Post-Marathon Blues

Almost immediately after we ran Berlin, I started thinking of my next marathon. I wanted to redeem myself and make up for my awful finish time, which was so far from my goal. I started thinking of what I did wrong – my off-target training paces, the lack of time to recover from jet lag, the wrong training plan for me, not enough cross-training, no smaller races, etc. There were so many factors to consider. However, all that aside, I have found my next marathon- the New Jersey Marathon, right along the Jersey shore and right in Phil’s old neighborhood. I have yet to figure out my training plan for NJ but right now I am just focusing on getting back into running and cross-training.

My plan of attack for the next few weeks:

  • buy new running clothes
  • cross-train
  • find smaller races for the fall/winter.

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-Anyone run NJ before??

-Any races coming up?

Berlin!

Now that I’ve recovered from my poor performance in the marathon, I’m ready to share what we did (ate) besides running.

Needless to say, I love Berlin, more than I was expecting. Phil wants to move there..that’s how much he loved it. The people were so nice, the food was so good, and the city is so clean, modern, and full of art.

Where we stayed: Arcotel Velvet.
We picked this hotel primarily for its proximity to the marathon start (about 800m). It was a great location because we were able to walk to the start on race day. The hotel is located in the neighborhood Mitte, a trendy-ish part of the city, close enough to downtown but far enough so that you’re not in the middle of the hustle. There are tons of cute restaurants and the hotel was just down the block from the u-bahn and s–bahn. The hotel itself was decent. We got there early and so they only had a smoking room ready for us. I didn’t like staying in a smoking room so next time I’ll just wait til check-in.

Some restaurants (we tried to stick with mostly local food/dishes):
Curry 36 (we actually ate next door to here but it looked really good hehe)20131019-075938.jpg

-KaDeWe food court: this is a huge dept store and worth exploring but go to the 7th floor for amazing food stands, 8th for the buffet and glass dome. This is not your average dept store food! (sorry for the blurry pic)

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Weihenstephaner in the Heckeschen Market: cool beer hall with local Bavarian fare

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Backerei Ladewig: Family-run bakery. Had my first Berliner here!!

20131019-080017.jpgBurgermeister: REALLY REALLY good burgers and cheese fries

IMG_2347Fassbender & Rausch: Best chocolate shop in Berlin. They have huge chocolate sculptures on the first floor and a cafe on the 2nd. Definitely worth a visit. Get one of the cold chocolate drinks.

IMG_2307I would love to go back to Berlin and run the marathon/eat the food again….like, right now.

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Some sights:

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • East Side Gallery
  • KaDeWe
  • Pergomon Museum/Museum Island
  • Holocaust Memorial
  • Reichstag
  • Topography of Terror
  • Berlin Wall Memorial
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Tiergarten
  • Gendarmenmarkt

Berlin is a very walkable city so I would highly recommend trying to walk as much as you can to really take everything in. It’s so rich with history and beauty.

Stay tuned for Munich!

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Anyone been to Berlin? What was your favorite part??

Berlin Marathon recap

It’s done. I’m in pain.

The course was pretty flat with a lot of downhills. It’s no wonder a new world record was set in this race! It would have been the perfect course to set a PR… but I didn’t (we’ll get to that later). The spectators were amazing and there was so much energy. Since my name was on my bib (everyone’s is) spectators were yelling my name and that was really motivating. You also pass a lot of great architecture and neighborhoods. I tried to look up at my surroundings but most of the time I was too focused on just being done. Some downsides to this race- there were a few narrow parts where it was really hard to pass people; the water stops were really crowded and there was no getting around it; bag check was kind of a nightmare. Overall I would highly recommend it and given the chance, would definitely run this again.

Now, my performance. I didn’t go into this race very confident. I knew my tempo runs weren’t on pace so I didn’t plan on hitting my goal time. I did, however, hope to PR. Unfortunately I was about 4 mins off. I don’t really know what it was. Although I ran the most even pace, my pace for the first twenty miles was the slowest it’s been. My feet, knees, and IT band also decided to bother me all at once from about mile 3. This has never happened in training. I think the Hanson’s Method was good at keeping me on a steady pace (and that’s really the goal of the plan) but I think I trained at a slower pace than I should have. My body was also so tired by the end of training that my motivation was pretty low. I think I will revert back to my standard marathon plan- I can take being tired from running but I didn’t like being tired OF running.

Next up: Bermuda marathon.

Now it’s time to really enjoy Berlin!!