Jun 4, 2012

Bucharest International Half Marathon 2012

I consider myself to be a mountain runner and even though I train all year mostly on flat, because I live in Bucharest, my body constitution helps me to be a good mountain runner. In October last year I ran my first flat half marathon, in Bucharest, at Bucharest International Marathon one week after Piatra Craiului Marathon. That race was totally unexpected for me and ended up with a decent result. When I heard about the Bucharest International Half Marathon I decided to run here and made it one of my big events for the first part of the year. My training was build up for this event and a new PB on the half marathon distance.

My training went well after the surgery in November and except a 3 week injury (shin splints) everything was going well and on schedule for the half marathon. Not even the face that one week before the race I ran Hercules Marathon should have mattered because I was feeling strong. My goal for this race was to run 4min/km and that would have meant a time around 1h 25 min or even less. The week before the race was the first recent week in Romania when I was happy that the weather is not very sunny, but to my surprise on race day I woke up and the sky was clear and the temperature was close to 26 degrees at 9 in the morning. I decided not to wear a cap (probably my first and biggest mistake). I started the race somehow a bit faster than the average pace I wanted to run this race but managed to keep it up very good, finishing the first 10.5 km loop at 4:01 min/km together with Florin Totalca. I accelerated a bit after the start of the second loop (probably my second mistake of the day) and when I came out of the shade, on the boulevard to Unirea, the sun got to me and I started filling dizzy. I stopped for a moment to drink some water and at that moment I thought I will be fine, because the next kilometer was again very fast so my morale was up again. On the climb on Victoriei Boulevard I saw Ana Rodean and calculated the time difference between us and I was again in my time for the race. After I turned on Victoriei something started feeling wrong again, my head was exploding and I started feeling dizzy again and my eyes saw the road in a blur. I knew something was very wrong and stopped again for some water and also to take my compression calves off because I just couldn`t stand anything on me at that moment even though all the race I pored water on my head and feet trying to prevent over heating. The part on Spaiul Unirii was a total hell for me as I was running and stopping to walk because I was feeling close to fainting !I was lucky on this part because I had Stefan Petre (Saty) following me on the bike and he talked to me and encouraged me no matter what so I had to continue no matter how. A big thank you to Saty! I didn`t even had power to lift my hand to take a energy gel from him. It seems that at kilometer 19th I was still with a good time, close to my performance at Bucharest International Half Marathon but the last 2.2 km was more than hell. I was mostly running (probably) or running very slow because the pace for this 2 km was 5:41/km . I can`t remember very much from this part, only that I met Gabi Solomon but couldn`t say anything to him. I reached the last straight line to the finish more dead than alive and that last meters felt like a total damnation for me as the finish line seemed so far away. I finished in a time of 1h 30 min and 3 seconds. I needed some time after the race to get my self up on my feet. Only after the race I realized that I had heatstroke and that was why my body reacted so bad this time. I need to thank all of those people who cheered for me on the race and I want to tell them I am sorry I didn`t respond but now you know why..

I have to thank my coach Emil Stanila who guided my steps this past months and also to Andra Ologu who is a great friend and she knows why! Now it is time to focus on mountain running and finishing my final paper for school. I want to get my revenge on the half marathon distance but I don`t know when and where this will happen but for sure it will!