Finishing the race

Today, I’ve run my longest distance yet: 10 miles (16 km)! This is a relatively short distance for veterans, but a level before a half-marathon. I’m very happy because it was completely over my expectations. I knew I would finish it, because I have been training regularly, but not that close to 1h30.

The 10 miles of Louvain-la-Neuve is a race made by students for students, but everybody can participate. “It’s the biggest student race in the country and some people come from far away to be part of it.” - Romain Lambert. In every edition they donate the profit to charity. This year they will donate to Escalpade, a specialized school for children, adolescents and adults with disabilities.

It has an irregular path, going from well paved streets to muddy, bumpy ways into the wild. There are four main elevations, three of them up ~1.2Km each. At the moment I finished the last elevation, I saw the balloon, marking the 1h30 time pace, getting past me. My legs were not responding anymore to my wish to accelerate and I kept looking at the balloon leaving me behind. Next time, I must check the elevations before the race because it really impacted my performance. I will take it easy in elevations and compensate in descents.

Details of the track

Another lesson learned was the hydration. It is really difficult to hydrate during the race because it causes abdominal pain. Even small sips were painful. So, I have to hydrate before, but in a way that doesn’t make me want to pee during the race. I arrived a bit dizzy at the finish line and I drunk 6 x 300ml glasses of water to feel relieved (1.8l). I still have to figure out how to manage hydration with my coach.

Two more things: I forgot to put a tape on my nipples. It is important to check the weather because if it rains my feet will suffer, thus I have to wear some waterproof shoes or socks.

Finishing a challenging race is a really fulfilling experience. I feel inspired in every aspect of life, willing to take risks, move faster, solve problems, everything that tests my limits.

Distance: 16 km
Time: 01:31:53
Average Pace: 5:49/km
Elevation Gain: 291 m