This year I'm planning to run the first marathon in since the last 5 years. I've already run two marathons en both times I've said after the finish that I would never run a marathon again. With my second marathon I've reached all goals I had set and why would I do something I really don't enjoy that much? But last year I was running more longer distances, doing a 25 km run on a thursday evening for example. In the dark because it was still winter at that time, that smell of the freeze starting, just loving it! But after two hamstring problems in the last year I discovered trail running. Well, actually I already liked what's considered as trail running. Running in the woods, at the heath but now I was (also because Dafne her enthoussiasm) participating in trail runs. Loving those about 30 km trails and I did them as a training for a marathon!
Okay, another marathon. Dafne was already doing the Berenloop, a well known run on the island of Terschelling, and I decided to run the full instead of the half marathon there. So after the summer holiday I started my training for this. My last marathon was already 5 years ago, Eindhoven 2012, and I couldn't fall back to my experience then. It was already too long ago. But I decided to use the same schedule as then because I liked that one. The only thing different would be that I wanted to run for about a hour on fridays on a easy pace to get my week total a little bit higher.
The start went well, a little bit faster than my target pace I started running those forst kilometres. First running through the village, then the coast and then through the country side to the eastern part of the island. My target pace was 5.34 minutes per kilometre so I would finish around 3.55 hours. If all felt well I could still accelerate and break my PR of 3.52 and if it didn't feel right I could take it more easy. But I was already running at 5.25 m/km and thus running at a PR schedule.
I couldn't enjoy the route much. We almost only ran over bike paths of asphalt. I was hoping on running over "shell paths" I know from the islands. And ofcourse I'm a little bit spoiled living near the Veluwe with it's beautiful nature. Around 17 km we we're getting to the most eastern part of the route and it was pretty windy at that time. I was already running a little bit careful because I felt my hamstring announcing itself. Nothing serious I hoped but you can't be to careful and I wanted to finish. Also I was getting a bit cold because of the wind, I normally don't have any problems with feeling cold so combined I was a little bit worried.
Yep, it happened...
Arriving at 28 km I decided to just finish the race at a slower pace, not a race pace and quickly after that I got to the beach and Ihad to get over a dune before reaching the beach. I started walking when I got to the dune, eating a oat bar for energy. Since my time wasn't that important any more I better take care of having enough energy to finish. The beach part was only 2.5 km long with a headwind. I really had no problems with it, probably because of my slower pace at that time. Getting of the beach, over the dune again, I was walking. Direct after the dune there was a drinking post where I took a cup of cola and a energy drink for the sugars and started running again. Only after 500 meters starting walking again, it just didn't feel right. I agreed with myself that when I started running again I really would have to run at least 1 km before allowing my self to walk again. But first I stretched (?) my hamstring, I don't know why I didn't did that at my first walk. And slowly I started to run again. Just a little bit faster and faster.
That kilometre was already long gong and I got to the village again knowing exactly where I was because we hiked there the day before. Knowing the end was near I started running faster and faster. At 1.5 km before the finish there was a banner and a speaker announcing the runners. I heared my self being called and got more energy from it, the people were enthouiasticly cheering me and I got wings. Just before the finish we had the run through small streets where the pubs are, people having a drink (or multiple...) and cheering, loving it! And there I was at the last few metres towards the Brandaris (the lighthouse), on the red capet. Closing in on the finish line.
After the finish
Immediatly after crossing the finish line I got my medal and I asked where the massages were. Luckely for me it was just around the corner. And also luckely it turned out I did have a problem but it wasn't severe. At that time Dafne joined me there, having texted here I finished and was at the massages. She also picked up my t-shirt I completely forgot because I wanted to go to the massage that quickly.
Now, six days later, I have regained my pride in finishing the Berenloop. I was completely unsatisfied in the first few days, running at PR pace and having really good legs but not making the time. I finished a marathon without any seriousproblems, almost no muscle ache but I know a race like this is not what I like to do at this moment. But I did ran it in 04:02:30! My second time ever! (after running three marathons...) My next goal is running the half marathon trail at Vaals with 1000+ meters diffence in height.