Finally, I get to write one, after a long time. I subscribed to Rafael without having too many expectations. Especially after my injury relapse. So I went to Codlea, where the race was taking place with the final objective of finishing the race and having fun.
I kind of felt like home, as Codlea is 27 km away from my birth place, Zarnesti. I arrived at Codlea on Friday evening, had dinner and started to be anxious about the race. I had some pain in my knee. The decision to start the race was taken with 10 seconds before the start. Until that moment I was in doubts. In the first 500 m, I wanted to quit 3 times. My knee was hurting.
On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:30, did my hip mobility exercises, drank my water, and tested COMPOT SPORT ULTRA FRUIT 500 FRUCTE EXOTICE 4X90G, having another product to test during the race. I liked the taste, and overall I was ok with it. On the product, it is written to use before or during the race. I though for a half marathon this was too big, so I used it as a breakfast, together with an energy bar.
At the race site, all was good, I took my kit with no problems and I was surprised about the size and content of it. It will soon come to an article about how we do races in Romania, compared with how I have seen the races in Norway. Different approach.
My kit had in it:
-1 race number
-1 technical t-shirt
-1 big freaking plastic bag with all sort of products: from energy pills to magnesium, products for a good digestion, lotion for sore muscles, spray for calming articulation pain (with the help of this one I managed to finish the race), toothpaste etc.
I thought initially that they’ve made a mistake and I asked if the bag is just for me or I should share with someone else.
Managed to squish everything in my backpack, and I started to choose my running gear. I had more options in terms of jacket, gloves, backpacks, depending on the weather, temperature and frequency of hydration points, which I did not know. We had 4 hydration points during the race, which was more than enough, so I did not have to take my running backpack.
The start was given with half an hour delay, and this is the only negative feedback that I have to give to the organisers. Besides that, I must take a moment and congratulate all the team that worked for this event, organisers and volunteers. Thank you!
I started from the back of the pack, thinking that like this I will force myself to go slow. In 200 m I felt an acute pain in my knee, but I decided to ignore it. I had with me a spray for calming articulation pains, so I thought I might be good enough to finish it.
The first half of the race I went slowly, walking everything that was going up, and running carefully everything else. After the 10th kilometre and the 4th usage of the articulation spray in my knee and my hip, I started going a bit faster. At 12th kilometre we had another hydration/food point and I tested my ULTRA GEL 500 COACĂZE.
Coincidentally the path from there was very runnable, and I kept my pace, maybe even going a bit faster. I am not sure how fast I went as I forgot to start my Garmin, and although I started it, I am sure it lost the signal trough the forest.
The ultra gel from Aptonia. Gave me a boost of energy but I am not sure if it is good enough for me. I got very …anxious and interfered with my breathing. I was gasping for air, could not breathe properly and my heart rate went to the roof. Not sure if this is the result I was supposed to have. Never used energy gels till now. I will keep testing and maybe I can find something better.
The last kilometres were without incidents and I managed to finish in 2h 13min. Considering I am not 100% in shape and with pain in my knee trough all the race, I consider it to be a decent overall 28th place.
As I write the pain is still there and today will be going back to the doctor.