14 Jul 2014

Oops, I did it again

When someone googles me they find a youtube film with me making latte art, my twitter and linkedin account, a few pieces I have written, and my end results of the half marathon of Amsterdam 2013 and Dam tot Damloop 2012.

And all that on the first page. Up until the fourth page a lot of relevant links can be found. It sums me up pretty well. Although I do get somewhat insecure that everyone can see how fast, or slow, I was during my first half marathon. Well...I was not really very slow. It took me a good 2 hours and 14 minutes to finish 21+km. Which is not that bad. But it is above 2 hours and 6 minutes, which is how long I wished it had taken me.

I am not really very ambitious in my running speed, I take more pride in the fact that I was able to run that distance at all. It was my first ever half marathon and I was nervous running it. However, the reason the finishing time stings a little is the fact that I injured my knee at the 17km point. Resulting in a very, very slow last 4 km. And it took me a good 3 to 5 months to heal, with little to no running. When the pain finally went away, I was literally back at 3km max, and peeved.

I went to a Physical Therapist, started doing yoga and started to slowly add on some km to my weekly runs. Once I hit 10km I bought myself a fancy watch to celebrate. A lot of people do not like running with a watch, as the run starts to be all about your pace or heart rate, instead of running and letting go. But I love it, because it frees me. I input the km I want to run, shut off my mind, and my watch reminds me when I am half way. As a result I know when to take what turn and I do not have to constantly think about what route I want to run.

I bought the new TomTom watch, which has an integrated heart rate monitor, so no belts needed, but I really do not use the hrm. Mostly, because I do not really understand how to yet. I do try to look at it every once in a while, just to start to understand my heart rate at different speeds. I seem to find a heart rate of 170 the most comfortable for running. This seems a bit high, which is another reason I really do not understand the heart rate system yet. Although my heart rate in rest is also higher than average (according to TomTom) at an average 87. 

Anyway, after that mumbling detour, yesterday was my first 14km run in about a year's time. It was hot, there was a lot of humidity, I did not bring enough water, and it was awesome. My knees felt fine (still a bit afraid of the possible pain), I was not out of breath, and I made it. 14 km. Back on track.
I am however still very, very, very slow at 6:30 minutes per km. Which I believe, I am sorry, maybe I am a little more ambitious than I want myself to believe, really has to drop back down to under 6 minutes.

For the extra motivation to get out the door three times a week to make this happen (unfortunately Cameron's legs as inspiration alone is not doing it for me), I bought myself a starting place for the 2014 Amsterdam Half Marathon. Yes, I will have to run 21km... again... Now here's hoping this time I will not take longer than 2:14 hours.
In the meantime, my shoes travel with me to Barcelona, my yoga class will never again be skipped, I will be planking my ass off (and will be doing other strengthening exercises as well), and will keep drinking coffee before and after my run

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