Life as an expatriot living and running in the beautiful town of Zwolle, the Netherlands.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday Training in the Forest

Had a pretty awesome 18k/11mile run today. It was our last long run before the Ameland Half Marathon next Saturday.

The day was sooo beautiful: cold, clear, frost covering the shrubs and leaves. I was picked up by my friend Roelof and met the others at the carpool place. From there we drove out to someplace in Hattem (I never pay attention) and began our run. It's hard to decide just what wear on these days. I hate being too warm. Nothing sucks away my energy like being too warm. And yet, being too cold can be equally uncomfortable and can lead to injury. Today I had it just right. On the bottom I wore tight knee-high running socks and my new CSX power half tights. On top I wore a sports long underwear top, gloves, and cap that rolls down over the ears. I began a little cold, but wasn't uncomfortable. It's amazing how quickly you warm up.

It took my about half an hour to really settle into my run. Up until that point, I felt fine, but had some resistance in me. I almost always have that. Sometimes it goes away in 5 minutes... sometimes it can be with me the whole time, like at my last race the Sintloop. Anyway, at 30 minutes, I felt really zenned out. During this run, I also really concentrated on my form. I think about a couple of things. Like landing lightly on my feet. Or the angle that I hold my arms. My coach Nico has been trying to help me have better form with my arms. I think today I might have gotten better with that.

I also had a good experience towards the end. The last part of our run was really a series of last parts. After each turn, when I was expecting to see the car park, I would just see more path, and... looking at my watch realized we still had about 10 minutes to go. A couple of us had upped the pace and I started wanting to fall back. My mind wanted to retreat from the pace. But I did something. I checked in with my body. And my body was actually feeling quite good. No pain in the legs, back, or arms. I was breathing at a good clip, but not too hard or spazzy. So clearly the issue was in my head. And that was confirmed in the last 500 meters. I saw the car park and was like "I'm gonna kill this thing". And I just sorta sprinted those 500 meters (which is actually a long time to sprint.) I had a lot of energy left in the old tank.

So next time, when I'm feeling out of gas, I might just be able to get over it. Also, I just checked out our pace: 1 hour 33 minutes for 11 miles is an 8 minute per mile pace. If I can hold that in a half marathon, that would give me a time of 1 hour 50 minutes - precisely the time we were headed for at Ter Schelling before my leg cramps.


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