Once upon a time, I vowed never to run another marathon. I took only two years to go back on my word, spurred by friends who were training, and by wishful thinking that I could train smarter, suffer less and make a great time.
This time I did indeed train smarter. I was set for a big improvement on my personal record, but on the day of the race, I felt tired, and already in the 10th kilometer I knew I would not improve on my 3:41 time. I decided to settle on a bearable pace, and finish, whatever the time. Well, it was 3:59 in the end. Not bad, all things considered.
This happened in Stockholm - my first visit to Scandinavia - and I was impressed with the city, and with the lovely marathon track. The race ended in the Olympic stadium, full of people cheering on. It was a beautiful moment.