Recently, running magazines, both on- and off-line, have been buzzing with articles about “the easy marathon”: The guys from sportrusten.nl published a marathon training schedule with 14k as the longest distance you’ll run in it. And then there was this Dutch student who ran the Athens marathon with close to no preparation at all (although he did “run a 30k training and was exhausted afterwards”). So this morning, before work, I decided to run a marathon as a training for the ultrawarmathon. Just like that.
Shortly after setting the impressive new FKT on the Pacific Crest trail, the amazing Karel Sabbe sent me a message, asking whether I’d be in to run 100 miles for music for life. You don’t say no to Karel Sabbe. I felt humbled. I felt honoured. I didn’t really think twice. I said yes.
The 20km of Brussels are becoming a bit of a tradition. For the first few years, I ran the race together with some friends. We had fun, but sticking together was hard and it was hard to enjoy the race together. So in 2015, I ran the race flat-out and set a, to my standards, nice PB and this year, I wanted to beat that time.
It’s one week after the Wings For Life World Run when we head for Oudenaarde. Heart of the Flemish Ardennes. Finish of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. But today it’s where I’ll partake in the Vlaamse Ardennen Loop, a 16k trail run.
The weather forecast looked promising. For the spectators at least. Every model predicted BBQ, cold beer & ice cream. For us, runners of the Wings for Life World Run, however, all that would have to wait until after the finish. And for once, that would come sooner for the slower amongst us. I guess that’s fair, in a way. It didn’t always feel fair during the race though…
As I mentioned before, a little idea rose during our hikes through Gran Canaria. On the ascents, Kim had little trouble keeping up with me, except maybe where the trail was favouring my long legs. But when things went downhill, I mean literally downhill, the difference was remarkable.
Once the disappointment after dropping out of UTMB had somewhat settled, it was time to decide whether I’d give it another go. It’s not an easy decision, but it helped I had from the end of August until the end of December to make up my mind.
As part of a yearly tradition, Kim & her friends spend the week between Christmas & New Year in a house. A week of catching up with friends, doing some activities with the kids, good food, good company and quite some mountain-biking too. Your truly, however, does not mountain bike. Yours truly does not even own such bike. But I wasn’t going to let that spoil the fun or keep me from joining the boys on their trip!
In need for some final warmth & sunshine before winter kicked in, Kim & I started searching for an affordable flight to a destination down south. We somehow stumbled upon Gran Canaria and booked in a moment of travel-fever.
And I’m back. Feet on the ground. A ground at about 50m above sea level. And, from a very mathematic approach, the past 9 days have been a success. Plenty of amazing things. And then this one negative thing that, right now, seems to outweigh all the great things that happened. Emotions tend to take the overhand when dreams are involved and it takes time and distance to put things in perspective.