All races being canceled in April just as they were in March, Hannah and I had to create another race for ourselves to keep our streak going, this being our 26th consecutive month in which we have run a 10K+ race and Hannah's third longest distance she's run.
The idea for this run came from the fact that I noticed that the train we took to Jüterbog for my solo marathon on April 5th continues on to a small train station in a little village named Oehna, which is at the 17K point on the marathon route. The idea was to get out there and run back to Jüterbog. We changed the route up a bit which made it officially a 16.3 kilometer run.
We took off from home at 7:15, Hannah on my bike and I running the 3K to Lichterfelde-Ost, which was a nice warm-up on a cool but sunny morning.
The train ride was enjoyable but with some nervous anticipation since we were half-planning to run at a 7:00 pace in order to get back to Jüterbog in time to catch the 10:32 train back to Berlin, and we didn't know exactly if the train would even stop in Oehna since it was such a small station, or if it would be on time.
I was glad to finally see it on the train display as the next stop and we were only two minutes behind schedule, and so we got ready to get out in a sprint in order to save as much time as possible.
We both took off out the train door, but as it turned out, within twenty seconds we found ourselves in front of the railway crossing gate since the train was still there. So it became like the start of an official race, we in the front line. Within about 30 seconds, the train began moving, and the train gate served as a starting gun for us. We counted down, the gate rose, and off we ran.
At two kilometers we were right under at 7-minute pace and it was became clear that Hannah was not in the shape she had been in February that she had trained for in order to complete the 23K in France, and so we settled back into a comfortable 8:53 pace through the Brandenburg countryside.
There were far less people out on the Flaeming skate route than when I ran my marathon, the overwhelming part of our 2.5 hour run was peaceful, meditative running through the vastness of Brandenburg, and with cool, morning temperatures and a warm, morning, sun shining sideways on us as it rose into the sky.
We both had our running backpacks with water hose, which was very practical. Hannah ran out of water at 15K and I started sucking air right at the end. At 5K and 10K I pulled out the fruit tupperware box to emulate race refreshment points.
We finished a good half hour after our original speed-plan, and so had a solid half hour before we got the next train back at 11:34 to walk down to the Netto bakery to get a delicious sandwich and Käsebrötchen. We walked back up to the train station and had five minutes in wonderfully warm sun until our train came.
The train ride back was sleep-inducing and we were awoken by the announcement that the train was arriving in Lichterfeld-Ost.
I unlocked Hannah's bike and took off for my 3K warm-down, which made it a fun sprint, me running as fast as I could and Hannah chasing me on her bike. It was a good final workout for this half-marathon day for me, since I have to stay in shape throughout the summer: only 189 days until the rescheduled Rotterdam Marathon on October 25th.