Saturday, August 17, 2013

Be Always in Motion: 42 Days to 42.195 KM

Mijn liefste P & I after Paris Marathon 2013, behind us from a distance the Arc de Triomphe
BAM (Be Always -in- Motion!)!

I didnt pay attention to times or distance, instead focusing on how it felt
just to be in motion,
knowing it wasn't about the finish line
but how I got there that mattered.
Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

Appreciation - it is a lesson I derive while I recover from my current injury.

Appreciation for my partner, my family, friends, and many people I have yet to personally meet but who all supports me generously in spirit, in my effort to make myself a better person through running.

I have achieved a lot in the short period of time since I begun with running.  This is something I had  to learn to acknowledge while I brooded over being unable to run long distance until I can do so without pain.

Brooding never really helps; positive writing, positively does.

This thought has helped me and kept me motivated in continuing with my blogging here about my marathon training even though there is not much to write about running.

Writing what I have been thinking while I rest from long distance running, and strengthen my feet to come back to it. Rest is a part of training, and keeping positive needs training as well!

After all, the success of finishing a marathon is much sweeter once all these hurdles have been overcome.  Stories behind the statistics of running (or stories before you go back to running after an injury!) are as interesting as the recorded mileage, and it's corresponding pace!

Speaking of statistics, statistics show I've ran 100 runs (as documented via Nike+ from August 2012 - August 2013; August 2011 - August 2012  I still have to piece together from various online records).  From being a complete couch potato to a multiple marathoner in 24 months.

All these statistics can't illustrate how much my life has changed for the better, though.

Running has literally helped me move forward; it continues to do so in the form of different goals.

Training for marathons, and running everywhere in Holland and abroad, has helped improve my mental health tremendously.

Blogging about this adventure, this transition helps me to consistently follow the path of a stronger me.

A collage of our weekend a year ago 18. - 19th of August
It is the 42nd image
from the FB album 42 for 42: countdown to Berlin Marathon 2012

In 2012, on a beautiful late Summer of September, I finished my first marathon in Berlin with a huge smile and tears falling freely on my joyous face.

running towards the finish line just a few hundred meters away
Berlin Marathon 2012

Berlin Marathon 2013 course

I plan and I am determined to finish as strong and as happy this year!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top 10 - 10 Highs of Being a Runner for 2 Years

Keep Calm and Count to 10
courtesy of Google images
“Anxiety's like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far.”
Jodi Picoult, Sing You Home
“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass... get up, get up, get up!!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Currently, I am addicted to surfing Spotify for cathartic music. Tonight, I stumbled upon Be OK by Ingrid Michaelson. I think the first time I heard it is from a commercial on Dutch TV. Love the album cover:

courtesy of Google images

I'm using it as a personal motivating poster this week.

Despite my toe problem, tomorrow I'll attempt to run a slow 10K, and build up carefully to my next long distance run for Sunday.

Three weeks ago, I run a successful slow 26K in blistering July.

This knowledge has been helping me these past weeks to come to terms with my decision of  resting and reducing mileage until the shooting pain I feel no longer causes me to cramp, when I walk.

It's true based from experience, and from what  I've read about marathon training, that long distance runs does not only help your body prepare but gives your psyche confidence.

Speaking of confidence, I need to make sure I maintain my supply, and thinking of ways to do that, I came up with many ideas both creative and practical ones.

I thought I will be experimenting the last few weeks of August with some of those creative ideas here, and the practical ones, I'll be sharing @ My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands later on the week. 

As I've mentioned before, blogging helps me a lot when I struggle with myself; it serves as a way to give me better perspectives, when life gets hectic, and undeniably a great creative outlet.

I know, I've said it countless times, but I'll say it once again: I should blog more, and with regularity!

An idea I've applied and worked in the past, that put these good intentions into practice is doing a series of themed blogs.

Since my next run (hopefully tomorrow!) is a 10K, I thought I'll write my top 10 Highs of Being a Runner for 2 years! I'm naming this series tentatively Tuesday 10. :)

10. Finished: 3 marathons in my first 2 years of running!

Berlin Marathon & Amsterdam Marathon 2012 medals
around kilometer 30-35 in Berlin Marathon 2012 course
Amsterdam Marathon 2012
at home - beaming with my back to back blings!
On the way back to the Netherlands, at a gasoline station, I took a picture for posterity: my giddy self, that want to shout out loud, : "I
finished Paris Marathon"despite the odds!!!
Paris Marathon 2013
by the

Arc de Triomphe

9. Improved: My speed and pace!

(comparing 2 races, that were 2 years apart)
-  speed from 6,67 km/hr to 10,04 km/hr

- pace from 8:59 min/km to 5:58 min/km -


(comparing a 5K race pace see photo above, to a 5K training pace see photo below of my Nike Stats)

 - add here print screen shot of the run above -

8. Recorded: 100 runs on my Nike+ Sportswatch.

7th of August, 2012 - the day I got my Nike+ Sportswatch, which I won  from Media Markt Holland, on Facebook!

7.  Met: Churandy Martina! Being in the presence of an inspiring Olympian is amazing and electric. :)

6. Nike Poster Girl: with my sole sisters for a whole day in Amsterdam!

Moi standing in front of an advertising column in Amsterdam with our - Eva, Udjen and I - poster!
The pose, that won us the poster, Summer 2012!
5. Ran:

- on a racing track - 5K Runner's World Zandvoort Circuit Run 2012
- on the beach - Egmond Half Marathon 2013
- barefoot - (training) 16K in Wijk aan Zee

5K Runner's World Zandvoort Circuit Run 2012

courtesy of Google images

16K in Wijk aan Zee

16K in Wijk aan Zee

4. Gained: friends for life ~ soul/solesisters!

Beautiful ladies, beautiful souls, who helped me fulfill a dream: run and experience a marathon athmosphere during Hamburg Marathon 2012 - we formed a relay team, the first in this event!

3. Cheered: by our girls! They are the best moral supporters, I could ever wish for.

@ Kinderdijk
training runs becomes more fun with beautiful scenery

2. Changed: physically and mentally. :)

Left, my first 4M: Run2Day Ladies Damloop 2011
Right, my first 10M Dam tot Damloop 2012

1. Completed: my first 5K!

with my beloved, mijn liefste P from the beginning - together we continue to dream!






Sunday, August 11, 2013

Don't Panic, Keep Things in (Statistics)/Perspective!

This blog belongs to This Runner is all about my introspections to help me be a better runner, with the thought of helping others in the process.

Keep Calm & "Whatever Man"
from Google image
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself.”
Harvey Fierstein

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Mahatma Gandhi
“Where's your will to be weird?”
Jim Morrison

 ‘Whatever, man’. Let’s make our own luck. What do you say?” - Hurley, Lost

48 days to Berlin...

I feel I owe readers/followers/supporters an update on my training. 

If somebody can be motivated from my attempt to motivate myself, then the metaphorical and literal running pain, I have been going through lately, will not have been in vain. :)

My mind is stressing me, and I usually fall into silence when I am in this state.

Blogging is my way of not falling back into negative behaviour patterns, so here I am...

At a risk of being redundant - I need a new pair of shoes to safely run my long distance runs!

As much as I love and enjoy running barefoot, I don't want to risk injuries during a multiple marathon training by running long distances barefoot.

Something came up that made me delay the purchase of the pair of new shoes I had planned to buy this week. 

Hopefully, I will be able to finally get them Tuesday at the latest.  The situation is something I can't put into words now; I hope it would suffice to say, that it is not a big deal - it is just what it is, a simple delay.

Meanwhile, I am running short distances with my old pair of shoes to keep my fitness level.  Ankles are fine, and the shooting pain on my toe is not as prevalent as it was the whole of July.

Walking and running barefoot in the past weeks, I feel not only helped in my recovery but strengthened my feet as well.

barefoot running

Not being able to run like I want to, and go the distance I planned to because I have to be careful is driving me a little bit crazy.

The crazier I make myself, the more I get block from running - short distances is better than nothing at all! - and writing (cathartic writing is better than isolated silence!). Running and writing are activities, which both keeps me strong, and act as my shields in coping with the stress, daily life throws at me.

If I can't do both, I am in for trouble! How do I prevent a slowly annoying situation from getting worst?

The solution to this: put things in perspective!

Whenever I lose perspective regarding my running, I turn towards running stats, and eventually I blog about what I derive from all the stats staring I have done!

100 runs since I won my Nike+ Sportswatch with GPS in July 2012, delivered a couple of days before my 1st RUNniversary: 8th of August, 2012.

3 days ago, I ran my traditional 8K RUNniversary run.

10 km away from 1000K milestone on Nike+
(I ran more than 1000 kilometers since I begun running 8th of August, 2011 but I have no records on hand from August 2011 until August 2012;
I've recorded them manually in but I can't find my account there just yet)

It was a great run.  Below are the screen shot from my Nike+ stats of my 8K runs from 2012 & 2013.

8K 1st RUNnivesary 2012
8K 2nd RUNnivesary 2012

As "bad"as I was in mathematics in elementary school, and statistics in high school & university, as a runner, I love checking out my stats.  More often than not it reminds me clearly how far "I" have come, since I begun running.

Hopefully, next year, when I once again  train to run for Berlin Marathon 2014, and I read back on this post, I will smile. 

Smile or laugh (!!!) at how "silly" I worried about my fourth little piggy causing too much painful trouble, and making me panic into thinking I will be injured and miss on running for months or missing out on fulfilling the goals I've set for this year!

Meanwhile, I will read the quote below from a book that have inspired many; it is my belated positive affirmation to my 2nd RUNnivesary.

“It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we'd like to be. That's not to say that you need to be satisfied forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you've accomplished, rather than thinking of what's left to be done (p. 159).”
John Bingham, No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running

This runner will keep on running slow, try to have fun with getting faster, and when I am finally able: run further.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Goodbye July, Hello August!

Keep Calm Because August is Here
from Keep Calm-O-matic
“Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don't be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren't paying any attention to you. It's your attention to yourself that is so stultifying. But you have to disregard yourself as completely as possible. If you fail the first time then you'll just have to try harder the second time. After all, there's no real reason why you should fail. Just stop thinking about yourself.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

Time and time again, I start a 365 project, or a month long project (blogging, photography, etc).

Image from
My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands
The thought behind this passion & fascination for 365 lies in my intention of fully acquiring the positive habit of always being in the present moment.

Dwelling in the past, experience has shown only wastes precious time, and robs one of the strength for the present.  The same goes for worrying about the future.

Even if not all my attempts to complete a 365 or a 30 day project has been successful, I always come out of each endeavour with precious wisdom or a new (positive) perspective about life.

As well as a huge collection of blogs and images!  They all have helped motivate in days or moments I desperately needed it.  It is also heartwarming to know that others were helped by them as well.

This post is not about announcing another 365 project or a month long blogging.

This post is about acknowledging that after 7 years since I discovered the philosophy of 365 projects - being present, mindful! - I live it.

8th of August 2011 -
the day I walked 8K to kick-off my training to run my first 8K
The beginning of My Running Story. :)
Writing/blogging led me to this path of "enlightment", & running reminds me each and every time to stay on this path.

With these thoughts, I welcome August with all of you!

Countdown: 7 Days to my 2nd RUNniversary!