At the Back of the Pack
Last week was pretty interesting. On Wednesday I caught a cold – which was pretty bad news in the light of my Sunday morning planned participation of the Amsterdam Marathon. In fact it was very bad news. So during the recovery days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday I drugged myself silly with C-vitamin and other good (and doping-wise legal) stuff to get through to race day in race shape.
On Sunday morning I was not in race shape, but I was close enough so I packed up all my things and with Jolanda’s support and cheers and best wishes made it to the starting line in the Olympic Stadium. At precisely the gun sent us all off into the unknown.
During the race I managed to send through a few updates on the racing. Basically I sent through a note at the 10 kilometer mark, and at the half marathon mark things were still OK – and that’s when they started to change as well. I started loosing speed and at about 25 kilometers Lucy came blazing by on her way to a 4½ hour time in her first marathon!
Still drinking and eating at every aid station, I struggled on in what eventually became a very moderate pace (OK, so it was very slow). On the final 10 kilometers I started having serious pain in my left knee, and I was only able to have that stop temporarily when I changed to Gavin-style running at about 35 kilometers. Slightly longer strides and slightly bend forwards temporarily took care of the problem. But it came back – in a big way.
The final 5 or 6 kilometers was an experience in agonizing paing quite unlike anything I’ve tried in any other endurance sport prior to running this marathon. I thought I’d state that for the record. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a finish line as I was when I turned around the last corner and could see the Olympic Stadium!
After the run I was empty. There was no energy left and Jolanda took care of me the entire evening making sure that I didn’t have to move an inch.
Total time was 4:50:35 – Here my final times and a few extra pictures.
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