Today I ran the Dam tot Damloop. It's a 10 mile race from Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to Zaandam (the Netherlands...obviously). 35.000 runners! It's not a flat course, but also not too hilly. Great race to run in the whole training cycle for the New York Marathon!
My splits; as you probably already noticed, I usually start off slower than I finish. I'm a weirdo...
Since the New York Marathon is only 7 weeks (7!!! Yikes!) away, I decided the wise thing to do was to run this race at marathon pace, and use it as a marathon pace work out. And I followed my own advice. Well, that's a first. ;) I have my hopes set (hope, hope, hope!) on running the NYC marathon in 3:50 (being my first road marathon), so I had to pass the 10K mark at 54:30 and the finish at 1:28 h. So far so good. Remember those splits for a second.
I ran this race to raise money for the Lornah Kiplagat Foundation (http://www.lornahkiplagatfoundation.nl). A great cause that supports the build of the Lornah Kiplagat Sportsacademy in Kenya! The start for the runners running for good causes was at 11:40 AM.
The start was very well organized, and I had no problem finding my corral. As soon as the race started I tried to stick to my marathon pace, but I was feeling so relaxed that I stopped looking at my watch. It felt like I was running the marathon pace that I'd ran in training runs before. And then the 10K mark came by. After 52 minutes. Woops! My 10K PR is 51:28. Something was definitely wrong here. The thing was that it didn't feel like I was pushing myself. Well, what the heck. I figured, as long as it feels like marathon pace, I might as well call it marathon pace. I felt like I was walking on air. I chatted with fellow runners. Sang along with the drumbands. Gave high fives to the kids that were cheering. It didn't feel like long run pace, but it definitely didn't feel like I was racing. I had a blast! I actually felt sorry that it was over when I spotted the finishline. Finished in 1:23:20. 5 minutes faster than marathon pace. I'm very well aware that this doesn't mean that I can actually stick to this pace for a full marathon, but still...I had so much fun and felt great!
Congrats to all the runners that finished the Dam tot Damloop!
And that, my friends, is why this 10 miler made me love running even more!
How did your weekend long runs/races go?