Day 743: Respect the Marathon

It’s always hard to write about a marathon. Even if it was the 18th that you finished. Even if it was the best you’ve had so far in your life. Marathon is not a simple race. Marathon is marathon, the distance to strive for. To work for. To die for.

Marathon is not an ordinary race. You cannot do it every week. Fine, you can, but you can’t expect a PB each time nor can you run very fast. I know some people who eat marathons for breakfast. Who have made it their hobby to collect marathons. I don’t belong to that club. I take my marathons seriously. I both fear and wait for them. With the Milan one behind me by now, there shall be truce until September. 5 months without a marathon. 5 months to prepare myself. Yet again. This doesn’t mean that I don’t race in between. I will. A lot. But the half-marathon shall probably be the longest distance. Once. Twice. Maybe three times? There will also be others but I won’t be tackling a marathon before September when it shall be possible to run in Tallinn. At home. Estonian Championships and all. A friendly tent where to leave my clothes and change. A new route once again. Improved.

Every time I think I know what a marathon is all about, it surprises me. There’s always so much to learn. I said it was my 18th but not really. 18th that saw me on the finish line. I didn’t finish Riga 2013 or Krakow 2018, for instance. Too hot weather both times: Riga – my body couldn’t cope as I had been down with a flu as well, Krakow – a conscious decision to quit because there was no chance of a PB in such a heat. I wanted to finish Shah Alam (Malaysia) 2014 but due to the heat (again!) and extreme fogginess, the organisers stopped the race when I had passed the 35 km mark. Oh well. The thing is that marathons can teach you so much about yourself. Your body. Your mind. Your limits. All the thoughts that enter your mind during a marathon. All the possibilities. All the dreams. And how they all evolve. How the doubts dissolve. Or maybe dreams shatter. If you’ve ever run a marathon, then maybe you’ve had these pre-half thoughts “oh, I’m doing so well today, maybe my new PB will be even 5 minutes better than hoped for!” Yes, this could work sometimes. But for me, not anymore. If I start too fast, I die somewhere around 30 km. The wall. the hammer. Whatever people decide to call that state of despair and utter fatigue. This didn’t happen in Milan. Nope. Simply, my thighs ran empty. The rest of my body was willing to go on but the damn thighs. My weak spot! I’ve had problems with them not cooperating for a while now. But I did run a new PB. 3.15.29. Quite nice for a marathon. 34th woman in a big race that included thousands of people. Overall ranking: 858th (7000 runners). My fellow runner finished with an even more magnificent PB (2.50 something), which meant a 9-minute improvement. I only managed 2 minutes and 44 seconds. But it’s something. It left me hungry. Hungry for more. Give me the marathon. I will eat it up, digest it, make it mine. Make it part of my flesh. My mind. I will conquer you, marathon. Even if I’m a bit afraid of you.

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

Marathon day is not a working day. No time to think about houses.

2. Write AND publish a book.

All focus on the marathon, of course.

3. Win a major race.

Won myself a new PB in marathon. That’s a victory in itself.

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