Last Sunday was D-Day! The 19th of March, Utrecht Marathon, I did it! This is how I experienced the days before the marathon and the marathon..
On Friday I arrived in the Netherlands around 3.00pm. It was very windy so I was happy to arrive safe in Eindhoven. Together with my mom I visited my sister. I wasn’t nervous at all during the days for the marathon, I felt very relaxed and the marathon still felt very far away. Friday night I went to bed early without setting an alarm for the next morning. Saturday morning I woke up around 9.00 am and I felt fit! I had nothing planned for the Saturday, except for eating. I did a very short and easy 3km run and my legs felt very strong. There was a lot of wind but I was still positive, I was ready for the marathon. I wanted to run the marathon with my Apple Watch but I wasn’t sure if the battery would last for 4 hours. That’s why I borrowed the running watch of one of my friends. When I collected the watch we talked about the marathon and I was still not nervous 🙂
The rest of the day was all about eating. I’ve been eating every hour. In the evening I went to the cinema, which I can recommend everybody who runs a marathon, it helps to focus on something else. I went to bed early again and slept very well. The next morning I woke up fit and it was time for the marathon!
I started the morning of the marathon with a mugcake. I wasn’t really hungry because of all the food I had the day before but yes, you have to eat before a marathon! This morning was not only special because of the marathon. It was also the morning of seeing my boyfriend again after 4 weeks! He came to the Netherlands to support me during the marathon and to run the last 10km with me. Together with my mom, a friend of my mom and my boyfriend we arrive in Utrecht (too early of course). Because I run the marathon for charity, I met all other runners at a restaurant close to the start. This was very nice because it was warm, there were a lot of toilets and it was a great place to prepare (wait) for the start.
At 12.15pm the marathon of Utrecht started.. I was so excited! The first kilometers I could only smile. There was a lot of wind but I didn’t care, I was flying. The marathon was very flat and the first kilometers felt extremely easy. The half marathon was easy, a lot of fun and I though it was going to be easy. This feeling continued until the 30km. After the 30km I started to feel my legs, but I didn’t care, it made sense of course. After the 32km my boyfriend joined me. I was getting a bit tired but I was still enjoying the run. After 35km the run started to get harder, the wind was very strong and started to have an impact on me. Specially after 37km I messed up number in my head and my legs became more painful, but it was still manageable. A lot of people stopped running around this distance. Some people walked for a bit and than continue running but I didn’t want to stop, there was no reason to stop.
It is interesting how the voice in your head starts to tell you that you should stop. Luckily I was strong enough to tell the voice that there was no reason to stop running. Yes I felt my legs and yes I was tired but I had enough energy to continue running. It really helped to have my boyfriend with me how motivated me to continue. It was very nice to just listen to him and how he made me smile. The last kilometers before the finish I slowed down a bit, which I think is normal. I was very keen on finishing the marathon in 4 hours and when I saw the finish I sprinted the last 300m. Don’t ask me how it was possible but I felt I had enough energy to sprint! I finished in 3.59.45m
After the finish I didn’t know what to do. My legs were so tired and painful. What really helped me was to sit and lay down and get a nice massage from my boyfriend. After 30 min I realized that I finished a marathon and I was so proud! Running a marathon is so special, and impossible to describe. All messages from friends made me so proud and made me realize what a big of achievement it is.
I’ve been taking it easy the days after the marathon, but I feel better every day. I don’t have any injuries, I feel good and my legs feel stronger every day. I promise, I keep you updated on the coming days and weeks. And yes, I highly recommend a marathon to everybody!
With love, on running shoes, from Dublin..