Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Run Shared with Amsterdam Running Junkies

Amsterdam Running Junkies @ Café de Doelen after the Spieren voor Spieren Hilversum City Run 2012
Better than medals, better than PR is sharing the running experience with running friends after you've reached the finish line!

Thanks for the beer, thanks for the positive buzz, we all took home, Amsterdam Running Junkies! :)

Until the next run!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Next Race: Hilversum City Run 2012

The old city hall of Hilversum (Oude Raadhuis, Hilversum/Museum Hilversum), now housing a museum. If you look closely, you will see by the door of the the museum's balcony, mijn liefste P is standing carrying our Littlest months shy away from being 2 y.o.

moi @ Hilvertshof in Hilversum

This coming Sunday, 22nd of April, I am running once again a 5K; this time my family and I do not have to take a long drive because it's in Hilversum, a neighbouring town.
The town is often called "media city" since it is the principal centre for radio and television broadcasting in the Netherlands - Wiki
I would be writing more about Hilversum during my marathon training when I move from short distance running to long distance running.  You could also read about the Hilversum bike trails I will be documenting at, The Lightness of Being on the Bike.

This is how I would be continuing with my marathon training as weeks progress: bike the course I would be running, and take pictures of what catches my attention to share here and at my two other blogs.

I would love the journey of the marathon to be as memorable as the marathon itself - shared with all of you.

Back to Hilversum City Run, or as they call it in Dutch Spieren voor Spieren City Run ( this is actually the name of the charity group , who is the main organizer of the event.  Spieren means muscles in Dutch) is in it's 9th edition and is considered one of the biggest annual running event held in the center of the town.

The organization of the Spieren voor Spieren City Run works hand in hand with Hilversum Events Athletics Foundation in cooperation with the Gooi Athletic Club (GAC)

 There will 5 categories for various runs for distances for children, 5K and 10K.

SKH Kids Run
11.30 uur 3000 m
11.45 uur 1500 m 
11.55 uur 1500 m 

12.05 uur 1500 m 

Sherpa Ladies Run
12.15 uur 5 km
12.25 uur 10 km

Hilvertshof Wegwedstrijd
13.10 uur 10 km

ABN AMRO Business Run

13.40 uur 5 km
13.50 uur 10 km

OXXIO Prestatieloop

14.50 uur 5 km
15.00 uur 10 km

Participation in this event is not only good for the body but for the soul as well because the event is sponsoring Spieren voor Spieren (link is only in Dutch) charity.
From the website:
Children should be carefree in running, cycling, and playing sports! For some 20,000 children in the Netherlands this is not possible. They have a muscular disease, which limits what they can do, and would like to do.
Spieren voor Spieren help these children. We do this by calling on healthy people to take action with their healthy muscles to support children who have muscular disease. - translated from the Spieren voor Spieren website

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Marathon Soundtrack

I bought this book by Jeff Galloway, in 2005 to help me in visualising my marathon dream

Starting next week,  I am determined to log once again my sleeping pensum, and will go to bed early starting on Sunday. I wrote a blog about my intentions of changing my sleeping pattern at My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands.

As, I looked for classical music to listen to as part of my new sleeping ritual, I started thinking of the marathon soundtrack I would love to put together for my big day in Berlin.

with mijn liefste P, after the finish of my first ever 5K in Amsterdam Bos, 8th of August, 2011
I did not have a good experience with my iPod during running my first 5K last year in Summer, and since then I have altogether abandoned the use of it even during my training.

But since the distance of my training would be longer, and longer, I would like to listen to music again while I run.

Sadly, our Littlest in the family locked the iPod with a password, and we need to save all music on an external hard drive before we can restart it again.  Something I have been procrastinating on for months now.

I am giving myself until the end of this month to finally accomplish this task, that I can start putting together my marathon soundtrack!

What was the top 10 music of you marathon soundtrack i.e. the last 10 songs programmed to accompany you to the finish line?  And if you are not running a marathon this year, what is your favourite music to run to, or work out to? Perhaps dance to if dancing is what keeps you fit?!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Life in the Netherlands

a four Seasons collage of the image in front of our window done from 2008-2010; it is a collage that never fails to soothe me, whenever I feel rushed by life...

In my Easter Greeting post, I announced that I will be back after the long Easter weekend, on Tuesday with the blogs for F-H (#atozchallenge). 

This decision was a part of my baby step with unplugging.

Well, it's a big surprise to me, that we now have Friday because of how busy the week has been!

I'm late. Very late. But not gone and definitely not giving up on the #atozchallenge.

You might wonder what kept me busy besides our three daughters, and the daily life of a stay at home mom!

After the long family weekend, Tuesday thru Friday simply whooshed by.

If you have been following Happy Feet in the Netherlands, for a while now, you will know that I am preparing for the 38th Berlin Marathon.

You might have also read here, that as part of my preparations, and as a long time dream, I've been meaning to fulfill for my 40th year here on earth: I will be running a marathon in our old home town Hamburg.

Not a full one (yet) but as part of a relay team, which I put together with the help of the Amsterdam Running Junkies.

In it's 27th year, Hamburg Marathon will have a marathon relay team participation for the first time in it's history.
Summer, 2011 in front of the Hamburg Rathaus (city hall)

Last night,  I ran together with my team-mates around the Vondelpark twice, and after our shared fun run, we discussed how we will spend the marathon weekend, together in Hamburg.

More about it - detailed accounts with pictures! - here at Happy Feet in the Netherlands.
What kept me also pre-occupied is the Filipino Bloggers Worldwide, a group who has generously supported my bid to be Flying Blue Running's new community blogger.

More about the group , at My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands, in the coming weeks.

My bike at the Smidsbrug, 's Graveland, January 2011

And on top of all the responsibilities at home, organizing of my first marathon relay team, and networking, I had to park the bike away for days (my daily destressing activity!), while the Littlest was home to recuperate from her stubborn chest cold.

She is better now but still has to stay home today, and rest the whole weekend.

The day before yesterday, I was talking to mijn liefste P, and I told him that I miss the simple joy of bird- watching with him, which we did that day.

Wednesday, 11th of April, a day of bird-watching with mijn liefste P

The quote below did not come to me then, but it does in a way summarize what I felt.

Be careful what you set your heart upon - for it will surely be yours.
James A. Baldwin

I guess, this is why I am willing myself not to feel guilty for pausing with the #atozchallenge.  I simply want to have time to let the flurry of all wishes coming true settle down, that I might have a chance to savour them longer than it seems possible with all of them rushing towards me.

The preparations for the Hamburg marathon, the Berlin marathon, working together with creative, supportive people, and my beautiful & loving family, are all wishes I treasured in my heart.

Now, they are there: the family I long for and am thankful for everyday, and the other dreams I enjoy, and some just within hand-reach.

Taking a day to look out of our front window to watch the changing of the season, and at the back window, to see how our resident blue tits prepare their nest in the bird house we provided, is a way for me to pause, and be receptive to what is being realised in our lives.

Wonderful Spring; new beginnings.  They are wonderful cycles of life.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Greetings

Littlest, 4 y.o. has been writing her name multiple times, since liefste P taught her how to; I had to preserve at least one of her efforts for posterity. The drawing on the other hand, is one of my many art-present-after-school from Middle daughter. Together, I thought they would be a nice "Easter Greeting card" for this year.

For this year's long Easter weekend,  I've  decided to share the letters  F-H of my #atozchallenge blogs, next week Tuesday.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge April 2012

It's a baby step to my "Unplugging Project", a part of simplifying our lives here in the Netherlands. 

Do come back to find out more about this project, and check out all  bundle of posts from F-H on Tuesdsay! :)

Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Destination: Berlin

Course Map from the site of  BMW Berlin Marathon
Liefste P & I were talking this morning about booking a hotel if possible near the starting point of Berlin Marathon, this coming September.  It's one of the important parts of the marathon preparation, when you are running abroad.

In the Summer of  2009, we stayed in Best Western Grand City Hotel Berlin-Mitte, and had a tremendous time.

If I am not mistaken, I found out about the hotel through, and I might start looking toward this  direction again.

We are all excited!

Definitely in the next few weeks, you will read updates about our search to find the ideal Berlin domicile for my family and  me for the Berlin Marathon weekend.

Stay tuned!

Have you been to Berlin before as a travelling runner or a tourist?  Would you prefer to stay in a hotel near the starting line, or you would not mind travelling by public transportation from where you are staying?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Change, a Never-Ending Adventure

Something I shared in FB last year, 5th of October, 2011 (the blog is edited and modified for this post)

I created a photo-journal album there (August, 2011), I entitled, My Running Story - A Journal to record all about my running from it's early humble beginning to aspiring for more higher goals.  The purpose of sharing the photo-journal was also to keep myself motivated with the help of family & friends, and hold myself "publicly" accountable with the goals I set for myself

He is able who thinks he is able. -Buddha

It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, Always do what you are afraid to do. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

No one can persuade another to change. Each of us guards a gate of change that can only be opened from the inside. We cannot open the gate of another, either by argument or emotional appeal. - Marilyn Ferguson
The image I share is  personal poster I created of a book I have owned since 2005.  You could also see the watch given to me by mijn liefste P right after my last race -  Run2Day Ladies' Damloop: 4M (6.4 km)...nothing fancy, but I LOVE IT sooooooo MUCH!

An excerpt from my posted blog (04.10.11) somewhere else:
Transitions. We all go through them, in different frequencies.

What I've learned, and am acknowledging now with these daily logs (physical training, and thoughts about it), it becomes easier when you record your progress.

I still would like to write differently as I am doing now but I am satisfied that I am at least  proving to myself in a daily manner my own commitment
(as in the past successful blogging projects).

Yup, that's what I remind my brain, what it has already learned, and needs to commit completely to memory, as well as the following thoughts:

We aspire to do a lot of great things things, but sometimes we are only capable of the simple things.

In the end, we are pleasantly surprised that there we are - we achieved what we have aspired through those simple things, and not through those great things we would rather always represent us.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Berlin Preparations

My last visit in Berlin with my family; the year I became a German citizen

I can't believe that in less than 6 months - specifically 25 weeks, 5 days, 59 minutes, and the seconds keeps ticking away! - I will be passing through the Brandenburg Gate, as a runner, as a marathon runner!

Today, I sent my German bestfriend C a mail to ask when we can get together again, and that I would love to visit her sometime in May or June for  a girlfriend weekend.

After a flurry of messages exchanged, we arranged a weekend in June.  What made it easier to coordinate our time was my finding a half-marathon event in Leverkusen, a city in North Rhine Westphalia, where she resides.  The date would be before her own holidays.

I was still searching for a half-marathon to fit my marathon training scheme, sometime in June, somewhere here in the Netherlands because it was much easier for my family to come along with me.

But it seems to be faith that as C and I talked, and planned where I could run while I was visiting her, I stumbled upon the half-marathon I was looking for!  She has played a key-role in changing my life for the better, that sharing my first half-marathon experience with her would be a fantastic highlight to our friendship.

It will be a girlfriend weekend to remember.

I'll be sharing more about it in the next blogs!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Running & Blogging Challenge

Hello, fellow A to Z challenge bloggers, new readers & loyal friends! :)

This is my second year at participating in Blogging from A to Z April challenge.  Last year, I did through the mother blog of Happy Feet in the Netherlands, My Daily Mooosings of the Netherlands.

If you are curious you could check it here: my Blogs from A to Z April Challenge 2011.

I'm taking the opportunity of this blogging event to begin with my commitment of blogging daily for my first full Marathon in Berlin, September of this year.

I still get excited checking my name on the list of Berlin Marathon's participants

Jeff Galloway, tweeted recently : Journal keepers are more likely to be lifelong runners.

It is in this spirit that I will take on the challenge of not only blogging daily for the month of April but through the months leading to and until the day of the actual marathon.

For the coming weeks, and months, here are my schedule of  my individual participation for running events:

This month is also very exciting because for the first time in my life, I'll be participating, and acting as team captain a marathon relay team, within the Hamburg Marathon event.

I hope you'll enjoy and be inspired by the blogs I'll be sharing this month!