For weeks I was looking forward to that race. Another halfmarathon in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Since my last race end of September, where I ran a PB I was doing well and felt comfortable running. Managed some nice sessions with pace I never expected and which gave me hope. But there is one sure thing in life: You can’t plan it. It comes as it comes. I experienced my first “did not start – DNS”.
The weekend before I managed two long runs – one endurance run and another running session with efforts with an overall distance of 28km. My legs felt fine and I felt ready to hit Amsterdam. Monday afternoon I started to feel a bit tired and bang a throat ache – I knew what that meant. A cold is about to knock on the door. It might have not been smart to go for a swim the next day, I know. Silly me! By Tuesday afternoon I was knocked out. For the rest of the week I just went to work and back to bed. I slept and slept and kept wondering when the day comes where I wake up and felt good again. It didn’t. I flew to Amsterdam with a bag full of meds rather than gels. I got my bib with lots of optimism. Did I mention that my voice was gone. Well, I did not audition for American Idol and I don’t need my voice for running a half marathon. Do, I?
Am I weak?
My coach recommended to do whatever feels right and my head said stay out of the race and recover while I really felt like seeing the city from a runners perspective. I shuffled my priorities in my head and set them straight again: I was about six days out of a three week long training journey. Would that be at risk? Also would I disappoint my coach, my friends, my family. me??? Is it weak to not start? I don’t want to be weak. I was hoping that someone would say – don’t do it but I got messages with: Go but go easy, smart does not matter – just race if you feel like it. Thats how I went to bed: confused and not sure what is best and with a some medication to get my voice back and get rid of the cough and that blocked but still running nose. All those thoughts and Kona on kept the confusions going – until I just passed out.
Finally a decision
At 4 a.m I had my answer. I woke up like a bus hit me. I needed to sit up just to breathe. I took more meds and by the time we left to the race, which was at 1pm, I felt like I could do it. The weather was beautiful – the Dutch felt like its hot – 18C. Thats not hot. That is exact the temperature which makes me sick. Not sure how your acts but I start sweating easy and those temps are a killer with wet cloths. Thats what made me sick in the first place. It was time to make the call. I took my rental bike cycled to the venue and enjoyed the run as a supporter for my friends. Even a quick strength plank session was possible:-) “Better DNS and healthy on holidays than DNF (did not finish) and unhealthy”. That’s what I told myself. With Australia on my agenda for the upcoming weeks it was not worth taking the risk of getting worse again.
Still fun times
It was great to watch the race. We were five buddies in Amsterdam which means four of us where still running. Emma and Amanda did amazing as rookies buddies and I think they are hooked. The other two buddies, Melinda and Kerry are pure athletes and rocked it as they planned. Impressive – very impressive.Unfortunately I missed out on meeting some other friends, Clare and David. David well done on finishing the marathon. Fantastic job!! Pity I also did not manage to meet my Mallorca buddy Edward who was brave on finishing that half after a little mountainbike oops the day before.
I’ll be back
I am writing this on the plane back in Vienna with the knowledge that everything went as life planned it and I can only control it so much. Let me give you one advice: listen to your body and not to your environment. Now I know that I did the right thing and Amsterdam is a great city and there is always 2018. Still got my bib 🙂 Stay safe and healthy.