Halfway through, I was still on a personal record pace, but soon I started to calm down. My lungs began to feel abnormal, and I no longer dared to push as hard. I eased my pace and listened to my state of being. The thought of a DNF flashed through my head, but I didn’t know where in the city I was so I kept persevering to the finish line. The last ten kilometers were mentally exhausting because it felt like I was passed by every runner in the race. I would have liked to have run faster, but it simply wasn’t possible.
Eventually, the Brandenburg Tor appeared in sight and I finally reached the finish line. Whether a race goes great or poorly, the good thing about a marathon is that getting to the finish always feels like an accomplishment. For a moment, pace, place, and goals go out the window and it doesn't matter if the race was a success or not. Simply being done becomes what is important.