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.
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
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
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
The end of 2016 is nearing. I know I won’t make it to 365 miles this year. I got to 68% of my goal. With only 1 week to go, full of medicine because of a root canal treatment, I would be a fool to even attempt to run the full 587 kilometer. Still, I’m grateful for a lot of things. The Facebook group A year of running that Mark Zuckerberg started, is one of them. I started to run again in May. Without this group, my running efforts would probably have ended the same as always: getting to 5k and then slowly diminish the mileage until I was couch ridden once again. Not getting better, not getting faster, until I would start all over again. But not this year.
Oh how I feel like a grumpy old woman saying this, but really: running used to be so much easier in the old days. I remember the eighties: you put on your shoes, did a small warmup and got out there. No time spent on reports, pacing, overpronation, correcting shoes. Easy does it. No? No! Nowadays running is so much more. I’m far from a pro runner. I run because I feel great when I’m running. I run on a couple of Nike free from the 2013 collection, bought in a sale. But to be honest, until recently I couldn’t run farther than 8 kilometer. Pro or not, Continue reading
It is time! I ended the Spring Fitness Challenge. Remember? Six weeks ago I declared war to the kilos I gained after I quit smoking. On May 5th I had a check in with the local gym and we -my coach and me – set a goal: shake of some fat and get stronger to run better. If I’d loose some weight in the process that would be a huge bonus. Because the 14 extra kilos that steadfastly clung to my body, really started to bug me. Big time! My coach and I worked out a schedule in which I ran two times a week and did some strength training two times a week. The same time I started to participate in the highly motivating A year of Running challenge that Mark Zuckerberg started. #werun365 ends in December 2016. And now the six weeks of the spring challenge are up. Results? Continue reading
A growing number of people accepted the challenge of Mark Zuckerberg. It didn’t took me long to accept. What I’m talking about? The running challenge Mark Zuckerberg started through Facebook: A Year of Running. Mark challenges everyone this year to run 365 miles with the hashtag #werun365. That equals 587 kilometer. It’s a sportive thought with a positive result. Not only for me. A lot of people are infected with the running fever. There are people just lurking in the group. And reading. And then, suddenly they are motivated enough to go out there and run. Not 10 kilometer at once of course. Continue reading
I am so proud of myself! Finally, after years of battling the nicotine monster I quit smoking. I am 250 days smoke free today and I feel good! But, but….. Last month I noticed my pants were a bit tight. I had those ugly little rolls around my bra. And my knees. Don’t talk about my knees. They were protesting very loudly every time I had to climb the stairs. Of course I could blame the menopause. Everyone knows that you gain weight during menopause. Right? The hormones are raging, the ovaries want to retire badly. That could be a well enough reason I gained some weight the last six month. It could. It could also be my metabolism slowed significantly after I quit smoking. It really could be the reason. But who am I kidding? If I am honest I know that quitting smoking is no reason to gain weight. Continue reading