When I started with running marathons, I was dreaming. First about a time under 4 hours. Later, a sub-3:30 time. And finally a sub-3:15. I never felt I could do better than sub-3:15, already that was a dream.
I managed to run a sub-4 hour marathon on my fourth attempt in 2012. For the next few years I struggled with times between 3:45 – 4:15, it wasn’t until 2016 that I was filled with new hope that I could someday run somewhat better and faster. In October of that year, in Munich, I pushed my personal best by 35 seconds. Funny, you run a marathon and improve by a few seconds. Every second counts, doesn’t it.
Munich 2016 marked a turning point. Each of the next three marathons meant improvement. 3:25… 3:21… 3:14… and suddenly, there was an unknown feeling. Feeling of more potential. However my golden run stopped when I left to run the world – I didn’t leave to Asia to run personal bests, right (as also documented by the Singapore Marathon in December 2018, finishing in 5 hours and 7 minutes). However, I ran each of the next eight marathons after Singapore again in a time that was a great result: always at least under 3 hours and 30 minutes. In October 2022, history almost repeated itself. Munich again, and again close, but this time in the opposite direction – I missed my personal best by 12 seconds. Every second counts, doesn’t it… I felt I could do better, after all I was running this Munich a week after the London Marathon, and with a bandaged and sore heel. It will be possible! After all, everything is possible, if you believe in it.
Prague, May 2023 (PICS). The marathon of my life. In perfect conditions (no wind, no rain, no sun, ideal temperature), but without more systematic training (a few weeks absence not even two months before the race due to a cold) I crossed the finish line in 3 hours, 4 minutes and 31 seconds. I didn’t understand, I didn’t believe. As I shook off the excitement from the result, a plan began to emerge. Because… What if…
What if I’m still up for more. What if I still have where to grow. What would happen if I incorporated more systematic training, which I’ve been avoiding my whole life. What happens then? I won’t know until I try. So let’s do it!
Destiny in Berlin?
D-Day is set to be Sunday, September 24 in Berlin. The course is fast – the marathon world record is currently held by Eliud Kipchoge and was run in Berlin in 2022, in a time of 2:01:09. It would be amazing to share with the great Eliud a marathon time that starts with the same digit. So I hired a coach and created a (not just a running) challenge.
Honza is no beginner. He holds the Czech record in the half marathon with a baby carriage. He managed to run it – with his daughter inside – in an incredible one hour, 21 minutes and 6 seconds. The fastest half marathon (without a carriage) he ran in under one hour and 17 minutes. He is incredibly fast and responsible. Plus, he has started an education that will result in a coaching license. I’ll serve him as an experiment.
Honza has created a customized three-month training program to help me fulfill my running dreams in Berlin.
My original plan of 2023 (Xmas 2022 wish), to run under 3 hours and 5 minutes in Berlin didn’t work out; I broke that time back in May in Prague. Therefore, I set my current goal at any time under three hours. If I succeed, I will contribute to the charity project chosen by Honza with the amount of 42 195 CZK – equal to the marathon distance. At the same time, if I don’t run under the dreamed three hours, I will still contribute 42 CZK for every second of the final time under 3 hours and 15 minutes (which was a time I dreamed of beating for many years). Last but not least, if I don’t meet my goal but still improve my personal best, i.e. cross the finish line between 3:00:00 and 3:04:31, I will add a special bonus to my sub-3:15 time.
Project / story selected by Honza: Bořek Ondrejka and Snoezelen therapy
Hi, my name is Borek, but they call me Bobo and I turned 2 years old in January 2023. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 7 months old. Epilepsy led to my delayed psychomotor development and general muscle hypotonia.
It all started at six months old when I was always grumpy and crying. No one knew what was wrong with me and they thought it was classic baby problems. Until I had my first epileptic seizure on the last Saturday of the summer holidays. I threw up my hands and rolled my eyes. Fortunately, the seizure only lasted a moment. I had another seizure on Sunday. No one in my family has epilepsy, so no one ever dreamed it could be such a bad disease. We have no idea where it came from.
These first seizures were followed in quick succession by more and more. I spent the next month in the Ostrava Hospital in the children’s neurological department. I had seizures every day – 29 days in a row. They kept increasing my medication, but finally they gave me a special ACTH treatment that was not available, but the doctors managed to provide at least a few doses that were injected directly into the muscle. I was in a lot of pain. I got the rest of the treatment in pills. This cure helped rid me of the seizures.
The seizures had an influence on my psychomotor development. The kids at my age of 9 months already knew a lot of things and I was just lying like a pancake and learning everything all over again. Now I go to rehab where I try to catch up on everything, but exercising once a week is not enough, I need more to catch up with my peers.
It happened to me, when I was moving forward in small steps, that I was caught by the flu or some other illness, which stopped me in my efforts to catch up with my peers again or even brought me back to the beginning and I was learning all over again. My mom exercises a lot with me at home to catch up, but after all, exercise from specialists is more effective. In addition to that, they found out that my feet are not in the right position and I need a brace to start with verticalization. And then also that I have farsightedness and need glasses.
Now I can sit up on my own, get on all fours and climb, and slowly stand up by the furniture. It’s going to take a lot more work, and money for rehab, before I catch up with everything. Please help me with this.
You can help too
Bořek is helped by special neurosensory therapy in the Snoezelen environment at ISNA-MSE, which costs CZK 90,000 per month. Even if I meet my marathon goal, it won’t be enough for even half of it. Therefore, if you want to help Bořek too, you can do so:
Using the QR code below or
Send money to the transparent account 1117771700/5500 of the organization Life to Kids (Život dětem), variable symbol 2929 (this is important, otherwise the money will not be paired with Bořek).
T H A N K Y O U !
YOUR OWN CHALLENGE:
Why not use my project as an opportunity for yourself?