Right after I had run my first half marathon in Mostar I decided that the next one would be in Enschede. Last year I ran 10 K, so this would be a enjoyable challenge.
I had also a goal. My time in Mostar was amazing, especially for a first half marathon: 1:46:01. So the goal was to run even faster and a time under the 1:45 would be amazing.
In this blog post I will tell you everything about my preparation, about the run and how it went. Let’s go..
A colleague of mine is a diehard runner. He has run several marathons and half marathons. His advice to me was to run at least three times a week during my preparation.
Besides my running activities I love to go to the gym. I try to go at least two times a week. Mostly I go three or four times a week.
So I committed to running two times a week. One long distance run during the weekend, and a shorter but faster run during the week. I also tried once a week to train my legs with a legday in the gym. This to gain some extra strength.
Two weeks after the Mostar run I decided to run a little bit further than normally: 25 km. It went ok, but I felt extremely tired after the run.
When I started to run more than 15 kilometers I started to feel my left hip, especially after the trainings. The pain did go away after 2 or 3 days of rest.
But it did frustrated me a little bit. The week before the half marathon I ran a 25 kilometer run and during the last three kilometers I felt my hip well. I just hoped that it would be less during the half marathon.
The half marathon of Enschede
On Wednesday before the race I did a last training. It was a short 10K run with an amazing pace of 12,5 km/h. Despite the fact that I felt my hip I was ready for the race.
The weather forecast were not so great, because they forecasted 25 degrees which is a little bit too warm to run.
I woke up early that morning and eat some eggs, bread and a banana for breakfast. At 9 o’clock it was time to bike to the centre of Enschede.
Over there I met my friend Jan. He was going to run his first half marathon. Together we walked to the start.
There were special starting boxes where runners who want to run a specific time collected. I choose box 3 because it’s time frame was between 1:30-1:45.
At 10:00 o’clock the race started. There were a lot of attendees. We ran first towards Glanerbrug. During the first couple of kilometers I suffered from stitches in my side. This was probably because I had eaten to much for breakfast.
In Glanerbrug my mother gave us a bottle of AA drink. Because of the weather it was important to drink a lot.
It was already at this point that I was feeling my left hip. Impossible! That’s what I was thinking. I had to run more that 15 kilometers and I already felt it. The stitches in my side also didn’t help.
From Glanerbrug we ran back to Enschede. Somewhere after 8 kilometers the guys who were running a specific time – 1:45 – catched up with me. It was important to keep up with them, so that I could run a great time.
After 11 kilometers I think I came along Manon and Rosalie (wife and daughter of Jan) who gave me a bottle with water. I took a few gulps of water and I poured the rest over myself.
I was really struggling until that point. The support of Manon and Rosalie gave me some extra motivation and energy. I just thought: come on, you can’t give up already.
Before we were going to enter Lonneker the slope of the course increased. This was at the Lonneker mill. I had a little bit of difficulty to keep up with the “time” guys.
But I knew if I just could keep up with these guys until 16/17 kilometers, I had a good chance to run a new record.
We entered Lonneker. There were so many people in Lonneker. They all cheered and clapped which gave me goosebumps. At that point of the race I was running next to the “time” guys. I felt really strong.
From Lonneker my next orientation point was Roombeek. At every waterpoint I took some water and a water sponge. This to keep my body cool.
Despite the heat I hadn’t been bothered by it. There were just two things I was thinking about: keep up this speed and my time would be great, and not to focus to much on my hip because the pain increased.
When entering the centre of Enschede I knew there were only two kilometers left. Approximately one kilometer before the finish my mother and sister where cheering me up.
During the last couple of meters also my buddy Maarten gave me support. Walking towards de finish line I saw the race clock. 1:44 and ticking. I knew I would run under the 1:45 because I started almost 1 minute later than the race clock.
Just 100 meters before the finish it almost went wrong and I got cramp. In a fraction of a second I recovered. Manon was also standing at the point cheering me up.
I made it! I did it again! What a great feeling! Although I felt big pain in my hip, muscles and my knees. But it was worth it.
Looking at my watch it showed an amazing time: 1:44:22. Later the official time was 1:44:11. I never could have imagined that I would run a half marathon with an average pace above 12 km/h. I’m so proud at my achievement.
The question for now: when will I run my first marathon. Keep following my blog for more about that.