Sunday, October 12, 2014

Turning My "Kryptonite" To My Super Powers

Dam tot Damloop
This was my slowest 10M (16K) but I was happy that I could run again; it felt like flying!

If there is time travel, and you would go back in time to tell the 10-12 year old me, that I would finish not one but 3 marathons within a year and a half of running - as a 40-41 y.o. woman! - I think I would fall over on the spot, and not live to see the marvelous days  from sheer shock!

July 2013 @  Wijk aan Zee 
I ran barefoot on the beach for the first time in my life
 because of the foot pain I experienced, when I was training with the wrong shoes for my Autumn races.
Later on, I will be diagnosed with Morton Neuroma.
An injury, which taught me a lot of important running and non-running lessons!

One of my most favorite race photo
because it is evident here that I have joy in running,
and no more hang-ups wearing shorts; it was a fear I had since I was a little girl.
Taken a year and a month after I started running

Between the age of 10-12 years old, I was severely terrified of sports, terrified of wearing shorts (because of a scar!), and I fell over often that I did not even run just for the fun of it - the way I experience my 3 daughters (6, 12, and 15 years old respectively) do it!

Next week, it would be the 39th edition of the TCS Amsterdam Marathon.

This event is very significant to me; it is the event that finally got me out of the door running.  Well, it got me out of the door walking with my very old running shoes!

The last 50 meters of my first 8K! 

My first training day for my first 8K run, was an 8K walk; I went out of the door, pushing the jogger of my  (almost 4 year old) daughter, in front of me.

It seemed appropriate  to vigorously walk the distance I will eventually run in order to get over the anxiety I was having over the goal I set for myself.

On the 8th of August 2011, I walked an 8K with my daughter in her jogger.

I vowed on the first day of my training to document everything,
as much as I can of my "late in my years running adventure"!
Until now, I am very grateful I made and keeping making the effort.

I was 39 y.o. then, separated.  Once again I found myself in yet another foreign country - beginning a new life, this time, in a loving and nurturing relationship.

At this  point, I've lived in Holland for 2 years.  Life is good, stable and going in a positive direction but I was still experiencing severe cycles of my bipolar disorder.

From my previous therapy with a clinical psychiatrist, I knew that I had to take charge of my disorder  or it will take charge of my life.

At the marathon expo a day before my first 8K!

October, 2011

Going outdoors, being physically  active, participating and engaging in community & social activities, were just some of the things I had to maintain to get myself out of the prison of my own mind.

Left to right:
Berlin Marathon 2011
Paris Marathon 2013
Luxembourg HM 2013

(I became the face of this HM!)

August 2011 - October 2014,  3 unforgettable running years:

from finishing my first 5K, 20 days after  that significant 8K walk with the jogger in front of me, to running back to back marathons (3 weeks apart) a year after, and finishing in Paris marathon half a year later.

Family and friends started calling me: "Super Woman! Super Mom!"

I felt elated and embarrassed at the same time.

It was not until I decided to write with more self-conviction, no shame and more transparency about my mental disorder, that I felt genuinely deserving of the praise.

I coined my journey: The Story of Slow.

I do not run marathons to beat time, I run marathons to beat anxiety, depression, panic attacks and to tame my mania.

My marathon motivation is to help others empower themselves.

My fear has become my power. I do what I fear.

Mostly, I do them with my running shoes!

NTC live class 
in Carré
September, 2014

October, 2014
Singelloop Breda

After a year of struggle with my Morton Neuroma,
I finally ran the fastest 10K for this year!

My TCS Amsterdam Marathon in a collage
hopefully next week
I will be able to add another race/finish line photo
from this event.

UPDATE ON THIS BLOGPOST 04.11/10.11.14 (  a bit late!) This is a blog I wrote, in the hopes, that my story will win me a starting bib on the 2014 TCS Amsterdam Marathon.  It did!

Follow up blogpost on this story coming up soon, together with the story of why I am running the marathon again in Amsterdam, next year. :)


This blogpost has been updated 
on the 20 of July, 2017 08:54

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If I can run, so can you: big dreams are reached with baby steps!