Running a marathon may not be an easy task. The preparation over a few months can be long and tedious. At the same time, finishing to run 42.195 kilometres can be a frightening challenge associated with a lot of pride.
In September of 2021, I ran a marathon in 3H30min! Let me tell you how that is a lifetime accomplishement to me..
This is the 3rd marathon I have run in 9 years. Never 2 without 3, says a French proverb:
- My first was about to finish the race. Done it in just less than 5 hours after walking the last 12 kilometers!
- My second was about running the marathon in under 4 hours. Ticked!
- My third was about reaching an objective of 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Before making it happen, the road to success was a bit bumpy:
- 3 months before, I ran a half marathon. My experience was mixed-feelings and I could not run the half marathon in 1H30min as I wanted. I felt disappointed.
- A few weeks before, I started to make myself panick. That was not a state of mind that I wanted to have when running the marathon.
- This led to 5 days prior to the initial date, I sprinted at 150% with the positive intention of releasing some frustrations and anger. It worked out but with an undesirable side-effect: injury of my left hamstring.
The last couple of weeks did not go as I hoped for in regards to training and preparing. But I decided to run my marathon on the 24th of September 2021.
As Per Planned
The race went relatively as per planned:
- I ate a banana for my breakfast 50 minutes prior the start,
- I warmed up for 10 minutes and made sure to carry enough water and energy gel,
- I stuck to the plan of keeping the 4 min 59 seconds per kilometer pace as close as possible all along the race.
Some few things were not planned though:
- I cried before the race! And a few times, I cried during the race.
- Trying this for the first time, I put on some musics which I used to energize myself. The rise of emotions and energy was such that I stopped the music after 1 or 2 songs given that it was overwhelming!
- [sensitive souls may abstain from reading the following] I vomited the left over energy gel & water alongside the footpath then continued to run to make sure that I crossed the virtual finish line..
I was surprinsingly pleased with some aspects of my race:
- Building confidence: at the starting line, I was not feeling confident in achieving my objective of 3H30min. However, I surprised myself in building up confidence kilometer after kilometer.
- Celebrating milestones: to me, each kilometer was a milestone to be celebrated. I did so by drinking some water and flooding my head with positive thoughts. After the first 45 minutes, I treated myself with some energy gel.
- Manifesting: each block of 5 kilometers, I was realizing that I was on track by running 5 kilometers in 25 minutes. I surprised saying to myself each time: “Oh s***, I am making it.. I am making it happen!”
Making a dream a reality
It was not only a dream or a vision. Running a marathon in 3H30min had become an obsession:
- to make myself (and my father) proud
- to experience what it feels like to “make it happen”
- to be a source of inspiration to others around me
Moreover, preparing for the marathon and accomplishing it right on time was not without sacrifices, pain and doubts. Even when it was harder and less pleasant to train, I gave 105% to it. Without realising, I reaped what I sowed.
By sharing this, I hope you will put consistent effort into making your dreams a reality.
The day after the race, I honestly felt very tired and I was struggling to make up for the mundane actions of everyday’s life (especially walking: up and down the stairs).
But first and foremost, I feel so proud and achieved to have done it.
Just before finishing the race, I remember saying the following to myself:
The above will resonate inside of me forever.
And I am glad that you read me until the end of this story. There is sooooooooo much more to this experience that I would love to share with you. Just let me know if you are interested!