My First Marathon
I ran my first marathon in Berlin recently to raise money for Mental Health. Having not been much of a runner before hand (I could do 4 miles at a push) it was a mildly terrifying experience. My best friend asked me to sign up with her and I initially said no “because of work”, but on second thought decided there would always be an excuse and I should go for it as it would get me outside and running in the Summer. Training involved 2 or 3 runs a week (with a few holiday weeks off) and 1 park fitness session in Camberwell or Brixton trying to develop some sort of ‘core’. I made sure I did lots of long runs with podcasts or spotify playlists to keep me going. I’ve never been so up to date with the top 40.
The first 3 months went well and it was a great way to get some headspace from Lunch BXD each week. I did start to loose interest in the last month though and developed a bit of a clicky hip which wasn’t ideal, so swapped one of my runs for a swim.
I had an awesome day in Berlin, supported by friends, family and German bands playing everything from James Bond to Techno House (I think?) throughout the course. Running along I took a friend’s advise and consciously tried to enjoy the crowds and sights of Berlin and view it as a ‘running tour’ of the city which kinda worked. The first 20 miles were relatively fun but the final 6 pretty hellish, so on average a great experience. After 20 miles my running watch had a bit of a GPS fail moment and told me I had 1 mile to go when I actually had 4. It took quite a lot of mental pep talks to keep myself running for the final 40 minutes after that. Somehow I did and was thrilled to come in at 3.56.
That night I had 1 black toe and numerous blisters but felt proud and elated by the whole experience and would 100% recommend it to anyone. My advise would be just sign up and give it a go – it’s crazy how quickly your body and mind adapts after a few weeks of running 2 or 3 times a week. I’d highly recommend Berlin too for the beer and schnitzel afterwards, the fact it is at the end of the Summer (so you will be training in the sunshine) and because it’s also the flattest marathon (not a coincidence as to why we chose it).
Check out the next blog post which is the first part in a series of posts by Ultra Marathoner and good friend of Anna, Becca Langton.
I’ve raised over £1,500 so far for Mental Health thank you everyone who has sponsored me and for your kind messages!