Week 9: Two dead-ends and a thousand worms!

  • Hours on the run: 4:44
  • Kilometres: 49.82
  • Calories burned: 37 choco soesjes (Dutch profiteroles)
  • Worms crushed: I’m sorry!
  • Wildlife: About 8 great egrets (and a thousand skinny worms)
  • Soundtrack: Bad moon rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

I learned quite a valuable lesson on this week’s long run: Don’t assume your running routes from 5 years ago still exist! I had a nice circular route mapped out (in my head) for the 26km run on Sunday. It was a route that circles around a wetlands nature reserve and basically hugs the huge IJsselmeer lake, so it’s pretty remote – I didn’t actually pass a single person for a good 16km (my kind of run!). Three-quarters of the way around, as I was starting the home stretch, I hit a dead end – the bridge was being repaired with no way around it. The other cut-through I knew, ended up as another dead-end at a bird watching hut…. (see where the two red lines fork in the map below – next to Almere Buiten). There was nothing for it but re-tracing my steps about 6km back into powerful headwind along the ridge next to the water until I finally hit a turning to take me home.

26km running route

This looping back on myself meant that when I (joyously) hit the 26km finish (red stop icon on the map), I was still a half-hour walk from home. On a clear day, I wouldn’t mind, but I was soaking wet from 2.5 hours of non-stop rain. My running jacket had started foaming, and my white socks had turned blue! Still, half-running, half-walking (I was getting cold by this point) I made it home and then not much further than the front door! 🙂

On the run itself I was really excited to see about 8 great egrets (don’t recall ever seeing these in the Netherlands before). I tried to take a picture, but it spooked them. So here’s one from the google 🙂

I also saw two slightly mad paddle-boarders out on the choppy IJsselmeer. I was psychologically battling the headwind and my dead-ends at this point so didn’t have the energy to stop for a photo, but below you can see the pretty bleak conditions they were out in (taken from the start of the run):

Rather them than me!

The wet weather also brought out hundreds of worms. At first I avoided stepping on them, but all that leaping and dodging was taking too much energy, so I fear I might have crushed a few of them. I’m sorry!

Sunday’s weather showed quite a marked change from the runs of the past week, even the day before. Sun or no sun though, it’s so heartwarming to see the spring colours starting to pop in the skies and underfoot:

Overall, the long run this week went well, definitely up to the half-marathon point. After that, things got heavy but definitely not unbearable. I know I’m going to need a lot of sleep this week (only been averaging about 6 hours a night, which isn’t really enough for all the recovery your body needs to do for these distances) so early to bed from now on – that’s my aim! And bring on next week’s 29km, with hopefully no more dead ends and a little less rain!

The soundtrack to this week: Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival – despite the name (and lyrics!) it’s got such a great bouncy beat for running – always puts a spring in my step!

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Please consider sponsoring me for the London Marathon. I’m running for Chance for Childhood, a charity that protects children from the devastating consequences of extreme poverty, conflict and disability.

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