Monday, September 29, 2008

Then We'll Take Berlin

Guten tag from Deutschland! Thanks to delicious German brew and copious amounts of Nutella I'm well on my way to recovering from running 42,2 km yesterday through the streets of Berlin. The weekend was really amazing. We landed Friday morning and met up with my friend Meredith (also running) and her fiance Philip (from Copenhagen) on Friday afternoon at the race expo. At the expo we ran into my friend Erik, who I knew from NY and who now also lives in Copenhagen and was here to run the marathon. Sometimes the world is very small. Both Ken & I were melting at the expo after our overnight flight, so we only stayed long enough to get my number and then came back to the hotel for a nap.

Saturday we met up with 2 more of Meredith & Philip's friends from Copenhagen, Lotta and her boyfriend, Kim (it's a man's name in Danish!). Lotta was also running, and all three boys were here for moral support, cheerleading, and post-race massages (at which they excelled). At lunch we had a discussion about race goals, and both Kim (a spinning instructor) and Philip (an Ironman triathlete) were adamant that we should have specific goal times. I secretly decided then that I'd try to finish in 4:30, bettering my NYC time by 17 minutes. The course here is very flat, and the forecast was perfect (a high of 68F, and sunny), so I thought I'd go for it.

The first half of my race was perfect. I crossed the 21.1 km mark at 2:10, well on track to finish in 4:30. But I wavered in the 2nd half, and as much as I pushed my legs (and push I did!) I slowed down enough that I finished in 4:37. Which really means that my first half wasn't perfect - I could definitely have paced better to have more energy at the end. I also realized that my 2 18+ mile runs weren't enough, and next year (!) I'll do at least 3.

In the end, though, I felt a lot like the Rancho Carne Toros at the end of "Bring It On": I didn't exactly get the result I wanted, but I'm incredibly happy and proud of what I accomplished. And, yes, I'm planning to do another one next year. But for now I'm taking the week off. Prosit!

9 comments:

Michael Gorsuch said...

Congrats on the race - your name is on the short list of those who actually have the guts to push themselves very, very hard and see what happens.

Also, cheers to the Cohen line!

Candace said...

Congratulations, that's amazing! Can't wait to see the pictures...

CurlyV said...

I was thinking of you yesterday and sending you vibes of stamina and adrenaline. Congrats! I hope you sample lots of delicious German beer in celebration! Prost!

amy said...

oh my god, i am SO proud of you!!! seriously, well well done.

and have some delicious nutella for me!!!

nsolis said...

Yay, Gillian! You're an inspiration!

Garth said...

Are you gonna hit Munich? You could catch the tail-end of Oktoberfest. In MUNICH! You'd be crazy not to.

Oh, and congrats on that running thing :)

~ali said...

i am SO proud of you, honey! in all honesty, you inspire me to do more and BE more in my own life...thank you for being YOU! congratulations!

Adam Wishneusky said...

congratulations! You're amazing. It blows my mind that people can do stuff like that

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations G! I was thinking of you the day of the race. You are absolutely awesome, and deserve to reward yourself!