www.Hypersmash.com Dutch tower running championships...

zondag 15 december 2013

Dutch tower running championships...

Today was the 2013 Netherlands tower running championships. I had been targeting
this race for a while and my training had been going well, with a fair bit of specific stair
training in our 28 story head office building (which coincidentally was the same height as the building we would be racing in).

The evening before the race I was biking to pick up my daughter from a friend's
place when BANG - my front wheel slipped out on some wet cobblestones and I
fell heavily on my right hip and elbow.

I was gutted. Nothing was broken but my hip was bruised and it hurt to walk. I
spent the rest of the evening applying ice, heat packs and tiger balm. Hopefully
something would kick in and get my hip right for the next day!

I woke up early this morning and gingerly tried walking around. The hip was stiff
but not too sore. I really ummed and ahhed about going but eventually I decided
to give it a go. I'd trained so hard for the race and I would be gutted if I had to
miss it.

The race was in Enschede, about 90 minutes train travel from my house. The trip
went fine. I arrived, picked up my start number and then shortly thereafter I was
lining up at the start ready to go.

My strategy had been to start off easy focusing on my arms and breathing for the
first 8 floors. Then ramp it up a bit for the next 10. And then gradually crank it up
for the last 10 finishing with a sprint.

A sound plan, but the idea of starting off easy does not compute with the
endorphins and adreneline coarsing through your body at the start line! On the
positive side, any thoughts of my sore hip went out the window along with my
pacing strategy!

The first 8 floors felt easy. That got me down to 20 floors to. The next 7 or 8
floors also felt OK. But with about 10 floors to go; BOOMPH!!! I hit the wall, my
hip started to make itself felt, and my pace started to drop off big time. I didn't
really feel like I was suffering that much but it just wasn't possible to coax any
more speed out of my legs and lungs. I managed to clamber up the rest of the
stairs and stagger into the finishing area.

After a few minutes of chest heaving, lying on the ground, I felt well enough to
have a look around. There was a screen showing the interim results and, at that
stage, I was sitting in 3rd position. The top 20 seeded athletes (the toppers as the
dutch call them) started last so I was under no illusions of maintaining this
position but I was still pleased to put in a good performance.

I got the lift down to the 24th floor and stayed there for the next 2 hours
cheering on the rest of the runners. There were all sorts; firemen in full gear,
disabled athletes, children and the super fit 'toppers'.

I waited until the last athlete had gone past then made my way down to the
results area. My time had been 2 minutes 29 seconds which was good enough for
15th overall (out of approx 80). The winner did it in 1.59 which was a course
record. I was only about 16 seconds off the podium.

I was super motivated by this result. I really think that if I train hard, lose some
more weight, and come to the race injury free next year then a time under 2.10
is achievable.

I'm proud of myself for giving this race a go. 3 years ago when I was being treated for Lyme disease I was told by a neurosurgeon that I might end up wheel chair bound and back then even the idea
of being able to walk pain free seemed an unlikely dream. So to be able to reclaim
my health and fitness and compete well in this race is a great result and
something I'm very proud of.

Next month the recumbent racing winter series starts so I want to focus on that
for the next few months. I'll aim to build up my running with a view to competing
in some of the bigger tower running races in Europe next year.

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