Tuesday, 27 September 2011

No time to think of consequences

One day in mid Feb, just after I've returned from my backpacking trip I've signed for the BMW Berlin Marathon 2011. That should not be a problem to come back to some reasonable level of stamina. I had more than 7 months for that, as marathon is in the end of September. But what you think is usually different than the reality. As the reality was that even though I was doing my best to train there was still something happening and I was not able to push to the limit.

First of all I've bumped into the climbing wall with my foot and although it was not broken it hurt and I was not able to run for some time. And from time to time I was having pains and my foot was getting a little bit numb after longer runs.

Secondly during one of the trainings I've injured the tendon in the front of my hip. It was getting very tense and it was causing pain then I was moving. This probably developed into some back problems, where my right leg was getting numb up to the toes and I could not sleep sometimes.

Thirdly when during one of the flights in August I got ear inflammation I was never able to cure it properly and I still struggle with it. I still get fevers, runny nose, sore throat and for two months with every swallowing of saliva I hear a 'click' in my right ear.

And lastly in Dubai it was pain in the ass, as running on the tread mill is completely different that running outdoors. I was not able to do more than 10k each time as it was getting soooooo boring and running outdoors was impossible with the heat up to 45 C degrees (even in the evening).

Now that I've stated all my excuses, I can say that instead of running the fastest Marathon course well prepared and breaking my personal record I've almost failed and did not reach the finish line. But of course if you pay 100e for the entry fee (or maybe even more), 60e for the train tickets, 90e for the hostel you want to run. No matter what. No matter that you might be suffering during and after the run.

On Friday morning with Kinga we've caught train from Warsaw to Berlin, got there shortly after noon, got to Grand Hostel Berlin (we took a bus and I've asked bus driver for the tickets, I guess he was quite surprised, although I'm not sure what's surprised him, that he said that in fact these are only three or four bus stops, so we can go for free).

We did some sightseeing, collected participants documents and merchandise on the Marathon expo in the Tempelhof Airport, spend some money on Adidas pullover, ate Flammkuchen and walked back home where we've had some shandy. In Berlin apparently no one knows what Radler or Russer is. I guess this could be the reason why I'd prefer Munich. Although I cannot decide yet. At least they too have Aperol Spritz.

Our room in Gran Hostel Berlin. It's a great place if you want to stay in a cosy place close to the city center when let's say you come for a marathon and need to rest and relax, but don't expect good party there. It does not have this vibe.

There is some kind of election going on so everywhere different parties expose their agenda

Squat like building in Berlin

There is an exhibition in Berlin going on now - 1000 years of Polish-German art

Piece of the Berlin Wall. But what was Gajowy doing there?

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Actually it was forbidden to step over, but we've found out about it just after this picture was taken

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Brandenburger Gate

Potsdamer Platz

West Berlin/East Berlin
You are leaving the American sector/You are entering the American sector. Carrying weapons off duty forbidden. Obey traffic rules.

Piece of Berlin Wall "decorated" with chewing gum

Berlin Tempelhof Airport - BMW Berlin Marathon 2011 Expo took place here. Participants come here to collect bibs, get a massage, do the shopping (hundreds of exhibitors, any imaginable brand of running clothes), enjoy the atmosphere, get somthing to eat and of course drink a beer (not only non-alcoholic).

BMW Luftballon
Berlin Tempelhof Airport
On Saturday we've hanged around a little bit more, with some lads that we know back home. Overall it was fun. Berlin itself is fun it's got many artistic, bohemian and student districts which provide the city with pleasant groove.
Potsdamer Platz
Flashing bikes at the Potsdamer Platz (unfortunately not during the day)

Potzdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

LEGO Giraffe

Potsdamer Platz


Reichstag from the front

Television Tower

Along the canal

German nation queueing to see Polish owned Lady with an Ermine by Leonadro da Vinci

This guy could play any song on his water-glass piano

Berliner Dom

Forfiter. Gonna give'm a Cziken
Gallery at the Berlin Wall

Gallery at the Berlin Wall. Original painting was 'updated' by the black and white stencil like poster.

Gallery at the Berlin Wall. People river.

Gallery at the Berlin Wall. Trabi.
Gallery at the Berlin Wall. La Buerlinica - it was definitely inspired by the Guernica by Pablo Picasso.

Gallery at the Berlin Wall. Catch the Spider ;-)

Another student district.

Frog kissing.

This is self explaining picture

Cannabis Normal! Another election propaganda.

Getting ready for the race on Sunday

Sunday morning we got up early enough to get breakfast (complete dining place was full of people in running clothes) and slowly walk to the starting area, deposit the clothes, take some pictures and move to the starting block.

Right from the morning I had problems with stomach, it was heavy, too heavy. And I could not help it. Maybe the reason was behind some pain killers which I took as otherwise I would not be able to run at all. Foot was not hurting very much, but it was annoying and I knew that after some time it would certainly start to hurt a lot.

That was incredible feeling. With every minute there were more and more people coming from different directions. Like some kind of flesh mob.

Where's Wally?

Runners under linden.

Brandenburger Gate. We'll be back in 41,195k

That's the plan for the future. Big five: Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and NY

Brandenburger Gate
People in the starting area processing to the deposit to leave their stuff

 Till 20k it was pretty much ok, after that distance things's started to get worse with each k. I was walking more than running as stomach was bothering me too much. With every heavy movement I was getting sick. Of course legs were hearting too - sore muscles on the front part of tights (like from walking downhill for very long time), although that is something that you can overcome. But you cannot overcome sick stomach. Especially if you are not bulimic type and pushing even the whole palm into throat does not cause throwing up. So in the end I've been walking most of the second half and I've almost managed to vomit under the Brandenburger Gate. Unfortunately except spitting with watery saliva nothing happened and I've reached the finish line after 5h 24 mins.

Note: below pics come from Dominik S. 
And what?
Hyyyyy, hyyyyyyyyy

Getting into better mood

Accenture advert
And another one
Annoying thing was that I could not enjoy the atmosphere after the run (not only due to being sick and weak, as I could just lay down on the grass and that'd be the best thing ever) but mainly due to the fast that at 19.05 I had a flight to Munich from Tegel and I had to catch it. This was very stupid of me to agree to take this flight and honestly I've been regretting it a lot. After I've picked up my stuff, found Kinga and our pals it was already after 4 p.m. and in fact I had to rush home to pack, take shower and a cab to the airport. And rushing anywhere was the last thing in the world that i was wishing that time. Shit happens.
At least Kinga was carrying my goodies bag and I was crawling behind her on the way to the hostel and  at the airport there were many people with medals on their necks and so was I. I was wearing it all the way to Dubai.
But there is also one surprising thing. After walking like robocop whole Monday I feel almost perfect on Tuesday. Foot hurts just a little bit, I have slightly sore muscles and still walk funny when I go downstairs, but otherwise it's good. Even better that before.... Maybe this was the crucial moment and now I'll be only successful.