So I ran a marathon.

And so it came to pass that yesterday I ran a marathon.

But… why? 😱

I’m 42 this year, and running 42k before my 42nd is over was a goal I set long ago, and was training for it in 2021, in an unofficial, self organising manner. It’s not a race, it is purely a challenge to myself; a challenge of discipline.

But… where? 🤔

Actually… in het Diemerpark. (8 rounds… or 9, I can’t remember.)

I contemplated signing up for the Amsterdam Marathon for a while but then decided against it, and I was right. Between an ongoing renovation at home, some travel during the autumn holidays with the kids, and fear that it would be cancelled (the Dam tot Damloop was…) and that I wouldn’t be able to hit the time limit (of 6 hours), I decided that to me the only way is my way: I have the discipline so I don’t need the race; but I don’t have the time otherwise.

Running in the Diemerpark (next to IJburg) had its advantages, I could basically run with zero attention to my surroundings (I know the area in and out) and so was able to focus entirely on the awesome Fall of Civilizations Podcast (in particular: the Sumerian and the Late Bronze Age Collapse episodes).

(After each episode Paul, the hosts thanks all Patreon supporters saying “you keep me running”. No buddy, you keep me running.)

Running rounds in the Diemerpark also meant that I could run alone, without any support: I brought my own supplies that I stowed away in a bag and just put it down with a paper asking people not to take it away.

This worked for exactly N-1 (7 or 8) rounds… the bag was stolen with my last resort Coca Cola and some other stuff just before my last round. (Pathetic.)

So… how was it?

It was OK. It rained a couple of times, the wind was quite strong, but the run was OK. My main learning is that running is happening, for a big part, in the brain: mentally I was as tired at the end as if I had run a half marathon. I feel that if I prepare for a half marathon, I get tired by the end of the half marathon; if I prepare for a marathon, I get tired by the end of that. Obviously I was better trained for this marathon than when I was doing half marathon(s); but still, I felt it was in the brain. My legs hurt now, obviously, but I’m guessing that by tomorrow they’ll be almost fine. (They have to be; I need to take some shelves and some flooring apart.)

Even during the marathon I had a bad craving for meat. I’m no vegatarian, but not a huge meat eater either, but this was some serious craving. I hated myself for only bringing these horrible horrible protein gels (and the Coke that was stolen), and didn’t bring some beef jerky. Since I finished I downed some serious amount of meat: sausage, some pork leg, filet americain, and chicken. I guess I need it for the regeneration.

Oh, by the way: I lost 2 kilos during the run:

And what’s next?

Nothing serious… resting, and shorter runs, max. half marathon distances. And gaining some weight.

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