Krakow Night Run 2019

Last Saturday, while all of the Dutch people in The Netherlands were celebrating Kingsday, I was trying to save some energy for my second Krakow Night Run. A 10km run organized in April during a weekend, which is filled with different runs. One of them is the Krakow Marathon. Since I am still not ready to run a marathon, I don’t think I will ever be. I was running the 10k night run and this run came with some… let’s call them obstacles.

It is the 27th of April, one week later than the run in 2018 and I am getting ready for my second 10k run this year. Last year I was running a lot, this year I am mostly in the gym fixing my muscles around my knee, improving my balance and strengthening the muscles in my abdomen. No endurance training at all. So all runs I am doing, I do not have any estimation if it will be faster as last year, I just run to enjoy them. I run them with my heart.

I already knew this 10K would be a lot harder then the one at Bagry which I did 2 weeks before. The first reason would be: It might actually be 10km, the run at Bagry was 9.5km. Second reason: I expect the race to be more hilly, I do not know why I believe it would be more hilly for a city center run but i guess it is just the run at the boulevard next to Vistula river that gives me this impression. Third reason: 4500 people running, the paths are quite small so probably a lot of stopping. And a run – stop – run is more exhausting then just running. Fourth reason: Did I tell you I do not run at all as a training?? Fifth reason: The race starts at 21.30, normally I am already in bed and ready to sleep. I am an early bird and prefer to do my exercise at 05.00am then in the evening. And reason number six: as said before no endurance training.

During the day, I tried to minimize the amount of steps. I had to go to the vet, walked a bit slowly around. Came back home and took a 2hour nap. After that time to eat and get ready for the run. I decided that with 13 degrees I should wear a long sleeve shirt and a long legging. Put my number on, grab my jacket and went out of the door. After closing the front door I thought: I am forgetting something…

Szymon was joining me for support and we walked to the staircase in our building and I looked down and I said: O noo I forgot my shoes.. Don’t get me wrong, I was wearing shoes. But just my regular shoes that I wear for work. I ran back to the house, grabbed my running shoes and decided to put them on in the bus.

A nice smooth ride with the bus to city center. I told Szymon I felt like I would have to visit McDonalds for the toilet and he told me that it are just nerves, because I just went at home. And I thought yeah, he must be right. I have this every time and every time I do not really have to go. We walked to the main square where the start and finish were. I activated my watch to find GPS (I do this always 15minutes before the start just in case it takes a bit longer). I got GPS and switched it off.

Two minutes before the start, turned on the GPS on the watch again. Agreed where to meet after the run and prepared by walking into the crowd. Running with as per record 3950 other that evening. The start signal went and the crowd slowly started moving. Before I reached the start already 3,5 minutes had past. I started running, maybe a bit too fast. I have no idea. But it felt great. I felt like flying and happy. And sometimes a bit annoyed when a group of 4 people were blocking the street so you could not pass. We were 500meters away from the start and the crowd came to a full stop. Someone fell down near the fences. People helped the person up and we started running again. This happened 3 times before reaching the Boulevard (1km).

The track

We reached the boulevard and this should be the nicest part of the run. Nobody expected that their was going to be an open air cinema at the boulevard as well. So again a nice run-stop-run. From the boulevard we went on to the street. Here you can take over as many people as you like, the race track is here the widest. A lot of people were taking over and were taken over by me. I saw some participants in wheelchairs. And I have the biggest respect for them. I imagine that it is so much harder to do this track in a wheelchair than just by foot.

From the street another left turn, on to the boulevard again and just straight running for around 2,5km before we turn around on our way to planty. At 5km there was a water point, time to sip some water and continue. Last year with 30degrees (yes 30 degrees in the evening) there was no water point. The 5km mark passed, up to the 6km mark. I felt some rumbling in my stomach. I thought maybe I ate too early before the run. Let’s just continue, after the run you can eat something.

I entered planty, the pain got a bit more concerning. It felt like I would need a toilet fast. And as disgusting as it sound, Running goes hand in hand with
diarrhea. I now knew I might have to either give up leave the track or continue and see how it goes. I continued.

Every 300 meters I walked a bit, rubbing my stomach and just thinking: no toilets around, no place to hide in bushes (yes people do this during marathons etc, but no way I would do this in a historic city center with maybe 30.000 people around). Please do not poop in your pants Angela. After saying this a couple of times I could run again for 300-400 meters. Followed by the same ritual: rubbing the stomach and thinking: Don’t you dare to poop your pants. Because once you have to go, there is as well no stopping. So can you imagine that this race was maybe not so pleasant, but as well mind blowing at the same time. Be repeating this ritual and being able to run the last full kilometer keeping this sentence in my head: Just 5 more minutes and there is a toilet so just keep on going and do not poop.

I reached the finish line. And after I finished the need to go to the toilet was gone. Probably my stomach was just upset from running for such a long time and using the muscles that I normally never used before during a run. My stomach was still cold, but there was no need. I texted Szymon that I thought I would have diarrhea, but nothing of that sort happened that evening or the day after. It was just my body, not knowing what to do now that I am using different muscle groups.

Picture made at the finish line.
Credit: Datasport

During this run I really could not laugh about my stomach pain or the mantra I came up with. Half an hour after the run, I told Szymon about this adventure and we both laughed. I hope you enjoyed reading this piece, which it a bit more intimate then other pieces. However we are all human and this is a human thing. I am still proud that my body, my legs and my mind could carry me to the finish line. Without actually running during my trainings. It seems I still have some endurance that will keep me going. I hope next year, Szymon and I will be running this race together. The atmosphere and just seeing all those blue lights running along the boulevard makes this run worth it.

How was you Saturday night? Were you celebrating Kingsday or going to different parties? Or you had a run, just like me?



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