42 km In The Big Apple: NYC Marathon Recap
by Dr. Moritz Tellmann
Awesome! Overwhelming! Fantastic!
It doesn’t matter which word I choose now. The NYC Marathon is over, but I still wish I was on this amazing and unique route through Manhattan and Central Park.
Let´s go back to the hours before this great race. The day before, I decided to hit the gym. Was it a good choice? Looking back I can say yes. Obviously, I didn’t train my legs. This would have been a really bad idea. Although I still had these 26.2 Miles ahead of me, I tried to stay with my workout routine (which is never a routine) as usual. I did bench press, chin ups, deadlifts, arms and abs and I felt great. This workout was the perfect start for my “last carb-loading.” Not fueling your body with carbohydrates is like driving a Porsche with just a few liters of vegetable oil in the tank – not going to work. I had lots of oats, fruit, nuts and coffee during the day. In the Evening it was pasta with salmon, white bread with olive oil and a massive dessert.
Race day morning at 5:30 am: I jumped out of bed awake and motivated! With the New York winter sun in my face, I put my compression shirt and shorts on and really felt great. This was the perfect day for a 42.2 km run.
Four hours later, after a breakfast of a peanut butter and egg bagel (which was delicious), the gun went off. Run, run, run! Bring it on, Manhattan. The first miles passed by so quickly, that I even forgot to look down at my Orbit (shame on me). On mile 16 … I decided to do some Push Ups. My body was warmed up and I felt the spirit of all the “big apple inhabitants” cheering me on. So I just did it! I had to accelerate further and so I squeezed two carb-gels into my mouth and a protein bar. As I watched the clocks, I realized I could stay below 3:30 if I would keep up this pace; and I did. The pace was hard and I my calves started to cry, “What is this?” This was no donkey raise or standing calf raise machine. I just told them to shut up, and they were quiet.
The last miles where really tough. I felt my muscles craving for oxygen, amino acids and water. With 4 Miles to go, more and more people were shouting to try and motivate you to the finish line. It´s a hard conflict. Your body says rest and there were lots of runners walking beside me, especially on Mile 23 and 24. My solution: run faster and harder. On Mile 24 my body got an endorphin rush. This was the moment when I realized that it doesn´t matter how strong you are, how long you trained or what you ate. The only thing that really counts is how you cope with the exhaustion and the pain. As a lifter, I dealt with the pain in the same way I would when at the squat rack, doing pull ups or biceps curl. I kept thinking of the medal, the accomplishment and the food that was waiting. I finished in 3:27:41. I made it happen with 48,800 steps and 4800 calories burned. I was as happy as a child getting a new toy. I recommend that anyone who says, “I can’t run a marathon” to just go for it! It´s possible and, besides the suffering from high lactate pain in your muscles, it´s pure Joy.
After the race I went and did some shopping. Now it wasn’t my legs that had to work, it was my credit card. For dinner I had some protein bars and chicken breast and then I fell into bed and slept like a baby. The next morning, happy and proud, I flew home.
Will I do it again? The question is not if, it´s when! I will probably do another one early next year.
With a solid diet and an on-going training, it´s easy to protect your Muscles from being catabolized. So I can say with certainty, that a marathon and big muscles can be best friends as long as you serve them both the right amount of respect!
Moritz Tellmann has been an avid athlete and fitness professional for 13 years. He currently works as an anaesthesiologist and emergency physician and is a licensed personal fitness trainer. In his leisure time he is a pilot and enjoys traveling a lot.