Friday, October 25, 2013

#Crazy4Running: Sharing Your Running Blessings

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
Erma Bombeck
“Happiness only real when shared.”
Christopher McCandless

Being your genuine self is not only personally rewarding but it's a gift that keeps on giving. Challenging? Yes! Rewarding? Truly.

Every time I get distracted from my goals (work on being a strong person, and hopefully in the process inspire others to strive for the same goal) family and friends are there to remind me of where I should focus my attention and energy.

I can easily be distracted!

image (print screen) is an excerpt of The Oatmeal's famous
The terrible and wonderful reasons why I love running long distances
quote by Christopher McCandless
featured in Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild

Sometimes, an outside supporter appears in my running life, and motivates me to stay focused.

In this case, it is Meeùs Run Club, one of the sponsors of the 30th edition of Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills Run).  They are generously providing me with a VIP starting bib for the 15K event, as well as a Run2Day gift check worth 100 Euro!

My first run sponsored by

The 5K run( 6th of October) this year in Breda was sponsored Meeùs Run Club
It was
my first run in this city

As well as my first official race after I got injured this year in July

Meeùs called me last Monday to inform me of my luck.  I was not able to contain myself and squealed my utter joy into the phone.

This good news came exactly a day after I finished the Amsterdam Half Marathon, so my euphoria was uncontainable. :)

The most memorable Amsterdam (Half) Marathon bling so far.
This Half-Marathon was
after my first ever running injury since I begun running in August, 2011,
An injury, which made me miss running Berlin Marathon for the second year in a row

A collage documenting the summary of
my Amsterdam Marathon Adventures

For me, the news was a simple divine message; I am on the right path of this beautiful running adventure.

I should keep on running to keep myself healthy, and I should keep on writing about the cause I support to inspire, motivate and inform. 

Running to be strong to fight  the battle against mental illness (in my case, manic-depression, panic and anxiety attacks) and create awareness of this silent epidemic.

When you receive joy, such as I did with the VIP bib fromMeeùs Run Club, I passionately believe one should share and spread joy!

So, I thought I will give away my bib (the one I got for Zevenheuvelenloop when registration opened!) to someone, who shares the #Crazy4Running passion. :)

What do you have to do? Simply follow the link to know more : (only for residents of the Netherlands)

Good luck!

Oh, and by the way, don't forget, you can still enter Happy Feet in the Netherland's Lunatik Athletiks Compressions Socks Giveaway!!!!!!!!! (open to everyone!)
#Crazy4Running Part 1
#Crazy4Running Part 2

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#Crazy4Running Part 2 ( featuring Lunatik Athletiks Compression GIVEAWAY)

Happy Feet in the Netherlands's
1st GiveAway
via Lunatik Athletiks @IamLNTK

a milestone :)
(Please read the background story of this giveaway, here : #Crazy4Running Part 1)

Hello, everyone!

My apologies for the late update on this giveaway.  The preparations for the Amsterdam half-marathon have occupied my mind for the past weeks.

The short summary of my third consecutive TCS Amsterdam Marathon : I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


After the race, proudly showing off my bling
my goodie bag from VIVA

Bubye InjuryVille

Finally, successfully left InjuryVille, and had a blast running my first Amsterdam Half Marathon.

I have to say, I am crazy over my Lunatik Athletiks compression socks!!! I think, I would not have survived this half-marathon without them*.  My feet and legs were strong during the race, and two days after the race.

From this point on I will only run with compression socks!  Most importantly wear them during recovery period.

My experience using Lunatik Athletiks compression socks has been very positive, and it convinced me of the value of using them not only for long distance running but using them while cross training with my bike.

Since I have them, I noticed the huge difference on the quality of how I perform*, when I don't have them on. Obviously, I am thoroughly convinced with the benefits of compression socks.

My Bike Adventures can be found
@ The Lightness of Being on the Bike

Hopefully, those who are considering preparing for their marathons will read this blog and profit from my experience.
A collage documenting the summary of
my Amsterdam Marathon Adventures

Detailed recap* of this marathon will still follow. As well as the story during the time of training using the compression socks.

For now, an update on the  Lunatik Athletiks Compression Socks Giveaway!

Women's Compression socks @ Lunatik Athletiks

Lunatik Athletiks has a also a wide array of  other products besides compression socks
Men's Compression socks @ Lunatik Athletiks

GiveAway Entries

There are many entries, and I have to say I am a bit overwhelmed because some entered with  varying multiple accounts, some have not followed the steps properly (i.e claim entries without actually following the steps) and some I am not quiet sure, if they are simply newbie users or spammers. :(

No worries! I'm sorting through them carefully, and only legitimate entries will qualify.

I've attempted to contact many participants to remind them to follow the steps properly

Sadly, I won't have time to do this (contacting every individual participant!)  anymore because the next race is coming soon, and I have to concentrate on my training.

from the Amsterdam Half Marathon
the 30th Zevenheuvelenloop in Nijmegen


So, I've decided, to sort out the legitimate participants from the spammers, I'll have to change the rules of the giveaway.

As consolation to those who have followed the steps properly, and will be affected by the GiveAway rule changes,  there will be 15 % off discount from Lunatik Athletiks offered to participants, and Happy Feet in the Netherlands followers, who will purchase their products.

Thank you so much to Kelly (of Lunatik Athletiks!)  for this generosity!

Please, get in touch with me via email: for the discount code.

GiveAway Rule Changes

What will be the changes? The official way to enter is still through the Rafflecopter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

But it will be through the sponsor's discretion and mine, who will qualify and win.  And not only based through the number of entries.

Participants can share via Twitter and  FB with legitimate accounts, only once a day (spamming will be disqualified!).

Entries claimed but not validated, will be disqualifed (i.e. you claim to like the FB page or follow on Twitter but have not upon checking, will be disqualified). Only confirmed entries count.

This is just to be fair to those who took and take time to correctly follow the steps in order to qualify and win!  

Two winners will still be chosen but it would no longer be one male and one female but could be two of both (i.e 2 males OR 2 females).  It depends on the efforts of the participants to follow the steps, so that they can qualify and win.

If you are unsure or have questions please contact me via email or via a PM on Happy Feet in the Netherlands FB page.

Good luck to all! Thank you for participating & Happy running!

His and Hers compression socks!

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Dress-Run" for the Half in Amsterdam

5 days to my 3rd consecutive year of running TCS Amsterdam Marathon -  this year will be my first Amsterdam Half Marathon, thanks to the generosity & sponsorship of VIVA  and

Feel very lucky to have been selected to run for Team VIVA
via the VIVA Sportief FB Page

In October, 2011, I ran my very first 8K in this event. 

This was my first real running goal, which I trained 8 weeks for.  My training begun literally on the day I decided that I will start to run: 8th of August, 2011. 

This is a memorable picture from the 8th of August, 2011documenting my 8K walk
on the first day of my 8 weeks of training
to run my first 8K!

Running my first 8K, going inside the Olympic Stadium of Amsterdam to reach the finish line of my first running adventure was the most memorable experience in my life.

October, 2011
Almost to the finish line of my first 8K!

The year that followed, I ran my first Amsterdam full marathon - yes, 5 times 8 kilometer and plus some! 3 weeks after I finished my first ever marathon in Berlin.

It was a triumphant return to & a warm reunion with the Olympic Stadium. :)

October, 2012

October, 2011

Perhaps this week, I will finally manage to do a recap of both experiences! My procrastination in doing recaps is monumental. But that is another blog topic for another day!

With this bog, I simply wanted to share something "new", that I hope will become a tradition. 

Contrary to my stressful habit in the last 2 years of last minute choice of what to wear in running events - today, I actually did a "dress-run" for what I am going to wear on Sunday!

Theater lovers, are familiar with the term: dress rehearsals.

I love play in words, and so from now on for fun, I will post blogs (this is how I motivate myself to create a positive habit!) about my "dress-run".

taken outside of our back garden
I am wearing pink long sleeves Dry-Fit running shirt
courtesy of VIVA &
Also, I am wearing ZUZA compression socks
courtesy of Lunatik Athletiks

Monday Easy paced "Dress-Run"

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sloterplasloop 2013 Impressions: A 5K Run After A Full Marathon

A an annual running event on it's 78th year:
Sloterplasloop 2013

Introducing Happy Feet Guest Blogger of the Week: Eva
Very proud to introduce the first official guest blogger here @ Happy Feet in the Netherlands - my soul/solesister Eva, blogger @ Little Eve is trying to Grow Up.  You could follow her at Twitter via @LittleEveGrows and get updates of her adventures via the FB Page Little Eve is trying to Grow Up.

She recently ran her debut marathon in Berlin, with an impressive time of 4:10:02! You could read all about how her unforgettable weekend in Berlin went from her very engaging post: My First Marathon.

Below you could read her impressions of running the 5K at Sloterplasloop 2013 a week after running her first marathon in Berlin. . .

Last Sunday I had my first race after the marathon which I ran a week ago.

My first marathon, the Berlin Marathon.

The marathon went great, till 31km everything went better then expected but then suddenly my knee locked.  I was still able to run and finish the marathon without losing a lot of time.

image courtesy of Little Eve is trying to grow up
via Berlin Marathon 2013

The week after the marathon I didn’t run, I biked a bit and on Monday morning I did a little workout.  Days after I read I wasn’t supposed to do that either….oh…

Months ago I registered for this 5km. A little recovery run I thought. Later on I thought: I feel like such a pussy! I should have registered for the 10km cause I feel good!

Well when I was standing at the start of Sloterplasloop in Amsterdam I wasn’t that confident anymore..

Sloterplasloop 2013 5K race course map

Luckily I was with two friends and they liked to run together. So I had to run a little bit slower then I usual do…we all did. Cause one of us wasn’t feeling really fit and had to take it slow, normally she is faster then I am.

Almost right away I felt my knee wasn’t fully recovered yet, it felt weak, not really painful but weird….there is still something up with it. Now I was really relieved I didn’t start for the 10km.

It was a nice run, we talked & laughed along the way. It was nice to be running again, but that knee have to get the facts straight: we want to run! Afterwards I was happy to run with my friends, otherwise I would have pushed myself to go harder and faster even with that weird, weak knee. And now we just had fun during the run, this was a nice distraction for all of us I guess.

image courtesy of Little Eve is trying to grow up
via Sloterpasloop 2013

After this run and hanging out with my friends I went on to the next training….yes I love to test myself, how far I can go, even when I know it isn’t the smartest move I’m about to make. Luckily this felt a bit better but the next day it felt worse.

Monday evening I had a grueling one-hour-during workout again and now I’m taking rest again….I have a half marathon  to run next Sunday (EDIT: in Eindhoven)….hope me knee wants to come along again.

Eindhoven Marathon

Some people asked me if I even wanted to come out of bed for a 5km run, after my marathon.

Yes! I refound my love for 5K’s due my marathon training. They are just as important then long distance runs.

Friday, October 11, 2013

#Crazy4Running Part 1 ( featuring Lunatik Athletiks Compression GIVEAWAY)

Happy Feet in the Netherlands's
1st GiveAway
via Lunatik Athletiks @IamLNTK

a milestone :)
“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”
Brian Tracy

2 years of memorable running adventures behind me, and  I can not deny that I am absolutely crazy about running.  Crazy is also  an adjective my family and friends used a lot to describe my first year of running: the metamorphosis from absolute couch potato to  back to back marathon runner.

I love my crazy! :)

2012 - a memorable running year
Ran Berlin and Amsterdam Marathons
back to back (3 weeks apart)

What I am not crazy about is getting injured!

As any runner, who've experienced injury, will tell you about their stay in Injuryville: it's not a holiday!

As a part of taking preventive measures, I asked friends in various running circle about compression socks because I noticed many runners wearing them in the marathons I participated in. There were also prominent stands from different brands of compression apparel in the marathon expos.

It seems serendipitous, after surviving Injuryville and with new running goals in mind, to receive a message in my inbox from Lunatik Athletiks with the invitation to review exactly the product I wanted to try myself!

The company's cool name spoke to me right away, specially what they stand for:

When I checked their website, and saw the variety of their apparel, I was sold right away to the idea of doing a review.

They have exactly the fun style that motivates me to go outdoors because of how they brighten my mood, and makes me feel good how I look.

What can I say - I love functionality and beauty going hand in hand with anything I use/wear when I run! :)

Women's Compression socks @ Lunatik Athletiks

It was a tough to choose because I love all the colors and patterns! I asked my husband and running friends to help me choose, and the choice when made, completely made sense: Velocious

Absolutely what I am currently working on to achieve in my running: speed!

His and Hers compression socks!

And it was a speedy communication with Lunatik Athletiks via FB, after I made my choice, I got it a week later in the mail.

I am so excited, that I could not wait to share  to all of you readers, the news of Happy Feet NL's first product review.

Men's Compression socks @ Lunatik Athletiks


The reason I am SO excited is Lunatik  Athletiks did not only provide my husband and me a pair each of His and Hers compression socks respectively to review but two followers (a female and male follower) of Happy Feet in the Netherlands would also get a chance to win and choose their own pair of compression socks!!!!!!!!!

Please click on the  GIVEAWAY tab of Happy Feet in the Netherlands FB Page   to OFFICIALLY enter the raffle and have a chance to win and choose your own pair of Lunatik Athletiks compression socks! 

OR simply click on the Rafflecopter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

Follow the steps, and the more steps you complete, the more your chance to win increases.

Happy Running!

Crazy4Running Part 2 - GIVEAWAY Update

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Introducing Happy Feet Guest Blogger of the Week: Eva

Eva with her beautiful well earned Berlin marathon medal
shortly after finishing her debut marathon
29th of September, 2013

Very proud to introduce the first official guest blogger here @ Happy Feet in the Netherlands - my soul/solesister Eva, blogger @ Little Eve is trying to Grow Up.  You could follow her at Twitter via @LittleEveGrows and get updates of her adventures via the FB Page Little Eve is trying to Grow Up.

She recently ran her debut marathon in Berlin, with an impressive time of 4:10:02! You could read all about how her unforgettable weekend in Berlin went from her very engaging post: My First Marathon.

Saturday, I'll be posting her blog recap of last Sunday's Sloterpasloop,  her first 5K race, a week after her first marathon.

with the Amsterdam Running Junkies
after the Hilversum City Run, 22nd of April 2012
a week before we run Hamburg Marathon
as a team with Udjen, and Lianne

Tuesday, you could read her short running biography, which she wrote before we ran together as team members in the first ever relay marathon event during the 27th Hamburg Marathon, 29th of April, 2012.

a day before the
Hamburg Marathon 2012
relay race
from left clockwise: Eva, Lianne (center above), moi and Udjen (center below)
behind us the Hamburger Rathaus (City Hall)

After the Hamburg Marathon 2012 relay race
with our medals!

Our relay team T-shirt (front) for the
Hamburg Marathon 2012
T-shirt Design and picture courtesy of Eva
28th of April, 2013

Our relay team T-shirt (back) for the
Hamburg Marathon 2012
T-shirt Design and picture courtesy of Eva
28th of April, 2013

It would be interesting to read this running biography because Eva wrote it then (April 2012) from a perspective of someone who has yet to run a marathon (ran September 2013).  She wrote it with thoughts of running a part of a full marathon (as a member of relay team of 4) together with hundreds who are running the full distance. 

We were all nervous, excited and came out triumphant from the experience or running a relay marathon! Triumphant after the event, and a year later - we were both full marathon runners! :)

Wednesday, I would like to share a short story of how we met, and the high moments of running adventures we had together.

So tune in for a week/week-end of Eva!

Congratulations again, TT (our nickname for each other) on finishing Berlin, and reaching your goal beyond your expectations!

28th of April 2012
from the Happy Feet in the Netherlands racing adventures archive
Toasting to our success a night before our first relay marathon race
@ Ristorance Tres Castagne, Hamburg
Toasting hands clockwise from the middle Eva, Lianne, moi, Pieter and Udjen

Happy Feet in the Netherlands features Guest Bloggers

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blog Series: 5 ALive! A Humble Tribute to 5Ks

Yesss, a week since my last blog and I have lots of news, news, news to share! :)

Lots of firsts!

But you have to wait for most of them a little bit more, in the coming blogs.

What I could immediately share now though is that Happy Feet in the Netherlands blog will be hosting Guest Bloggers in the next weeks!  Exciting first for this blog!

The theme of each post of our guest bloggers will be: 5 ALive! A Humble Tribute to 5Ks.

Speaking of 5K, I finished one last Sunday! My first after 5 weeks of rest!

The race recap, impressions of the week prep for it, in my next blog.

Watch out for the recap
of my first
Bredase Singelloop
my first 5K race (6th of October, 2013)
after 5 weeks of rest from running

I am very happy to report back, that after a week of doing baby steps to going back to running again, I have not only regained  my running confidence but overall completely revived my positive spirit.

Often followers and loyal readers have commented, that what they like about the blog posts I share is the overall tone of positivity.

Honestly, I need to work hard to stay positive.

courtesy of Google image

Although I am actually by nature a worrier, I always make an effort to override that by making sure I feed my consciousness with positive words, surround myself with positive people, and just as I train my body to be strong, I make sure that activities I do during the day positively nurtures and strengthen my mind and soul.

image courtesy of Google
featured in my blog
Finding the "Force" to Run
The last few months of dealing physically and mentally with my injury have been challenging and I can only think of the support I got, and thank family and friends, who helped me along the way.

This experience of being in InjuryVille is what made me finally launch the idea I've had since creating this blog : invite the friends, most of whom are not only runners but bloggers as well, who have inspired me. Invite all of them to write and share their stories here to inspire many more.

So tune in this week, and the next weeks!

Friday Inspire
the first attempt of Happy Feet in the Netherlands in featuring fellow runners, who inspire