Half Marathon – Groet uit Schoorl – cancelled

Race day is fast approaching and I am ready! The training is done, my body and mind are ready to tackle this race. There is just this tiny little issue called Storm Ciara that is trying to mess up my race day. The weather forecast says there will be wind gusts of up to 120 km/h with lots of rain. Not the best weather for your first half marathon, but I was still determined to finish this race. As long as the organization would let me. 

Pre-race preparations

It’s Saturday and I’ll be spending the night at my mother’s house to cut down on travelling on race day. That means I’m preparing three different bags today. My overnight bag, my check-in bag at the race and the bag I’ll be taking on the race itself. 

The picture below shows my clothes and accessories I’ll be bringing along during the race. A capri tight because despite the wind it should be around 10°C with a longsleeve shirt and a tanktop. A wind/rain jacket to protect me from the wind while I wait at the start line and maybe for the first 1-2K. After that I’m probably warm enough to take it off and put it in my Camelbak. 
Since the weather forecast seems to get worse every time I check it, I’ll also be bringing another longsleeve shirt to replace the tanktop and long tights. I’ll see how it feels when I arrive at the starting area if I put these on or put them in my check-in bag. 

My check-in bag will also have long training pants I can easily put on over my tight and a thick, comfy jacket. Both to ensure I don’t freeze after finishing my race. 

I kept checking the race website, app and Facebook page to see if there were any statements from the organization regarding the weather forecast, but so far no word. My mom had already texted me asking if I knew what I was going to do. I called and told her “Run! What else?” That was not what she wanted to hear, but I explained that as long as the race organization thought it would be safe to have almost 10K runners on their course it should probably be fine. But then you’ll be driving home in the middle of the storm?? No, I’ll be driving to you in the middle of the storm and staying there until Monday when it should be more quiet. Alright, that was a small reassurance. 

At 17:30 the organization finally made a statement: the 30K distance would be cancelled and both the half marathon and 10K distance would start earlier as originally planned. The organization stated that this would ensure everyone to be back in safety before the storm would become dangerous. Great, this is happening!  

Time to go! I had my pasta, packed up the last things I’ll need and went on my way. I had stop by the grocery store to pick-up some recovery drinks, but that should be it. On my way there I was going over everything I had put in my bags and realized I had forgotten: my headphones, the box for my contact lenses, the charger for my head phones and watch. Okay, great preparation! I guess I’ll be stopping by my house again. 

I arrived at 20:00 at my mother’s house. Are you really going to do this? Yes! 

Race day

My alarm is set for 5:45 so I can slowly wake-up (15 minutes), get dressed, have breakfast and get ready to be in the car by 7:00. When I woke up I immediately checked the website that had provided the alternative planning for today to see if we’re still on. Yes, we are! I checked the weather forecast and didn’t see much change. It’s still going to be a major challenge to finish this race. It was almost 6:00 when the race app send out a push notification, when I saw it my heart jumped, I knew what this meant before reading the text. The race was cancelled. I got up and found my still half sleeping mother in the hallway. I told her the race was cancelled and while I had a very sad face, all I saw on hers was relieve. So… breakfast?

According to the statement from the race organization the timeline for the arrival of the storm had shifted, meaning it would be peaking during our race instead of shortly after. Alright, nothing to do about that. Now what? During breakfast I decided I could just run the half marathon distance from here and started planning a route. I may have been ignoring the wind blowing loudly against the house. In the end I didn’t go for my run, I helped my mother with a few chores and then we went shopping. 

During the day I started feeling worse and worse. My throat was hurting, I felt a head ache coming up and my muscles started to hurt. I had actually felt this coming already for a few days, but it was nothing serious, nothing that could stop me from running my race. It’s as if I subconsciously decided to push this away and as soon as I knew my race wasn’t happening, the push was gone and I got sick. As I’m writing this I’ve been out of order for about 4 days and slowly feeling better again. I’ve promised myself a run tomorrow morning!

As for my half marathon, I decided not to rush it and give myself time to recover and get a bit more training in. I’ve registered for another half marathon on March 8th: Vestingloop Gorinchem. I’ll be ready! 

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