Yesterday was race time. Lopen LierI like the race Natuurlopen in Lier quite a lot, and 10 Miles is a good distance to test your condition.

Millions of runners are faster than me, so I try not to be too competitive about it all (cfr. earlier posts, “you run against the distance”). But still, I enjoy racing a lot, it allows you to stretch yourself, and to test your condition. More than 900 runners showed up, so over the years this race has grown nicely.

I started at 4:20 per kilometer, which is faster than my usual race tempo in the 10 Miles. After 5km I felt really tired, and I was not sure if I could hold this pace. This little trick helped me A LOT yesterday: I just focussed on the next runner about 100 meters ahead of me. I keept my pace, and I guarded the distance between him and me.

As I moved on, I was (pleasantly) surprised that my pace didn’t go down in the second half: by then we faced strong headwind, and some of the bridges were a challenge to keep the pace.

I think that’s one important lesson in running ( and in life in general 🙂 ) : always expect the unexpected ! I expected a 100% flat race, but there were quite some bridges, making it a challenge to keep your pace. Not a disaster, of course, but you continuously need to adapt your mental plan for the race.

In the end, I managed to bring my PB on the 10 Miles distance to 1 hr 08, I was REALLY happy with this … ! On social media I saw that all Natuurloop Lier runners have had a great time, so congratulations to the organisation of this great event, and next year I will be there again !