Yesterday was the 2008 Dam to Dam race, from Amsterdam to Zaandam, a 10 mile (16.1 km) run. I’ve been training for this thing for years. 🙂 OK, seriously training for the past year. One week before I ran my longest distance ever, 12km. Could I make another 4? After running 2 previous short races (5km) I know that the enthusiasm and energy on race day carries you past what you think you can do, so I was pretty confident I could finish. The 2 hour time limit was worrying though! Could I make it in time?
I was running with G. and I. who had also been training for the race. G. and I have the same tempo and pace so we were sure to run together. I. we expected to shoot ahead and beat us.
The morning of the race I was really nervous. What made it worse is that we were in the LAST group to start at 2:50pm. Ugh! That’s so late! I met G. and I. at the clothing drop and we lined up to race. Here we are at the start, feeling fresh and just a little nervous.
Here’s what the start area looks like.
It was a very nice atmosphere, with music and well wishers. Once we were on the way there were bands playing and people clapping and cheering us on nearly the entire distance. Here’s a band set up in the middle of no where, just for us.
One highlight was running through the IJ Tunnel, normally reserved for cars only. Going into the tunnel, people yelled and cheered and clapped and made a lot of fun noise. The end of the tunnel is all up hill and suddenly everyone was QUIET, huffing and puffing to make it out of the tunnel.
These are the only photos I took along the way because it was just too much hassle to stop and shoot and then catch up with G. again. And I wanted to focus on making it through the 10 miles!
Up until 10km I was feeling really good. Then my right foot started to hurt. At 12km the foot was fine, but everything else started to hurt. At 14km we had a surge of optimism, and there were a lot of people on the sides of the road cheering us on, so we started to feel confident and picked up a little speed. I. was far ahead of us, but she stopped and hung out just before the finish with DB, my mom and friends. When G. and I finally caught up to her, the 3 of us ran the final 500m to the finish together. 1 hour and 58 minutes to run 10 miles, or 16.1km. My goal was to finish within 2 hours so I’m very happy to have done that!
Here we are just before the finish.
We look pretty fresh, don’t we? And we’re smiling! I felt pretty good actually and so relieved to be at the end. We got medals of course.
DB and Mom and friends also brought us flowers since we were such big winners! Actually G. is the biggest winner since she ran so well under very trying physical conditions (which I won’t go into here). Amazing G. and we’re so proud of you!
Would I do it again? You betcha! We’re already planning to sign up in a faster group next year. It’s a bummer to arrive at the end of the day and all the party is over. I didn’t even get to buy a t-shirt, which kind of annoyed me. We’re also running the 7km race as part of the Amsterdam Marathon day in October. And then the 10km Egmond race in January (actually listed as a Quarter Marathon). Then there’s the Kikarun….. and NEXT year the Amsterdam Half Marathon!!!! I guess you could say we are pretty happy about ourselves. 🙂
Now, how am I feeling Monday afternoon while writing this post? Sore! Mostly I feel like I didn’t stretch enough behind my knees and my hip muscles are sorest. All in all, not too bad. Hopefully tomorrow won’t be any worse!