Madrid Marathon for the third time

Ein Bericht von Marina Perich.


On the 22nd of April I ran the Madrid Marathon for the third time. It’s also been until now the only marathon I’ve finished. Last year I tried my luck in Hamburg, but I couldn’t finish, so I decided to come back to Madrid. Madrid is my home town, which means I’ve been running races in these streets for almost 20 years, so the course is very special for me. It’s also tough, as the city is very hilly. My watch measured around 400m of elevation gain. But the people make it worth it, as the cheers carry you through the worst parts.

Because I have not been training very regularly these past two years, I started my training in January feeling not too confident. I got sick a couple of times in February, which made me doubt that I could actually run in April. By March I was much stronger and back to almost my previous form. But I knew that my training was definitely not enough, so I had to adjust the way I approached the race. I decided that as there was no way I could run a PB, that my goal was to finish, to enjoy it at least until km 30 and to try to be as close to 4h as possible.

As the race approached I got more and more nervous. April was a bad training month. I was tired from March, when I ran more kms than ever before, and I couldn’t perform very well. I was very unsure of myself. But I knew I had to try.

On Sunday the weather was perfect. Around 15º when we started and it only got a bit warmer later on. After what I heard from the other marathons that weekend, I was very lucky! At 9 we started, marathon together with half marathon. I’m not a fan of starting a half marathon at the same time, as it gets very crowded and makes it more difficult for the marathon runners. But well, I just had to run.

I had decided to start on pace for 4h, which is 5.40 per km. I had to slow myself down and remind me of the long way to go. My legs were feeling fine, which is always a good sign. On km 3.5 my brother and his girlfriend joined me and run with me for a while, which was really nice, as they kept talking non-stop and made it more fun. I also saw my dad, my best friend and her dad cheering for me, advantages of running at home!

Until km 28 I was feeling great, running a very steady pace and with no problems. On km 28 my mum joined me and I also got very bad side stitches. I guess I was drinking too much water, because I usually don’t get them. This made the next couple of kilometres a bit harder and the times more irregular, but with my mum’s encouragement I managed not to drop the pace too much.

On km 35 the wall hit me hard. I felt every single missed training in my legs. From that point on my only focus was to finish, I didn’t care about the time at all. On km 38 the big hill to the finish starts, which makes a lot of people start walking. I had to fight to not stop running. At that point my mum stopped but Riccardo, my boyfriend, took her place. He actually run until the finish line screaming at me, telling me to keep going, even promising me a pizza as a reward!

Finally I made it. I reached the finish line in 4:05:07. A bit slower than I wanted, but I didn’t care. I finished my third marathon, something that even two months ago I didn’t know if it would be possible. I’m really happy with how I ran, I kept the pace much more constant than my past two marathons. And it has made me so motivated to keep the training up! Hopefully soon I can run a PB.