Oh man, that was such a kickin' race! One factor had to be the 3 gels and 2 bars that I had with me, and at 27K they started passing out PowerBar gels so I put 3 of those in my pouch, so in total I consumed 6 gels, and 5 of those in the second-half of the marathon. Pete's "ankle/spine/pelvis/breathing" advice was golden, I really stuck to it, and I felt it conserving energy, the "bend at the ankles, straight up and lean forward" really makes sense.
At 27K going uphill I was still clicking off 6-minute kilometers and sucking gels, running with Pete's Chi advice so I could really push off and keep that pace, had the power in my legs. At 32K I changed nothing, just kept on with the solid Chi form and consuming one gel after the other consistently putting away each kilometer in six minutes: 34K, 35K, 36K, 37K, at about 38K I realized the race was down to under 5K left and I still had good power in my legs, then at 39K Gisi and the girls ran alongside me with a mineral drink, I downed half of it, gave the bottle back to Karla and took off to try to get under four hours at 40K, got a 04:00:36, then I calculated that 2 more kilometers at 6:00/KM would be a 04:12:36 + the extra 196 meters would put me right around my 2nd, 3rd and 4th best times 4:14/4:15/4:15 so if I wanted to beat them, I would have to step on it.
The last 2K is a fun street zig zag through Berlin Mitte and I was running strong, passing people consistently on the straight-aways and leaning into the curves, ran through a water shower that felt awesome and energized me to run harder, got out onto Unter den Linden where I saw the Brandenburg Gate which is always an adrenalin rush, so pushed it hard up to the Brandenburg Gate, and when I ran through it I thought, getting my second best time is going to come down to seconds and now is time for a sprint.
So in a span of about 20 seconds, I got my my body up to a semi-solid sprint that got faster and faster, the sun was shining bright and I was passing people fast, held it to the finish line and came in strong, an absolutely fantastic feeling to be able to sprint after 42 kilometers, and with that sprint I beat my now third-best time by 42 seconds, what a excellent, enjoyable and memorable run!
My Marathon History to Date:
#01 2001-09-30 Berlin 05:01:50
#02 2002-09-29 Berlin 04:57:15
#03 2004-09-26 Berlin 04:04:02 <<< best
#04 2005-09-25 Berlin 04:33:11
#05 2006-09-24 Berlin 04:15:56 <<< beat today!
#06 2006-10-08 Munich 04:27:00
#07 2007-05-19 Luxembourg 04:40:10
#08 2007-09-30 Berlin 04:14:28 <<< beat today!
#09 2008-05-04 Hannover 04:45:32
#10 2008-09-28 Berlin 04:15:45 <<< beat today!
#11 2009-04-26 Hamburg 04:45:37
#12 2009-09-20 Berlin 05:05:23
#13 2010-05-16 Regensburg 04:22:55
#14 2010-09-26 Berlin 05:01:04
#15 2011-04-17 Vienna 04:36:52
#16 2011-09-25 Berlin 04:31:35
#17 2012-04-15 Paris 04:46:58
#18 2012-09-30 Berlin 04:13:46 <<< TODAY'S RUN
The pre-race power-booster strategy:
Out the door at 7:00 AM, day break:
with people from 125 countries at the race, didn't understand one language I heard while crossing this bridge: Spanish, Italian, Danish?, Swedish?
Acronym to remember Pete's Chi advice: lean at your Ankles (not your back), straighten and lengthen your Spine, level your Pelvis, 4-second exhale, and make sure that your Arms are helping your stride
me and Captain Germany ready for the race:
Seven phases of a marathon: ritual, shock, denial, isolation, doubt, confirmation, and renewal:
ran with the 4-hour balloon for awhile:
sun shining throughout the race but never really got too hot:
last picture before the finish, hands too sticky from the gels I was consuming to touch my smartphone:
here are the girls waiting for me at 39K where they ran with me for about 100 meters and gave me a mineral drink for the last 2K:
my 11th Berlin Marathon medal:
beautiful day to relax on the grass in front of the Reichstag after the race:
and there's nothing as sweet as a victory beer: