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 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
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
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
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.