Monday, August 19, 2013

A Pleasant Surprise....And My 1st Trail!

July 28th, 2013 :

I am in love with the Dutch weather!! I go to bed early to wake up early and enjoy sunrise runs, Or I wait for the evenings to cool down and hit the road for another few kms. I have been hitting my highest mileage ever. 100km !!! I never reached 80km in the past! Every km has been a joy, every run has been unique, every run has made me feel stronger and every run has been closer to the race of the year Berlin Marathon! Magic is going to happen there in Berlin,  I am giving it all, my time, my dedication my everything because my goal is to run a sub3hours. I am officially now at my lowest weight ever and still 10 weeks to go. I feel stronger than ever and nothing is about to stop me BUT sometimes life surprises you. The Big surprise is that I am officially pregnant with my 2nd Baby! Yes I am PREGNANT!! I am going to be a Mommy again!!


Being in my situation, the initial response to my positive pregnancy test was somewhat of a blessed shock (it actually took me 4 tests to really believe the digitally read “pregnant” results). I wanted another baby but I haven't expected it can happen at this moment where I am at my heaviest training cycle running 90-100 km a week for a fast Fall marathon.

Since I have discovered I am pregnant I was greeted with some pretty intense morning , or shall I say all day, sickness, puking several times a day and experiencing extreme fatigue. All the races that I have signed up for the next 6 months became not important. My goal now is to enjoy every moment of this journey but of course if I can keep running without any complication it would be an extra blessing!

When ever I wasn't feeling sick or extreme tired I went on a run while being careful! I felt running helped my morning sickness to go away!! I will keep running as long as it feels good. My baby comes first, so I will never jeopardize the life of an innocent human being by me being selfish. I will listen to my body, I will stop when I have to, I will reduce my speed because this is not important, I will be sure that my heart rate doesn't go too high, I will be sure to stay hydrated and eat healthy and saying all that I think I should manage just like my 1st Pregnancy to run almost to the last days before delivery! I have a lifetime in front of me to run a sub3 but now my priorities are set! Baby comes First!

Many people have different opinion about running while pregnant, as far as I know I am not the first or the last one to be running while pregnant. I will keep doing what feels good and most importantly to listen to my body.

Week 9 of my pregnancy I went on my longest run with my running mate @ChristineTanguy running a 32 km. I felt absolutely no discomfort, It felt right. Usually I would increase my speed the last 10 km but this time I didn't go over the edge! It felt just great!

Saying all that, I have signed up before knowing I would be pregnant to some races and I decided with the support of my hubby and my coach to proceed with all the races and walk if I have to and stop if I feel any pain. Again my baby is my number 1.

Those are the races that I will run during my pregnancy journey if no complications:
Trail des fantomes: 25k ( 11 weeks pregnant)
30 of Amsterdam north (14 weeks Pregnant)
Dam tot Damloop  (15 weeks Pregnant)
Berlin Marathon ( 17 weeks Pregnant)
Amsterdam Marathon 8 km (20 weeks Pregnant)

We are so excited and thrilled to the new addition to our family! We can't wait!! In this blog I will write about my running journey while being pregnant! 

Trail Des Fantomes 
I Never run a trail and of course everything has to have a first time! Via twitter I heard of the Trail Des Fantomes in La Roche en Ardenne. With other people from twitter (Esther, Yvonne, Vanessa...) we signed up for that race. Trail des Fantomes is considered quiet difficult for an experienced person so how would a first time trailer like me should perceive it? Still I was up for the challenge not knowing what to expect. We booked our hotel back in December in the " Chateau" du domaine Floreal.
Chateau La Roche en Ardenne

On Friday the 16th of August, I arrived with my hubby and little Daniel in the mid afternoon to la Roche en Ardenne. After we checked in, we joined  Esther, Yvonne, Vanessa with their hubbies in the backyard of the "Chateau" for some drinks.

Backyard of the Chateau
The pick up numbers as well as start/finish and award ceremony took place also in the backyard of the "chateau". How luxe it is to have all the happenings at your finger tips?
At 19:00 we picked our start number which was actually printed on our tshirt. Tshirts colors are associated with the distance you signed up for. Green is 13km, Orange 26km and Blue 50km. I got to meet and greet so many people (Marek, Gerard, Carlos, Ilonka, Rik, Andrea, Harm...) the atmosphere was amazing, the temperature was great the evening couldn't be any better!

Afterwards we had a nice dinner in the open air and went on time to bed to get ready for the next day.
Vanessa, Me, Yvonne & Esther


Start- Foto Yvonne
8 am breakfast. I woke up without my usual morning sickness and that was my biggest worry! Half hour before the start I headed to the garden to get ready for the 10:00 start. I was so calm, not nervous, no expectations but just excitement to experience my 1st trail! Being pregnant my goal was to be careful and not push it to the edge! Knowing myself I know that I can't take it easy but this time for real, I will not push the boundaries!! The start of the 50 km where Marek, Carlos, Gerard participated in, took off at 7 am as for the 13 km the start took off at 10:30.

At the 2nd km
Allez Allez: Not even 1 km after the start, I hit the first hill. Before I loose my breath I started walking which in normal situation I wouldn't but again the little voice inside of me was warning me. I walked uphill and as soon as I hit the flat again I started running again. After some flats comes a steep downhill. In the flat part I was proud to pass people  but they all passed me again in the downhill part. This time I didn't want to be aggressive like I would do, I run the downhill being sure not to trip and roll like a ball from the top!

In few words I can describe the course as extreme, with extreme uphills and extreme downhills also with some flat part but it is more technical because of all the rocks laying around. You have to be fast with your legs and sharp otherwise you trip. Actually that was my favorite part because you get to look ahead and already think where you have to place your foot and be quiet fast with your legs.

The uphills most of them I climbed them or walked them and the downhills I loved them but I was extra careful, not that I am scared, but I had to keep reminding myself that I am not running alone but I am"Running for 2". Not running with trail shoes has also a disadvantage since you get less grip.

There was 2 water posts and I made sure on every one of them to take a longer break, eat good and drink well.

After the second water post which was about 5 km away from the finish line, I honestly thought it will be flat till the finish. How wrong I was!! The best part was yet to come!! An extreme uphill which leads you to the top of the hill was just waiting for me after my relaxed water break.

The white looking building on the right side
of the picture is the finish Line
I made my way to the top of the hill and when I realized that there is only 2 kms left, I snapped a picture because the view was Just breath taking. I called my hubby to tell him I am about to finish. But here I really realized that the next 2 kms are going to be be a downhill. Not any downhill but a steep drop down!!
From above I could hear the music and the excitement of finishing is getting bigger and bigger. I run very carefully the last part going down the hill, I crossed the river to hear that only 300m left! I cruised my way to the finish line where I was greeted with my boys and Yvonne who finished the 13 km without any pain since she has been injured for the last few weeks!!
With a big smile on my face, I crossed the finish line not alone but with my little baby in my belly!! " Running for 2" in a decent time of 3hours 09 and that would put me in the 7th lady position in my category!! I am over the clouds, I just finished my 1 st trail without feeling any pain , exhaustion or anything that made me worry!

I am officially a trail runner !!!

Finish Line! Foto -Rob
Despite the difficulty of the course, the variety of every km made this 26 km race (yes it is officially 26 km and not 25km) very special, unique and fun. It is one of those races where you feel proud to have accomplished such an achievement! I just officially fell in love with trail running! It has a total different sensation than road running which I still Love too :)

From the backyard of the hotel while enjoying some drinks we waited for the others to arrive, we greeted everyone as they finished!

I am not the only one who had a great time! My little boy had an awesome time because in the same garden there is a swimming pool and a playground, he played with other kids and I took him also swimming after I finished. He had the time of his life! All day playing outside! What can a 2,5 years old boy ask for more?

After everyone finished and got refreshed we enjoyed a super fun evening in the garden while chatting, eating, drinking and laughing! We didn't bother to go to town! Food was great and everything we needed was around!

Movie made by Robert Jan Eggens illustrates in short the 26 km trail: Enjoy!
7:30 Yvonne, Gerard and myself took off on an easy run. We all realized how sore we were! After a 25 min run we went in the ice cold water hoping it will release our sore legs! It surely felt great!!

Ice bath
If you go with your family a weekend away where every one end up having a great time, it is surely a successful weekend! Trail des Fantomes, you stole my heart I am coming back to you in 2014!
 Thank you all for the great company!


  1. wowwww! great report of a great race - but even better news of becoming mom and dad (Robert) again :) - Congratulations!!!
    And if you need some tips from the fastest runningmom: :))

  2. Again, congratulations with your pregnancy and with finishing your frist trail in a beautifull time while Running for 2!! And yes It was a very nice weekend :-) See you next year!

  3. Congratulations with the 25k, or better 26k, trail, and congratulations with the pregnancy.

  4. Allereerst gefeliciteerd met je zwangerschap Nesrine, Robert en Daniel. Daarnaast gefeliciteerd met je eerste trail. Het is een mooi verslag geworden van een heel mooi weekend.Het was super om kennis te maken met Robert en Daniel. Als het goed is zien we elkaar tijdens de 30 van Amsterdam Noord.

  5. wow congrats with your pregnancy and..well done on the runs!

  6. (y)= thumbs up. Didn't work here. Anyway: thumbs up!

  7. Zeker weten dat jij een echte trailrunner bent, je hebt super gelopen, snel en toch voorzichtig.
    Het was een supermooi weekend. Volgend jaar doen we het nog eens over, met een mooi babietje erbij. Kijk er nu al naar uit!!

  8. Wat een mooi verhaal over je eerste trail. Petje af. Nog een mooier verhaal over je zwangerschap. Gefeliciteerd. Geniet er van.
    Gr. Rob