On Friday evening, 7 July 2017, I participated in the 10k Velserbroekloop. I decided to enter the race only a few days before when I was looking for some more training opportunities to prepare for my 50k trail at the Golden Ring Ultra Trail in Russia.
I know Velserbroek very well from the time when one of my best friends lived there and I visited him regularly. And since I lived in Haarlem it was easy to get there by bike. The race was promoted as one of the fastest tracks as well as almost flat. My youngest sister Nikita den Boer, Dutch champion on 800 and
1.500m in 2017, told me that she would stop by and support me, so during her training she came with her wheeler to the race just to cheer for me. When it was 35 minutes before the start I had picked up my race number and was ready, I talked with my sister about her training and my race, when someone from the organisation AV Suomi, approached us and asked my sister Nikita if she wanted to race as well. And of course she wanted, because there is hardly any organisation that takes the risk to accept wheelers on the course. After some negotiations on what was best to do, she was allowed to do a 5k only (as the 10k was 2 rounds, and with her speed she would catch up with slower 10k runners on her second lap, which would be dangerous as the paths were narrow on some parts of the track).
So, finally we were ready to enjoy another race together, but unlike in Disneyland Paris in 2016 where we did it together on my pace, now we both ran for our own pace each. However, 20min before the start we noticed she had a flat tire, and there was no way to fix it on time. It was such a shame, she finally could do a road race again, and then this happened. When I informed the organisation about it and that she wouldn’t be able to start, they felt sorry, but asked us if she wanted to join in the Santa Clause run in December which we accepted.
I prepared myself for the start after this, stretched my legs a little and got myself positioned in the starting area. I was a little late so had to settle with a starting spot a little to the back. When we started, I quickly picked a place on the outside to pass as many runners as I could, and settled in for a pace at 4:30/km. I kept this pace on the first 2 kilometres and was happy with it. However during the 3rd kilometre I started to notice that running got heavier and I was short in breath. I do prefer to run in warm conditions rather than in the rain, for example, but that day it seemed that 23 degrees during this race and my high pace was not a good idea. The 3rd kilometre went in 4:40 and then at 3,6k I had to slow down. The heat was taking its toll. And still I decided to give it whatever I could, but the kilometres after this went from bad to worse, and on my next kilometres my pace varied from 5:10 to 5:24/km, making me finish in 50:27.
I hoped to finish within 46min, but sometimes you have to accept a not very good race to learn from it. For me it means that I need to look closer at my trainings, to see what I can change and if I really want to have one more year of going for some records. I might also need to look at my running technique, as my BPM is also pretty high during a race and my cadence of average 163 strides per minute is also not too good when your average stride length is 1.21m. But with some better and more training as well as learning some specific techniques in coming period, we will get there. And of course I will write about this so you can benefit from these trainings as well.
In the end, I did enjoy this short race, my last 10k was at the end of May in London, and it is always good to enjoy a race back at home, and especially because I still could smile after the finish! Off to the next race!
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