I’ve been an independent consultant for ten years. During that time I’ve worked mostly in Spain and Latin America, with a short experience in the United States. I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to a large number of projects and to work together with a lot of people from around the world. Working for oneself is hard (uncertainty, long working days, no paid holidays or not holidays at all…) but rewarding (new challenges all the time, a good pay when things go well and flexibility to manage the one own’s agenda). If I had to summarize these ten years, I would say it’s been a great time.
But I’ve come to a point where I felt I needed a change. Being a consultant, it always came the moment when I had to let the project go. Then, the client continued working on it and I started something new for someone else (and I took it to the point where I had to let it go… again). After all these years, I had the need to work in something from the beginning… and then continue developing it over time.
A few months ago, I was hired (again, as a consultant) by the University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia. We knew each other because I taught there from 2006 to 2010. I had to help them to plan the university digital transformation. It was a common project: they told me what they had done so far and we worked together identifying all the possibilities, writing the goals, etc. At the end, I delivered my final reports and everything was ready to continue as usual.
But this time was different because they came to the conclusion that they needed someone who could lead the project after my collaboration. They were satisfied with the work I had done, and for me this seemed to be what I was looking for. The rest, as they say, is history. Wish me good luck with this new and exciting challenge 🙂
At the beginning of the summer I decided to run my first marathon. Because I was afraid of the challenge, I chose a five month training plan that would give me enough time to build my strength. I signed up for Castellón, which is happening in December, and started running five times a week.
But I was wrong: I didn’t need so much time and three months later I felt ready. Besides, I was tired of running almost 60 kilometers every week (70 some weeks). It was time to decide whether to continue with the plan or find a closer marathon. I looked on Ahotu Marathons and found out that only seven days later was going to take place the Toulouse Metropole International Marathon. I didn’t think it twice and signed up.
Me and my family arrived to Toulouse on Saturday, the day before the race. I was a little scared because I had never run 42 kilometers before, so I spent almost the entire day saving energy and eating carbs. Meanwhile, my wife and the children had a lot of fun visiting the Cité de l’espace (we already knew the city), so no one got bored waiting for Sunday.
And then, the race came and it was terrific. I started from the bottom of the crowd and progressed without issues: I felt great. I passed the 10k marker in 59 minutes and the half-marathon in 1:58… which was better than expected. At the beginning I had predicted to finish in 4 hours and 11 minutes, but it appeared that I could be able to spend less than 4 hours. I decided to try it.
Soon after that, I started to feel pain. At first at my feet and then at my legs. But I was mostly okay, so I continued pushing at a good pace until I reached the 32k. Then I found myself face to face with the famous marathon wall, which I tried to avoid just looking at the ground and keeping going. It wasn’t easy at all, but after the 35k marker I realized that I only had to run the rest of the race at 6 minutes per kilometer to achieve the goal. So I focused on that.
I saw my family at the 38k. My wife told me at the end that I looked good, but I was completely exhausted… and only a kilometer later I was caught by the 4 hour pacemakers. I tried to stick to them because otherwise I would have ended suffering a lot, and I managed to do it. In fact, I was finally able to improve my pace again and finished the race in 3:55:58 (official time: 3:57:48). Wow!
So I guess now I can call myself a marathoner. I am proud of it because running a marathon is not only showing up the day of the race and start running until the finish line. You have to commit to the goal and be willing to spend a lot of time training, even when you don’t feel like doing it. Also, you have to renounce to a certain amount of family time, which is hard. But at the end, when I remember the feelings I had after crossing the finish line, I only know one thing for sure: it’s worth the effort.
Congratulations to myself and thank you Gemma, Aniol and Sira for your support 🙂
- 10k: 59:30
- HM: 1:58:24
- Final time: 3:57:48
- Position: 1213 (of 2559 finishers)
The training plan:
- Weeks: 15
- Km: 860k
- Hours: 87
- Longest run: 34k
Picture n. 2: Côté Toulouse.