Monday, March 26, 2012

A Dream Coming True with a "Little" Help from (Amsterdam Running Junkies) Friends

Amsterdam Running Junkies
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A quick blog!

I don't want to end the day without recording for posterity that my dream of running the Hamburg Marathon before my 40th birthday is slowly coming true - with a bit of modification! :D

First, it's not (yet!) going to be single handedly running the full Hamburg Marathon  but as a part of a  Hamburg Marathon Relay Team (although this year, I am running  my first full @ Berlin Marathon!).

This will be the first time in it's 27th edition, that Hamburg marathon is allowing in the event, team relay participation .

Second, it's after I turned 40, a milestoneI celebrated last 20th of March!

What I've learned recently - if you will allow my 40 year old self to be philosophical :) -  modifying dreams have sweet side-effects.

Sharing this dream with Amsterdam Running Junkies, is part of my personal development .

I've learned to reach out and ask for assistance  to reach a personal goal.  If I would have done it alone i.e. run the Hamburg full marathon myself , I would've had to wait at least another year, if not 2 more years.

This way, I can still say Hamburg this April is my first marathon before I run Berlin in September.  Both cities being very meaningful places in my personal history.

Hamburg, Summer 2011 by the Cityhall
Berlin, Summer 2009  by the Brandenburger Gate

Even though running is a personal adventure, an odyssey to your-self, a discovered-self - shared dream, shared joy, shared running experience, heightens & strengthens your passion for life even more.

My collage documenting my first meeting with the Running Junkies last February

Cheers to Amsteram Running Junkies for their generous assistance! May this team work be a running experience to remember. :) And hopefully a beginning of a tradition!

I'll be writing separate posts introducing all the members of the
Running Junkies Amsterdam Hamburg Relay Team!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fresh Impressions of My First Zandvoort Circuit Run

Since Happy Feet in the Netherlands is still a relatively new blog baby for me, I'm still in the process of streamlining how I can make it more efficient to blog running experiences on the same timeline it happened.  At least on the same day if not right after it happened.

The first year would be a lot of experimentation until I get the perfect, or at the very least an ideal recipe for leading a balance life: juggling family life, with my many passions, of which blogging and running are big parts of.

Today, I participated for the first time in Runner's World Zandvoort Circuit Run. Tonight, I'll share my first impressions on my experience, and next time I'll be writing details of the unforgettable event itself.

It is easier for me to write when I think of who I am writing for, and in this case it's the same.  This post was first published on my FB for my family, friends, fellow bloggers and running buddies:

What an amazing day! :)

Today’s run earned me a PR in a 5K; my running time has improved by 8 minutes! It does not sound much but every single minute for a runner i.e. for beginner runners are monumental – at least for me, I consider each single minute I am faster as being wonderful! How can I share my joy to you, that you can feel this over-flowing happiness for what seems like a simple achievement?!

The only way I can is as usual through an image, that captured the essence of the joy, a quote I meditate on to relish a personal fulfillment, and these thoughts I now write.

While looking for an inspiring quote to go along my
Runner's World Zandvoort Circuit Run 2012 collage , I stumbled upon this one:

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.
-Wayne Dyer

I dare say, it can also be applied to running.

This is the best running event I’ve ever participated in not only because my entire family was all healthy enough to come along, all in good spirits, & all there with cheers and proud smiles to support me. It was not only because it was such a lovely Spring weather, and the music & the athmosphere along the course was celebratory. It was also because after over half a year of running, I truly felt one with running. 

Yes, I dreamt about running as being something I could call my own for a very long time, and when I finally did start, it opened so many worlds for me, I never expected would. I began with running as I neared a milestone in my life : turning 40. No expectations whatsoever, not even 5 years plan, like I tend to do with so many life endevours. It was plain and simple: JUST DO IT now OR I might never ever begin.

Along the way, I was confronted with my own personal demons, thinking I am not good enough, not strong enough, not disciplined enough, not focused enough, and the list went on and on and on.

Running is a personal adventure, an odyssey to your-self, a discovered self. Once you commit yourself to taking on the challenge, and give it your very best, consistently, you will experience, just like with anything you do in life - you’ll receive what you give.

This is how I experienced today. A magnificently rewarding day, that made me feel I AM a good runner, a strong runner, a disciplined & focused runner.

I dreamed of running; I finally run; I worked hard at it. I learned from my mistakes, I forged on, & focused on my motivations.

If I can do it, anyone can. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Feet Warms Up for Berlin Marathon Summer 2012!

“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.”- Priscilla Welch
My name on the list of Berlin Marathon participants!

Spring is just around the corner, and in a couple of weeks, I will be regularly blogging about my training for my first full marathon here, at Happy Feet in the Netherlands.

I am SO excited!  Running Berlin in Summer!

It seems not so long ago, that I was scared out of my wits, over whether I could ever finish my first 5K on time.  That was  last year in Summer, and now I am confidently facing a training that I am sure will not only improve my health but continue in strengthening my positive outlook in life.  I found it much improved since I finally began with running, a story which Flying Blue Running, Air France/KLM's running community for runners and frequent flyers, published and shared under their member stories.

Mijn Liefste P, happy and proud after my first 5K in Amsterdam Bos
The months passed by like a blur since that wet day in August, in the middle of the woods of Amsterdam, when I participated in Mom in Balance Run for Pink Ribbon; I look forward to recalling that day in details here, and more subsequent races that followed, which led me to taking the leap of committing to run my first full marathon in Berlin.

My first successful 5K was a warm-up to my unforgetable first 8K experience - a part of the Amsterdam Marathon event  last year in October,

I would be running a lot of 5K's this year to improve on my time and work on my speed.

The year begun for me with a run in Vondelpark, a race I recalled in brief in my first blog entry at Air France/KLM Flying Blue Running's search for new community blogger.

Mijn Liefste P, took this snapshot of me and a recent running acquaintance from the Vondelparkloop, just as we left the starting line
In February, I finally met with Amsterdam Running Junkies, a renegade running group, which meets regulary to run together every Tuesday night in the heart of Amsterdam. I'll be sharing how I came to know about this group, and how they positively influenced my running in my next blog.

all images in the collage are mine, except the bottom one, which was borrowed from the Running Junkies FB page

There are still so many running stories to share, but for now I leave you with the partial schedule of the running events I am participating in for the next four months:

I'll tell you more about each event in the coming days, weeks, and months. 

Inspire and be inspired!