My 1st Marathon

2006 was the year when I ran my first 42K marathon. I had never run such a long distance before but I had all the qualification for a runner, desire, determination and willingness to learn.

How to train
I started my training mid August, that is 2 and a half months to the Nairobi marathon. Just like every novice runner I didn’t know how to train, for running advice I turned to reliable internet sources here, here and here.

Nairobi marathon has 10K, the half marathon and the full marathon. In my marathon training I did a 10K run, and I felt it was too easy for my body, I then did a half marathon which I finished comfortably and my feeling was “not challenging enough!” So I registered for the full marathon.

My training was to clock as many kilometres my body could handle. I never tried any special diet, just eating a balanced diet.

Final Touches
One week to the marathon my left knee was aching and I was worried I would not be physically fit for the marathon. I did everything I could to heal it, massage, jogging on grass and even praying. The pain miraculously disappeared during the week.

D-Day
Organizers offered free transport from Nairobi City to the starting point 500 meters away on the outskirts of Nairobi City. The transport was slow and unreliable so I jogged to the start point.

I just arrived when the announcer on Public Address system announced all marathon runners to assemble at starting points. I quickly changed into my running gear and put on my electronic chip.

Me Versus Opposition
At the starting point I compared myself against the opposition and the fear I had of finishing last were wiped out after I saw many pot bellies against my lean body. The only doubt in my mind was if I was capable of finishing. The runners were flushing smiles, waving at cheering friends

Marathon 2006: Here we come
Once the starting gun was shot every runner burst cheering and surged forward. I was behind and among the last to cross the starting line.

I started running slowly and gradually raised my speed. Along the away I saw a guy wearing an interesting T-Shirt written NO MONEY NO HONEY. At the 10K mark I was feeling strong and stepped speed even faster.

The Nairobi marathon is a loop and you have to run it twice. The 21K mark was back at the starting point, I saw many runners drop at this point, and the idea of repeating the circuit was too painful for some.

My first mistake
I persevered for the second leg. At around the 25K mark, a white female runner I had seen at the starting point caught up with me and I decided to run with her. This was a big mistake, She kept going and going and I pushed hard and hard to keep up. She had a well toned body and looked pro. At the 30K mark I gave up chasing her and I watched her disappear ahead

I hit the Wall
After the 30K mark it was all down hill for me. I felt the effects of overworking my body chasing the female athlete. My legs ached and I felt tired. At this stage I saw a runner falling off and being carried away for first aid.

At the 37K mark my legs were down and out and I broke my first promise, not to walk. I Walked a few meters then started running, then walked again. This time a runner caught up with me and joined me in the walk. We encouraged each other how the finish line was just around the corner.

My Final Time
Eventually I started running again, this time I jogged all the way to the finish line. My time 3hrs 26mins. That was the day realized “I have met my hero, and he is me.”

19 thoughts on “My 1st Marathon

  1. Pingback: Marathon Running For Beginners « marathon you can do it

  2. Pingback: A Guide To Run Your First Marathon

  3. Jinoe

    Hi Constantine, Im training for a full marathon too. Just finished with a 21K with a struggle but I think I’ll be ready for a 42K by the end of the year. I’ll keep coming for your running tips.

    Reply
  4. Constantine Njeru

    Jinoe, congratulations for your efforts. Continue with your marathon training and you shall be ready for the marathon. Remember, Practice makes perfect.

    You are always welcome to my blog.

    Reply
  5. Constantine Njeru

    Jacob, I attended a Primary Boarding school, once a month we used to run cross country, I also exceled at Triple jump . In high school running was not considered cool so I tried, rugby, soccer & even cricket but I realised I was never good at team sports. My house master even wrote on my certificate I was below average in sports!

    Reply
  6. khalfan

    Congrats! You did your first Marathon!
    I will be trying my first one on 22nd March 2009 (Tokyo Marathon!) …Count down!
    I will keep you posted!

    Reply
  7. Kazuo Lim

    Hi, Constantine. While browsing for some running tips and I came across your running blog.

    You are great to make your 1st Marathon less than 3hr30min. Keep it up. This year 2009 November I’ll have my very first marathon on Penang Bridge International Marathon. I’m in progress of training, I just wish I can finish the whole course.

    Greetings from Penang Island (Malaysia),
    Kazuo Lim.

    Reply
  8. Wambui

    Hi,
    I want to run my first marathon (Stanchart Nairobi) this year having walked the 10k last time I want to up the ante and being a realist I am aiming for the half -21k marathon. I came across this page by accident as I was surfing the web trying to get a training partner. I have no idea where to staer or how I need to go about it. I just need a plan. Can you help. For the past two months I’ve been working on cardio – aerobics, skipping and a bit of jogging just to get my fitness levels up but I feel I need to start running/ jogging over distances that I can actually measure. What do you think?

    Reply
  9. Vanessa

    I just started training for my first marathon, and blogging about it 🙂 Your blog & twitter page have helped a lot. Sigh.. I wish I were Kenyan!

    FROM CONSTANTINE: You dont have to be a Kenyan to run fast, you just need to train like Kenyans. Always be running! Cheers

    Reply
  10. Larry Hamon

    I am training for my first marathon. The Portland on 10.10.10. I am not trying to set any records. I am 50 and have never been a big runner. I just want to finish. Take that back. I WILL FINISH. I feel good and excited. I like your blog. Thanks

    Reply
  11. patricia

    my frist marathon ,im 53, am i to old ?,i will be walking with a friend i wanted to walk to do a full marathon ,im thinking i will do a half this time ,wish me luck

    Reply

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