Friday 17th: with E, drive to Harwich and onto ferry. To the cafe and have a drink each and read for a while before we head for bed.
Saturday 18th: off ferry and misc trains to Amsterdam. Points to watch: make sure you get off at Schiedam for Schipol for Amsterdam Zuid, otherwise you have to get trams through town from Centraal. Not that's particularly terrible anyway. Lunch at Bakers + Roasters as last year; and again it was pretty good. Meet B-J and J and their infants; B-J is also running tomorrow. After, Si and I to the expo to pick up my number, whilst Becky takes E shopping, as befits a girly. Then back to theirs for some much needed relaxation. Remember, this year, to make sure my watch is charged up.
Oh, slight oddity: this year, Paul and Sarah C-H, and Juliet, and Bailee, are also doing Amsterdam. But because they flew over as a group we haven't managed to meet it. Perhaps we'll meet on the start line?
Sunday 19th: up at 7:30; chat in kitchen with B who is kindly making me porridge again. E is still asleep - or at least, not up - in the dining room. Si takes me to the start and I hand him my coat and go in. It becomes obvious that not having arranged to meet the others means its going to be luck, cos its crowded. I knew it would be. Spend most of my pre-race time in the loo queue, of course, but do manage to find the others as I'm heading towards the start pen. So cross the start with Paul and Bailee; and for the first few km we pass and re-pass. Because I'm slow, Bailee ends up passing me at 28 km and Paul at 35.
Of the race: not satisfactory. Not just my time, but I wasn't somehow together for it. The start was too crowded, and the pace wasn't comfortable, and I couldn't settle. Later on the pace was OK but I just wasn't strong enough.
How do I interpret this? As a useful wake-up call I think. Throughout the summer - indeed, the year - I made too many excuses about being too busy at work to run.
Note: at about 10 km the race passes the end of Parnassusweg, about 100 m from their place. Next time ensure that E is watching.
Walk very slowly back to Parnassusweg, and collapse for a bit. Well, for quite a lot in fact. Evening: to Zuid for train, comedy of the platform being long and the trains short - watch out for that - but we get to the ferry on time. And so home, comfortably.
* Amsterdam Man (2011)
* Amsterdam Man (2012)
* Amsterdam Man (2013)