While Janathon is in full swing, due to extensive work load and some travelling this month, I had to skip my attendance at the 1/2M in Egmond, a race that I was looking forward to since Christmas. The idea of matching my longest run so far (Leiden 1/2M back in spring of 2012) kept sitting in my head, though. I thought I had the legs for it and after the last week treadmill torture there was even the mental prep. The only thing I did not have was a plan.
Last night, I went out with a friend – just one beer as we both had a looong working day behind us. But then as we were almost leaving the pub, our waitress by mistake served us double scotch on the house and what do you do? Letting the ice melt in the long glass filled with whisky was not in my books. And I still had my Janathon run to make! By the time I dragged myself through 4 painful and sleepy kilometers, showered and hit my bed, it was way past midnight.
This morning I woke up with the “I’ll never drink again” feeling and somehow, almost automatically started pouring water in my camel bag. The thing is, I thought, when carrying a water bag, I will be motivated to run further than just a few miles. If only my head was not sore…
Little by little I gathered my running gear, a package of caffeine chewing gums to substitute my morning coffee and once my Garmin (“Did we change continents AGAIN?”) found its position, off I went. I decided to run westwards following the Coastal Road until I passed the Old Port and the new marina.
There at the crossroads I chose the southern unpaved road to Lady’s Mile. By then, I was about 5 km into my run feeling good. The surrounding scenery quickly changed from industrial views of the harbor to the semi desert landscape around the Akrotiri salt lake.
Unfortunately, the flies and other unidentified insects equipped with wings and stungs wanted to join me… And so we were all running/flying through hard sand and over the salty plains up until the point where we could enjoy the sea view. Despite my habits I drank quite regularly as the temperature started to climb and I was really happy with my water bag. Around 11th km I stopped for a while and still felt surprisingly fresh. Nevertheless, I decided to turn back and run towards the city again.
After 14 km I finally started to feel some discomfort and slowed down a bit. Unfortunately the caffeine chewing gums turned to be of no use for me (unless I wanted to keep them whenever I need to turn my stomach inside out) so I threw the whole package away and bit 2 pieces of fruit sugar instead. That helped for another 4 km or so. I think that is where I had a small crisis. Being me, I covered it by a short break at the ATM machine as I needed to withdraw some cash anyway.
These magical 5 or perhaps 10 minutes did the trick again and the rest of my run was luckily as easy as the beginning. By the time I was approaching the starting point, I figured that with a tiny D-tour I could press the Garmin stop button at 21.1km. By then, I clocked 2:26:30.
Can one’s day start in any better way?
P.S. The pictures are not mine this time…