Monday, January 27, 2014

Commit2Fit Finale: Full Circle

This is where it all started:
Girls Love 2 Run blog recap of
COMMIT2FIT ~ Grand Finale

“Women are going to form a chain, a greater sisterhood than the world has ever known.”
Nellie L. McClung

Last year, I met Fieke & Francien, bloggers behind Girls Love 2 Run in person. 

Last Sunday, I had a "training reunion" with them!

First the flashback...

In February, 2013, I together with 4 other followers of GL2R were invited to join them in their training for core stability and mindful running.

My humble goal then, which I shared with the girls was to hold a plank for more than 30 seconds.
Girls Love 2 Run February, 2013 blog recap:

Short story:

It was a great experience!

Long story:

Happy Feet NL February, 2013 blog recap ~

TRIOfor2013 February Feature: Core-Stability & Mindful Running w/ @GirlsLove2Run

(all images below are courtesy of Girls Love 2 Run blog)

A year later...

My best time after 16 days of planking: 130 secs (holding a low plank)!
Currently on a good day, I can hold it strong for 150 seconds.
By Day 20, I reached my personal goal of 5 minutes combi planking (see collage)

collage from the #30DayPlankChallenge Album
@ Happy Feet NL FB page

2013 ended  positively and 2014 begun with a determination to have an even stronger fighting spirit.

Aiming for perfection has the danger of eventually paralyzing one in the process from achieving one's goal. 

Aiming to actively participate every day in life to be a better you, on the other hand, is from my experience, a perfect,  if not the most ideal way to live.

There are so many reasons to celebrate being alive, and there are simply no reasons to waste time thinking of "what could have beens", only a great amount of time to invest on what you can be!

At the last quarter of 2013 I created event challenges @ Happy Feet NL FB page (#Running4Badges, #MorningMilers), and participated in different challenges myself
[click on the link of the hashtags to check out the FB pages of inspiring people!]
(#commit2fit; #100DayChallenge; #30DayPlankChallenge/#plankadaycozwhynot)

I could not have attained this positive mindset if not for so many positive souls, and most of them I call soul/solesisters.

A collage of sisterhood - fun! - after the Sunday work-out

The traditional "We got together!/We made it! We are da bomb (photo-bombed, too hahaha)!" photo-op...
featuring from left to right: Fieke, one-half of GL2R :D, Eva @LittleEveGrows, Lianne & Udjen
Liefste P was not fast enough to catch Francien when she posed in front of us on her way home! :D
Well, everyone wanted to be in the group picture!
BTW, this is a random dog on the way to the Vondelpark, and not Fieke's dog. :)
(I was too hungry to notice, if the peeps walking him/her were watching us!)
Soul/sisters everywhere!
We stumbled upon Ada after our work-out.
Amsterdam - Running Junkies territory. :D

The above images show more than words can tell, why I love following GL2R. They renew for me each time the strong sprit of sisterhood: together strong; strong for each other!

The Commit2Fit Grand Finale in a few words...

The COMMIT2FIT Grand Finale work-out (please, click on the link for the detailed recap - in Dutch - of GL2R, on how the day went; it includes lots of pictures, that tells the story of our work-outs!), gave me a great feeling of coming full circle. 

Nearly impossible alone is totally possible together

It gave me the opportunity of actively acknowledging that a year later, I've improved in my core-stability work-out.  Nowhere near being perfect at planking but - most importantly! - I have NOT GIVEN UP on trying to improve myself in this work-out.

My personal motivational poster
to start off  2014 positively

image courtesy of @debbycools
image courtesy of GL2R

Ironically, on the picture above, which GL2R shared on their recap blog, I am  (upper right corner of the picture) not planking!

I was about to do a downward dog yoga pose to relieve my back pain after a series of 60 seconds planking.

Part of being a better and  stronger me in 2014 is acknowledging at what point I should stop pushing myself, and knowing I can be better without proving anything to anyone. 

Planking remains a personal challenge for me, and not a competition to be the best or better than anyone else. Each time is a personal challenge to be better than I was before,.

Constantly finding a healthy balance between pushing my boundaries and taking care of myself (and in the process my family!) remains my priority.

Personally, this is more of a challenge to do than planking!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Vondelparkloop 2014

Yesssssssss! Finally after a long running drought, I ran, bathed in the lights and happiness of runners, who all celebrated the 40th Edition of Vondelpark Run this weekend.

First, a Sentimental Journey to my first Vondelpark Run ~ 2012

My Stats:
5 months of running experience
ran a 5K, 4M, 10K in the months prior to this event
1st race in 6,7 km distance
ran it in 55:19

Short Story:

Not feeling top fit but ran on the 15th of January, 2012 because I was excited to run the event. I fell in love with Vondelpark, the first time mijn liefste P brought me there, and it seem fitting that I run it as part of my young running adventures.

Long Story:
I shared a longer version of my first Vondelpark Run experience for the FlyingBlue Running Blogging Competion.

running beside a lady, I met at the start
After the run of Vondelpark 2012

Now, on to Vondelpark Run ~2014!

My Stats
  • 2 years 5 months of running experience
  • ran a LOT in these 29 months! (including 3 marathons)
  • ran a back to back for this 40th edition ~ 10K in the evening of the 18th and the 6,7 km revisited in the morning of the 19th!
  • my best time in the 10K is 01:01:40; I ran 1:10:25 for this event
  • my best time in the 5K is 00:30:24 (during a 10K in Marikenloop 2013), and for the 7K (during the Driedorpenloop 2013) 41:49; I ran (based on my watch, no official time released yet) 4.28 miles in 48:21

Short Story:

I'm a sentimental runner! :) I love running events, I've previously ran, and most of all I love anniversary edition of running events.

Vondelpark Run 2014, 40th Edition fulfilled both.

Long Story :

Vondelparkloop ~ Light The Night

Meg's Miles ( )
I had a fabulous time! The night was truly made special and magical through the lights worn by the runners, and lights set up at different points of the course.

Get an impression of the night through various pictures shared by:

Running Matters
Run2Day Amsterdam
Phanos Amsterdam

The route was not new to me. In the 29 months of running, I've ran around it, through it, parts of it countless of times, during day and night time.

The cheering enthusiastic crowd in the park gave the evening a beautiful positive energy. It was literally a LOVELY surprise - in the dark! - to get cheered by Ada, a  very positive supportive friend I met through AMS Running Junkies. *MUAH* Thanks, @da!

(No picture but thanks Irene, Mo's friend for cheering along the way!)
Ada  and  Eva @LittleEveGrows
the following day
I did not get to see Ada anymore
Personally, I was satisfied with the organization of the event. Drink post midway, and energy drinks were given at the end of the race.  There were also a number of volunteers along the route.

My friend Lianne, picked up my bib for me, and that gave me a bit of peace to prepare for the journey to Amsterdam with my family. We did not have to be too early, and stand in the cold with our little girl. Thanks again, Lianne!

Monique aka Mo, was very generous, paced me during the 3 rounds around the park, and ran with me with a the entire time with good humor.  We got separated at the last 100-200 meters, where I lost momentum (due to lack of training). If it was not for her, I would have not ran as fast as I did. Thanks again, Mo!

BELATED EDIT - got a tag last night on FB by Mo for our picture together running Saturday evening :)

Vicky, congratulated us at the finishline, and ask a lady to take this commemorative photo with his mobile phone; I am always grateful to have friends around, who always have their cameras with them. Great moment captured; we all finished the 40th edition of Vondelpark Run! Thanks again, Vicky!

Amsterdam Running Junkies after the finish
left to right:
Mo, Lianne, Vicky, & moi
The next day . . .
The Story Behind #DYR (Dedicate Your Run)
Vondelparkloop then...
photo credit :  cover page of  Running Matters
Vondelparkloop 40th Edition...
photo credit: Daniel Andriessen, originally shared on Running Matters FB page
Fellow AMS Running Junkie/soul/solesister, Eva @LittleEveGrows took this picture
as I neared the finish line in my second and last round in the park;
I was VERY happy to see her!
Annnnnnnnd, here we I am together with :) Eva @LittleEveGrows
Wilbert, also an  AMS Running Junkie friend
thoughtfully took this picture of Eva and I
Congratulations again on your back to back PRs this weekend, Wilby!
Thanks and *MUAHS* to you both!
No picture but special thanks to Anoek for the congratulatory hugs after my 6,7 km run!

Squeezing in a photo planking opportunity!

The run during the day was as special as the evening run.

Get an impression of the day through various pictures shared by:

Running Matters

I was very delighted, that I was able to run this back to back race weekend even though I barely ran in the last weeks. My fitness base obviously remains strong due to my active personal/family life (biking 20-30 km a day).

Vondelparkloop  40th edition was truly a great kick off to start Running 2014! Can't wait for the 41st edition!