Archive for April, 2010

Half Marathon Race Report

Last Monday I ran my 6th Half Marathon, and although I was quite optimistic about the race, it did not go exactly according to plan. My PR on the Half Marathon in 2.00.30, and even though it’s only numbers, I really wanted to run the Utrecht Half Marathon in under 2 hours.

I was very exited to run. When I arrived in Utrecht I immediately felt that the atmosphere was very good. I was so happy when the race took off! I felt really strong and finished the first 11 kilometres of the race in 59 minutes. I forced myself to slow down, but around the 16th kilometre my body was done, and went into a strike. My stomach started to turn itself around, I felt sick and suddenly I could not even breathe properly anymore! The last few kilometres were really tough, and in the end I did not make my two hour goal.

I was really disappointed that I had missed my goal by more than 4 minutes. I think I started off with a pace that I could not only not keep up with, but that also caused me to break down in the final kilometres. I really should have started of easier, but it is so hard to slow down when you feel like you can conquer the world…

But also I think that part of the key to a <2.00.00 race is losing a few kilos of bodyweight. I am currently at a healthy weight, but the next 3 weeks I will try to lose a few (maybe 2 or 3) kilo. Training-wise I will incorporate more of the much hated interval training sessions, and try to keep doing the slow long runs. In 3 weeks from now I will run another half marathon (a small local one) and if I manage to keep up with my training (at least 3 times a week) and really watch my weight, I really should be able to finally finally break that 2 hour mark.


Pre-race day

Tomorrow I am running the half marathon of Utrecht. I have run over 20 races these past years and every single time my day before the race was filled with excitement and incredible anxiety. Right now, when I think about tomorrow’s race, I can feel my heartbeat go faster and I get that funny feeling in my stomach: a mixture of intense happiness and the feeling I might go sick. I think it’s astounding how the prospect of running a half marathon feels just like the prospect of a hot date with someone you really like.

What on earth makes me so nervous about running 21.1 kilometres? Ok, it’s quite a long distance, but I am quite sure I can pull it off. My preparation has been pretty good: I have been a good girl since the party night I had on Thursday: no alcohol, lots of sleep and healthy foods (ok, except for the Easter croissants this morning).My favourite running gear is ready to use and I’ve made a list of things to bring.

Tomorrow I will probably be even more nervous, to the point where my hands start shaking and I shout at my boyfriend because of minor things. And then I will run the race, shout at myself for running ridiculous distances like a half marathon, be incredibly happy, fulfilled and proud when I cross the finish like and once again be completely in awe of the fact that people run twice the distance I have just run. And then I will remember that is exactly what I will be doing 7 months from now.

How do you cope with anxiety on a pre-race day and/or morning?

My Stormy Run

In the last few weeks my runs have not been as easy and fun as I had wanted them to be. In preparation for my half marathon I started doing 15k+ long runs a few weeks ago, and although one 17k run went quite smoothly, all the others were really hard work. Last week I went out for a 19k run, and ended up walking the last 5 kilometres, because I just could not run anymore.

This made me nervous. I really like the half marathon distance, but when you hit the wall at 16 kilometres, the last 5.1 are really really tough. And the fact that all my long runs went rubbish started to affect my self esteem.

Luckily, though my stormy almost-20-kilometre long run went really well. I was really dreading going out for a run: it was drizzling, the clouds looked ominous, and there was a lot of wind. But it never really started to pour down with rain, and actually it was really good running weather! It almost felt like an afternoon in autumn at the sea, and the drizzle was quite refreshing. So, I’m looking forward to the half marathon on Monday!