I am very proud to be showing off another one of my running medals. This time it’s the one I had received back in May 2014 after running the Prague Marathon.
I wrote this post a while back, but never published, and really think now it’s the perfect time as there are many people training for the Prague Marathon again this year. So relax, grab a cuppa and enjoy my first experience of running this amazing race back in 2014!
I was very lucky and had my hubby and Isabelle flying with me on Friday night. We got to the hotel an hour after midnight, and I knew I had to try and save energy on Saturday, so I would be ready for the big run on Sunday.
I went to pick up my starting number at the Sports expo exhibition, which was fantastic. I managed to record a short video message for my running buddy and was getting more and more excited.
Running a marathon in Prague came across my mind when I was chatting to my very good friend from the Czech Republic in summer. She was telling me about how she had been running and enjoying it, and I told her to sign up with me to run it.
She agreed, and we had no problems with getting spaces like with the London Marathon, so highly recommend the Prague Marathon even for foreigners.
Prague is my favourite city, it is a stunning place, and this time I had my family and friends coming to support me, which was fantastic. It felt very different to my first marathon back in 2011 in London.
I was not scared at all, the crowd was tiny in comparison to the London Marathon and I knew I would really be enjoying it. I was so pleased to see many foreigners taking part and saying they thought the Prague Marathon was one of the best places to run in the whole world. That made me even more proud to be Czech and running it in my home country.
Before I reveal more about the actual run, I have to say that having my friend next to me was a great feeling. Not doing it alone definitely helps. The only downside was that we have never run together before and had no idea about each other’s habits, timings, etc.
If you ever decide to run with someone, I highly recommend doing so, and checking before you agree you will be running it together.
Me and my friend
I have been running for many years now, and have had a few runs behind me and I knew my friend was very nervous. I was determined to be there for her. Unfortunately it was not one of her best days, and I think my pace was a bit too much for her.
We slowed down early on before the 5th km, and I knew there was something wrong. She was so nervous about the whole run she did not laugh at my jokes, looked very stressed and even after my encouraging words, she was just really struggling.
You might think I am a bad person, but I have trained for this run so hard, and of course had a certain finish time in mind. I started to be very concerned not only I would not beat the time (which would not be the end of the world, but I would be very disappointed about), but mainly that she would want to walk the whole thing.
That could have taken us ages, and maybe we would not even finish within the 7 hour limit, as when we walked it was not power walking, but very slow walking. For almost the half-marathon distance I kept on running a little bit in front of her, encouraging her to catch up on me.
Slowly and slowly the distance became larger and larger, and after a few minutes I had to be stopping to make sure she was right. It was very bad for me, as I was disrupting my normal pace and that way was just standing around for ages.
Then I made the decision when she took her last gel which I was carrying for her, that unfortunately we would not be able to run it together. She was fine, and I just went off. I know, it was bad of me, and I still feel a bit guilty about this, but I also know, I would have been so disappointed if I could not run it the way I am used to.
After leaving my friend behind, I knew I had to catch up on all the “standing around” time, and was actually running faster than I was originally planning. I was fine with the pace until I hit the last 8 km. That’s when I saw my family and they could not believe I was still so full of energy and smiling.
Then the hardest part of the run was ahead of me. The distance between each kilometre suddenly started to take longer and longer, and I could feel my legs getting heavier and heavier. I took my last power gel for the finishing few kilometres, but never felt the difference.
I hit the wall when I passed the sign 40km, just 2 km away from the finish line. Suddenly I started panicking I would not be able to run it. I started crying, and was gasping for air. I could not breathe. I have never experienced anything like this. Then I spotted my darling Isabelle in the background, and my legs were suddenly carrying me closer and closer to her.
I also spotted daddy, and my brother with his family. Again I felt like crying, running to them and just collapsing on the ground. I signed to daddy I had enough, and he sent Isabelle to me.
She took my hand and we were suddenly running together. She helped me so much, she does not even realise how much. She ran the last 500m with me, all the way to the finishing line. We had so much applause and cheering on, I was crying again.
We raised our hands and ran through the finishing line together. I was so proud of her, me and was crying. The tears were happy tears. Soon we both were given a medal, which Isabelle took to her school to show off the next day.
After my run I went for some lovely Thai foot massage. It was such a relief and relaxing time. As I had time to think back about the whole experience my tears started running again. I was suddenly very sad. I wanted my dad to be there. He would have been so proud of me. This is for you dad, miss you so much and love you always x
Running a marathon is not just about your fitness state, it is very much about the emotional state of your mind too. I believe if you believe you can do it, you are halfway there.
Believing in yourself is so important. You can train so much, but if you feel like you are not going to run it on the day, the chances you are not going to run it are very high. It is all about pushing our boundaries and believing in ourselves.
Call me crazy, but I am always planning another marathon. Any suggestions?
How about you, any sport challenges planned for this year? I have just been offered a place at the NEW London 10 Mile race on 4th June 2017.
Come and join me!
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