I recently started running, primarily so I could do the “Dam tot Dam” race, a 10M race between Amsterdam and neighboring town Zaandam. I enjoyed it so much that the day after the race I entered the Amsterdam Half Marathon race. This is a 21K (13 mile) race through the center of amsterdam. The race was yesterday, and Im really happy with my results. I finished in 1:57:03, which is pretty much average looking at all the runners. Not bad for someone that only started running a few months ago. I’m now contemplating training for a full Marathon next year, something I never thought I would actually even think about.
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My whole life I’ve been into sports. From many years of soccer, basketball, tabletennis and other assorted sports as a child, to racketball, diving, martial arts and horseback riding as an adult. One thing I’ve never been good at though is long distance running. I was fine at sprints, but don’t ask me to run more than a few kilometers cause I would just collapse before the end. So it came as a real surprise to me that when I started running a few months ago, I suddenly was able to push past the 5K, 10K, and even 15K limit. After I finished my first 15K leisure run, I decide to see if there was any space left in the Dam tot Dam run. This is a 10 mile/16K run from Amsterdam to Zaandam, which happens to go right past our house. I always watch it, but this year I wanted to run myself.
Unfortunately there was no space left, but I was in luck. This year the organization added a second run the evening before to commemorate the 25th anniversary of this run. The night run still had spots left, so I signed up and continued training.
The run was last saturday, and I’m really happy with my result. I finished the 16K run in 1 hour 29 minutes and I took my iPhone/GPS running app with me.
In the last few months I’ve picked up running again. It’s not that difficult for me to do a 5K a few times a week, but building up to 10K has always been hard. What tends to happen is that Julie and I go on a long trip, and I lose everything I’ve achieved and have to start over. Since we won’t be traveling until November, I figured it’s now or never. I want to reach 10K, within 1 hour. Ultimately I’d like to run the Dam tot Dam loop, a 16K run that passes by our house every year, but that’s a long term goal.
I’ve been looking at getting some sort of GPS device to aid in keeping distance/speed records. That is, until I remembered I’ve got an iPhone, and surely there must be some running app. Indeed there is, and it’s a winner. The app is called RunKeeper, and it’s everything I want in a running app. It keeps distance, speed, history, integrates with Google Maps, and has a ton of social website connectors. And what’s even better, it’s free! There is a paid version, but so far I haven’t found anything I’m missing. I may buy it though, to support the programmer.
I just did a 6K, within my time limit, and it wasn’t even that much of a problem. I’m adding about 10% distance a week, which is what most running schedules seem to recommend. Between this and horse riding (which is actually a very high-intensity sport) I’m definitely getting my exercise in.