Aankomst Schiphol midden in Corona crisis is surreal

The culture shock that’s called Amsterdam

Travelers who had gone before, warned me: prepare for a culture shock. I truly was prepared on many things. But one moment I was desperate, because the Tokyo Marathon 2020 was cancelled, the next I’m on my way back in an almost empty plane, in the midst of the Covid19 crisis. Corona brought a whole new perspective on our Japan adventure. The arrival hall at Schiphol airport, void of passengers, said it all: Something definitely is not okay. Continue reading

Het coronavirus slaat toe in Japan. Meisjes van vijftig lopen geen marathon

Marathon Tokyo 2020 afgelast. En nu?

Het is maandagmorgen en de laatste week van mijn training gaat in. Over 1,5 week vlieg ik naar Tokyo voor de marathon. Mijn 7e inmiddels en na 4 maanden trainen ben ik er ook helemaal klaar voor! Japan! Wie had dat kunnen denken. En dan pingt mijn telefoon. En nog een keer. Whatsapp. Messenger. Facebook. Instagram. Mijn telefoon ontploft bijna. De eerste berichten duiden erop  dat de Tokyo marathon is afgelast. Heuh? Afgelast? Hoe dan? Waarom? Ik kan en wil het niet geloven. Continue reading

Injury free running: yes, you can!

My left hip is burning, my left foot is aching. My achilles had been playing havoc ever since I ran the Boston marathon in April. But Chicago added some more aches. And suddenly, everyone in running land is expert. You just have to drop a question in a group (online or offline) and you’ll be drowning in advise. I have resorted to strength training in the gym, Supermans and lunges till I dropped and even the 30 day Plank Challenge is a bit too familiar to me. That core has to be strong! None of it helped me any further. With the Tokyo marathon in my near future I was convinced that I have to quit trying to use Google as doctor. I had heard a lof of good about Franklin van Doesburg. It’s time to call an expert.   Continue reading

Depression in menopause

Tears were streaming down my cheek. My husband desperately tries to get an answer out between my hickups. I see his doubt and then his understanding: “Hormones again? ” . Up to now the peri-menopause was a breeze. Maybe I’m still at the beginning, but my night sweats are bearable. My weight is still under control. My breathing exercises help me with my palpitations. Physically I really can’t complain. Mentally though. A completely different story. The dark clouds hanging over my head, every time right before my period, those are less easy to deal with.

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The best Budget Travel tips for a memorable trip to Chicago

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

4 marathons in one year. It is possible, even in menopause.

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. 

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Who thought a wave button on Facebook would be a good idea?

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

Is there a connection between Alzheimer and Menopause?

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. 

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Is menopause troubling you? Book a trip!

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.

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Anything is possible in menopause

“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

The NYC Marathon: I really, REALLY, did it!

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

Positive powers: a runners project

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

NYC marathon. Ready or not: Let’s do this!

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

The crosswalk

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

meisjes van vijftig half marathon disneyland paris

Sportrusten: it works! My road to NYC Marathon

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