[dropcap]F[/dropcap]inally, here’s my blog about my participation in the Dam Tot Damloop for charity fund Dance4Life yesterday. It was quite an achievement for me; I have never ever run this far in my life!  Not surprisingly that after 12 km I was kind of having a hard time …

If you followed my Instagram and Facebook posts about my preparation for my run, expressing my nerves and how much I was looking forward to my run, you’ll probably be curious how it went and how I felt. If you want the short answer: actually pretty well and awesome!
pre-Damloop nerves and excitement
Dam Tot Damloop 2013
Breaking my record

I felt awesome because:

  1.  I felt the brotherhood with the other runners and we had some good laughs (luckily, ‘cause I was there all alone!);
  2. My nerves provided me with a good amount of adrenaline, making me sharp and very ready to run;
  3. During my run I strongly felt that I was running for a cause.  This helped me to do my utmost best and not give up.
  4. I broke my record regarding distance; I have never ever run 10 mile before!


Dam Tot Damloop 10 mijl 16.1 K parcours

Remember I posted the trail that I run yesterday in this blog?


96 minutes in training zone 5

I’ve set a time of 01:36:21, which means I ran more than an hour with an average speed of 10.6 km/h without stopping. I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I think I did pretty well and – hell yeah, I’m just gonna say it straight out – I’m friggin’ proud of it! I mean, dude, check out my average and highest heart rate!

Polar GPS
Oh my, I ran about 1,5 hour in training zone 5!

During the entire run I ran in training zone 5 (training zones range from 1 to 5: 1 is super easy, 5 is the tough training zone), which equals running with an average heart rate of 185 (96% of my max) and a highest heart rate of 192 (102% of my max) in my case. I’m pretty sure that improved my duration substantially, don’t you think?

heart rate training zones with Polar gps watch
Training zones 1 (easy peasy) to 5 (hard)

It’s not that I’m not used to running with a high heart rate, but I am definitely not used to running with a heart rate that high for that long! It wasn’t a problem now, but I want to participate in the New York marathon. This means I will certainly have to work on my duration. Well, that’s good to know now, right?

How did I manage to keep it up?

So why was training in zone 5 for such a long time not a problem during this run? What helped me keeping this up? Partly because of my sponsors of course (you guys rock)! With so many of you that supported my run, I didn’t want (or do I have to say dare, haha) to let you down and give up.  
Furthermore, I didn’t seduce myself to increasing my pace during the whole run or at the end of my run to set a better time. I really had to hold myself though, but I knew that if I would accelerate, I wouldn’t be able to make it to the finish without having to walk or (the horror 😉 stop (even worse: having to puke!). So I kept a close eye on my Polar RC3 GPS watch (more about this must have running watch later; I’ll keep you posted!) and tried to keep my pace around 10.6 km/h the whole time. 

Coco water, more water, banana and oranges

I almost forgot to mention this, but the people that live alongside the trail were so nice to us runners! They gave us water for hydration, bananas and pieces of orange for energy and sprayed water on us to cool us down. Half way the trail the sun started shining rather bright, making my head look like a ‘shrimp fried in chili sauce’, so these cold showers were more than welcome.

I also filled my own water bottles (I used this belt to carry the water) with Vita Coco 100% pure coconut water, which is more rehydrating than water. Take this info as notes for your own Dam Tot Damloop or any other kind of (longer) run!

Those darn last 4 km …

Nevertheless, besides going up hill in the Ijtunnel, these last 4 km were pretty heavy … I felt as if my legs were like concrete. Ray & Anita on maximum volume and pushing myself with motivational quotes helped me to cross that finish line.

Crossing ‘the’  line

So, what did I feel when I crossed THE line? The stupidest thing is that when I finished, I did not feel euphoric right away. In contrast with my expectation, the first thing I thought was “hmm, I could run some more!”. Haha, so stupid, I know, ‘cause right now – the day after – my legs are soooo sore! Anyway, the second thing I thought was “omg where the heck can I pee” and the third thing I thought was “WHOOHOO!!”. I think I don’t have to explain what that means 😉

Looking back on my run

Oh yes baby, I so much enjoyed my run! I’m happy with the time that I’ve set, I’ve met nice people and I know my points for improvement. I strongly recommend participating in the Dam Tot Damloop or any other kind similar to the Damloop. Participating in (organized) runs is socially fun, it induces a feeling of brotherhood and is motivational to improve your performance. Last but certainly not least, participating in charity runs is a good opportunity to draw attention to social issues among your family and friends.

I am still trying to find some pictures of my run, but I have to wait until they are processed. I’ll post them on my Facebook and Instagram whenever they are ready!

New York 1/2 marathon here I come!!

Have you participated in the Dam Tot Damloop too or planning to participate in the Dam tot Damloop 2014 or a similar run? Tell me about it in the comments below!


About Author

Hey! I'm Angela; a 30-something mommy and a now REAL #fitchick, digi nerd, photo & film shooter hobbyist, MSc specialized in Health Education, marketingspecialist and an international fashion model for 20 years. I've worked for eg. Viktor & Rolf, Nivea, Escada, Elle, Vogue and Glamour.

I write about everything that I find worth sharing. Go ahead an take a look around. Don't hesitate to share your thought sor opinions. Enjoy!

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