3:15:37 it was!!! My finish at the Dubai Marathon last week.
It was a tough race. For the first time ever, I didn't do negative splits, e.g. running the first half of the race faster than the second half. My splits were 1:36 and 1:39. My goal was a 3:10:00 time. I knew it was ambitious, but you gotta try in order to find out, right?
The weather was warmer than I had wished for, around 15C/59F. I felt good, rested and ready. When the gun went off, I tried to get close to my average goal pace within a few kilometers. In retrospect, I must say I never felt 100% comfortable with the pace. I kept on checking my Garmin for the pace. It didn't come naturally. After 10k my hips and groin were already sore. It's an old "problem zone" of mine. I expected to get sore there, but not so soon. Between 20 and 30k I was considering giving up. Not seriously, but the thoughts were there. While my bones were sore, I was still able to keep up the pace. Up until 30k I was on for a 3:12 or 3:13 marathon. Not too far off my goal. At the same time I knew that I was not able to make up and go any faster.
|The leading men incl the winner 18 year old Asefa|
|20k done - 22k to go....ugh|
|Support Crew getting bored|
I finished 33rd lady overall (which includes 20 something elite runners), and 5th in my age group. A PB by 2 1/2 minutes from the Berlin marathon in September, and a whopping 11 minutes faster than the Dubai marathon last year.
It's been a week now since the marathon. It's still sinking in. A friend of mine keeps on asking me if I have realized what great performance I delivered. I am still in two minds. On one hand, 11 minutes off from last year's Dubai marathon is a huge chunk off. And it's a PB. A PB is faster than ever before. On the other hand, I had tried to get close to 3:10 for the second time (it was also my goal for Berlin), and I am still 5 minutes away from it. I know it was an ambitious goal, but I can't deny that there is a grain of disappointment in me too.
I have a feeling that the Berlin and the Dubai marathon were too close to each other. I started training for Berlin in July last year, then ran the marathon at the end of September. October was my "month off", but it felt incredibly short. By November I was supposed to start training for the Dubai marathon. I wasn't ready yet. It took me a while to get motivated again to run high weekly mileages. All in all, it was a very long and hard training spell with very little rest since last summer. It's for a reason that my hips and groin scream for rest.
I look forward now to not count weekly mileages, to go on long runs no longer than 20k and to just run for fun for a few months. Until it all starts again. My next marathon is Berlin again in September. Hopefully, I will get my 3:10:00 time then. Third time lucky?