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21,1km And I Loved Every Step!

May 9, 2010

I ran through and I loved it. No break, no walking, no hurting knee, only a fairy tale forest and beautiful trails.

Carsten and I before the race.

I was really nervous and when I saw a woman holding up a sign at the start, which said: “pain is temporary, pride remains” I almost cried. I had no idea how it would go. I felt good, prepared, but it was strange to run with more than 6,000 people. At 7:45am Carsten and I took off. The first few kilometers were streets, before we hit the trails of the Rennsteig. I remember many people already walking at the first inclines, but I had two goals: 1st no walking allowed, I wanted to proof to myself that I can RUN a half marathon, even though I might be slower than I would be, if I walked some hills. 2nd it would be great to run a time around 2:30. I probably would have accomplished the second goal, had I not stuck to the first. But now, a day later, I am glad that I stuck to my priority to not walk. I held a steady pace and this, despite my “slow” time of 2:55:46, gives me much confidence for further races. And afterall it was a trail race and I was carefull with my knee, which most likely would be hurting now, had I pushed harder, but it is perfectly fine after some icing yesterday.  I enjoyed it so much. The woods were beautiful. There was fog and very pretty views. More than once, I smiled at Carsten and told him how happy I was to be on our trail with him and that I felt like a fairy in a fairy tale forest. The hills were not as steep as I remembered them and I trained on much steeper ones in the previous weeks, so I honestly was surprised when we saw the sign of the highest point of the race and got to the first decline. At the half point there were drinks and fruit provided. Carsten grabbed a banana for me and I ate it while I kept running. I got some side stitches after I ate, but I was so hungry. The temperatures were around 0°C (30°F) and my body needed energy to keep warm. But with some controlled breathing I got rid of the side stitches, before I knew it, we were at the 15km mark and I knew now it is one more hill and then only downhill. To be honest, I was not looking forward to the last kilometers, because I knew there were rocks, which required concentration and at this point my knees prefered going up the hills over going down. Especially at the end we passed lots of people, who were only walking and I remember telling Carsten at around 19km that I was doing fine and that I could do still go on. I didn’t push it till I could not go any farther, because I did not want to hurt my knee. My dad waited for us at the finish line and called my name when we passed him. I had a very big smile and even though I was happy that it was over, I was also a little sad. We immediately got our medals and hot tea, which felt good.

As he had promised Carsten stayed with me the whole time. Thank you so much! I loved every step running next to you and promise you can go your own pace at our next half in October!

(the race pictures will be up sometime next week and I will post some as soon as I get them)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    May 13, 2010 3:59 am

    I am so very proud of you. I remember Carol’s first half marathon. It is good that you now have this in common as well.
    Love you! It will be so wonderful to see you! We are all excited.

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