Monday, 29 November 2010

My First Race and the Winter

I am contemplating entering the The Hague City Pier City Run in 2011. No actually, I am going to enter it. It will be my first race. The thing is, I want to enter for the 10K race...
BUT the race is early in spring and depending on what the winter is like I might not manage to train properly for it. Last year we froze out. We still had sub-zero temperatures in March. 

See, the thing is, I don't do well with European winters. I grew up in a warmer climate, and when these European people complain of the heat I'm probably not even properly sweating yet. Living in Europe I think I got the shortest straw in this deal. Heat doesn't hurt. Cold does, ask anyone with Raynaud's*. Anyway. Last year I more or less completely quit running during the coldest three months of winter. One of the main reasons also was the fact that it had snowed properly and I really didn't feel safe running on lumpy ice. My previous temperature record for running is 3 degrees Celsius, and I plan to break that and beat the temperature demon this year. Provided I can run on road/grass/other normal undergrounds. Gloves work well for running with Raynaud's, the running itself provides increased body temperature and circulation. 

That... and I absolutely, with whole my body, heart and soul, HATE treadmills. 

Anyway. Back to the race. Maybe if I wait till January to enter. If it's a bad winter I can always 'just' enter the 5k, because that First Race is well overdue. Just to run a race, to experience it. 10K is a goal though. It would also allow me to fit in that special dress I want to wear to my graduation ceremony, a few days after the CPC run. The dress is a size 8(34), I've had it for ages... and sadly I've experienced some horizontal growth in the past 6 months, leading to a size 10(36).

Interesting fact: the first time I EVER ran a full 5k in training, I finished in 28:30. My goal at that time was to run 30mins, I estimated that I'd need something short of 5k and when I finished the 5k run I was quite pleased, but also a bit disappointed because up to that point I STILL hadn't run 30mins without stopping!

This summer I was going to run a 5k in Maastricht, the city where I studied. They have an annual event (Maastrichts Mooiste, the site isn't working though), sporting a 5K and a 15K race. My plan was to finish the 5K ahead of the masses of women who finish somewhere between 28 and 33mins. Extremely do-able, given above fact. 

But not so much if you bust your LCL three weeks before the race. It took me three months or more to recover from that injury. Yes, I now know that the most important rule of street dance is to Stay Low, it was a painful lesson. I actually considered running despite the injury, changed my 'expected finishing time' from 26:00 to 29:00 and cycled the route to see what it was like. Contrary to popular belief, not the entire Holland is flat, and the region around Maastricht is decidedly un-flat. The route goes up and down, and to add to the fun it's mostly in the city centre where those old-fashioned stone streets make a very hard, very irregular surface to run on. I didn't run in the end. I think I actually cried. 
I want to run the 15K race in 2011. 
The main challenge will be to find hills in the western part of Holland to train on. This is what West-Holland landscape looks like:

Hmm. I've made a deal with myself. If I start doing leg-strengthening exercises today or tomorrow, I can go for a short run the day after. Ligament is less damaged than the last time. 

*Raynaud's phenomenon: insufficient circulation in mainly the acra (hands and feet), causing a typical red-blue-white colouring of the fingers and toes when exposed to cold. White means there's literally no blood in the fingers, when this continues, it starts hurting. Don't think it's all fine once you're inside... the warming up process hurts even more and it feels like the very bones of your hands and feet are on fire. This phenomenon is often seen in smokers or people with scleroderma, but can also be idiopathic. 
Treatment consists of quitting smoking (unless, like me, you never started smoking) or surgery. 

1 comment:

  1. lol, that picture looks exactly like my home town..

    Although we have more hills and windmills..