And then the alarm went off. And was it suddenly April 2, 2017.
Maratona di Roma.
My first marathon. It is a day that was very far away and came very quickly. Too fast. Because oh my god. Did I make enough kilometers? Am I ready? I have been nervous for 3 days. And I have had to deal with a lot of tension in my life, but this is different. This is new. And this is something of which I am not yet convinced that I can do it. The weather forecasts for today are bad. I have heard it rain all night. I thought. I open the window of the bathroom to view the roads, but the roads are dry. It has not rained at all, I stretch something and feel that I am horribly stiff. I look at myself once more in the mirror. Today is the day. You go girl! Over the past few weeks I have made some jokes about Pascal as my coach. But wow, what did he take care of me (together with Daniela). After a fruit juice and a jam jam, I check 12 more times whether I have everything and leave for the Colosseum. At the Coliseum, it is bursting with runners. Everyone with the same backpack, full of stuff to dump in a truck. I say goodbye to Bas and Pascal and leave for the start. I get my first goose bumps when I realize that I will start with all these people. And that they are probably as tense as I am. On the way to the truck I meet two Dutch people who raise the pass. It is 5 for 8 and you can hand in your bag until 8 o’clock. Behind me I see some lingering Italians with backpacks. They will not have such a strict closing time. And indeed, I think the truck has never been closed. On the way to the start I try to walk as far forward as possible. I see the balloons of the pacers and would like to walk with 4.30, but they are too far forward. I can not possibly get there. In retrospect, I was disappointed that I had gone so far. We stood hut mutje on each other and since I was as stiff as a rake after warming up, I wanted to stretch a bit. Another 20 minutes to the start. I am starting to get hungry. Shit. Maybe I should have eaten more. I decide to take an energy mirror. And then another 1. 10 minutes before the start.
The Italian national anthem. Again goose bumps. I was surrounded by Italians singing loudly. What an atmosphere. It was counted down and PATS the start. Just smile at the camera before the start and GO. After the first 500 meters I received my first encouragement from Bas.I started with a speed of 6.12 per km. Fine for me. After a kilometer I saw Pascal. Pascal walked about 5 kilometers along. And that was nice. He is a mood maker and made walking more relaxed. And in addition, I went a bit faster under 6 minutes per km. What scared me at first. I’m not going too fast? I have to walk 42. But it felt good. It felt relaxed and that’s why I decided to hold on to it. After 2 kilometers it started to thunder. A big flash of light, followed by thunder. The thunder went off a big cheering at the runners. FANTASTIC! Everyone was screaming in the tunnels too. It gave a huge boost. Because of the hard rain I was already wet after 5 kilometers. And the cobblestones were also soaking wet and therefore so bacon and bacon slippery. I tried to avoid all the puddles. Keep dry feet as long as possible. Because wet feet are blisters. And blisters are not fun … Unfortunately. An Italian gets stuck in a lake next to me and FLATS, all my shoes full of water. GRAZIE. At kilometer 16 I saw Pascal and Bas for the second time. Pascal walked 2 kilometers along. Said about every minute that I did super, which gave me a lot of confidence. After this point I would only see him again at the last 10 km. At km 32. The advantage for me was that it was a sort of intermediate finish. I walked to 16 km, then to 23 where Bas stood and then to 32, where Pascal would walk again. At 20 km there was a crash with the water. It was supplemented too late. I did not want to stand still and saw a big bottle, so decided to take it with me. I was called a bit more, but hasta luego greeted me. I have my water and find it out. An Italian came running beside me who asked if he could put some water in his cup. I gave him some water and thought he was gone, but when we passed the 21 km and I gave a little cry of joy, I heard him beside me. We are on the half! I walked 4 kilometers with him, we had about the same pace, but he ran just a little too fast. So at the sponges stop, I let him run for me. My first problems immediately came. I had some problems at 16 kilometers but at 25 km there was almost cramp in my hamstring. Shit. Not already. Quickly grabbed some magnesium and tried to walk more relaxed with the same pace. Unhook the arms, relax the muscles of the legs. Small, loose steps .. And do not think too much about it. Another 7 kilometers, then I am with Pascal. And we enter the last part. They were long 7 kilometers. I was too busy with my body. My ankle hurt, my hamstring, my calves. And I kept looking at my watch how far I still had to go to Pascal. I decided to give a high five to every supporter who called and held out his hand. And it worked. I forgot the pain and came to kilometer 32. Still an average pace of 5.50 min per kilometer. Yes !! Try to keep it as long as possible. Pascal has gone to the finish from kilometer 32 with me. A beautiful last 10 kilometers along beautiful sights with a lot of public. But also a heavy 10 kilometers with many cattle cobbles. And what is that fucking! At 35 kilometers I got the feeling that someone put a knife in my foot. Cunt. A blister. Impossible to avoid after 3.5 hours in wet shoes. Just a cry of pain and again. Not thinking about it, Nikita. Listen to the supporters. Listen to Pascal. With the 38 kilometer flags I realized that my watch was almost at 39 km. And that meant that I had to walk almost a kilometer further. Mentally just as heavy. I was incredibly thirsty. Everything, really EVERYTHING hurt. And I did not know if there would be another drinking post. Pascal was always walking a foot in front of me. And continued to encourage me. Come on Nikita. You’re doing very well. Hold on. We are almost at the tunnel. The tunnel. The tunnel of hell. I could not wait to see him. The last climb after fucking 40 kilometers running. After a FEW kilometer, you have to climb a steep hill. I could whine. In the tunnel just a joy when I saw the sign ACQUA. THANK GOD, WATER! In my opinion 80% of the runners walked up the mountain in the tunnel. But I kept running. Groaning up the mountain. I was afraid that my legs would be full or my body would think it would finally stop. Do not stop running so .. And there I was, from the tunnel, back in the light. Still about 1 kilometer. From the waterstop I was through the dip. The last dip. I had the last hill and now through to the finish. At the sight of Fori imperiali my last cry. I am going to get it! I’m almost there! Pascal grabbed my hand. I have just squeezed his hand. And there was the bow. Cheering about the finish. 4 hours and 10 minutes. Totally to the fuck.
But very happy.
Rome, how beautiful you were!