I am not in fantastic shape. I have been doing sports casually or semi-competitively for most of my life, but I am now 30 years old, and weigh in at 115 kilograms. Running has been an on-and-off hobby of mine, and a few years back I peaked at running the distance of a half marathon in very hilly terrain back in Nesodden, Norway where I grew up. I clocked in at about 3 hours.
Last year, my mom gave me a trip to Berlin as a gift, including entry to the half marathon. I started practicing, and got my time down to 2 hours 34 minutes. I was fairly happy with that. Then, race day.
Berlin i flat. And I suppose the people and the adrenaline helps too. In my first official half marathon, I improved my record by almost 20 minutes. Clocking in at 2:15:42. 6 minutes and 26 seconds per kilometer. Only a few years ago, I would be a minutes slower per kilometer on a 5k. I was amazed. Still, to get below 2 hours I would need to do each kilometer in 5 minutes and 43 seconds. So close, and yet so far.
I now run about 3 times per week, and try to get at least two of those runs at least 1 hour long. When dancing, I feel a great improvement in my overall condition, and I can now run 3 kilometers in less than 15 minutes. Last week, I finished a 11.3 kilometer run in 1:04:12. That is 5 minutes 41 seconds per kilometer, in hilly terrain.
Today, I am running the Oslo half marathon, and I'll be very happy if I can finish in less than 2:22:22. The track has quite a bit of elevation change. Still, if you had asked me 6 weeks ago, I would not believe I was on track for such a time. And I cannot belive that 2 hours feels just beyond my fingertips for the Amsterdam half marathon in October. Wish me luck.