#runsolo Hamburg Marathon 2020 Encore: CLOCKWISE EDITION

5th of May

Start and finish of the usual race, Heinrich Hertz Turm
Start and finish of the usual race, Heinrich Hertz Turm

This is a short encore of my post from two weeks ago. Then, I ran the Hamburg Marathon course on the former official date of April 19th, 2020. I liked it, so I did it again, but this time going in the other direction after being inspired by Strava buddy Karsten. It’s funny how different of an experience that is!

First things first: carbo-loading. Still a thing!
First things first: carbo-loading. Still a thing!

I had a 10-day running break just before this long run. The reason being I just didn’t feel like running. It’s been a while since I had that feeling, but I’ve learned that it’s sometimes better to give in to something the body tries to tell you. Still, I’m not so sure if it’s been the correct decision. 

Anyways, now it’s ten days without running and then straight to a marathon. That’s bound to be tougher, of course. I was really looking forward to that part especially, because the overcoming of a difficult situation is important for me.

Also, I went into this with two upgrades. That’s new shoes, again from my favorite running gear store, running green. I went for Altra Escalante 1.5 this time, a follow-up model of the original Escalante’s, which are my favorite shoes ever. 

The second new addition is a new running backpack. After watching this video starring my buddy Michael Mankus, I was convinced this upgrade would be a smart thing to do, as most of the races this year are cancelled and I will have to carry more liquids on my own during longer solo runs. 

This backpack is great. Room for 2.8 liters of fluid, still very comfortable.
This backpack is great. Room for 2.8 liters of fluid, still very comfortable.

That’s another new thing about this run: I wanted to do it unsupported. This word is defined in the running community as the following:

With those rules, running almost becomes a type of survivalist effort. Exciting and new for me. 

Reeperbahn on a Sunday morning is usually filled with hung-over people and trash, during this COVID-19 pandemic it’s looking post-apocalyptic.
Reeperbahn on a Sunday morning is usually filled with hung-over people and trash, during this COVID-19 pandemic it’s looking post-apocalyptic.
I started right at home again, reached the course after about 1 km, and got to this official start/finish area after about 6.5 kilometers.
I started right at home again, reached the course after about 1 km, and got to this official start/finish area after about 6.5 kilometers.
This time, it’s up north along the western side of the Alster
This time, it’s up north along the western side of the Alster

The northern loop towards Ohlsdorf went well enough, I had a solid pace of around 5:30 minutes per kilometer. Water and iso supplies worked out well. The high-quality backpack didn’t feel like a heavy nuisance at all and the shoes made it easy as well. Both were good choices.

I enjoyed my alone time again, putting an order into my thoughts, settling everything. The usual during my long runs. 

Alster from the eastern side now
Alster from the eastern side now
Crossing the bridge between both Alsters
Crossing the bridge between both Alsters
Here, in UNESCO World Heritage area Speicherstadt, I slowly lost my energy.
Here, in UNESCO World Heritage area Speicherstadt, I slowly lost my energy.

It was bound to become a fight at some point, as I knew my fitness level wasn’t anywhere near what it’s been a year ago, or even on par with how I did two weeks ago. But I was glad this happened so deep into the race I was already on the home stretch of sorts. The remaining 10 kilometers would lead me straight out west to my home. 

I did a few short walking breaks today and emptied both my 500 ml iso bottles and about half of the 1.8 l water bladder in my backpack. 

Visibly exhausted but happy about making it to the end
Visibly exhausted but happy about making it to the end

End result, 45.2 kilometers in 4:25:10 hours total. Not excited about the time but motivated again to try harder and become better again. Keep trying!


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