Knee pain: check. Weather: check. Awesome city: Czech!
After two weeks off from running the Madrid Marathon 3 weeks ago and not being sure if I’d be able to actually run the Prague Marathon or not, this weekend turned out about as well as I could possibly hope for. I finished 89th overall out of around 9000 and finished in 2:47.47. It’s not my best, not my worst, but a run I’m very pleased with given the circumstances.
Prague is a really nice city and the marathon is very well run. The course is beautiful, running by famous sites in Old Town and over the Charles Bridge. The few spots running on cobblestones were a bit challenging but overall it was a great course. There were little roller hills but generally flat for the course; flat enough for a 2:06 Ethiopian race victory. Aid stations were plentiful and the people were great too.
One of the lead packs on the cobblestones.
My knee held up fine. It was sore at the beginning as it has been all week on my runs but within a couple kilometers it had loosened up and the pain had gone away.
I planned on going out comfortably and assessing as I went. I found myself well under my Madrid pace early on (2:49 in Spain) and was very motivated. I was also motivated to stay behind other runners due to some breezy conditions. So I’d tuck in behind someone and when the time was right, I’d move up to the next group. This worked well until the last 10k when I started running out of gas. I was actually really hungry, which is not good during that long of a run. I had two Accel gels of my own and then started eating bananas along the last 10k of the race to keep from bonking. I still managed to pass people the entire way despite being passed back by a few of the guys I’d left earlier. I also failed to negative split like I did in Madrid going out in 1:21 and coming back in 1:26.
Julie had her fourth fastest marathon of her 17 marathon career finishing in 3:40.27, good for 103rdout of the women.
The aftermath of the effort is sore knees. But now it’s the right IT band. I tried to take it easy but it’s now Monday morning and the knee is still plenty stiff and inflamed. I need to work on this one quickly and get it fixed up because we have a marathon next weekend in the Netherlands that I want to be ready for.
We had a support crew with Rumblestrip. He was there at the start to keep our stuff while we ran and was there at the finish for us when we came in. He even said he feels inspired to do a marathon himself.
Conclusion: Prague Marathon is a really good marathon, one of the best I’ve ever run. My body thankfully held up and stayed together, and I am happy with the outcome of the day.