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My first Half Marathon (running)

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.

Running with RunKeeper (running)

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.

Dam tot Dam Loop 2008 (Photography)

Every year the Dam Tot Dam Loop passes through our street. This is a 10 mile run from Dam Square in Amsterdam, home of the royal palace, to the Dam in Zaandam. It’s always a lot of fun to watch as all the neighbors come out and build a huge party. The runners are of all levels, from pros that come by so fast you can barely see them, to people that you know aren’t going to make it. We live about half way so we can usually tell if someone is going to finish or not.

I’m always on the lookout for people I know and this year didn’t disappoint, I counted at least 5 people that I know. All the people I know looked pretty fit, so I’m sure they made it just fine. The saddest part to watch is towards the end, as the stragglers get bypassed by a little bus that tells them they can’t continue. There is a strict time limit and if you can’t make it you’re supposed to stop. All in all we had a great time.

Read on to see more images..