Once upon a time, I was a lowly ICT helpdesk guy. My manager had just moved his office into the main building and had his telephone reconnected. To celebrate, he called our receptionist. He spoke the immortal words: "I am back in town, honey!"

They were fitting words. Words that sprang into my mind upon finishing my first half marathon in six years.

Saturday the 26th of November 2016 was a momentous day in my running career. I used to regularly run half marathons, but over the years I lost some of my speed and condition. My last half marathon was back in 2010 and it felt like a disaster. I had recently switched jobs, which required some travelling and a few years later I became a father. Both had an impact on my running. I never stopped running, but my mileage was considerably lower than before.

Last year, I switched to a job closer to home that all but eliminated travelling and reduced work-related stress to a minimum. Both factors were great for my well-being and within a few months, I noticed that I was getting faster. Moreover, I felt that I was getting fitter. Whereas 18 months ago, a 15k would have been quite the achievement, I now do them by routine.

Last January, I made a few runnnig goals for myself. For this year, the crowning achievement would be a half marathon. That same month, I ran my first cross- country race in years. Since then, I ran four races, the last of which was the Warandeloop in Tilburg, the Netherlands. This is a cross-country half marathon and I used to love this particular race.

I was not disappointed. Whereas I had the goal of running a half marathon in less 1 hour and 45 minutes, I managed to finish well below the 1:40 mark. My GPS told me that the distance fell somewhat short, but even then, I would have finished within the 1:42:30 mark.

I am back in town, honey! I re-entered the game in a spectacular way!