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April 28, 2002 Marathon? Sightseeing? Whale-watching? An inside-view...

"I feel sick ... I am cold ... I am tired ... what am I doing here?! Is that what we got up for at 3:15am in the morning?! To drive from Santa Cruz to Monterey. Then the 1 hour bus drive from Monterey to the start of the race along the route of the race. That ride took forever and every minute on the bus  brought us further away from our destination ... further and further ... 26.2 miles!!!

"My muscles feels stiff ... my stomach aches ... maybe that Pizza last night was not the best preparation ... what am I doing here? Who or what convinced me to go on another painfull marathon race?! ... Stop whining and rather enjoy the landscape!!"

"This view is indeed spectacular ... maybe this can become a nice sightseeing tour?! The last times I came by here in a car, everything went by so fast. This is a much better pace for sightseeing ... and my legs don't feel that bad anymore either..."

"I rather would lie on that beach and enjoy the sun ... but isn't that what I do? The weather is great, warm sun, no wind and only 21 more miles to go ... and I feel good!! Is that really true? Yes, no stiffness any more ... no pain ... nice ... strange..."

"There is mile number 8, 81:23 mins  ... 1:23 min behind shedule, can I pick up the pace? I still feel good ... but when will I hit the 'wall'? Take it easy and wait Dude!!"

"There it is ... the slope up to Hurricane Point ... sounds scary ... the horror of this run ... it doesn't look that bad though ... should I pick up the pace here on the flat to compensate?! No, take it easy!! It still is more than half way! Your preparations have been, like always, not perfect..."

Wow, this is the famous bridge you can see on every brochure about Big Sur ... Wait, is this music I hear?! Hmmm ... I still feel good ... no pain ... a bit behind schedule though ... should I run faster?! Feels like a walk in the park ... yeah, sure ... become real and prepare for the pain!"

"This IS music!! I can clearly hear it now ... I am not having hallucinations ... sounds like in a concert hall. Slow down! You will be there fast enough!! Look at this! Are there really whales?! Yes, now I can clearly see it ... 2 whales ... Come on, you have seen them now. You already 'wasted' 2 minutes!! How incredible they look!! Amazing..."

"There it is! Am I dreaming?! A Grand Piano almost on top of the mountain! This run is great! Still no pain ... and who said Hurricane Point is bad anyways?! Too much going on here to become tired..."

"These bands everywhere on the course are great! Marching bands, a harp, jazz bands, choirs, the grand piano ... people here really give us some support! But it also is necessary, since in contrast to the city marathons, I ran before, there are not very many spectators on the course. This is so different, the thrill here is the landscape, the 'silence', here you can listen to yourself ... I feel good ... ok, maybe now is the time to pick up the pace ... if I run 30 seconds faster per mile I could finish under 4:30h ... not bad for the shape you are in ... and this is a difficult course ... Is that enough? ... 3hours are 180mins ... plus 24 ... 204mins so far ... 270 minus 204 is ... 66 mins for 7 miles ... makes 9 mins and a bit more than 25 secs ... and then there is the .2 miles over 26miles ... but that should do it ... let's go for it!!"

"There is another station with stomach is already upset from all the 'energy' drinks and snacks ... but that is normal...'Thank you!' ... hardly lost any time ... the volunteers are very well organized! ... I need to keep my shedule!!."

"FINISH!! THERE IT IS!! What a wonderfull sight!! All this people watching! Enjoy this moment ... this is the best moment of a marathon ... you are not going to cry now, are you?! Why not? An emotional moment like this is worth the whole pain! Let it all go and 'float' like in a dream over the finish line ... 4 hours 33 minutes!!"

"Don't rush me ... I won't move faster than necessary for a couple of days! But food and drinks are giving me back some of  the strenght already. This was a wonderfull run! Even though the time was not great, it was my best marathon ... never felt as good after a marathon before. I am dead tired but VERY happy!!"

" I don't think I will do this again ... at least until the next time I will run 26.2 miles...;-)"