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Managing wind!

February 7, 2011
Loenen aan de Vecht

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Hah! For all of you Brits who thought that I was going to come up with some new Paula Radcliff alternative, sorry to disappoint you.

The wind has been here and I have been lying awake at night listening to the rattle of the shutters on our house. I was not too happy at having to plan in my 30 km run on Saturday. There are always some very open spaces here, out of any shelter and I knew that I would suffer.  Thinking of my run last week – if I repeated that there would be some long stretched of 4 – 7 km with or against the wind (and according to some law it would always be against).

My clever techie husband pulled out his computer and worked out a route for me along the Vecht that, he figured, had some trees on most of the route.  It looked pretty good and would take me on some “adventures” as, whilst I had run most of the route before I had not gone further and incorporated Loenen aan de Vecht.

I started with the familiar bit. Enthusiastically running out ofthe village towards Weesp.

Just as I turned left to run along Charley’s (American (burger/pizza) restaurant at the end of Nederhorst den Berg) a lady sprinted by. The urge to catch her up and run with her for a while was overwhelming. Discipline, discipline I said to myself.  Indeed I watched a km further as her heels disappeared around the corner to run round the Spiegelplas (some 9 km). To add salt to the wound a man walking a dog made some comment about being overtaken – oh no, I said,  I have a further 30 km to run! Not sure if he really ingested that information.

The wind was from the side and, whilst marginally irritating, it was only “marginally” so. Even on the other side of the Vecht it was not so bad.  Luckily for me the river winds round so there was never really a terrible moment.  I had some fun with the wind.  At one point a walker was coming the other way. There was a little kink in the road and I was FULL ON against the wind – “bring it on” I shouted and made motions with my hands that I could take more.

Whilst the wind was strong I found a rhythm and the route was really lovely. On the way there were signs of spring with a few snowdrops popping their heads up.

I ran trough Nichtevecht and on to Vreeland. Lots of dog walking people and folk tending their allotments.

In Vreeland I had a little search. The sign said “dead end” but I needed to stay on this side of the Vecht and I could do it – there was a road on the map. The sign then said “dead end, also for cyclists” but it said nothing about runners. Indeed!  A tiny little opening and through I went to play in the raid and then find the track to Loenen – 4 km further.

What a beautiful area.  I had certainly never been here at all. Beautiful houses and house boats. I ran on and reached the quaint village of Loenen aan de Vecht. I passed the windmill “De Hoop” and a male runner passed me! Again I needed that notice – been running for more than 2 hours!

Met people who were out for a stroll for a second time as they were walking the “loop” from Loenen to Vreeland and back. Back to Vreeland and along the country road out of the village parallel to the main road but with water in between so its quite lovely.

The stretch out of Vreeland and off to Nederhorst was tough.  I was tired and hungry (!?) and the wind was pushing me sideways! Some compensation as just after that I had the wind in my back so just set legs on automatic.

At the end of the day it was a fabulous run. I did it in under 3 hours so I think that it was a bit short of 30 km – perhaps c. 27/28 km.

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