Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oberelbe-Marathon 10km

To parallel yesterday's race package pick-up Johannes was completely relaxed (almost bored?) and I was super pumped! Too bad we still had over an hour and a bus trip out to the start line to go after already driving the half hour from Freiberg into Dresden for the race...

The Finish Line was in the stadium behind us
We were both still a bit sleepy since my bed is tiny, it was noisy outside until about 5am and well, we had to get up early to be there on time. Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of a race that doesn't start and end at the same point is the logistics of getting to the start/from the finish if you come with a vehicle...

I'm still on the look out for some action photos. Either official ones from the race or from a certain someone who should have a couple on his phone to send me... There is a collection of pictures online (not the official ones they sell) but unfortunately the only ones I could find with either of us in them were from behind and in the last couple kilometers - AND I was definitely dragging my butt at that point.

Although I had felt prepared going into it and had kept a pretty good eye on pacing throughout the race and until the last few kilometers I thought Johannes and I could actually make it ahead of my 1 hour goal, something hit me about the time we were being steered away from the entrance to the stadium to run a big loop around the sports complex and fields to complete the last 3km. I can't completely explain the burning feet and the sudden energy crash, but given that it was so hot for that time of day and I'd skipped the last water station due to crowds, I could go with slight dehydration as an explanation.

However, although I don't want to be putting the blame on this all the time, I'm leaning towards the 'excuse' that I really should have just gone with it when I thought of taking a bit of extra hydrocortisone (HC) before getting out of the car. I may have been a bit too excited and totally forgot about it again... Now, my excitement level may have been the entire root of the problem - I think I was already driving Johannes a little nuts on the drive from Freiberg that morning. This may be a bit of self-diagnosis but if I was so excited for long enough, I may have almost burnt through my dose of HC before even hitting the start line. It must not have been so extreme as I made it through the first 7km with no problems to speak of (unless you count the slight bit of frustration in trying to get around enough people on the skinny bike path that we could find a spot where we could run our my pace).

The good news: I didn't give up and managed to keep running the whole way to the finish line!

So by 10:20 last Sunday morning Johannes and I were making our way over to pick up a beer (really, it was an Erdinger 'non-alcoholic', sports and fitness drink) and our post-race pasta after finishing the 10km race of the Oberelbe-Marathon in 1:00:40 (chip-time). We took the time to receive our finisher medals, have a quick breather and stop at the WC, of course.

Totally different lighting - doesn't do it justice
The medals are so pretty! I was, of course, especially thrilled to flip mine over and notice that they'd gone to the trouble of putting my name on it too. A slight spelling error like this I can forgive, it would have taken a lot of work to sort that out so everyone got a personalized medal. But Johannes got one just like mine... Ok, Schulz Aktiv Travel was the 10km sponsor - I still like having my name on there though!

Other aspects of the race were awesome too and aside from being pretty borderline on too many entrants at the start of the 10km race, I'd say it was super well organized. If I'm around (or at least close enough to be able to make it a weekend trip), I'd come back!

As for me, I'm quite satisfied with our finishing time (if you sort it by age category I'm only halfway down the first page). I know I said my goal was 1 hour and I'll manage to be done in less than that next time but given: the extreme heat (for an April morning), my learning curve on the HC and the packed start line, I'm definitely willing to adjust my goal to 1 hour - plus or minus a minute. And I'm super proud! I'm also proud of Johannes for not only keeping up with me (haha) even though he never goes running on his own, but also for managing to stick to my pace most of the time too (he tends to speed up and I sometimes get a little upset that he's making me run too fast...).

As an added bonus, this race took place the day after the 1 year anniversary of the day I was informed that it was confirmed that I had a tumour on my pituitary gland. I'm told this is the day to celebrate and although I didn't plan anything in particular, I think being able to prove that I have enough life in me to be back into running  and complete 10km like this within a year after my operation is pretty appropriate! To think that it was only 8 months ago that I passed out while trying to walk up just 1 flight of stairs with my physiotherapist and ended up being pushed back to my room on my bed, makes this success even sweeter!  
AND all this with my honey right by my side (select "dein Finisher-Clip" to see him by my side)!!

Shouldn't the Nettozeit (Chip-time) be highlighted instead? And the one used for the rankings??

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