This weekend I ran the Utrecht Singelloop for the third time. It has always been a course for relatively fast finish times for me, which is not too surprising as apparently it is the fastest 10K race in the world! In addition to that, I was born in Utrecht, so I always enjoy racing the all too familiar streets!
I registered for this race a couple of weeks ago, more out of habit than
with any special plans for improving my pace on a 10K race. The half marathon of Copenhagen and the Dam to Dam had left their marks and my injury hasn’t resolved itself just yet, so I hadn’t been training much. In addition to that, I did a medical examination on Saturday, for which I had to run on a treadmill giving it my all. So preparation wise, not that great.
I left for the baggage drop on time as I planned on walking to the starting
area from my parents’ house. The 15 minute walk would provide me with a
moderate warm-up, which nowadays keeps the hurting in my foot to a minimum. It started raining when I left the house (and didn’t stop until I long crossed the starting line) so it was quite chilly. We’d better start soon!
I was welcomed into startwave 1 by a very enthusiastic and friendly bloke
yelling ‘All ones welcome! Are you a onesie? Come in then!’.
I love the volunteers at sports events! I hit pause on my music to hear the
announcements and go over the results of the test yesterday in my head. 10
seconds till start!
We’re off! I fly away from the start and the first kilometer mark is there
before I know it. I intended not to look at my watch but I can’t help myself, I
peek before I can hide my watch in my sleeve. 4.40 min/km. That’s too fast…
Alright, shit. What do I do? Once again I hear the words of the examiner
‘you’re lactate levels rise very slowly, you should be able to go way faster
than you do now…’
Oh what the hell, let’s try to run a fast 5K and then see what happens after
that. I started to feel the pace in my breathing almost right from the start so
I try to focus on calming my breath. Oh good! The 5K mark. My watch tells my I’m passing it on 24.07. That’s an acceptable time, let’s see if I can keep
During the 7th kilometer, the road takes a 7 meter incline in total, which I
can feel in my legs, lungs ánd pace. My projected finish time climbs up from
0.48.06 to 0.48.45 and then to 0.49.32. That would still be a PB, but I would
have to keep it up from now. I feel dead already!
I decide it would be a waste to let this opportunity for a new and shiny PB
go, so I find some energy to pick up the speed again for the last 3K. All along
the road are people cheering and now and then calling me by my name. I smile every time and use the positive feeling to push through. And then I see the ‘500 meters’ sign! So close!
The last meters fly by in a blur. The strong head wind that has been present
for most of the course picks up again while I pass my old high school. I can
see the finish line and the crowd is cheering everyone on like crazy. And then I’m there! I did it! Exactly 30 seconds faster than my previous PB. How on earth did I do that?!
It takes me a while to catch my breath and realise what happened today. My
previous improvement of my PB on the 10K was only by one second, and now I knocked off half a minute. If I can keep improving with such mediocre preparation, I’m sure the future will hold some more PB’s!
Curious to find out more about what the medical testing showed me? You can find the article online soon!