LOCATION: Frankfurt Main, Germany
This race was in the middle of my Marathon program and perfect to test my progress of the training. I felt mentally and physically strong. I also took the chance to test a few things as mentioned below.
Start and finish at the Commerzbank Arena (football stadium)
Commerzbank Arena: Before the race photo inside the Football Stadium
Warmup passing the 20km mark.
SOLD OUT: more than 5.500 competitors
Start line in front of the Football Stadium
The last few weeks I trained myself to be able not to drink for the first 5 -10km. In the past I ran my races with a small bag around my hip including a water bladder. In preparation for the Marathon I wanted to change that and the Half was ideal to test how much water I actually need during a race. The first water station was just before the 10km mark. It felt long but due to the steady pace at an average HR of 164-170, I was fine.
Managing the km: mentally
- km 1: Felt long as always.
- km 3: I realised how far away I still was and tried to bring my attention to the 5km coming up soon and from there I always feel better. I always go through this mental game.
- km 5: I planned when to take the first and the second gel.
I also checked my running technique and changed from front-mid to full-foot landing.
- km 8: I took my gel, slowly. Along the river Main I was perfectly distracted and remembered the 15k long run I did the other day (just on the other side of the river).
- km 10: Water station – Between 8-10km it went so quick. I grabbed water and a isotonic drink. There were small pieces of bananas and I decided to test eating a banana during a run for the first time. I didn’t like the feel of a peace of banana in my hand and eating it while running. Not sure if I would do it in the Marathon. I rather eat a bar instead.
Super happy running towards my mom taking the picture.
From the nice run along the river the course turned into the south part of Frankfurt, “Sachsenhausen”. My sister, mom and Anne were cheering me on. Oh, I was so happy to see them and stopped for a quick hug.
I felt happy and energised from the gel and the hugs. Knowing that the next few kilometres would be boring, I concentrated on my running style: pushing more, activating my glut muscle and straighten my leg to stretch the hip. The effect was a longer and more powerful stride.
Challenges during the run:
– Left toes feeling numb.
I had that problem now for some time. I changed shoes, I loosened the laces and changed the lacing to a high mid food one, but it always comes back now.
I normally run on my front-mid-foot and after 2km the feeling starts. When I change to full foot landing it gets better and it can go away completely. This was actually the reason why I had to change the landing throughout the run quite often. I don’t like the full foot landing. I have to get some advice if it’s my landing, the insole or something else.
- km 10-15: I couldn’t be bothered to think about the distance as I ran the 15km in the training and know I can do it easily.
- km 16: I took the 2nd gel just before the water station.
- km 18: Last water station – all good. It was the long road to run down, turn and run the same way back again. My friend Marcello told me about it and how horrible it supposed to be, but actually I enjoyed watched the people running on the other side. Didn’t realise the last 2km and felt surprised to be that far already.
- km 19: I had my colleagues (Daniela G.) voice in my ear “If you feel strong push! You don’t want to have that much energy left like last time.” So I pushed it, slowly increasing the strides focusing on the technique, than changing to faster and smaller steps depending on the landing. I checked the HR and it was at 180. From my fast 10km a week ago, I learnt I can run at that HR but might feel tired soon.
I felt absolutely great and my legs were strong I would have liked to run faster but I saw my HR at mid/end 180.
1km left to finish: the longest km ever as it was following the stadium around until I finally turned into the stadium.
I felt like a football player, as they normally enter that stadium. I speeded up, one more turn , I saw the finish line and sprinted.
2nd Half Marathon DONE in a new personal best time.
My lovely father was waiting at the finish and had my protein recovery drink. He enjoyed the event and loved supporting me.
After the race I went to the gym to stretch, roll and relax in the sauna.
A few hours later I was already on the plane back to London.
Life is too short to waste any time. Live it to the fullest and enjoy every minute.