massive plus for me. I find restaurant food too rich before a race, and servings never big enough. I can easily eat 3 servings before a marathon. I get into bed feeling quietly confident. I have taken care of business. All the variables have gone my way.  I fall asleep easily…

carbo load

possibly the best thing about running marathons


Race report coming soon!

18/09/2017 AM PM
another day in bed
Tuesday REST 4 x mile in 5.19 (1min rest), 2 x 400m in 68. 6 miles total
Wednesday REST 10
Thursday REST Fly to Berlin
Friday 5
 very easy
Saturday 3 easy, 2 tempo, 1 easy. 6 miles total REST
Sunday Berlin Marathon. 28 miles total REST
TOTAL: 55 miles



7 thoughts on “Berlin or Bust

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