On Friday, we decided as a family I could run a second marathon this year.
Sunday at 08:00 I signed up.
By 09:00 I was running through a shower of confetti.
After the Gletscher Marathon in June, I had thought I would run the Seenland Marathon in September. But then an injury (which had me inactive for 2 weeks); a visit from my mother (3 weeks of board games & cookie baking); and an onslaught of large farm machinery chopping up and spraying the countryside, sidetracked my usual training plan. Thus, out of 12 weeks between marathons, I had only 3 long runs, the longest of which was a mere 14 miles (nothing like the 18-20 I would have normally done).
Even though I LOVED running the Seenland Marathon last year, I debated about it this year, because I didn’t know if only doing Crossfit (3 times a week), plus one to two runs a week was sufficient preparation.
But then, as my oldest child said, “It’s only running.”
Right! It WAS only running; and I quickly buried the fact that it would be 42 kilometers of running.
The results: 4 hours 26 minutes–the EXACT same time as the Gletscher Marathon.
HOWEVER: I would have done much better with more training. Normally, the marathon ‘starts’ for me around km 30. This year, I was feeling it at km 20. My legs became chunks of concrete, and I sincerely felt like quitting.
HOWEVER (again): That’s when Kristina came flitting along the path with her two bouncy braids, striped tights and cheerful smile. She was SO happy to see me and said that she was talking about me the night before at the noodle party. She is the best pacemaker in the world, and she helped me get through the tough parts of last year’s marathon.
This year, she came along, asked how I was doing, and then said, “Stay with me” in a manner worthy of a Crossfit coach.
So, I stayed with her the rest of the way–and we crossed the finish line together, smiling.
There are so many things rushing through my mind:
*How easy the marathon was at first, and how incredibly difficult it was in the middle.
*A guy running the marathon in an elephant suit
*The hoards of half-marathoners, breezing by, making me feel sadly inferior
*The t-shirts promoting a wide variety of causes (some of them nearly dueling it out on the trail)
*The fabulous aid stations with plenty of watermelon
*Hearing American Rock music booming along the trail
*The handicapped runners (some blind) leaving me in the dust
*A welcome shower of rain
*The Bible verses on my left arm, written in pen, vanishing one by one
*‘Stolz Sein’ (our Crossfit Coach’s mantra) fading from my right arm (translation=be proud: to help my posture)
*Hearing Kristina tell someone in German, “I need to get her to her kids at the finish line!”
* Seeing from 1/4 mile Libby’s striped pink dress, her arm waving frantically at me.
I love the moment I see my family, waiting by the finish with such excitement and anticipation. It is THE single best part of any marathon!
If you are going to run a marathon in Germany, I highly recommend the Seenland Marathon. The catering stations are fantastic; the people (both the staff AND the other runners) are extremely friendly; and the scenery, with the tall pines, wild boars and the sailboat-filled lake, is simply gorgeous.
If I can, I will run it every year that I live here–hopefully with a little bit more preparation next time.