It’s been real. I think that would be the right expression for the occasion. I came into the Montreal Marathon expecting a walk in the park. I knew my training had been under par and that I hadn’t done my homework. Who was I kidding?
The course kicked my ass big time! Okay, lets rewind that for a bit, the second half of the course kicked my ass. The first half, I knew the path, I knew the dangers and traps to avoid. That was fine. I didn’t beat my best time, as this was not the purpose of this run but I had a fair time for the first half. That is where I saw my daughter who had completed her 10k and she cheered me a bit. But it didn’t take long after the half way mark for my body to start giving up. 5 more km, that was it, I walked and conceded the victory to the marathon. I was already tired, dehydrated (which I didn’t know at the time) so I walked a bit, then went back to running then, an underpass; going and back. That was not expected, and the 2nd half, with slow uphill streets. The type of pitch that doesn’t seem to help much while going down but are so damn painful because of their length. By the end of the course, I was exhausted, I saw my girlfriend and my son and it gave me a boost to complete the race. I completed the course and received an hard earned medal and also something unexpected.
So, as a postmortem, here are some thoughts. I should have trained more. The indoor cycling probably helped more than I expected for Boston and I haven’t rode my bike as often as I should have had. I should have brought my belt with the water bottles. I also should have taken a day in the summer to ride my bike on the course, to feel the path. I also should have slept more, but that will have to be planned with my girlfriend before the next one.
I thought I would take it as a bitter defeat but it isn’t as bad as I’d have expected. I am usually pretty realistic and honest with myself and I knew that this marathon would be difficult. Of course I was hoping for a better fate that my 5h08m that I did. I would have preferred to be under 5 hours, or at least faster than the Marathon in NewYorkCity. Still, I look at my performance with a fair dose of humility and I realize that I got what I deserved. I think that this is a cruel truth about running. You’ll only get what you are wiling to put in it. If you train hard, and often and properly, chances are that the results will come. This is something I like about running, it’s you. Only you, totally you. Nobody else is to blame, you should have gone out and train, or rode the bike outside, or in the basement on the training rig. You have the shoes, you take the time, you train, you get the results.
When I went to the Expo, two days before the race, I already registered for the marathon next year. I thought: I can change it to half marathon later on if i don’t feel like it. Well guess what? Ain’t no chances that next year I’m doing only half. Next year, I’ll be running again the full marathon and it will be payback time. The course won the first battle, but I’ll make damn sure that I’ll be running all along the course next year, up and down those hills, overpasses, underpasses, bring’em on! I’ll be ready and well prepared.
September 2017, Montreal, I’ll be the one running and dancing in the streets.