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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 1, 2008

2:00:31 & an executive decision

Filed under Life in Europe

Today’s half marathon in Duisburg, Germany was a real challenge.

This was my third half marathon Duisburg half marathon and the hardest one yet. Of my three half marathons so far, my time today was the slowest. The only slower half marathon I ran was the first half of the Bonn marathon last year, and I was only 28 seconds slower for that. The humidity was fairly high today – around 70 percent at the start of the race at 9 a.m. After only three miles I was already drenched in sweat. I had my "Camelpak" strapped on my back with 1.2 liters of an isotonic beverage, but nothing seemed to help. I also had a bit of a stomach condition just prior to the race, and my trip back across the Atlantic some 9 days earlier probably did not help much, either. At the halfway mark I had a pace to finish in about 1:48, but I felt totally drained. As a matter of fact, I felt like dropping out. I wondered where I was on the course and how long it would take me to get back to the start area. Then I remembered something I had read either in a book on distance running or in a magazine. The topic was the situation I was now in – what do you do, try to keep running or take a break and walk a couple of minutes? The answer was that walking might help you finish since you would use a slightly different muscle combination, letting you rest a bit. If you are walking you are still getting closer to the finish line. So I walked about 3 minutes and ran another 15 minutes. I took two more short walk breaks and still finished in 2:00:31. Now I am glad I stuck with it. And I made an executive decision not to run long distances on very humid days. My next half marathon will be in early October in Cologne – it should be cooler by then. :-)

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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