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Amsterdam Marathon 16th October

November 27, 2011

Its true – very delayed blog entry. I DID finish the Amsterdam Marathon!!

Almost there!

Nearly at the finish in the Olympic Stadium

I HAVE been running since – although was at zero running for two weeks – as advised then have been running to heart beat (= very slowly) and even ran the Zevenheuvelenloop last Sunday (see blog that I will write later).

The day dawned  – no rain and little wind.  temperature was good and I was hopeful that it would stay cool and be a repeat of Paris. I was a little more nervous than Paris  – rather strange.

The start was at the Olympic Stadium on the south side of Amsterdam. The start for the non elite/ slow folk was in the shade and it was pretty chilly. It was a good chance to babble with others and there were an amazing number of people from all over the world. I had quite a log chat to Elvis and his team mates. It was rather exciting – helicopters were buzzing around and there was a large screen on which you could see the start vaks gradually filling up.

Everything looked as if it was going to plan. I had my Winrgy, Sure2Endure, Winrgy Shooter and Cliff Shot gels recommended by a friend of mine from the US (specially flown in at huge expense and just in time!). The weather was good AND there was good reception on my Runkeeper.

At last we started. I clicked the Runkeeper on as I went over the line AND also noticed the clock as I started – some 11 mins after the start gun.

As I came out of the Olympic Stadium it was not long before I heard my supporters, Joost and Celeste (a friend of ours). Its really a boost to have people cheering for you.

We went through the Vondelpark, which I was surprised seemed so close to the Olympic Stadium and then trotted around the streets of Amsterdam for a bit. I guess that it was a given that we ran pretty much up and down Marathonweg for a while before we cut of into “the country” and along the Amstel.

I really loved this part of the run. It was in the area where I had been training. Its open and along water.  I caught up with a couple Brits and chatted to them about the area that we were running in. They were cyclists who had taken up the marathon challenge. I was impressed at they ease with which they seemed to be making the transition.

Running over the bridge and back down the other side of the river, I was listening to a very interesting conversation about someone who buys, reshapes and sells companies! These two chaps looked as if they were out for a Sunday stroll!

I had targeted c. 2 hours for the first half and was just a little slower – so was pleased. An average of 10 klm per hour and then the idea was that I would add some gumption gradually during the second half.

The sun came out. Was it psychological that it coincided with a little drop in my pace? I trotted on. I had been to the loo sometime before the start and an uncomfortable feeling started to creep in me. Ummmm… easy for the men…. I was mentally searching for a “good place” to “stop”. I knew that we were about to hit the more industrial area…Would there be portaloos somewhere?  I could not take the chance that there would not be …In the end I sacrificed all pride and disappeared as soon as I spotted a wooded area. Wow  – it was agreat feeling!

I was back on track again!

I trotted almost past one of my favourite wholesalers, Sligro. I knew that another friend was waiting by the Tropen Museum. It did not feel long before we were heading back into Amsterdam. I could feel myself slowing. Mark, my trainer, had advised me to use the drink posts to recover and not be afraid to walk a little, I took his advise.

I still seemed to be slowing. It was weird – it was definitely NOT like in Paris where I was in slow motion and could not feel anything but getting going seemed to be an issue.

It was great to Ine and we embraced – I had expected there to be a steeper part here and seemed to have missed it!

The city seemed to shrink as I ran past familiar places that in the car seem to be MILES apart and timewise – ages!

I tried to admire the Amstel Hotel (one of my favourite eating places!) but the Amstel Bridge was very unkind! Many people were walking. I dribbled and focused on running small steps.

Before I knew it we were in they VondelPark again. People seemed to be getting on with life as if there was no Marathon. I wanted to shout at them – Heh! I have just run 40 klm what have you done today? The park seemed a little longer than the previous time and the distance to the Olympic Stadium, where the finish line was – also seemed to have extended!!

I saw some friends of mine who always seem to pop up at running events – they themselves were running the half! Very uplifting again!!

Joost apparently shouted like mad but I did not hear him. I was so focused on trying to put on some pace. It did not seem to come. Just before we entered the Olympic Stadium there was a very NASTY up hill slope – it nearly caused me to stumble.  I continued to focus. The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic! I tried to put on some pace and held my head higher – amazing. It still seemed a long way to the finish. I attempted to sprint – it FELT like a sprinted anyway!!! Over the line and collected the medal – FABULOUS!

Time – somewhat disappointing of 4 hours 29 BUT I did not feel so exhausted as in Paris…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Smits permalink
    November 27, 2011 3:00 pm

    I only run the half, but i regonize a lot of your story. was very nice to read!

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  1. from new york to amsterdam : journal day 1 and 2 « the allie world tour

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