Berlin Half Marathon 2015

I’m so sorry this has taken me so long to write, plus for not posting it earlier this week as I promised I would. My boyfriend’s internet kept falling in and out all day for the last couple of days so I wasn’t able to get it done. But here we finally are, and hey, better late than never!

Last year I ran my first race ever, my first half marathon, and it was the Berlin Half Marathon. At that time I had only been running for a little over 6 or 7 months and I had no idea what I had signed myself up for. This time, a year later, I am obviously a lot more experienced with races and running in general and I knew what to expect. I’ll admit I was a little bit scared to write this recap because not much happened, it went pretty smooth and because I’ve done this race before I didn’t really think much about my surroundings or anything else I should probably describe, but before you think Berlin is a boring race: it’s not. It’s my favorite half marathon, and it’s amazing! I just didn’t have very much to write about. Especially since I am writing this 4 weeks after the race..
berlin half marathon
We woke up early, had breakfast and jumped into our running clothes. Fastened the time chip to our shoes and headed out the door. It’s not very hard to find the start area in Berlin, the sub is filled with a bunch of other runners so if you’re unsure where to go just follow all those other bibbed-up people and you’ll get there. We didn’t have any trouble finding it this year either, but we did struggle a bit finding the trailers where we could leave our bags during the race, haha. We did in the end though.
Berlin half marathon
After we had left our post race bags in the trailer we got in the “line” and waited. We were in the last group of people, so we had to wait a while. Yes, the Berlin Half Marathon is huge, with around 30.000 participants. This super cute couple stood infront of me, and they were too cute not to stare at. I wish my boyfriend was into running too so we could be this couple, haha. And because I am a secret super spy I was able to figure out who they were, Ioana and Antonio, if you ever read this: you two are the cutest couple I’ve ever seen.
Berlin half marathon map
Then the gun fired and it was finally our turn to start running (I actually can’t remember if there really was a gun that fired, but I imagine there was, haha!). At the beginning things always go a little slow because there are so many people here, but it went surprisingly smooth. Last year it was sunny and really warm, I remember baing annoyed with myself for wearing a shirt with long arms because it was too warm. This time it was the complete opposite: it was windy and cold, and I was happy I had put on a thermal shirt and a wind jacket. We followed our strategy to just take it easy and run at a comfortable pace. It worked great. The only walk breaks I needed were at the water stations, simply because I still haven’t gotten the hang of drinking while running. I really need to learn how to drink and run at the same time, I also have this problem with eating while running. We ran over the 10 km chip checkpoint in 1:06:38. A bit slower than I had hoped, but still happy with it.
Berlin half marathon
Then the only bad thing with the race happened. Right before the 10 km point I drank my little plastic cup of water a bit too fast right after I had eaten a little energy shot (this little Haribo-candy look a like energy thing) which resulted in me vomiting in my mouth. Great. So I had to run with the lovely taste of stomach acid and lemon in my mouth for the next 3 km or something, which is how far away the next water station were, haha. But it wasn’t too bad, I don’t feel like that ruined anything for me. We kept following the slow and steady strategy, even though we did it a little slower than those first 10 km. The wind was getting stronger, and a few drops of rain hit my forehead and my nose.
Berlin half marathon
The last 2.1 km were hard, and I’m not just talking “that was hard”-hard, I’m talking “I thought I was in a bad nightmare that would never end”-hard. Most of the laps (almost every km) they had a sign telling you how far you had run, but for some reason they didn’t have that at the end. I think the last sign I saw was the one for 18 or 19 km (and a half marathon is 21,1 km, in case you didn’t know). I don’t know about you, but for me the last part is the hardest part and the one part where you feel like you should probably push a little extra to wipe off a few extra seconds on that finish time. When you tell yourself you’re going to push yourself close to breaking point the last km it’s really disappointing not to know where that last km begins.. So no pushing this time. We finished in 2:20:17. I was hoping for less than 2:20, preferrably around 2:15. But then again, I don’t really have anything to complain about. I did set a new personal best half marathon time, and that was my main goal on this race. Also, last year I was half dead after crossing that finish line, my legs were so shakey that I wasn’t able to stand without leaning on my parents, I was pale as a ghost, and I was taken into the medical tent. This time I felt totally fine, the only thing that was painful was how sore my arms were. Yes, haha, my arms! Where’s the logic in that? Anyway, It was a good race that I am very proud of and I am already looking forward to running this race again next year.
berlin half marathon medal
I learned a few things from this race. I learned that I need to get used to drinking and eating while running without getting cramps or vomiting. I also learned that I really need to start training my arms, I don’t feel like it’s normal to get sore arms from running. Or is it? I don’t know, but to me it sounds a bit strange. If you have any suggestions for strenght training don’t hesitate to share them with me. Also, Berlin Half Marathon is still my favorite half marathon course. Everything was so different from 2014, but not in a bad way. Thanks to my amazing parents for running this half marathon with me again, you are the best!

Marie Alessandra

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14 Thoughts on “Berlin Half Marathon 2015

  1. Cool medal!!! Love that your parents ran with you again!!

  2. Congrats on your new personal best time for the half marathon!!! You did amazing!

    I love that they gave you a little necklace instead of a regular medal. In Portland they handed out necklace charms in addition to the medal. Which reminds me I really need to buy a plain necklace to add it on!

  3. First, congrats on a great finish 🙂 High five for a new PR! That’s awesome you felt good when you were done!! Growth, right. That is a huge field of runners.
    It looks cold in the pictures! Cold always fuels me to run better, but wind is tough. I don’t usually take anything more than Gatorade or water for half, but for one of mine I needed something more – I used sport beans, they seem to sit better with me than gu’s or gels…
    Also, I’ve have had sore shoulders after a long run – happened during training. I try to remember to shake my arms and lift them a bit while running, just to relax, but when I get intense and I am trying hard I tend to hold them stiffer.
    Also after my last half a few weeks ago my shoulders felt a little sore, because it was hilly and I was swinging my arms a lot to encourage my feet to keep moving lol
    The best thing I use is a kettle bell. Just pulling up top your chin strengthens shoulders and you can squeeze and it will strengthen back muscles 😉

    • Thank you so much 😀
      It was cold haha, and I know what you mean: cold is okay, but wind is hard :O what are sport beans? I can’t do gu’s or gels, they make me throw up haha xD
      I need to try that 🙂 maybe i’ll finally get a little more strenght in my arms.

  4. Better late than never. From reading there was a ton of stuff that went on. Man I hate the last part of the race when you think your going to die. But that’s a part of the thrill right lol.

  5. Your hair is so long and pretty.!!
    and great job on your Half Marathon.!! a PR is always nice.! wow I didn’t know you have only been running for about a year, that is so awesome. You sure have adapted to the sport almost instantly.! I’ve been “back to” running again for about a year also. But I’ve really been running since I was much younger.
    and what a HUGE race.! that’s a lot of people. I’ve never done a race that big before.. would make me really nervous and stressed actually. I like smaller races, but I would like to try a big race sometime. My half marathon I have coming up will probably be under or around 100 people. lol way different.

    • Thank you, haha :D<3
      And thanks again 😀 Yup, I'm just a newbie runner haha. I always wanted to be a "runner", but I though there was something wrong with me because I wasn't able to run for very long in gym class so I just stayed away from it because I felt fat and lazy whenever I tried xD Better to start late than never 🙂
      All races I've done has been big 🙂 probably because I travel around for them, seems like there are a lot more small races in the US. Oh wow, 100 people or less, that's tiny! Sounds like those tiny races that are just for people who are members of a club or something, if that makes sense. Tiny races sound so much scarier 😛

  6. Congrats on your half marathon finish with a new PB! The first time that I noticed sore arms after a race, it was after a half marathon. I think Deena Castor does an exercise where she pumps her arms as though she’s running while holding weights. That might help!

  7. We will run Berlin half marathon in 2016 as well… April the 3rd 😉

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