Friday, October 2, 2015

My Elvis Hair, My Mermaid Fin, Before Breda, Blogging and Rock & Roll with BLACKROLL

― Elvis Presley

My Elvis Hair

The picture above was from my last (10 km) run in September.

It was taken last Monday (28th), and it was my first run a week, and a day after Dam tot Damloop.

My Dam tot Damloop 2011-2014

I had a smile but it was the most sluggish run I have ever ran this year.

My confidence sank during and after the run, even though I broke a personal record in my 10 mile race a week prior; I was berating myself and hating my bipolar disorder because once again it blocked my mind and body from consistent training.

Dam tot Damloop 2015
20th of September
I broke my streak and missed out on a week's worth of training, a week preceding the last week to Breda.

My brain kept nagging me in my entire run, that I would not have felt so sluggish if I fought harder and not give in to the heaviness.

My brain: "If you can't run long, run short. If you can't run short, walk!"

I biked every day (20 km average) because it is a part of our daily life but "my brain" does not count it as a work out. It is a necessary duty (bringing my daughters to school, doing the groceries), it does not count.

Yup, my brain is a drill sergeant, a boot camp trainer! Most of the time instead of motivating me, it demotivates me!

When I showed the picture of my run (the first picture of this blogpost) to my husband, I said, "Oh, look I am channeling Elvis Hair." He, quick witted that he is :D, replied "She left the building!".

I had to laugh, a cathartic laugh, a laugh I needed so much, a laugh over myself because that was what it was about: I went out, and got myself moving.

I re-read the blog I wrote the morning of my Monday run to remind myself that I should truly break this pattern of punishing and being hard on myself just because I missed a run, a training.

It is not good for my mental well being.

I am doing the best I can, and I had promised to listen to my body. It is an awesome feeling, when I can follow the training plan but sometimes my mind, and body simply need to rest, take a longer break.

As much as I would like to be how others can  tenaciously follow their training plan, I have to consider, who I am and what I can, and how far I can push myself. Most importantly, how far I have come since I began.

For now, on my way to making a better sense with what I can and cannot do, or how far I can put my mental health issues aside, I will celebrate what I can and not be hard on myself when I am limited.

My Mermaid Fin

2 days after my Monday run, I had my monthly period. I rested in those two days and ran again yesterday.

Before I continue, my apologies; perhaps too much information for the general public but for beginner (female) runners  this is a good reassuring "fact".  Female runners have to deal with this every month, and it is great to know one is not alone in dealing with the downside of it!

This monthly situation explained why I was feeling the way I did the week after my race: I had  difficulty sleeping, extreme mood swings, back pains, cramps, heaviness.  But I ran a 10K inspite of all those feelings persisting!

Coincidentally my first ever (Ladies Run) Dam tot Damloop (2011) was the first day of my monthly period, as well. It was the beginning of many times I ran with my monthly period.

I've kept a diary with dates of my monthly cycles but often, I still forget (due to the hectic of daily life), that this too plays a huge factor in my running.

My run last night  (last long - 10K - run before Sunday's race) went better.

Slow, since I was also not training for speed.  I was experiencing persistent pain on the muscle of my front right leg. It did disappear when my leg was all warmed up, and it did not feel as irritated the next day.

So tired before the yesterday's (Thursday) run, that I put my watch the wrong way around! hahaha

Before Breda

3 days to Breda Singelloop my second half-marathon in 2015, my 3rd race in this event (5K in 2013, my first race after my injury; 10K in 2014), and my10th start in a half-marathon distance (I began running in August 2011, ran my first back to back marathons in 2012 but did not begin with half-marathon races until 2013).

5K - PR!
(not my best time on the 5K, which currently is still 30 mins
but I count everything faster than 35 minute after my injury in Sumer 2013: a PR)

my fastest 10K in 2014 (my PR still remains 1:01:40 in 10K)
I was still holding back mentally
even though the flares of foot nerve pain has lessened

You will think with all these stats, I will be cool as a cucumber with the upcoming race, Sunday. 

Far from it!

Although, compared to the state I was in for the races after running year 2013,  I am feeling a lot more composed, this new running season.

Yes, I was more nervous in the races after my injury in Summer  2013 (Morton's Neuroma's pain began in July, I was diagnosed in August, and got orthotic insoles in September) than I was when I was  a novice (in 2011-12)  with barely any knowledge what it was all about.

There is (a running) life after recuperating from an injury, and there is (a runner's) life, living with having a Morton's Neuroma.


Since I am just back again in the blogging flow, I will be returning later to the blogs I wrote when I was dealing with my injury.

Later on, if you would like to read back through them, you could do a search (see upper right corner for the horizontal box), and type in the keyword "Morton's Neuroma".  

It would be a lot of work retagging all my blogs but I am excited to do them to give myself a good focus for the next races in the last running season of this year.

A look back with the purpose of focusing on the lessons learned.

This is one of the many methods I have to have a control over my anxiety and panic attacks over upcoming races.

If you would like a more detailed and elaborate explanation of  "tips"I'll be sharing, please subscribe to the blog so you will get instantly a message when I post a blog.  Or like Happy Feet in the Netherlands on FB, follow me on IG @HappyFeetNL/@HappyFitNL and/or Twitter @HappyFeetNL.

My 13 tips will hopefully be up, soon!

Rock and Roll with BLACKROLL 

As I have said in my previous blog, I am celebrating a positive flow. It is the result of (9!) months of getting rid of my sources of stresses.  Simplify life, and simplify interactions on social media were worthwhile projects and I am reaping from all the efforts invested in the past months.

I feel much lighter, now and able to do what I would like to do: write my experiences, share my stories.  It is important for me to document my evolution from a life as couch potato to a more active, healthier and mindful person.

It is not actually only months but  decades before I am where I am now.  I am more confident, that I have it in me to change my life for the better.

2015 is a very  pro-active year. I still back slide a lot to old ways but go back again on track faster than I would have had, 10 years ago, or even a year ago.

After all these years of practice, there are times, that it is still hard to continue doing what is best for me and as a consequence, best for my family.   I am glad I have surrounded myself with very positive supportive people through the years.  

It is something I vowed to continue more mindfully, when we moved to the Netherlands.

I left great friends in Germany behind, a wonderful support group.  The friendship I had there, taught me patience, perseverance and appreciation. 

If I am patient, and persevere I will consistently have/attract the friendship in my life, which I can truly appreciate - healthy, happy, supportive relationships, and connections.

Speaking of positive connections!

Model: l-eefje, Community Manager @ BLACKROLL
Photographer: Michelle D.

This week on IG, I was contacted** by BLACKROLL; it's a company, which is passionate about healthy lifestyle.  The support not only (recreational) athletes in keeping strong and injury free but also people, who would like to have better flexibility, stronger muscles, stronger core by exercising with this tool, and utilizing it for self-massage*.

I'll be receiving their product and I am SO excited!

I have been meaning to try out foam rolling since last year, when I heard about it from fellow runners, who shared their positive experiences.  It's over my personal budget, though.

Running is free but races limits my purchases for other things, I would really like to have!

I kept hoping that I could get one for Christmas, or my next birthday, or when I have a huge PR, and kept visualizing myself using it (this is a powerful method I have been applying since I was 6 y.o.!).

Well, now this early present will be coming before Christmas, and just right after my PR for Dam tot Damloop!!!

Watch out for the exercises I would do with them! If you are curious about BLACKROLL,  you can read more here*, follow their social media channels for more tips on exercises, on  how to use them and it's many benefits and rewards.

***I have not been told by BLACKROLL, what to say about their product.  Even though they would provide me with this tool, which I would utilize to help me recover from my work outs and aid me in strengthening my muscles, opinions about the product is my own.

Review will be up, as soon as I have tested them!

*I have used some information I read about the product on BLACKROLL  in my blog because of the clarity of their words, which conveys what I have read about foam rolling.

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