June 9, 2016

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Conquering a Marathon at Any Age [Part 2]

October 14, 2015

Back in early September, we interviewed our Fitness22 Creative Director, Michal, about her upcoming marathon. This was her first marathon and definitely an accomplishment at the age of 45. You can read her pre-race interview HERE, after you get inspired by her post-race follow up below. Enjoy!

 

How did you feel the day before the race? 
I’ll go back a few days before the marathon. A day before I flew I was SO stressed I couldn’t eat (I was supposed to start loading carbs already). My coach told me: “if you don’t start eating right away, forget about the marathon!”

So I decided to take the opportunity and prepare mentally for the race. As nervous thoughts come, I acknowledged them, and then push them away by focusing on something else. I kept telling myself – ‘Don’t let the nervous burn your energy.’

I came to Berlin 2 days before the race. I went to see the starting line and the finishing point. I started to imagine how it would feel to cross the finish line.

 

What went through your mind before the race started?
Mental strength is necessary for meeting goals.

I didn’t know what was going to happen. I knew I trained properly, but some training days were great and some days were bad, and I wasn’t sure what kind of run this would be for me. So I forced myself to relax, I told myself: “this is your FIRST marathon! All you need to do is to enjoy it. Forget about the pace, and forget about being scared of the pain”. I asked myself what is the worst that could happen? I knew I would finish, I knew I wouldn’t give up- then I decided to just stay in the moment and not to think too far ahead.

What was the atmosphere like at the starting line?
Such a festive atmosphere! It was as if all the residents of the city came to cheer us on! All the runners were so excited. I swear you could hear everyone’s heart beating  In short, it was amazing.

What was the best part of the race?
Personally, it was the fact that I was able to pick up my pace after the 30 Km mark. Other then that, the whole race was like one big party – bands on the sides, people cheering, and a beautiful city. I was smiling the whole way.

 

What was the worst part of the race?
Nothing was really bad, but if I had to choose, my watch said 42.2KM [indicating a finished race] before the course had even ended (!) so I had to push for about 600 meters more.

 

Did you ever feel like giving up?
Surprisingly no, I was just so thrilled about the whole thing. When my watch showed 42.2 I had a few long seconds of dyspnea. I was very, very excited, but forced myself to relax so I could finish the last few hundred meters

 

What was your biggest motivation to keep going?
It is a combination of a few things. When I saw that I was doing well, I decided to go for SUB4  (which means finishing in less then 4 hours – and I did!!). I saw people quitting and I felt very sorry for them but it actually gave me more drive and willpower to continue. I knew my family was tracking me in real time through an app and that also gave me a lot of inspiration.

 

How did it feel when you finished?
VICTORIOUS! As simple as that. I went. I ran. I finished 

It really was an extraordinary experience. Now I’m going to continue running and enjoy some shorter runs – a few half marathons in different places, and to keep meeting more wonderful people along the way.

See you at my second marathon ?…

 

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