Objective achieved!

Objective achieved!

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The objective of the Marathon is achieved. I crossed the finish line in a more or less decent condition and in one piece.

A Marathon in Numbers

A decision, 18 weeks of training, 904 kilometers, training at night, rain showers, very cold days, giving up social life, 42.195 km, time of 4:06.

I confess that I am disappointed with the time, I was expecting a 3:45 and halfway through the race I even dreamed of lowering it to 3:30. What happened then? This is the story!

24 hours before the Marathon

Very, very light training day. I go out for a 3.5 km run just to get the blood circulating.

The day before I went to pick up the runner’s bag with my race number, I like the number. I confess that I am very nervous. It’s been raining all day and in the afternoon, when I decide to go out it rains thunder and lightning! Shit.

I get very cold and also I don’t think about the fact that I just wet the shoes I will wear in the race. I will have to run with wet shoes!

The day of the Marathon

Finally. The day has arrived. I am not able to visualize the moment, I am so nervous. I get up very early, well in advance, as I like it. I have a sweet and hearty breakfast, I have to load my reserves. I check my body. Everything is perfect. Nothing can go wrong. The race clothes, my wet running shoes,…

They have recommended to go by public transport to Barcelona, so I take my car and head to Barcelona.

I’m lucky, I find a parking at the first time. I look for a more or less discreet place and in the car I dress as a runner. If there is any camera in the parking they will have seen me undressing, naked, and dressing, one thing for the other.

Yesterday’s rain has cooled down a lot and I feel cold. I’m walking towards the start area. I am immersed in a world of runners. The smell of Reflex is in every corner. Comments of encouragement. Faces of fear, of hope, of illusion, I think my face is in the third group. I find a more or less wide road and join the stream of runners jogging up and down warming up the muscles, fighting the cold, eliminating anxiety.

The Marathon

At breakfast I have improvised a strategy, I am happy because I have not overplanned or eaten my brains out. I’m going to follow a basic plan. Start very light and gradually increase the pace. Listen to my body and decide as I go along. I place myself with the group of runners chasing a time between 3:45 and 4:00.

After an eternity of waiting, the advantage is that among so many people the cold is mitigated a little. I spend those minutes isolated in my world under several layers of subconsciousness and invoking my demons, I invite them to join the party, I laugh in their fucking face while I send them to fuck off. You Fuck Off mother fuckers!

Finally the mass gets going. We go through the start. The timer starts counting while a couple of Opera singers sing the Barcelona Barcelona! song that Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercurie sang. That song has never sounded so good to me as it does right now.

First Kilometers

I’m going very slow, I restrain myself not to accelerate the pace. Even going so slow it seems to me that people are slowing down, I realize that I keep overtaking runners while nobody overtakes me. In Km 2 and Km 5 I check my time and I see that I’m going well, much slower than I can give. That’s positive, I’ll have time to push. I just want to get into a rhythm and go in a place where nobody can stop me. We are 20,000 runners. A lot of people!

At Km 10 there are not so many people getting in the way, I get to a refreshment post, I drink a single drink of water (my mouth was dry) and now is when I decide that the Marathon begins.

All good

Between km 15 and 17 I meet the 3:45 pacemakers. They slow down my progression because there is an accumulation of runners around them that form an impossible to overtake. The only way to overtake them is to sprint down the sidewalk and bypass people.

So far I haven’t mentioned how much cheering there is in the streets. How many volunteers. I am thrilled by the generosity of the people. Every time I see a group cheering, I try to clap, say thank you, turn around and give them a smile. Apparently in one of those I had a runner stuck to my back and he gets annoyed because I slow down the pace. I don’t even flinch, everything is going perfect, you can’t ask for more.

I’m not going to sprint for the moment, I’ll wait until Km 25 and then I’ll decide what to do. I slow down my pace and adapt to the 3:45 pacemakers, now I’m also part of that stopper.

A young guy shouts next to me; USA, USA. A tall, handsome, long-haired runner, talking to another couple of runners; an Italian, a Frenchman and the USA from Colorado. Ok yelling guys, I love you, I hope the roller of life is not too hard on you.


From km 20 my agony begins. I notice muscular problems in my left knee, immediately the other knee joins the party, also pain in my ankles and hamstrings. Without realizing it, I’m at a point where I can’t take a proper stride without suffering a very intense pain, millions of needles distributed in the joints. At some point, my leg weakens and I’m about to fall. Now I concentrate mainly on not taking a bad step and kissing the ground. This seems stupid, but at that moment it seems terribly complicated and above all painful.

I start running with a much shorter stride and of course, I slow down the pace. Goodbye Colorado! Now is when I notice that I no longer overtake anyone, I am the one being overtaken. I don’t care, I slow down and as soon as I get the km 30, km 35 I will decide what to do. Now, from Km 20 I only have to run 15 km with this pain.

To the end

The pain is unbearable and with my unnatural strides the calf muscles threaten to go into a ramp. I stop a couple of times to stretch the calf muscles, especially after the ball of the right calf almost went up.

I think around km 37 I was overtaken by the 4:00 pacemakers. Too bad, I’m not even going to go under 4:00. Not my biggest concern. I’m more sad about the people still cheering, some cheering right at me. I feel bad, I don’t want to let them down. I keep running despite the pain in muscles and tendons.

Km 40. In a way the pain doesn’t hurt anymore, I can’t take a natural stride, that’s true. But the pain can’t slow me down any more than it does. We have found our balance point. I can’t push the pain out, I’m doomed to live with my demons. But they don’t have the last word, nor are they at an advantage. We live together, we can get along. I keep running. I don’t feel anger, I am grateful. In a way, happy.

At the finish I see Colorado.

Running and Trading

Both Running and Trading are relentless, ruthless bastards but they play fair. I love them because they are the way they are, they have many parallels. They demand persistence, suffering, discipline. They are solitary activities. The prize is to beat yourself. A journey into your inner self, a meeting with your self, a space for dialogue.

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