Yeah! I did it! A little over a week ago, I ran 10 kilometers through Amsterdam with more than 6000 lovely women with one goal: reaching the finish. Everyone experienced the race differently. There were fit-girls who ran fast with a time goal in mind, I spoke to several girls that were running for a good cause, but there were also those who were just running for the fun of it, like me. The most important reason for me to run was really the joy of training – a fun, positive experience with a group of women, enjoying being active together. I think if you’ve got that part worked out, it’s easy to become (and stay) sporty.
Because I had so much fun at the bootcamps and the running training sessions, I was in great form. I got some rest the evening before, ate a healthy meal, exfoliated my feet and relaxed in the bath with magnesium salt to help my muscles recover from the last few training sessions. It helped me still my mind. Though I really would have enjoyed spending that Friday night out dancing with my girls, I made sure I went to bed on time.
And then, it was race day… During the day, I had to do a presentation and finish up some work, but it was pretty tough to concentrate because I was so focused on the race. My sweet ‘big sista’ made me a tasty quinoa salad and some fish to eat pre-race so that I could have a relaxed meal. Afterward it was time to head to the starting line at the Olympic Stadium. I was a bit a nervous while stretching and warming up since it was the first time I was really going to run a 10k. And boy did I feel it! The first eight kilometers were amazing – cheering spectators, great weather and lots of confetti. It was like I was walking on air! But those last two kilometers… Ouch. Of course I got a cramp in my little toe and my legs were so tired that it felt like I was dragging bags of rocks around. Man! But eventually the finish was in sight and ik rûkte de stâl! (this is a Friesian expression that I used to use when I wanted to go home). With the last bit of strength I could muster, I sprinted to the finish. I was so happy! What an accomplishment and what a great feeling knowing that I had just done it! I’m pretty proud of myself. My time: 53:35. What was yours?
At the end of June, I’m going to do the Nike Run again, this time in Stockholm. I’ll be doing it with two goals in mind: having fun, of course, but also, secretly, bettering my PR! Let’s go!
Oh and click here for my favorite post-workout recipe!
Running with Rens – VOGUE Interview Rens Kroes
Just before the Nike We Run Amsterdam, Vogue’s online editor Zoe Rosielle spoke to Rens Kroes in the hopes of finding out how she should have prepared for the race.
I’m at The Oyster Club, at the Olympic Stadium, about two hours before the Nike We Run Amsterdam race is set to begin and, I have to say, I’m pretty nervous. Not only because I’m meeting Rens Kroes – health guru extraordinaire – but also because I am completely unprepared for the race. I only found out last week that I was going to participate in the race on behalf of Vogue and, since then, in addition to my normal workout routine (kickboxing, yoga, a few group classes here and there at the gym), I’ve run a grand total of twice. And yesterday I indulged in a three-course meal and didn’t skip over the wine list. Like I said, the worst preparation ever.
What also isn’t helping is that I’m in the press centre, surrounded by sports bloggers. Everyone has triceps, a tan and long, flowing loose hair (that they also wear down while running, apparently this is a fit-girl thing). I’m starting to panic.
When Rens arrives she’s actually just as expected: friendly, beautiful, a soft manner. She’s a bit tired, she admits. She’s already been to Friesland today to give a presentation.
How did you prepare for the race?
‘I am well prepared. I always do high-intensity interval training three times a week with my personal trainer where we focus on intervals of squats, push-ups and sprints. I started more specific training about two months ago. In addition to my normal training, I started running three times a week, usually in the Vondelpark. Sometimes I would do Pilates and yoga as well. As I said, I’m a bit tired today, but thankfully I slept a lot yesterday and ate well and drank lots of tea. My sister also cooked for me tonight – a quinoa salad with fish. I ate at her place, which was great.’
Do you have a goal time in mind?
‘No, I really don’t, I’m just going to run at a relaxed pace and see how it goes. I ran the Dam to Dam run once before, but that was two years ago, so it’s definitely exciting this time.’
What surprised you during your training?
‘I discovered that I really like conditioning training, and especially interval training. The variety and explosivity, I love that.’
‘I want to help motivate people to be active. Whether they finish first or last, it’s really about having fun being active. That’s what I want to share.’
Do you have a pre-race ritual?
‘I did some stretching this morning, I enjoy that. I think that I’ll do that again right before the race and take a moment for myself. Of course all the women are here together tonight, but in the end you run alone. It’s all about focus. So I find it very important to take a moment for myself before the race.’
What should you eat before a race?
‘About two hours before the run, I’d eat a light meal with quick carbohydrates so that you have the energy to run and you digest your meal in time for the race. For example, quinoa with vegetables, chicken or fish is a good choice. Then right before the race you might want to eat a cracker or rice cake and take a drink. Do this and you’re in good shape.’
When is the last time you ate something very unhealthy?
‘It was in Madrid [beginning of May, ed.], but it wasn’t extremely unhealthy – just fries. Not too unhealthy, right? I avoid foods that contain artificial flavors and additives; for me, food needs to be pure.’
Are you competitive?
‘Yeah, I’m very competitive. If I set my mind on something, then I really go for it. But with sports, it’s less so. Since running isn’t my area of expertise, I don’t mind running the race without worrying about time or what people think of me. I want to be involved, to help motivate people to be active. Whether they finish first or last, it’s really about having fun being active. That’s what I want to share.’
Do you have any tips for staying motivated while working out?
‘Having a clear goal and training toward it is important. It gives you a reason to be doing something. And also training with someone else is always a great motivator.’
At the end of the interview, Rens asked me if I had a finish time in mind. I tell her that I’ll be happy if I reach the finish given the fact that I only ran 10k twice this week as preparation. ‘Oh, but you shouldn’t do that! That’s really bad!’ Obviously I should have hired a health coach.
Text: Zoe Rosielle
Pictures: Hannah Lipowsky