Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills Run)
I was quite nervous about running the 15 klm Zevenheuvelenloop this year as it was only 4 weeks after the Amsterdam Marathon. I have been, as you know if you have been following, training to heartbeat. Its all rather boring and slow to run at 140 – 150 but I thought that I would use the run as a training in discipline 🙂
Its such a fantastic run in Nijmegen from the city, quite quickly into the countryside and then back into the city. The surroundings are so beautiful its one of my favourite runs. This year would be my 3rd time at it marked a clear path to my marathon running.
I looked up my time from the previous year. 1 hr 18 mins – wow I would never do that this year. Be lucky to get under 1, 30 I thought.
Joost came up with an idea of “using” the hills. I thought that I might try it. At the same time I really wanted to run to a low heart beat.
The weather was great. Some great “friends” made on the train – that’s what is so much fun. Pretty much everyone on the train was doing the run so there was lots of exciting chatter.
Its really strange – I was in the red start area – the start areas are spread around the town and somehow we all come to the same starting gate and stream along the same route. We warmed up to a Brazilian drum band – we needed them as it was pretty chilly waiting.
As I went over the start I heard the winner Haile Gebrselassie was running down the home straight. He won in a time of 42,42 and the first woman home was Wagenesh Mekasa in 48,32.
I started slowly – Runkeeper was working well and told me how slow I was going. My heart meter was saying that I was at 150. As we started the first 6 klm is a slow incline. People were streaming past me. I found a steady pace. Even so as we climbed my heart meter hit 160 – 166. Blow! – even slower…
OK now a nice pace and heart rate around 160 – so that will have to do I am not going any slower.
I started to relax although my running still felt very “controlled” and not so “free”.
As ever the surroundings were fabulous – I focused on the sights and smells as I trotted along the road with wooded area either side.
Weeeeee! down the hill – that’s what I LOVE about this run – what goes up also comes down.
I knew that we would run along a sort of plateau with some smallish up and downs and then a steep climb at around 10 klm. My plan was to gradually up the pace after the 6 klm hill and then again after the 10 klm hill.
It felt as if I achieved this and used the hills – although if you take a look at the runkeeper profile my goal was not quite achieved. What I did have in the last 5 klm was tremendous energy. It was very crowded and I found a steady faster pace. At this stage I was running at 166 – 171 HR so that was in the plan!
It was very crowded. I heard someone in front of me shouting “rechts” so I followed suit the next time someone jogged in front of me – it was in the rules after all!
I was thundering past everyone – what a feeling!
We came into the city again. Did I have even more in me? I pushed a little harder. Just over 1 klm to go. Ummm was that a little too soon – still 500 m to go. Where is that finish! Now its feeling tough! Ah! 250 m come on keep on going push push push – let’s go for a sprint!
And at last over the line – someone stopped dead in front of me. Please keep walking – they had ceased up…
Fantastic! Pretty much to plan and a time of 1,22 – I did not expect that!
- Gebrselassie takes first in 15K Netherlands race (espn.go.com)
- 2011 Race Reports: Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon (devilschasinme.wordpress.com)
- Gebrselassie to run Tokyo in bid for Olympics (espn.go.com)
- Maria runs Amsterdam Marathon? (guhukusa.wordpress.com)