Last year I did the Amsterdam half marathon and really liked it (it is one of my favourite races so far), but 3 weeks after Berlin I wasn’t ready yet to run a half marathon. Thus, I decided to run the 8k race instead.
I used to say to people: “I’m a heart patient, but I can basically do anything, except run a marathon”. And friends and family would shrug, that wasn’t so bad, there are tons of people out there who don’t. So if that was the worst implication of my cardiovascular impairment, no worries.
I did this race 3 years ago, the 2nd race I ever did. I enjoyed the race the last time and decided to do it again, only this time as a training run for the Berlin Marathon.
One of my favorite smaller races is the Leiden Ladiesrun. They have a 5k loop, which you can run twice if you want to do the 10k and there are around 1200 participants. It is not organized by some big company which charges you a lot of money. On the contrary, it is a well organised race, not expensive and thanks to sponsors most of the entry fee goes to charity. They raise around 10.000 euros each year and each year they pick another charity. And on top of that they also give you a very nice medal! What’s not to like?
After my last half ended in a DNF and being so busy that I basically only trained the last 3 weeks for this race, I wasn’t sure how this race would go. But I just decided to go and see how far I would get. I knew I wasn’t going to run a PR with just 3 weeks of training, only goal was to finish (if possible in under 3 hours) and if it would end in another DNF, so be it. Website of the race said “there is no time limit for the half marathon”, so that sounded promising.
Today was a first for me. A first DNF. But then I guess there is a first time for everything. I ran a 5 k and a 10 k race last weekend, on the same day, and I was fine. Sure, I didn’t get a PB on the 10 k, but you can’t always run a PB. I knew that to begin with, because I have trouble running during the winter, so during spring I’m not in the best shape yet. I run my PBs during autumn. And I’m fine with that. I’ve had enough rest in the past week, although I could have slept more I suppose, but I’m currently working 60 hour weeks, so that wasn’t really an option. So, the point is that I probably could have finished the race. I’m not injured and I wasn’t in any pain while running today. The point was the race, or to be more specific, the organisation.
I hadn’t planned to run another half this year, but I did and I’m happy that I did. The Amsterdam Half Marathon is always sold out, but in the weeks leading up to the event there are always lots of people offering bib numbers (which is allowed by the organisation). After watching so may people offering to transfer their bibs, I decided to take the gamble and buy one.