After a rather miserable third half marathon and more sleepless nights I decided to skip the race I planned for March 17th and focus on getting fit again for the one on the 30th. Even though I still don’t sleep as well as I used to, it is improving and after a comfortable 17k run the week before I decided I was good to go. This time, I was bound for Drenthe, a part of Holland I visit rarely, but I’d been to the area where the race was held once before on a short holiday, and I remembered it to be pretty nice. I drove the 100 or so km to the starting line through some interesting weather. Sometimes the sun was shining, at other times it was snowing a little, and it was only around 3-4C, rather cold for the end of March!
I arrived around 45 minutes before the start, signed myself up, switched into running gear and walked the 5 minutes to the starting line. Even though the last run had been going well, I was a bit nervous to see how I’d hold up in a race. I always run a little faster in a race compared to training runs, and I told myself I had to take it slowly, at least in the first half of the race. If I was feeling well, I might speed up a little after that, but the first and foremost was to finish feeling good, as opposed to the previous race.
As I suspected, the course was a very pretty one, going through forests, heather, as well as rural areas. The race was just the right size as well, with around 150 runners on the half marathon (there was a 10k, a 28k and a marathon as well). Normally I somehow always end up running on my own pretty soon after the start, but this time I was able to tag along with a group of runners that went maybe a little faster than I’d wanted, but not too fast to be uncomfortable.
As the race progressed, I was feeling more and more comfortable, and when we passed the half way point, I decided to try and up the tempo a little. That felt a little less comfortable, of course, but not to an extent where I felt I couldn’t keep up. The fact I was gaining slowly on people running before me motivated me a little more, and I started to overtake a few other runners. As the finish came in sight I had no idea what my time was going to be, but I pushed a little more and crossed the line in 1.54.51. Not really impressive, but the fact I truly enjoyed this race and managed to keep running comfortably more than makes up for that.
On to the next one. I might do another one in two weeks time, but we’ll see. Photo below is again from the area where the race was held. Doesn’t look too bad, now does it?