First of all, a happy, healthy, injury-free 2013 to all of you.

And with that out of the way: I finally did it. I finally ran a sub-40 minutes 10k. I guess I’ve known for a while that I could do this, and I guess most of my running buddies knew this as well, but I never really did it. But now it’s official. Well… kind of official…

marathon kasterlee

I’m back! With things to tell! I could come up with excuses, try to explain why this has been pretty much dead for the last month or so, but let’s go straight to what’s important here: running news!

The biggest thing that happened was a last-minute marathon: The Kasterlee Marathon. But unlike when I did Antwerp earlier this year, this time I was prepared. After Zeeland, I hadn’t taken any time to relax. And even though I fell sick in the beginning of the week (a team event in London might have something to do with that), I still felt kind of right that morning.

The early hour wasn’t a problem this time. I’d taken my precautions and went to bed really early. The dark sky and pouring rain however was. Running the Dutch coast for four hours suddenly became a lot less attractive. There was nothing left but hoping that the weather forecast would be right for once (“clearing up around noon”) and after a small stop in Bruges FFWD to Zoutelande.

Still smiling

English version coming soon. For now, learn Dutch 🙂

6 Uur lang rondjes van 2 kilometer lopen. Het sprak me oorspronkelijk niet meteen aan. Na talloze argumenten van “Nonkel” Thierry (zie Trail des VallĂ©es du Chevalier), zoals “we komen elkaar dan af en toe eens tegen” en “er zullen meer supporters zijn dan bij trails, liet ik me uiteindelijk toch overtuigen. Toch zou ik tot op het laatste moment wachten om me in te schrijven: de 2 maanden voordien kwam ik amper aan trainen toe. 2 keer per week pakweg 20 kilometer afhaspelen is toch wat te weinig als je zo’n 6 uur ernstig neemt. Maar goed, net door die gebrekkige voorbereiding en de drukke week met weinig slaap (Gentse feesten, weet u wel…) was er van stress geen sprake: ik kwam aan de start met de intentie er een doorgedreven training van te maken, weliswaar met stiekem in het achterhoofd een doel dat ik enkel met m’n vriendin gedeeld had: 66km.

A shirt & watch to prove it!

While joints and muscles seem to have recovered well from yesterday’s trail run, my shoes never will I’m afraid. Oh well, a good excuse to spoil myself with a pair of new ones (as if I need an excuses for that).

It was a trail filled with surprises, both positive and negative. The weather surely had its hand in that – it had been raining pretty much non-stop during the entire week – but the organisation doesn’t walk away with clean hands either. But anyway, enough rambling, to the order of the day: my report!

Il y a une vache

I’m back! And with tales of running this time.

After months of anticipation, last Saturday it was finally time for the “CrĂȘtes de Spa” 53k trail run. Although preparations had been optimal (running 90k a week and 2 weeks before I had a team event in Saalbach where I managed to do 4 runs with some badass climbing involved), the last twee weeks had been far from that:

First of all, my achilles started giving me some pain about 10 days before D-day (which was, of course totally by coincidence, 3 days after my 4 mountain runs. Overstressed? Naaaaah…). I decided not to run until the day before the trail. The achilles was getting better, but around 5 days before the trail my back started hurting badly and basically got stuck in one position for the next 2 days. Luckily, both were gone by Thursday. So on Friday, I decided to do a half an hour run in order to test the legs and see if I was ready. By this time, I’d gotten a cold, so it went far from perfect. Things could have been better. A lot actually.

olne spa olne team

For the curious and alert ones amongst you: you’re right: Olne-Spa-Olne was last Sunday! And since you’re reading this I guess you might even want to know how things went? Well, let’s not spoil a perfectly good story by skipping right to the end and start where one’s supposed to start: the very beginning.

Of course, I let go of my +2k plan about 2 weeks before OSO. The weekend in the Ardennes with my parents 2 weeks ago seemed like the perfect occasion to do some hill training – which I did – but running for 5 hours during a weekend with your family isn’t the most social thing to do. All in, I did do my 40k, but in 2 sessions. Not the best hiking paths there either. Preventing an injury gained priority over sticking to my +2k plan.

strongman run antwerp 2011 overview

I survived the Antwerp Strongman Run 2011, and I’ve got a medal to prove it! There! Now there’s no denying that I’m tougher than you are! I know you’ll try to twist the truth and make it seem as if this doesn’t prove anything, but the hard and bitter truth is that it does prove EVERYTHING, and you know it.

On a more serious note, Greg and I ran the Antwerp Strongman Run, we had a lot of fun doing so and I ended up with 4 stitchings in my right knee and a very muscular right upper arm. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?