Marathons, standing up and Ariana

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It’s been a few months since my last post… So, let’s catch up.

Paris, London, standing up and Edinburgh

Foolishly I singed up for three marathons. I’m a big, strong, macho-macho man (did you read that last bit in the Village People voice?… or is it just me) and surely I can do all three – no biggie.

Let’s start with Paris on 9th April.

The weather was sunny and very warm – massive improvement from London. I took the Eurostar train to Paris, which turned out to be much more expensive than expected. That’s because I forgot I had to plan time to grab my race pack the day before the marathon. Changing that ticket cost me exactly as much as a new ticket would’ve cost – about £60. Money well spent!

My hotel was a disappointment. Somehow I figured that if I pay £90 to stay a night, my hotel room would have a bath and wifi. I was proven wrong. Never assume, always check, trust nobody… especially when in a foreign land!!!

It wasn’t all bad. The race was very well organized and everything happened like clock-work. Without a doubt, the 57,000 runner marathon was the biggest I’ve ever taken part in. It was amazing.

I finished in 3:35:49 – I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be but hey… I made it to the other side of the line. I spent the rest of the day walking around in the city. I remember climbing some stairs, which was an awful idea, as my legs didn’t work properly – I actually called my mom half way through in an attempt to solicit some pity. #NewLow

Two weeks later it was time to run London. I was very familiar with this race as it was my second time participating. The biggest difference with Paris was the crowd. The entire course is full of people cheering you on in London – this was not the case in Paris. I’d like to think that this was because instead of cheering, people were running it in Paris. As a runner, the experience was better right here at home running on my familiar roads.

Right after crossing Tower Bridge (half way) I managed to hurt my leg (glute – that’s the ass muscle) and slowed down considerably. I spent the next two hours in pain. I did not enjoy this run and struggled a lot. It didn’t go as planned, however again I finished. It took me 03:43:45.

Following the race I made my way to get some pampering at the Lucozade “hospitality” event. To clarify, I won a spot in the race when I bought £20 worth of Lucozade energy gels and signed up for the lottery on their website.

That event was super fancy and way-way-way better than I expected. All the Lucozade sponsored runners (including me) got a chance to get a shower, a massage and grab some food/drinks in a fancy lounge with a Formula 1 race car as a prop. The car was in a see-through plastic box, so we could only drool over it as we ate and enjoyed a drink or two. It was really cool!

The next day I made my stand-up comedy debut. You heard that right. I wanted to sign up for intermediate level acting classes but left it for too late – all classes were sold out and I decided to pick something similar. A stand-up comedy class worked with my schedule and I went for it.

I didn’t realize we all had to do a stand-up comedy performance to a live audience in the final week of the course before I singed up. However, I paid the money and it was too late to back out.

We worked on our comedy each week – turns out there’s quite a bit of structure to it. One of the highlights was our “talent” show week where we had to present any kind of talent to the class participants. One chap played the guitar, another one was singing the cup song etc. My favorite was the guy who said he hurt his shoulder a few months ago but was going to attempt a handstand. Before the deed, he said “This might go horribly wrong”… we all laughed. Then he got up to do his magic and epicly failed at his handstand. He crashed down onto the floor, yelping in pain and holding on to his shoulder. We were all laughing, it was brilliant!!! Then after a solid minute of laughter somebody asked if he was actually hurt… and he was! We laughed even more. It was so funny. The laughter quieted down and I’m happy to say that the dude wasn’t hurt too bad – he ain’t doing handstands any time soon.

Back to my comedy debut. The venue was in Central London near Piccadilly Circus and we all got to invite friends and family. Therefore, it was a very easy crowd. The event was open to the public as well. Anywho… the place was packed – at least 70 people I would say.

I only rehearsed my script a few times. Therefore I was very nervous before going on stage. However, it wasn’t that bad. Sadly, because of the stage lights, I could only see only a few people in the front row of the audience.

I remember one black kid in the first row almost fell out of his chair with laughter after he was hit in the nose by my joke’s punchline. That was the best part of the night for me. Success! Ivar the Not So Terrible strikes victory!

It was a great night. I’m glad my friends came to show their support. Covanova actually flew all the way from San Francisco to come see me humiliate myself. #BroLove Not all my friends showed such devotion – a few canceled last minute because some lame BS excuse.

I had to grab a few drinks to calm myself after my performance as I was visibly shaking. It’s quite interesting – even though my bit was done, I was more nervous than ever before. The human condition remains mysterious to me…

Moving on. My third marathon was in Edinburgh on the 28th May. This was my first visit to Scotland and in all honesty I didn’t want to run. I was broken and not ready to run a marathon. I did it anyway. It took me 4:12:47 where I walked a fair bit. This is the second slowest marathon I’ve ever run and the one I enjoyed least. My leg was acting up again and now I’ve decided to call it quits for a month or so until it gets better. I’m tired of the pain and the same story/results after every run. I’ll focus on sitting on my ass, watching TV and getting fat instead.

By the way, Edinburgh is a very nice little city. The castle on the hill was really cool. Beware: the sun is evil in Scotland and it burns. I came back with a sunburn on my face, neck, hands and legs – like a proper tourist.

Ariana

I’ve been watching Ariana’s One Love Manchester concert today…. and it was beautiful. She is one of my favourite artists and did a great job with the show. Well done!

London Bridge is only 3 km away from where I live. I was at a zouk social near home yesterday when the terrorist attack happened. I didn’t think much of it and we carried on dancing as normal. The previous day I was in the very area of the attacks singing karaoke and getting drunk. 😀

Watching Ariana’s concert reminded me of a video I saw a few years ago. It was about an ultra-marathon runner who was asked what it feels like to run these long races. He jokingly said he feels like every step he takes is getting closer to achieving world peace, ending poverty and hate. I think there’s a lot of truth to it. I would like to think that every dance gets me closer to these goals as well. After all, zouk is the dance of love.

Keep dancing kids,

Ivar the Not So Terrible

 

Buzzing away in a damp bunker and singing Hallelujah

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Did you know that thinking about your death or mortality before a race improves your performance? That’s what I read in an article. There’s something about that thought which puts our brains into hyper-survival mode and improves physical capability. I will give this idea a go at my next racing event.

I didn’t just randomly start with the above in mind. In order to run Paris, I need to provide the organizers a form signed by my doctor which basically says that I won’t die half way through the marathon.

As a perfectly sane and rational male of the 21st century, I’ve been successfully avoiding the doctor for the last six years. Why see a doctor if I I’m invincible and can Google everything, right? And this time has been amazing. However, all good things come to an end.

In late December I surmised all my courage and dialed the local GP (General Practitioner – that’s what they call a doctor here) on my phone. I had to physically go there to fill in a form to register – it couldn’t be done online. I sort of expected to see a doctor once I handed in the application but they said it’ll take about a week to process it. Things aren’t exactly efficient here at the NHS (National Health Service).

Anywho, about two weeks later I found myself being examined by Dr K. That sounds a bit dull, so let’s call her Dr Dre. At first she was a bit puzzled about why I was there and why she had no prior medical data about me on the system. She asked me the same questions from the form I had already filled in – so much for “processing” my form.

I explained that I needed her to sign my paper so I can run in Paris. Dr Dre decided to measure my blood pressure instead. It was high. She did it again. High. And a third time. Still high. I had to come back next week. She didn’t sign anything.

I came back to see the nurse for a new reading. This time the blood pressure was lower but still high. The second and third measurements were slightly lower but not good enough. I had to book another appointment.

Today I went back to get a blood pressure thingy on my arm, which I need to have on me over the next 24 hours. It takes a reading every 20-50 minutes and buzzes and clicks as it does its magic. Each time it registers the reading and then the doctors can get an average over a day. The whole idea is to rule out white coat syndrome where my blood pressure shoots through the roof whenever I see a doctor or nurse. If it’s still high even after the 24 hours they will need to do some further more invasive tests. By the way the device scares the crap out of me every time it starts – I’m rather skeptical about whether this device will do the trick for me.

Obviously, the moment I got my new toy I went off to my acting class. I thought the other kids would never notice… The class started as usual with all of us sitting in a circle sharing ideas of any good or bad acting we’ve seen in movies/plays/theaters to share experiences and make recommendations. Then we had to put the chairs back to the walls. That’s then it started buzzing – I need to sit still and try to relax during the measuring. And the bloody thing doesn’t get its reading on the first go, or the second, or the third. It stopped making noises after the fourth try and by then everybody was staring at me thinking why is this guy ignoring the teacher’s instructions. I explained it quickly and they all now probably think that I’m dying or something. My flu and occasional coughs didn’t exactly do me any favors.

Let me fill you in on the flu as well. I ran a half marathon when it was nice and cold outside – around 2 degrees. I was sick before the race and as a completely reasonable human being I thought that a little run can’t make it any worse. Oh boy was I wrong. First of all it was a fairly crappy finishing time (1 hour 34 minutes and something) which was followed by a week of coughing my lungs out. 10/10 experience, totally worth it. 😀

I know what you’re thinking… acting!!! Where did that come from? Well, boys and girls, it gets better. I didn’t add just acting classes to my repertoire I’m also learning to sing.

The seed was planted when I started my new job as a financial adviser – a job which is quite different from anything I’ve done before. I started singing classes to add vocal variety to my speech – this will hopefully make it more interesting for my clients to listen when I talk and help me have more “presence” with my voice in meetings. The acting classes have a big improvisation component and client meetings have a big element of that – I need to learn to think on my feet, also entertain and make it an enjoyable and memorable experience.

In all fairness I thought that acting and singing would make me very uncomfortable and that it would be a massive move out of my comfort zone – but it’s not as bad as I imagined. Yes, we do things which are uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing but it gets better with practice.

My favorite part about the acting classes is watching the other kids perform an impromptu sketch. They always mess it up and it’s hilarious. The course ends with us performing a small scene where two of us are in a bunker and the world has ended due to a nuclear war.

Singing is weird. It’s not something I normally do but I quite enjoy it. I even made a YouTube playlist of videos which have lyrics on them so I can sing along. My current favorite is the Hallelujah song from the movie Shrek. A close second is Let It Go from Frozen (although it’s quite a tongue-twister). I sing when I’m sad and then I’m a little less sad. It’s amazing how that works.

The Protein Deficient Vegan

My first third finish

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“All sub 20 minute runners step forward to the starting line!” the man said into the loudspeaker. I only saw one chap move forward. Then “all sub 25 minute runners step forward to the start line” and a few people edged closer to the line. “All sub 30 minute runners step forward”… that’s when I realized I should get myself way in front of everybody. And I did.

The 5K race started and I was second about 80% of the time. It felt wrong. How could I be second? I’ve never been second, never in front of the pack. Never. It was a new experience for me and it felt good.

The morning was cold (+2 degrees) and a bit windy before the Victoria Park 5K/10K/half marathon event. Breathing was unpleasant but I knew it was only a fiver… it would all be over in about 20 minutes. Surely I can keep my pace up for such a short distance I thought. About a kilometer before the finish one chap ran past me and I finished third. My time was 20:19.

third-place

Yes, it wasn’t a very competitive race but finishing third was a very pleasant surprise. It’s especially true because this morning I didn’t really feel like getting out of bed. I’m glad I did.

Instead of going straight home I decided to watch other runners finish.

I love watching the fat and unfit people run. They are slow, in pain and tired but they keep chugging along – one step after another. I see hope in their faces, followed by relief and a sense of accomplishment once they cross that line. Some were greeted and congratulated by family, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends. It’s quite interesting to watch the tired faces turn into smiles and chuckles. You see a lot less of that with the fit and average runners.

I’ve got a few more races planned for the year. Stay tuned!

The Dirty Vegan

Richmond Park Marathon

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“Must. Keep. Pace. [breathe]” was my mantra for about 20 minutes until I stopped running. I made the same mistake again. Just like the Chelmsford marathon, the Richmond Park race was a multi-terrain course and everything started hurting real quick. You see, I trained on the pavement but not on a combination of grass, gravel and road. You might think it doesn’t matter much but over the course of 26.2 miles / 42.2 kilometers the pain and agony and discomfort adds up. Bit by bit.

Following the Chelmsford marathon (finished in about 3:50) I remember I told myself that it was not worth going through all of that pain. I should’ve quit and gone back home to lick my wounds. I made a promise to myself that I’d never run a multi-terrain course without proper training again. However, two years later I forgot about it and that’s how I found myself in the this particular pickle of a situation.

Things at Richmond Park started out quite well actually. I decided to run with the 3H pacer and follow him for as long as possible. I was blissfully unaware about the course for about half an hour. Then the terrain started to gradually get crappier and crappier. I felt quite foolish and started questioning myself. Maybe the case with the Chelmsford marathon wasn’t about the terrain… maybe I didn’t train enough last time around etc. However, the pain in my ankles started to creep up and I began struggling with keeping up with the 3 hour chaps.

Not too long after that I lost sight of the 3 hour people. The race was lost. I was quite demoralized but kept going. Things started to look good again around the half marathon mark as I did that split in 1:31, which was almost 4 minutes faster than in my London marathon six months ago. I got a bit more confident and figured that I might actually finish faster this time around. All was not lost after all.

A few miles later, the pain got worse and I started my “Must. Keep. Pace [breathe]” mantra until that stopped working. This is the first race in which I stopped running and had to walk. I walked at least 10-15 minutes until I was able to start running again.

I finished in 3:35:48. 146th out of 680 runners:

richmondparkfinish

This is 14 minutes slower than my finish in the London marathon, which was a proper road race. Although I’m a bit disappointed with my finishing time today (I was hoping for a personal best), I’m pleased with the result given the circumstances. Oh! and I didn’t suffer anywhere as much as in the Chelmsford marathon this time around. I’m a bit fitter I guess.

I’m glad I took part in the marathon. Sure, it wasn’t what I expected but I finished and can still walk… you know… what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. In addition I have another medal to add to my collection. Proof:

img_20160918_202928.jpg

My next race will be the Paris marathon on 9th April. I tried to get in on the Tokyo marathon (February 2017) but didn’t get in on the ballot. It’s way too expensive to go via the charity or travel agency route. I hope I have better luck next year.

It’s been a busy and rewarding weekend.

Ivar

Touch here for POWER! – The Virgin Money London Marathon

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Benn said I better wear warm clothing today as the morning was very cold and it was raining. I was still in bed and thought today is gonna suck. He wasn’t joking – it was 5 degrees Celsius outside and quite windy.

I got to Greenwich park and continued to debate with myself whether I should keep my long sleeved running jacket on or not. The sun came out and the jacket came off. It felt like making a life and death decision back then.

10 AM and the marathon started. Previously I’ve always obsessed about pacing and running in specific heart rate zones. However, this time was different. I made the conscious choice to look around and take in the scenery, the people and the atmosphere. There was so much cheering around, many smiles and great effort by so many runners – man it was competitive. I though the runners would spread out after 5-10 km or so but no, there were always many runners around me.

A bit more than 39,000 people registered (however it’s not yet certain how many actually ran and finished).

My new pet peeve is high-fiveing kids’ little hands as I pass ‘em. I can’t do that every day you know.
All in all I think the crowd was amazing and they helped me heaps.

Some people made signs to encourage the runners. My favorite one read “Touch here for POWER!”  It made me smile.

It was roughly half way through the race when I reached my favorite stretch of the race –  the Tower Bridge and crossing the river. It was beautiful. And I didn’t even notice that approximately 20 km were already behind me. It all just happened effortlessly.

At the risk of sounding like a pussy I must admit I had a tear coming out of my eye at one point. But only one! I was thinking about everything that had happened in the last year and how I got to this point.  And here I was… running one of the world’s largest footraces. Nothing was hurting and I was enjoying myself. I was on fire!

My goal was ideally to finish around 3H 45 minutes but I greatly underestimated myself. That sign must have given me lots of power.

Half split was in around 1H 35 MIN and 20 miles in 2H 25 MIN. Not too shabby I thought. Then my pace dropped dramatically. I hit the wall between 20-23 mile – I should’ve timed the consumption of my energy gels better. I was so low on energy after 20 miles I took everything I could get my hands on – Lucozade energy drinks, Lucozade gels – even though I didn’t train with the stuff. My stomach is now a chemical soup of various isotonic gels and energydrinks. But that stuff worked wonders. I was able to pick up some speed again. Soon I passed the Buckingham palace and finished like a pro.

My time was 3H 21MIN 38 SEC, overall I was the 4939th, I was the 4384th man who crossed the finish line and I was the 2126th person in my 18-39 age category. I am very pleased with my performance as I didn’t train at all in March (I was sick) and April wasn’t that great either because of my exam. Anywho, below is the data from the marathon:

Category                     18-39

Runner no                   7932

Place (Men)                 4384

Place (Age Category)  2126

Place (overall)             4939

Finish time                  03:21:38

Split Time Of Day Time Diff min/km km/h Place
5K 10:22:34 00:22:02 22:02 04:25 13.62
10K 10:44:40 00:44:09 22:07 04:26 13.57
15K 11:07:27 01:06:56 22:47 04:34 13.17
20K 11:30:20 01:29:48 22:52 04:35 13.12
HALF 11:35:14 01:34:42 04:54 04:28 13.44
25K 11:53:03 01:52:31 17:49 04:34 13.15
30K 12:16:13 02:15:42 23:11 04:39 12.94
35K 12:42:03 02:41:31 25:49 05:10 11.61
40K 13:10:11 03:09:40 28:09 05:38 10.66
FINISH 13:22:10 03:21:38 11:58 05:28 11.00 4384

Even though this morning was really cold I’d still give the marathon a 10/10. Or maybe I’m just high on endorphins.

Virgin Money London Marathon certificate 20160424_220127 20160424_220037

I had a nap at home and then decided to celebrate at ZoukOff – the best zouk event London has to offer. I was a bit sore but it was a great finish to a magnificent day!

More power,

Ivar

Before the race

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I and Romario were very poor. We really needed a third tenant. To make matters worse, Romario didn’t cancel his standing order and paid rent to the previous landlord as well. His bank account went over his overdraft limit and the bank charged him £5 for every day his account was above the limit.

Not-sure-if-everything-is-expensive

He said he’s never been this poor. Then his bank also blocked his card. I found the whole thing hilarious.

We told Amazon that she should look at other flats and give this one a pass. Even though I had about £50 in my bank account and Romario found some change in a drawer – it was all the money we had… However, after Amazon checked out 6-8 other properties she gave us a call and wanted back in. It’s funny how that worked out. Apparently the other flats had weirdos living in them or they didn’t have a living room or in one case she had to walk through a toilet to get to the available room etc. London is weird like that.

The Amazon merger improved our financial position dramatically. Things are looking good again. And she’s been an amazing flatmate so far.

Some other things regarding the rental agency have surfaced and I’m very tired of all the bullshit. I stopped communicating with them as I don’t want to deal with them anymore. Everything they’ve told us or promised has been a lie and I have no interest in interacting with people like that. I’ve got way better things to do with my life.

I took the AF5 exam about a week ago. It’s the one I failed by one point back in October. I’m not too confident about passing it this time around as my thoughts were a bit distracted when studying because of all the stuff I wrote in the last two posts. Anywho, I’ll find out if I passed in about two months.

The London Marathon is tomorrow. The mass start is at 10 AM and based on my training, I should finish within 4 hours. 3H 45 minutes would be a good result. I’m quite excited.

Wish me luck!

Ivar

Wild wild west

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I had the AF5 (Financial Planning Practice) exam today. This is the last advanced level exam I need to pass to get the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning. I’ll get the results in 2 months (11 December). I think this wasn’t my best today but I’m hoping for a pass anyway.

Just two weeks ago I took 2 multiple choice question (MCQ) exams, which were much easier than today’s exam. I was a bit overconfident with these exams and did very little studying. However I managed to pass both. I’m a pro after all. I needed 35 points to pass and I got exactly 35 points in one of the exams. The second one was piss-easy and I think I scored 90%. Getting that 35 point pass felt really good. It’s as if I looked into the eye of death and shouted at the top of my lungs ‘NOT TODAY. NOT. TODAY.” and continued to ride my horse into the wild-wild west sunset.

cowboy-sunset

October started out really well. I got a letter from Virgin Money which said I was one of the lucky ones to secure a public ballot place in the 2016 London Marathon. Awwww yeaaaaah!!!! That made my day. The marathon is in April 2016 and has been on my bucket list for a few years. Hopefully I’ll break 3:07:59 or even 3 hours. I’m very excited.

 

OK, gotta head out. My zouk class is about to start…

So close but yet so far

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I believe I need to correct one thing from my previous post. I wrote that everybody in the office has a Hollywood smile. Not the case. People, this is England. It’s a dentist’s nightmare. I really needed to clear this up. It’s been bothering me for so long and I apologize for painting a wrong picture.
So! I went to Caroline’s (France) birthday party yesterday. She was the only person I knew at the party and the same thing happened as the other night at my work function. I got to the bowling venue and wasn’t able to find the group. This is a recurring theme. Eventually, I did find them.
Oh and it took me ages to get there. The venue was exactly 3.2 km from my place. It would’ve taken me about 30-40 minutes to get there had I just walked. However, I thought the tube would be quicker. Nope! I had to change train lines 3 times and it took almost an hour (this includes walking as well). I’ll be smarter in the future.
It was the best birthday party I’ve been to all year. It was also the only birthday party I’ve been to this year. As you can see, I’m a social butterfly.
I left a bit early because I had plans for Sunday (today). One guy joined me because we were heading in the same direction. It turns out he lives in the same building as me. What are the odds of that? Small world!

Let’s move on…
I had a marathon run planned for today. I was quite dehydrated when I woke up – the drinks from the party were showing their dark side. Luckily, it wasn’t too bad. Mother Nature was playing ball as well – it was beautiful outside. I knew I’d get a good result.
I was off to a slow start but things got better. I guess I should warm up or something, when I attempt new personal bests. Food for thought!
Just to be clear it wasn’t a race, just a training run, which happened to be a full marathon i.e. 26.2 miles / 42.2 km.
I’m sure you can all guess by now that I got a new personal best. My time was 3:09:50. It’s an improvement of 28 minutes from my last record, which I ran in July a year ago.
I was so tired when I finished – I sort of limped to find some shade under a tree and starfished like a boss. I was in

So.

Much.

Pain.

I stayed there for a good 30-50 minutes and all my sweat dried up – I’m sure I had white salty stripes all over my face. I limped to the pond in Hyde Park and cleaned myself up whilst trying to pet some swans and ducks. There’s so many of them out there.
I was too tired to limp back home but I was prepared – I had my Oyster card with me. Master’s degree after all… Yesterday I cursed the tube but today it was a gift from heaven.
so close
A long time ago I wrote that the goal is to run a marathon faster than my aunt. She did it in 3 hours 8 minutes and some seconds – she was only 2 minutes faster. I think my next attempt might just do the trick and maybe I’ll even break 3 hours. I’m very optimistic about the future!
Oh and. Um, today the most British of all things happened to me. I was at the supermarket and sort of backed into something and said “sorry”. Wait for it………………………… to a shelf! 😀 I’m apologizing to inanimate objects. Oh London, what have you done to me?

With love,
Ivar

The perfect storm

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Hi kids,

Today was the day I’ve been training for for about 6 months. I woke up, got my shit together and walked to the park where I knew the first thing I’d do is join the pissline. I din’t really need to go but figured just in case. The park was crowded with about 2000 runners and their family/friends/supporters.

I was jealous of everyone because I had nobody supporting me. I was all alone :(. The queue  moved along at a snail’s pace. I enjoyed trotting in the wet grass and mud – ladies and gentlemen this is what England is all about. I forced a tiny amount of liquid out of my bladder and felt hugely accomplished – it was totally worth the 25 minute wait in the pissline. Hands down this was the best part of race day.

I moved along to the bag drop are, got rid of my shit and went for a 15 minute warm-up run. I felt optimistic and full of energy. My last two Sunday runs were epic – I ran a personal best in a 5K, 10K, 16K/10Miles, half marathon and 32K/20Miles distances. I was very confident I’d run a personal best in this marathon as well. I was aiming for a sub 3H 10 min.

I positioned myself behind the sub 4H sign. This was my first mistake – after my start I had to pass many runners because I wanted to stay at a 4:22 min/km pace – it was a nightmare and the first 2 kilometers were rubbish. In my experience the first 3 km are crucial to running a PB – if they’re slow, it’s very hard to make up for them later on in the race. I was already going slower than I planned. Then shortly I discovered that the pavement stopped and we started to run on wet grass. It was soft and muddy and gross – and incredibly hard to run on. The marathon was a multi-terrain race – pavement, grass and gravel. I wrongly thought that it would still be mostly on paved roads – but it was about 50% pavement and 50% grass or gravel. I hadn’t done my homework.

At about the 5Mile/8K mark I noticed that my legs were hurting. 5 FUCKING MILES. What? I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never been in pain after such a short distance. I hardly ever run distances that short – and there I was with pain in both calves which was moving up towards my quads. I think it was the grass which caused it – it felt like running on wet sand. Where was a lot of give on the surface and that must have put my leg muscles under strain/stress which they hadn’t been exposed to during my 100% pavement training runs.

The pain didn’t go anywhere. It was gradually getting worse and I was slowing down more and more. After about 16K/10Miles I wanted to quit. It was clear that this race wasn’t for me. All I wanted to do was to stop the pain, stop, walk home and cry like a little bitch. But I kept going, thinking that maybe, just maybe, the endorphins will kick in and the pain will go away. That never happened. FML. 🙂

It was a surreal experience. The last 10K or so my heart rate averaged 150 bpm (FYI that’s very easy running and certainly not race pace) and I just couldn’t go faster. The fitness was where but the pain much too great. I told myself that I wouldn’t walk, I’d keep shuffling all the way if I had to. I think I got quite good at doing the shuffle.

This was the hardest race I’ve ever done. After crossing the finish line at 3:49:07 I got a medal around my neck and a goodie bag. I slowly walked towards a tree and laid down on the moist grass and formed a massive star with my arms and legs. I was exhausted and glad that the ordeal was over. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I was so disappointed, angry and sad. I was so pissed I even ate the 3 non-vegan chocolate/protein bars I found in the goodie bag. Looks like I wanted to spread my misery and support the torture and murdering of other sentient beings. I feel bad about it now but at that moment I didn’t care. Yeah… I’m quite disgusted by what I did.

 

So where you have it – today was this year’s crappiest day.  The perfect storm has come to an end and after taking a warm bath at home I’m optimistic that sunny days will follow.

Congratulations to my fellow runners – all 2000 of you. I’d also like to thank for the support from the volunteers and community. This was my 4th official race and the support from the people was the greatest today – England 1 Australia 0.

Ivar the Shuffler