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Vienna Marathon 2022 - Gabby Smart

A Viennese Cake - How the finish time was just the cherry on top.

Sponge - my marathon journey started back on 6th December 2021. After my last marathon was cancelled by covid (Wales, April 2020) I decided I wanted to give this brutal distance a real go. Knowing I wanted to make my training count, I chose the 20 Week Advanced Marathon Plan from MyProCoach rather than try and write my own and got to work!

I ran 5/6 times every week, squeezing in a gym session and a swim too. It felt like an endless cycle of the night time pavement pounding, clothes washing, tired legs and more pavements. I was pretty dedicated and stuck to plan through Christmas, birthdays, holidays and work stress.

Icing - we’ve all been that annoying friend/family member/partner; cancelling drinks, going to bed at 9.30, getting up at 6am on Sundays, constantly going on AND ON about nutrition, trainers, splits, being tired, hangry…I’ve really relied on the patience and support of those around me.

Race Day - The Cherry

I felt confident but very aware anything can happen on the day. The nerves, anxiety and excitement all stopped when the whistle blew. It was a super busy course so I knew to take it slow and avoid weaving, banking on making up the time in the second half. I panicked as there were no official pacers and my GPS was off from early doors but Gildas’s trusty pace bands and (bad) mental arithmetic just about saved me. I crossed the halfway point at 1:45:09, about 1 minute slower than ideal but feeling okay. As the half marathon runners peeled off, the field thinned and I was able to get a pretty steady pace. At 30km I knew I could do sub 3:30 if I could just…hold…on…At km 32 Powerade & water, I took my 5th gel at km 34 and pushed as hard as I could. I thought I was sprinting but was barely hitting 5:00/km. I got a stitch at km 39 and thought I might cry if only it wasn’t so painful to breathe. I ran like my life depended on it for the last km and then really did cry as I crossed the line.

Digesting it all after with fellow QPHers with beer and burgers was glorious but I crashed pretty quickly. I stumbled home wearing my medal with pride. Now for more schnitzel, beers and real cake.

Chip time: 3:28:38

Female ranking- 89/1021


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