Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Happy Face At the Finish Line - Reflections, & Celebrating the 101st blogpost!

“Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.” 

Last Sunday, I ran my 5th 10K for this year at Marikenloop in Nijmegen.

Rare and precious occasion
my beautiful cheering trio came along
for this year's Marikenloop.

In my 33 months of running, this run was my 12th 10K, and my 3rd time  of running a 10K in this event, 3 years in row (this popular ladies' run also offers the 5K distance).

I consider all these statistical facts an achievement. :) They all represent for me the fruits of  focus, patience and perseverance.

A #Roadie: a #Selfie on the road with my precious family
(middle daughter - missing on this pic - is behind me drawing)!
Love  Mijn Liefste P's smile  ♡ 

After the finish with the girls!
There is a funny anecdote to this picture I promised to share!

Since I wrote Fueled By Goals: Running 14 10Ks in 2014 #14TenK, my ability to focus in regards to running goals has greatly improved.

I tend to easily be distracted, and in the process I sabotage myself, my chances at improvement, my health and peace of mind in the process.  This is not exclusively about my running but in my life in general.

The act of writing has always been a source of serenity for me, and I am encouraging myself to utilize this tool, this gift for the purpose of gaining more peace of mind.  Peace in the mind, gives strength to the body & spirit.

Running, together with writing are means for me to gain balance, simplicity and stability in my life and that of my family.

As I have mentioned in my previous blog, the longer I run, the challenging it seems to stay focused on the reasons of why I run.

Just like with daily life, the running world has a lot of distractions, too.

The solution to dealing with this challenge is as simple as the reason I created this running blog: to blog!
  • Blog to reflect
  • Blog to motivate
  • Blog to inform
  • Blog to have fun
  • Blog to inspire
  • Blog to be inspired
  • Blog to connect with others, who share the hopes & dreams, the struggles
  • Blog to celebrate each baby step in having a healthy state of mind and a healthy lifestyle
  • Blog to document achievements
  • Blog to remember milestones

Blog, blog, blog!

I write this blog to celebrate my 100 written blogs, and to say:  ♡  THANKS TO ALL OF YOU   for being with me, whether  from the beginning or just recently, whether you are a runner yourself, or dreaming/planning to be…

We, together, each day of our lives, we all take baby steps towards improving it.

Most importantly, thank you for the moral support, the cheers to each baby steps my family &  I took and are taking in our new life here in the Netherlands.

Without all of you, I would not have been able to write those 100 blogs!

In this 101st blog, I would like to share my plan to write 100 blogs before the year ends.

It is my way of thanking you by sharing all the untold stories of the last 3 years of running.

I'll be tagging these blogs with #100for100: this tag is a reminder that baby steps  leads to success, happiness and peace of mind.

Everything starts with one step!

In this 101st blog, I share as well 10 simple things running helped me do, that made me happier, and has given me a reason to keep going in spite  of dealing with my bipolarity.

I call it my "Go Through this  #NeverGiveUp list - so you won't!"  or as simple as "How to #NeverGiveUP!" (I personally like my laborious title more though! :D ).

They are a list of what to do but at the same time they are empowering words when you don't feel like doing them at all!

Life has gained more life since I begun with running.

I hope runners, as well as non-runners can take inspiration from this list and will have courage to begin what ever it is you have been wanting to begin with.

Actually I have a longer list but in the spirit of 2014's Running Goal - #14TenK - I am sharing 10 for now. :)  The list and the corresponding text are simplified version.

"How to #NeverGiveUP!" 


Setting running goals has helped me literally get up - each morning, each time I encounter obstacles that made me stumble and fall.

Getting up for me - in the morning, or after a defeat -  is always an act of courage.

Running reminds me each time that it is worth it to "Get up!"

Get up = gain courage

with my beloved
Mijn liefste P
at my first ever 5K, and first ever Pink Ribbon Run
Mom in Balance
(20 days after I began with running)
 28th of August, 2011


As safe and as sheltered as we  can feel in the warmth of our home, outdoors is where we find our true strength.

It might seem paradoxical but when you are full of anxiety, the best way is to go outdoors!

Running brings me outdoors, and it's a friend specially, when I don't feel like being outdoors at all.

Go outdoors = have a clearer perspective

My first ever run on a circuit
Zandvoort Circuit Run
March, 2012


Action always beats inactivity.

Moving always brings you forward even if it takes you a step backward.

Running a race has a start and a finish; life, each of it's chapter has a start and an end. Moving brings us from start to finish.  Inactivity stalls you from truly living.

Move = initiate change

My first run at Kinderdijk,
 the first time the family visited this
June, 2012


The more you run, the more possibility for you to  improve.

Running motivates me to work on doing my best.

Do your best = acquire confidence

A memorable collage of my 1st and 2nd participation at Dam tot Damloop
September 2011 - ran 4 miles
September 2012 - ran 10 miles
This collage has been a source of inspiration not only to  people whom I met through running
but a personal source of inspiration and motivation for myself when I get discouraged


As the song goes: smile even though your heart is aching!

Running, the activity, everything that encompasses it, will not only get your heart pumping to stop it from figuratively aching but it will make you smile.

Smile = have a lighter heart

After almost 2 years of running, I finally run in one of the most popular race in our nearby village!
June, 2013


Running makes you grateful.

Grateful to yourself for taking charge, and making a difference to your health, to your life.

Say Thanks = grateful heart, is a healthy heart

One of my most memorable half marathon experience
ING Night Marathon Luxembourg 
June, 2013
In 2014, I together with other marathon finishers of 2013
 became the face of ING Night Marathon Luxebourg 2014!


Running connects you to others.

The more you share your authentic self to others, the more you gain support, the more you gain wisdom, the more you gain love.

Say thanks = a lighter heart has a loving spirit

Being cheered & supported by friends,
fellow Running Junkies
Eva & Udjen

as I - the last runner of the day - end my half marathon
at second  Vechtloop in Weesp
June, 2013
(in 2012, I ran my first 15K in this event)


The more you express gratefulness, the more your eyes opens for people, things, events etc to be grateful to…

Say thanks = an appreciative spirit attracts positive spirits, and positive energy

A very thoughtful gift from Kelly of Lunatik Atletiks
inspired this blog:
2013: A Year of Thanks. A Positive Year.


Stretching is very important  in the sports of running.

In life stretching yourself beyond your limits brings you to places, you never think you can be and let you not only discover the many talents in you but makes you realize all those potentials.

Stretch = discover & realize unendless possibilities

meeting the people behind Muddy Mates
gave me confidence and motivation to try what I thought I never would
I might have missed on their event - April, 2014 this year (due to illness)
but because of them I am no longer saying "never" to a different kind of running experience!


Running not only brings people together but helps us find ourselves - it opens the mind, heart and spirit.

An open mind, heart and spirit feels and follows the call to share what it finds: freedom, love and peace.

Spread the love = become the love

with my beloved
Mijn liefste P
at my second
Zandvoort Circuit Run
March, 2014

Hope you all like my #NeverGiveUp list!!! Here is to #100for100 blogs!!! :)