amc loop 10k amsterdam

Since I had to miss this year’s Pittsburgh half marathon (for a good reason: this Europe trip!), I haven’t actually participated in a race of any kind since my last triathlon last September. For me, that’s a long time to go without! So I asked my sister to help find a race in the Netherlands that we could run together. We ended up at the AMC Loop 10k, running with some of Dutch coworkers.

AMC Loop 10k

There was one obvious Dutch-specific peril to this race: a near-constant, serious risk of being nailed in the face by an elbow. Life can be rough when everyone is an good foot taller than you… And while it was raining and I was experiencing the awful beginnings of an upper-respitory infection, the race was super fun. Angie and I ran an absolutely perfect negative split (each mile time gets faster and faster throughout the race) and a nine minute mile average. We celebrated with a fantastic healthy lunch in Utrecht (and soon I imagine also lots of cookie butter…).

tot ziens!

Sarah

This post is #47 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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Because I Can: Pittsburgh Marathon Highlights

Because I Can: Pittsburgh Marathon Highlights miaprimacasa.com

Has it already been two weeks since I crossed the finish line of the Pittsburgh Marathon? A lot has happened since then, including an amazing trip to Europe to visit my sister. I can’t wait to tell you all about our adventures in The Netherlands and Italy, but before I do, I want to share some highlights from my second full marathon.

I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun at a race, ever. I didn’t think things would pan out that way. This was the first race where no one was waiting for me at the finish line…and the first major race I wasn’t running with my sister. I figured I’d get the race done and move on to my next race (triathlon, maybe?), no big whoop. Except that right from the beginning I didn’t feel like I was running alone. My friends and family signed up for text alerts that let them know the second I crossed certain milestones in the race, my coworkers were running the half marathon and although they weren’t along side me for the race, it was a comfort to know they were there, and, of course, I was running with thousands of other people. No matter how many races I run, I will always be in awe of completing a single, grueling task with thousands of strangers. We were all there to do one thing: finish the race. It doesn’t matter how long it took us to get to that start line or what problems we had to face or why were really there at all. What matters is that we are there, pushing ourselves to our limit. And we aren’t doing it alone.

Endurance running can often be a long, lonely sport, but in the end, it’s the community that keeps me coming back to the start line.

“Why are we doing this again?” A young female runner next to me asked. I was standing in my coral with minutes to the start, talking with the only two veteran marathon runners I could find nearby (the coral was a mixture of half, relay, and full runners).

We all laughed. Amused at our own tenacity, courage, insanity, whatever.

“Because we can,” replied the middle-aged woman next to me. “I could be in a wheel chair right now. Or going through chemo therapy. But I’m not.”

And isn’t running for 26.2 miles straight the ultimate gesture of thankfulness? Thankfulness for our health, our self-discipline, our support.

Nope, endurance running isn’t lonely. Sure, I’m the one who gets the metal at the end, but if I could give one to every person who inspired and supported me through my journey to the finish (and the start), I would. Or even better, I’d ask them to go out and try for their own metal. No matter if it’s a 5k or an ultra, finishing a race is an experience you will never forget.

Cheers!

Sarah