5000 kilometer or 118.5 marathons – I did it!

This entry was posted on 8.03.2011

Berlin Marathon 2009

Berlin Marathon 2009

I ran my 5,000th kilometer today. 5000 km – that means 118 marathons (and one half on top of it). It means that I spent 157 hours running just last year and another 154 hours in 2009, the two years in which I ran almost 1500 kilometers each. I actually already ran more than 5000 k; I just didn’t count the first runs (I started keeping track almost four years ago). Did I ever think I would run that much? No way.

I vividly remember when I made my first step on the treadmill in Berlin. My friend Ralf, who got me into working out, also got me into running. I followed a training plan back then – run a few minutes, walk some, and then run again, until I was able to run for a full hour on a treadmill. Running outside took me a while longer. It makes me laugh just to think about how short my first run was around Oranienplatz in Kreuzberg and along a park where the wall used to be until 1989. And I only use treadmills during New York winter storms now, and only for intervals.

The first time I finished 21 kilometers, a half marathon distance, was in early 2008. I had signed up for the Berlin Half Marathon and wanted to make sure that I am able to run that far. So I tried it – and ended up in the middle of a winter storm. I still finished the 21k, and I finished the Berlin Half Marathon.

I wanted more, a half marathon is only half the distance, not the full distance. I was born with what my mother used to call „a hole in my heart“ – I was never sure what that meant. So in May 2009, I went to a specialist to find out if anything was wrong. The doctor couldn’t find anything. I have a high pulse, and running is a good treatment, he said. I signed up for the Berlin Marathon the same day and called myself crazy for weeks.

I finished the marathon in 4 hours and 49 minutes (it was 27 degrees Celsius in the shadow, but without any shadow, and even Haile Gebrselassie gave up his attempt to improve his world record that day – that is my excuse). I did it again in 2010 and was 28 minutes faster. It was amazing how easy this second marathon felt. It was raining like crazy during the first three hours, but I enjoyed every single minute.

Throughout the years I enjoyed running in Berlin (I miss the Landwehrkanal in Kreuzberg and running along the Spree, but only without the tourists), I ran in San Francisco (but only once since it was our honeymoon). And running along the Hudson River on the Jersey side still feels like holiday to me, even though we’ve been living here for three months).

And if I am able to continue my pace, I should celebrate the 10,000th kilometer in July 2014. Let’s go!

So this is my list of races:

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