Friday, October 4, 2013

Berlin Marathon--Mission Accomplished at 4 months pregnant

“This is it! I did it!, We did it” I was laughing out loud, smiling big, so proud of me. 2 medals are placed around my neck, crossing the line at 4 months pregnant made it worthwhile and made me forget the painful 42.195 km.

The pain started the day before the marathon when I went in the morning with Christine on a run and just when I was about to finish my short run a sharp pain stroked my knee. Scared, worried, paranoid, I stopped, I stretched and tried to ignore.
Spent most of my Saturday sightseeing and enjoying the beautiful city! Berlin is more than I expected it is an amazing city and it has so much to offer!

Germans are very friendly, social and somehow the combination of things made me feel welcome and at home. I didn't have to worry about picking up my start number on that day since this was already done on Friday upon our arrival. The Expo was overwhelming, you can easily get lost between the stands and of course buying running stuff was a necessity!
Christine and Myself
On Saturday after a nice lunch with friends in downtown,I headed early to the hotel to ice my knee and rest before the pasta party. I woke op on time on marathon Sunday. After few hours of light sleeping I made it all excited to the breakfast area. At 6:50 took the bus with Christine toward the start . The moment I stepped out of the bus my knee felt not so good! I had the feeling it is not going to be a smooth ride.

 Walking toward the start area, I was amazed by everything. I am walking in disbelief, I am in Berlin and about to run one of the biggest marathon in the world!! This moment has come it is only a matter of minutes before I can unleash the energy in me. Officially I am in Coral C but decided to join Christine which was on Coral E since I had no intention in running a Sub3 with a heart beat in my belly! After delivering our bags we headed to the start area. It was getting crowded and within 15 min you couldn't move anymore, you just have to wait patiently to take off! The weather was amazing! Blue sky and a temperature of 15 degrees, which makes it a perfect running day.
At 8:45 the start gun took off given by Haile Gebrselassie, yellow balloons covered the sky and one after another we started moving forward. 

This is it no more back, today I am running a marathon at 4 months pregnant! My goal is not to run my best, neither psuh my limits, today I am running to finish, have fun and disreguard my finish time.

Starting area
 The first kms went smooth but my knee was sensitive. I run side by side with Christine, After 5 km I decided to see if anyone has a pain killer. I started asking around but as expected  no one is running with a medicine box! 

Between 5 and 25 km I stopped at three different medical care hoping for a paracetamol or something but no luck! I kept running and catching up to Christine. I run with Christine up till 27 km and here I had the energy and the mental to just go for the finish. At 27 km I left Christine and speeded up at a comfortable pace.

As soon as I hit the 31 km the sharp pain in my knee became intolerable. I stopped to stretch out  then I see Christine passing me and it felt as if she was in a dip. I started running again, Now that my knee cooled down the pain doubled up I could barely bend my knee...I caught up to her, few motivation words and I saw her all energized and determined to run her personal best.
As for me quitting was NOT an OPTION! With a pain 20/10 I kept praying and repeating "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever". Tears in my eyes, I could barely hear or see anything, I was so much in pain that I felt like fainting.  I kept running at a very easy peace just hoping I see the finish.

I started talking to myself convincing myself that after the race I don't have to race anymore and just enjoy my pregnancy. All I want is to finish and I will accept all the consequences. Km after km the finish line was getting closer. The fun part during the whole race that I run wearing this tshirt:
So many people made comments when I passed them but also I got a lot of respect and admiration of other runners. I felt proud and even more determined to finish.
Christine, Me & Wies
When i saw the finish line all I wanted is to sprint but I couldn't !!! I crossed the finish line in 3:32:17 with a big smile and disbelief of my accomplishment I let myself be carried by the volunteers to the medical care.

Christine and Wies my 2 running mates who just run a PR joined me.So proud of them!! I got some paracetamol and some ice and I left the area and still smiling despite all the pain. I am in deep satisfaction: I just Finished a marathon at 4 months Pregnant!! How awesome is that!!! Yes I did it!!

That is not how I wanted to run Berlin marathon, I didn't enjoy as much as i wanted to but I reached my goal and that's what makes my enjoyment complete! Every marathon teaches us a lesson and make us stronger. I thank my mind and my will power for not quitting on me because I know I would have regret it. I am so proud of my determination. This marathon made me learn something new about myself and about my pain toleration.

All in all, it was one of my most wonderful weekends as it was packed with actions, emotions, fun, good food and the realization.

It was incredible and unforgettable! Running the last km and seeing the Brendenburg Gate and more than 10,000 people cheering… I am very happy and delighted to have completed the Berlin marathon.

Today I accept all the consequences, it is 5 days since the marathon, I can't bend my knee without pain. I am injured but I have lots of time to take care of myself and heal. I will be spending more time at the swimming pool to stay fit while my knee is getting recovered. Now my focus is to finish the longest marathon ever which is my pregnancy. The finish line is in March 2014 and after that I may set new goals.

Thanks again Berlin for this great event and thanks to my amazing hubby for supporting me every minute in this journey and cheering up for me along the line!
You are simply THE BEST!!
My #1 Fan


  1. Nice story and great achievement. Being injured still being able to run 3:32!
    Hope your knee will get better during the rest of your pregnancy so you can start running with a healthy knee after the delivery. I'd suggest taking a long rest now... ;-)
    Greetings, Dick

  2. genial ! bravo Nisrine truly inspiring!

  3. You are my inspiration Nes!!
    I hope I have your courage when I start in Paris.
    Well done, roomie and now take good care of yourself and the little one in your belly.

  4. Wow Nesrine, you are amazing! Didn't know that you were in so much pain! Everybody would have quit. You are so strong and positive. Take care of your knee but most of all of the little baby inside your belly!

  5. what a great race you both have run and what a super shirt!!! Well done Fast Pregnant Lady :)

  6. Wow! That is amazing, well done! I am inspired! To run that fast pregnant AND in pain is amazing! And congratulations on the pregnancy too :)

  7. On october 20 I will run my first marathon. I don't have any injuries and i'm pretty sure i'm not pregnant. I'm also pretty sure I will not be able to finish this marathon in 3:32. I will need at least 15min more. Amazing what you did in Berlin. Well done and congratulations.
    I hope Berlin was worth the pain. Just love that city.
    Enjoy your pregnancy and let your knee heal well.

  8. Knap om toch de finish te halen en dat ook in een hele mooie tijd. Hopelijk heb je de knie niet te zwaar belast, met een lang herstel tot gevolg.
    Maar daar is nu inderdaad genoeg tijd voor en kun je je richten op de zwangerschap en het resultaat van die marathon ;-)

  9. Great accomplishment, wel done!
    Hope your knee is improving quickly; in the meantime take it easy and enjoy your performance in Berlin