Recent history

Continuing on from the background page. I had best explain how we get from February (pre-Brussels), to August (post-Brussels). A lot has happened, which I will attempt to break down into a few categories. In any case, consider this a big update post that spans several sections.

This blog originally started in February, I was looking for a release and a place to post my thoughts and share what I got up to in training and in life. I’m going to use the usual excuse here and claim that life got in the way of any sort of regular updating of the site. By life I mean the demands of studies. As I was finishing up my Master’s degree I needed to focus hard on writing my thesis as well as preparing for exams.

Training continued, but to some degree as an escape from the rest, which I guess it is for many people. Regardless, I had signed up for the race in Brussels and I needed to make damn sure it happened (as I was running it with my friend Andrew, I needed to be able to do it and not let him, or myself down).

Brussels

The run up to Brussels was not strong. I had a backlog of work to do for school, and to top it all off, I was unwell and needed a cure of antibiotics the 10 days leading up to the race. The weekend of the race, we left for Brussels on Friday afternoon and checked into the Airbnb we had booked. After briefly scouting the neighbourhood in the pouring rain, we had a quick bite to eat and headed in for a rest and some sleep.

The next morning we went to check out the start line and pick up the starting packets.

Parc du Cinquantenaire
Parc du Cinquantenaire

After that we headed into town to check out Brussels. I quite fancied returning to the Musée de la BD (the comic strip museum), having been 9 years previously and remembering that it was quite good.

Later that afternoon we were joined by Andrew and we met up with another friend for some dinner (and unfortunately, no beer).

The next morning we woke very early (after entirely not enough sleep), to have breakfast sufficiently early as to not “review” it during the race. I stuck with classical porridge, but Andrew has a preference for microwaveable spaghetti bolognese (No, I don’t get it either)…

We got to the start line with time to spare, and proceeded to go for a last wee in the bushes, as the toilets were entirely too far from the start line, and not sufficient anyway. We were in starting group 2, having entered an expected starting time of 1:45 (hence the purple race numbers, which is cool, I like purple anyway). It took a while for everyone to funnel through the starting gate (our corral started 6 minutes behind schedule). There are unfortunately no pictures past this point, as the camera stayed with Catherine.

Dude, lets take a serious picture.
Dude, lets take a serious picture.
Dude, let's not...
Dude, let’s not…

At this point, Andrew drops what I consider to be a bomb: “I signed up for 1:40”. So, we went for it. I’ll gather the highlights of the race into bullet points, otherwise this might get a bit lengthy.

  • Km1: B”This seems to be going well”, A”Slow down man, or we’ll never finish”
  • Km2: It started to drizzle, fairly refreshing.
  • Km5: The tunnels start, my GPS watch loses signal and thus, the finish time estimator is trashed (no worries, I have my own calculator running along beside me…..the dude is seriously smart).
  • Km6-10, starting to get a bit difficult, as we’re aiming for 5min/km.
  • Km12 (or so), the energy drink station. It turns out Isostar tastes like lemony sweat.
  • Km16: “If this were the Dam-to-Dam, we would be done by now.
  • Km17-20: I really started to feel my heart pump now, especially as its all uphill from 17 onwards. Mild discomfort (agony) ensues.
  • Km20: last burst of speed and we cross the finish line in 1:43:13. I’m ecstatic, Andrew has barely broken a sweat (not really, but it feels that way to me).

For those who like data, here are a few highlights:

You can tell I was fatigued. I know that at that speed, my HR should have been lower, at least for the earlier sections of the race.
You can tell I was fatigued. I know that at that speed, my HR should have been lower, at least for the earlier sections of the race.

Jokingly, on the walk back to the apartment with our finishers banana, medal and bottle of water we joke that we should do a Marathon…. Well guess what?

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