ExperienceWhat’s in a name ?

Previous blogs mentioned “10 marathons, 10 mistakes“. I have now changed “mistakes” into “lessons learned“.

Making mistakes is OK, I guess, but the ambition is of course to learn from them.

After Barcelona, came the marathon of Berlin. Preparation went excellent. Berlin was a great marathon: very well organized, everthing very “punktlich”, and also, very nice scenery, I like these historical places a lot. Everything went well: I started slow, then gradually picked up speed, and I ended in great shape, never getting into difficulties. Berlin is one of the world’s fastest marathons, and that applied also to my own race …

BerlinI finished in 03hrs 26min, a new a PB.  That gave me a good feeling, and many likes on Facebook.

It was my 4th marathon, and each time, I improved my result, so I thought that was going to be a never-ending curve.

Not really.

After Berlin, I started to prepare for the marathon of Prague. Again, preparation went smoothly, but then came my mistake, or lesson learned: I started to have unrealistic expectations. That’s not good. It’s good to be ambitious, but when your target becomes unrealistic, disappointment is the only possible outcome. So on marathon day, I started too fast, at a pace that I could not hold on to until the finish.  Strange. Rationally I knew this, of course, I knew that I could not hold on to that pace.   Physically, I also knew this, I could feel it. Still, I was silly enough to do this.

On top of that, mistake / lesson learned number 2: the day before this marathon, I had some kind of massage applied, Praguewhich I thought was great & refreshing to my muscles.

Not really: during marathon, at 14 kms, my leg started to hurt badly. So probably this massage had been a little bit too intensive ?

I wasn’t used to getting this type of massage, so it was not very smart to experiment with this the evening before marathon day.

Lesson learned (the hard way): in the 24 hrs before a marathon, never experiment with new things : new shoes, new kinds of food or drinks, or … massage !

Fortunately, this didn’t change my view on running :