It’s the city of Barack Obama and Al Capone. Of pizzas and hot dogs. Of the Bean and of the
Sears Willis Tower. Of Oprah and Kanye West. A city I never would have visited if it wasn’t also the town of a Major Marathon: the Bank of America Chicago marathon. A town with so many faces that I hope I may come back next year, because I don’t doubt there is so much more to see. But lucky you! Because I had the opportunity to run 42 kilometers through the Windy City and because I walked it a week after that, I can now give you some tips to make the visit even more memorable. Continue reading
My feet felt like I was walking on needles. My knees were protesting with all their might. I had just taken my last gel. The drums of the band tried to elevate my mood. And then I saw the gate of Chinatown. This meant I was at the 35k point of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The pain in my feet didn’t seem that important anymore. With only 7k to go I knew: I will finish 4 marathons this year. I could smell that finish line in Grant park, Chicago.
I never thought I would say this. I mean, I built my own sites, since, well the beginning of the internet basically. Online communication is what I do. But still, some digital inventions would have been better off, if they’d had died on the designer table. Especially if they make me feel digitally clumsy. Who for instance, thought a wave button on Facebook would be a good idea? Continue reading
Has it ever happened to you? Walking to the fridge, but as soon as you open the door you’ve forgotten what you needed. Opening Google, but your eye catches a quick Facebook update and you completely forget the question you wanted answers to. You know a 100% sure you put your glasses on the table, but now you need it, you can’t find it anywhere. You desperately get your spare glasses, the ones that don’t fit well, because you sat on them. When you put them on, you notice your regular ones are on your head. Sounds familiar? Lucky me! This means I’m not the only one questioning my wits.
The source for hot flashes, depression and night sweats can be found in our brain.
It’s not going well. I have trouble concentrating. I’ve lost every wish to take on new stuff. I can’t hold my thought even for a second. My whole body is prickly. If ants are partying under my skin. I’m forgetful. Other small aches are troubling me, not alarming enough to go to a doctor. But it makes it hard to function normally. “Don’t forget your moodyness”, my husband calls helpfully from the couch.
“Tell me, what can I do for you?”. My GP looks at me expectantly. Again. Since I passed 50, I’ve seen her more times than in the 20 years before. If not for periods that never end, it is for infections that keep flaring up, breasts that are killing me with pain or cramping that can’t be averted with a overdose of Feminax. This time my reason to visit is that my period isn’t coming at all. For once I am glad: could it be that I’m finally released of this monthly returning flood. I wouldn’t mind that all!
No reason to be shy about it: Anything is possible when it comes to menopause.
It’s just, my body doesn’t seem to get it and won’t agree with my ovaries. Continue reading
Holy shit. I did it! I still can’t believe it. I actually ran my first marathon. In New York. And it was such an overwhelming experience that I till this day, have a hard time finding the right words that will do justice to that wonderful day. I ran my first marathon in 5 hours 40 minutes. That is 15 minutes slower than I anticipated, but who cares? I actually finished the thing. Every 42 kilometer, even those 200 meters required to cross the line. Continue reading
Remember, my last blog post? About the positive energy I received from other runners and their stories? It didn’t matter how many times we first timers asked the same questions, the experienced runners were always prepared to put our minds to ease. Questions about food, gels, training schedules, injuries, the start village at NYC. Even the weather forecast. We communicated through Facebook, private message, email and in one case even by telephone. Some runners really touched me with their stories. And really showed the positive power of running. For example the woman who lost her father last week. Continue reading
Finally! It’s time to pack my bags. In exactly one week time, I’ll be trying to get some much needed sleep right before the bus will collect us runners and make sure we make it to the start on time. At 05h30. Yeah, you read that right: at half past five in the morning the bus will bring us to Staten Island. I’ll be starting at 11h00, so that will leave me plenty of time to ask myself what in the hell I was thinking when I signed up.
What the hell was I thinking when I signed up for this thing?
Should I have accumulated more miles? Faster miles? More running days? Should I have done more strength training? More yoga? I should have eaten healthier. Shall I take another coffee or will I dehydrate too soon then? Or get diarrhea? Will my stomach agree with another bagel? Continue reading
I close the door behind me and look up. Dark clouds are threatening, but if I’m quick, I’ll stay ahead of the storm. I adjust my earplugs and start the music. Beginning a slow jog I put my watch in running mode. An easy recovery run of 6k, to shake loose the legs after the hill training I did yesterday. My street is mostly quiet, except during rush hour. That explains the many crosswalks and the big words on the road: School zone. I notice drivers that refuse to stop for a crosswalk more often then I like. Even the bicyclists are prone to it. How difficult is it to stop for people that want to cross on a crosswalk? It doesn’t matter how late you are for work. Or how you can’t wait to kiss your girlfriend. You stop at a crosswalk! Continue reading
500 Meters to go. 400 Meters to go. I’m 2,5 hours on my feet and I feel fantastic. A lot of people are cheering us on: “Allez! Courage! You made it! ” I have to say, Disneyland Paris truly is a magical place to run a half marathon. The enthusiasm of the cast members along the whole route is overwhelming. It’s 7am for crying out loud!
“Allez! Courage! You made it! “
They had to get up really early to be costumed and be en route. On certain points you can stop to get a picture with Disney characters. To see the sun rise to put the Disney castle in the spotlight has to be the most monumental view I had this year. I’m passing Mickey and Minnie at 200 meter from the finish. They are appropriately dressed in a training outfit. I couldn’t have imagined a better training run. Triumphantly I throw my arms up. I did it. Again. A half marathon. And this time, I feel fresh. Do you know what that means? I now, finally, have the confidence I can run that marathon in November. I have the confidence my body can take it. Continue reading
A reaction below one of my running articles brought a new adventure into my playing field. “If you’re interested in running a marathon and being able to shop the next day in NY, try Sportrusten.nl! ” was the advise of Kitty Kilian** I was forced into a running break ( more about that here!). And if you can’t run, you’ll find your comfort in the best next thing: you read about running. And that’s how I found out about the Running revolution. It is a book about running a marathon, but the schedule never exceeds 14k. How is that even possible? Continue reading
The road to NYC is rough. As positive as I was at the beginning of my marathon training, I hadn’t counted on my body not delivering. And it all started out so great. My schedule proved to be the right one for me. Increasing mileage went smoothly. I had fun in running. I felt great. Strong. And then I got cocky. And I broke the number one rule: always listen to your body. Well, I did listen, of course I noticed the signs, I just didn’t act on it. Rest? I don’t need that! I’m stronger than that. Yeah, you can call me stupid. It all started with a minor infection. One that asked for an antibiotic. It helped. Of course it helped. That’s what antibiotics are for. But it asked a lot of my body. I felt better after a week. The fever broke. The pain was gone. I felt good. So, what’s the harm in running 27 kilometers. No matter that I didn’t run in a week. That my body had to work extra hard to beat the infection. Be strong. You can do this! Well, I soon found out my body didn’t agree with that assessment. Continue reading
It’s a mess, isn’t it, the menopause. It feels like there will be no end to it. After my battle with the Mirena I gave my body 1,5 year to clean itself of added hormones. Mentally I felt great during that time. But physically? Every period again I had enormous abdominal pains. They only lasted two days, so it was manageable, but the pain! Continue reading
Oh man, what have I done? Listen, no need to be shy about it. If you’re hitting 50 your hormones will have you do weird stuff. (YES. It’s the hormones! Don’t you dare suggest otherwise!). You’ve got more yesterdays than tomorrows. You’ll get the feeling now or never. Men have an easy solution for that. They buy a motorcycle. Or car they’ve been dreaming about since they were 16. Some exchange their wife for a younger model. Women tend to do it differently.They take a hiking trip through the country. Or make a trek through any of the desserts. Me? Continue reading