Three days to go and we’re off to Scotland for our summer holiday. We are getting more and more excited. Sara to see castles, Scottish highlanders and sheep. Me, to run through the highlands. I’m very curious how that will be, because I could hardly walk after my first trail race.
But I have some time to practice. The last weekend of our holiday is Skyline Scotland, the Three Mealls Trail race. It means I have one week to get some altitude meters in my legs and another week to rest my legs. That should be enough.
My first trail race ever
As I told you yesterday, there isn’t a lot of altitude in the Netherlands. Which means I never run uphill. At least no serious uphill. A slightly sloping way, doesn’t count. Neither a 3 meters high hill.
The first time I did some serious climbing during a trail run, I could hardly walk the week after. To be fair, it wasn’t only my first time running uphill, it was also my first trail race ever.
I had to teach yoga anatomy, at my friends’ Yoga Center Adhouna in Brunssum on a Saturday. As Sara and I really love Maastricht and Brunssum is close to Maastricht, we decided to make a weekend out of it. Going around Maastricht on a Friday, teaching on Saturday and on Sunday the Firefighter Mountain Trail race in Beringen.
Old football stadium
The start was next to an old football stadium. There was no market, no spectators, no nothing. Just a canteen where you had to pick up your starting number, the start line and a guy yelling ‘go’.
We left the stadium, ran over a cycling path and up and down the hill of the be-MINE mountain bike park. The race was only 11,5 kilometers, but it had 350 meters of altitude. Everybody was running uphill, so I just followed.
I perfectly remember the last time we had to go up. My legs didn’t want to run anymore. They didn’t even want to walk. So I stumbled uphill. To my surprise, they felt pretty okay on the last downhill. And – even to my bigger surprise – as soon as I ran the last flat part to the finish, I had power in my legs again.
I could hardly walk
The days after I could hardly walk. My quadriceps were painful, my hamstrings were painful, my calf muscles were painful. Even my back was painful. But my ankles were happy and my mind was happy.
I had enjoyed every meter of that climb, and it’s that experience that made me decide I definitely wanted more; higher, longer. That’s why I started looking for a race in the Dolomites in June, when we were for La Scimmia Yoga, our work, in Italy. And that’s why I started to look for a race in Scotland for this month, when we will be there on holiday. Just three more days