At the beginning of the summer I decided to run my first marathon. Because I was afraid of the challenge, I chose a five month training plan that would give me enough time to build my strength. I signed up for Castellón, which is happening in December, and started running five times a week.
But I was wrong: I didn’t need so much time and three months later I felt ready. Besides, I was tired of running almost 60 kilometers every week (70 some weeks). It was time to decide whether to continue with the plan or find a closer marathon. I looked on Ahotu Marathons and found out that only seven days later was going to take place the Toulouse Metropole International Marathon. I didn’t think it twice and signed up.
My family and I arrived to Toulouse on Saturday, the day before the race. I was a little scared because I had never run 42 kilometers before, so I spent almost the entire day saving energy and eating carbs. Meanwhile, my wife and the children had a lot of fun visiting the Cité de l’espace (we already knew the city), so no one got bored waiting for Sunday.
And then, the race came and it was terrific. I started from the bottom of the crowd and progressed without issues: I felt great. I passed the 10k marker in 59 minutes and the half-marathon in 1:58… which was better than expected. At the beginning I had predicted to finish in 4 hours and 11 minutes, but it appeared that I could be able to spend less than 4 hours. I decided to try it.
Soon after that, I started to feel pain. At first at my feet and then at my legs. But I was mostly okay, so I continued pushing at a good pace until I reached the 32k. Then I found myself face to face with the famous marathon wall, which I tried to avoid just looking at the ground and keeping going. It wasn’t easy at all, but after the 35k marker I realized that I only had to run the rest of the race at 6 minutes per kilometer to achieve the goal. So I focused on that.
I saw my family at the 38k. My wife told me at the end that I looked good, but I was completely exhausted… and only a kilometer later I was caught by the 4 hour pacemakers. I tried to stick to them because otherwise I would have ended suffering a lot, and I managed to do it. In fact, I was finally able to improve my pace again and finished the race in 3:55:58 (official time: 3:57:48). Wow!
So I guess now I can call myself a marathoner. I am proud of it because running a marathon is not only showing up the day of the race and start running until the finish line. You have to commit to the goal and be willing to spend a lot of time training, even when you don’t feel like doing it. Also, you have to renounce to a certain amount of family time, which is hard. But at the end, when I remember the feelings I had after crossing the finish line, I only know one thing for sure: it’s worth the effort.
Congratulations to myself and thank you Gemma, Aniol and Sira for your support
The training plan:
Picture n. 2: Côté Toulouse.