Thursday, July 20, 2017

Berlin Marathon Training Week 13 - Week 26







Blogger's Note:  


Due to daily life being busy, I had a lot of my weekly marathon update written in blog draft form.  Specifically  Berlin Marathon Training Week 13 - Week 26, all remained unpublished.  Until today! Week 13 is finally done!

Week 13 photo documentation

Instagram Story edits, helped me a lot keep track!

Beginning this week: Week 27, I will be regularly publishing training updates once again, every Monday.  Week 14 - Week 26 will be edited as time becomes available but I would like to finish them before my 6th RUNniversay (in 19 days!). Basically, I have at least a day for each unpublished blog draft.

Often, when I go back to piece together my own story/documentation, I can no longer recall why and how I did, what I did. hahaha ;)

This is  the original reason, why I started blogging after all: to remember and never forget! :)

The dates of the blogposts will  be the dates , they were created in draft form. I'll be publishing them with annotations (such as what you are reading , now! :D ) mainly to avoid confusion in the future!  

Specially if lots of time has passed in between; I've learned not to trust my own memory and simply write everything down. 

If you would like to read through/back from Week 13 until Week 26, you can find these posts under the tag:  



They (a total of 14 blogposts) won't show up all at once because I am still in the process of (20.07.17: 1 published blog!) finishing each post.  



It is always about the links, the notes for specific training days (thoughts/epiphanies  I had during the run, which I don't want to forget!) and my struggle to let go of my perfectionism, which makes it longer for me to publish!



Anyway! Taking a much needed rest  (from blogging, social media, training), and what I did during those breaks helped me a lot regain a more positive, productive attitude.  I've re-learned how to look at and approach everything with simplicity.  I hope my renewed energy, positive attitude, my never ending quest to simplify will continue on as I write my future blogs.

Week 27

SUPER happy, after being ill 4-5 days, a recovery/tempo run!
This was the first time I ran once again from the marina in Naarden,
starting from where our sail boat lay at anchor.

P.S. to Celebrating 172!

Once again to avoid confusion, even though I will be adding a total of 14 blogposts ("old unpublished draft post", which will be preceding (since they will be published on dates they were written in draft) the celebratory 172 published blogs, I still will count them as published after 172.

My apologies, I am confusing you, dear readers! :D  

It is simply a process of completing my Berlin Marathon training documentation.  One of the mini-goals of this 2017 marathon adventure, I am trying to achieve!

Celebrating 172! blogpost has been titled as such, so it is easier for me in the future to keep count of the blogs I will publish thereafter.


Celebrating 172!

This post was originally published 
on the Facebook Page 
of Happy Feet in the Netherlands.

07.07.13

This image was shared for the first time in this Running Fish with a Right Brain




#TBT Story. 

“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state--it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle.... Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one's actions."
Abraham Joshua Heschel

On the 17th of July, 2017, I published my 172nd blogpost, here in Happy Feet in the Netherlands: SimpliFLY Summer.

The blog has been created January, 2012; this was 6 months after I began my adventure with running.

First blogpost was published 15th of January - it was entitled: Starting Line 

So today, 20th of July, 2017, I would like to start a daily TBT to celebrate a documented running life, and countdown as well my upcoming 6th RUNniversary (8th of August!).

Yes, it is 19 days of looking back, on how I focused on moving forward with the help of running and blogging.

If you are a long time follower of my blogging (since 2006!), let me know what Happy Feet in the Netherlands' blogpost(s), particularly left an impression on you. I would be delighted to hear from all of you!

Today's tbt post, is written last October, 2014: Turning My Kryptonite To My Super Powers

The blogpost was originally an entry to a contest to win a TCS Amsterdam Marathon starting number. SPOILER ALERT: I won! There was a plot twist, though. Read (again) to find out! 

The photo is a TBT as well. It was taken on the 7th of July, 2013. It was the month I got my Morton's Neuroma (injury). This was why I ran for the first time on the beach. I wanted so badly to continue training and running barefoot was the only way I could continue running.  

What I LOVE about blogging is I am reminded of things I could not believe I did! Here, I was off to run what in the end will be 16 km of barefoot running on the sand. Phew! I forgot the distance I ran! 
 

What I will always remember, thought was how much fun I had and how I forgot about stressing over the goals, that was slipping slowly away from me.




20th of July, 2017
09:58 

Monday, July 17, 2017

SimpliF(L)Y Summer!



I love this photo of M.
A  beautiful Summer memory.



“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack KerouacThe Dharma Bums

Monday



Finally a blog update after two months of silence! :) How has your Summer been, so far?

Before I continue, my apologies for those, who visited my blog last Saturday, and did not see any published post.  I am not sure if somebody even :D noticed that  I wrote about my going back to "regular blogging" in my Instagram profile:



print screen of
@happyfeetnl
17.07.17


Plans


It was my intention to start posting blogs every Saturday.

Writing that intention in my Instagram profile was a way of making a commitment.  If or when somebody read it, did not really matter but the act of putting it "out there" is enough for me to prepare myself mentally and have something challenging to do, to look forward to.

Unfortunately, I felt unwell around Wednesday and by the start of the weekend, I was ill. So, Saturday evening I changed  Saturday to Monday as the day of my blog updates. My obsessive mind was soon put at ease!

Normally, you see, I would give myself a hard time about plans not getting accomplished as I envision them.  I would further on obsess mentally about the fact, that when I make plans, they go awry.

Yes, I have learned to be more flexible and less awful to myself!

Before I even became a runner, I've contemplated a lot of times on NEVER ever making any more plans in my life because plans going awry was more of a constant than plans going according to schedule and how I envision them.

It is against my nature, though; I have to make plans! I need the structure, the anticipation, the energy making plans gives me.


After receiving a Garmin watch, as a gift from a friend,
I made plans to use it as a tool to sit less and move more.
The goal was humble: 1000 steps a day.

The number of steps was not the main goal; it was the consistency of moving daily.

SimpliF(L)Y!


Why did I "ramble" on about plans of resuming blogging ;) instead of diving into the update of my marathon training?!

9 weeks and 5 days to go!!!

Well, it is because in the process of training for my second Berlin Marathon, I went through significant transformations: mentally and physically, which made me happier and life feel so much lighter.

Mondays, making plans, and simplifying are just some of the topics that I would like to get into before I share the statistics and details of my marathon training.

These topics are things I had difficult issues with my entire life, and now I am getting better at them.  Significantly. All because of my marathon training.

I won't get into all of these topics on this blog! It will be too much for a single post.

One major thing I can share right now about my Berlin 2017 marathon training: the process has thus far been very rewarding; it  continues to make me happy and I can't wait to run the marathon in September.


Quote


Let me direct your attention once again to the quote at the beginning of this blog. 

If you are a long time reader, you know by now that I almost always start my blogposts with a quote.

I have 5 reasons for this:

1. I love collecting quotes and my blogposts are my way of archiving them.

2. Quotes are my meditative mantras; searching for a  "quote for the day" puts me in a positive mindset, before my day has even begun.

3.  The words in the quote  I chose for particular blogposts gives me something to focus on, when I write. The message behind the quote often makes me feel more centred and confident in writing the message, I would like to convey.

4. I always hope, that reading the quote at the beginning of a blog post gives my blog readers a clue about what my blog is going to be about or gives them the emotions behind the message I am trying to convey.

source: Google Images

(Daily) Blogging & Simplifying


Simplifying life has always been my personal goal and more so, ever since my second daughter was born 15 years ago.  The weight of motherhood seemed daunting the second time around.  My way of coping with situations I feel will be challenging is to either write my feelings about them or find solutions by reading a book(s)!

the book I bought in Germany
on the 5th of July, 2002
a month before my second daughter was born
(28th of August)


In 2011, 2 years after we moved to the Netherlands, I created the blog "My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands" .  I wanted to document our "new life".  I also wanted to hold myself accountable to my goal of simplifying life.  I did this by focusing on the positive things in our lives, and by writing those thoughts in blog form rather than in my journals.


Week 26

Mixing it up a bit: I began the week with an LDR-
LOVED it!
17.9 km run
10th of July

I  have yet to accomplish a 365 blogging project in my 11 years of blogging (my blogging life began September 2006, as an anonymous blogger). 



Blogging about my marathon training (even if I have most of those blogposts in draft mode - currently 14 posts unpublished -  from my marathon training 2017 !) and how I have been dealing with the setbacks, have given me back the zest for blogging, I somehow lost or lose periodically.

I am contemplating on embarking (yet again!) on a 365 blogging project. Making plans...

The difference this time is, it will be a daily celebration of recording life, versus the process being a personal challenge (i.e proving to myself, I can do it!).  We will see, how it goes. ;)

from my Instagram Story
10th of July, 2017



Training for a Marathon 


The adventure of running 42 kilometres, the preparation, helps me simplify my life, the life I share with my beloved family.

M and I were photographed by the official graduation photographer while taking a photo of J.

Eldest after her graduation from middle school!




It truly lifts my spirit high to look back at 26 weeks of work I have put into Berlin marathon training -including the ups and the downs marathon preparation brings.

I soar with the thought, that almost 6 years after I made the plans, that I will run the marathon  in Berlin 2012 in my 40's, I am still running 5 years, later. I am confident, that I will continue to be a runner for many more years to come. As long as I am physically able to.

Week 15
My second medal in 2017

26th of April


Week 17

8th of May

Week 17

9th of May


Week 12

My first race in 2017

2nd of April

 OH, the Stats!


If you can no longer wait ;) 😄for future blogposts to see some marathon training stats, here you go! :D

I am truly proud, 22 days to my 6th RUNniversary, to share the mileage I have ran.

It is incomplete because I was not able to keep the records of my running statistics from August 2011 - August 2012.  Nevertheless! This fact, tiny detail in the big scope of things, does not diminish my sense of accomplishment.

January - July 2017




I began training for my first 5K on the 8th of August 2011

It was not until August 2012, a month before I was to run Berlin Marathon that I won a Nikeplus Sportswatch.

This watch was the first ever gadget, that helped me record my running statistics.

August 2012 - July 2017


P.S. Keep On Keeping On


Thank you, if you made it this far. :) I hope you did.

I hope, if you have been a regular reader, that you will take "hope" with you, after reading this post.

Hope for things to  get better. Hope that you can accomplish a lot with small continuous, consistent steps.

There has been extreme highs and extreme lows in my life.  I can tell you now with confidence, life goes on and it gets (yes, it always eventually does!!!) better, the more we all exert a little bit more effort to try to get to the next day.

Writing, documenting life, running, they are my tools to cope & at the same time celebrate life. You can choose your own tool. We all have what it takes to overcome life's hurdles and challenges.

I wish you luck! Hopefully, I'll "see you"again, here. Soon!


My last Instagram Story for July, 2017!

I used it to announce my blogging come back.

CORRECTION on the day and dates!

It'll be every Monday: on the24th & 31st of July.

We'll see how it goes for August.



Thursday, May 18, 2017

What's Up Buttercup?

Before I publish BACK TO BERLIN Week 13 - 17 marathon training updates, I had to write a post "glueing" these weeks to Week 18. 
One of my mini-goals on the way to running the Berlin Marathon 2017 is to have a "seamless" documentation of my marathon training
I have not been able to (personally) satisfactorily achieve this in the 3 previous marathons (2012: Berlin, Amsterdam; 2013:Paris) I finished. Nor did it happen in my attempts after 2013.
Marathon training had often helped me successfully implement changes in my life, which I struggled to realise or was too mentally blocked to complete.   There is something about the structure of marathon training that makes me, simply put : get things done; things, which  I usually procrastinate on.
One of the many things on my "get it done list" is to write a blog post shortly after a difficult period during marathon training.
A blog going back to business but also acknowledging the fact, I went through a depressive episode.
A blog sharing how I got over it, how I am moving on, how recording my process helps me, and how I hope sharing it will help others, may they derive strength from it, during their own difficult period. 
Writing after recovering from a mental health issue, is a ritual (before blogging, I wrote in my personal journals), I often - very often! - skip. After many years, I realized it is necessary for me to write recovery thoughts to help myself heal faster and prevent relapses.
So, here we go.

a snapshot I took after yesterday's run, in between biking home

"The buttercups, bright-eyed and bold,

Held up their chalices of gold

To catch the sunshine and the dew."

- Julia C. R. Dorr, Centennial Poem, line 165.

Yesterday . . .


I ran my 47th training marathon training run in Spanderswoud. It was the hottest run I've ran so far in 2017.  Many said (I did not check the temperature) it was a 28 degrees Celsius day.





Besides the hot and humid climate of the day, what sets this run apart from all the other run was it's "unpredictability".  I changed every direction I took seconds after I checked in with my brain. 


"Mind Games; Meditation in Motion"


What does this mean? I'll try to explain it as simple as I can: the moment I am about to follow what I planned to do, I changed it seconds before I  put myself into action, towards the direction I have to go to follow "the plan".  

For example, yesterday, my route was Loodijk.  I also call it The Windmill route; this is my favourite 5K route.  There are no cars to watch out for, the roads are well maintained, and I can focus on a steady pace because there are not a lot of visual distraction. The path is for the most part, a straight meditative wide space.



After 5 years of running, I revised this route.  2017 5K Loodijk route goes like this: I bike out of our village (almost a mile), and park my bike in front of Restaurant Loodijk.  From there, I start running and as soon as I hit 3 km, I turn to go back the same direction I came from, and end my run at Restaurant De Molen.


My running schedule varies but I always seem to run this route while the restaurant is still closed.

This gives the opportunity to do a few easy short yoga poses in peace before I head back home. I love looking back at work out pictures with the windmill behind me. :)

I have come to call this windmill route my Zen zone.



Spanderswoud


So, how did I end up in Spanderswoud?  


Picnic with M in Spanderswoud
20th of April, 20117

M is personification of fun. Always full of ideas. Always a great energy to be with,


Left, Right, OR Straight Ahead ? Surprise!


I had to create a "Surprise!" moment for my brain to get it "excited", tickle my neurons out of it's inertia, shut the door to the interlopers mania and melancholia.

"Surprising my brain" - keeping it guessing - is  something I do, when my mental block becomes extremely hard to break through or I broke through a major mental block and I feel a new one coming on. 

Is it healthy to practice this method?  Is it counter-productive in the long run? These and many other questions are something I don't dwell on - yet.  It  is a method, that works for me, and as long as I don't have a better one, I will continue to use it.




How did I do this yesterday?

When I finally got myself out of the house, and on my bike, I turned right instead of biking straight on towards Loodijk.  This "surprising my brain in split second" was what I did the next 36 minutes and 44 seconds of my run in Spanderswoud.





It was fun because it was like going through my own spontaneous created maze.  The activity distracted me from obsessing about the heat.


Marathon Training: Week 15-17


2017 running stats, so far


I've been terribly struggling mentally since Week 15.  It was a rapid swing from bad to worst state of mind,  and the time of respite in between was not even sufficient to get back from bad to even a simple okay.

The same old story.  After weeks of great positive flow (14 weeks - not bad in hindsight!) , I dove and fell flat on my face and before I can utter the words, "Not this again!", I am physically weighed down by my depressed body.

This recent experience has led me to the decision of seeking help and taking medication once again, after almost a decade of doing without.


A Minute...

------------------------------------ just a minute, please ------------------------------

I write this post to have something to come back to.  

This is - as I often say in my blogs of the same mind-decluttering kind - not a self-pity party post, OR "I need help" silent cry in the internet (I will ask, if I do need help. Something I have learned the hard way, and practice as often as I can to not lose the skill...), or "look at me, look at how strong I am, and how I prevail...".

No.  This is a documentation. This is me hoping, what I document will help me in my process.  This is me hoping, what I document will help someone else in their process

------------------------------------ read on; thanks. :) -------------------------------

A minute of planking is a meditative minute


My Mind in a Basket (Case)


Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I'm cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
A ya-ya-ya
Grasping to control
So I better hold on


Yesterday, I broke through my stubborn mental block (it started creeping in at Week 15 and it got worst between Week 16, and persisted in Week 17),   of going out for a  run.

I have another blog still in draft (written on the 4th of May), which I wrote when I was able to pull myself out of inertia mid-way through Week 15.

As soon as I have the time and peace to work on that blog again, I will continue to put in details the many things I did to help myself through this episode of depression.  I got a great run after writing that unpublished blog, in Week 17.

In brief, what always help me stay strong during my depression, and eventually help me recover, are these:

  1. The knowledge, that I have been through the same thing, the same cycles before and manage to come out of it, again and again.  I've been recording my process in my journals since I was a teen-ager, and in 2006, I started writing blogs anonymously.  Between 2011-2012, is when I slowly publicly wrote blogs about how life is with with bipolar disorder, my rapid cycles of depression; how I deal with them and strive to focus on a simple life - a life with quality with my family.
  2. The generous and unwavering support of my family, friends near and far, and kindred souls on the net, whom I have yet to meet in person but through the years, have been catalysts in helping me, help myself in ways that changed my life for the better.
  3. Words of kindness.  Words of inspiration. Words of empowerment.  They are everywhere and we all receive them, when we meditate, pray, or ask the universe for them.
  4. Baby steps.  This is powerful. If you've suffered from minor, major depression or have helped or witnessed someone who went through or is going through depression, you know each step, no matter how seemingly random, mediocre, or seemingly pointless - a step is a step. A step is a small movement towards improvement.
  5. Helping others.  It seems ironic that at a time, I obviously need the help, thinking of helping others makes me get better.


Stop and Smell the Flowers...


“The earth laughs in flowers.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson


No. 5 on the list of what helps me stay strong and recover from depressive episodes, has come to be one of the main source of positive energy for me.

"Be there for others". These words are words I encounter  the most in my search to make sense of depression, living life with depression, making the best of life with depressive episodes and moving on and living a good in life in spite of scars left behind by each depressive cycles. 

Experts in mental health share this wisdom; people who went through with and still are dealing with mental health issues, when they share their experiences in books, or in various mental health websites - they all speak and write about : being there for others as a way to get yourself out of your head, and  out living life, as one should.

I know I am strong. I know there is a now, and a future for me, where the stories of how I face, and overcome my mental pain and struggles will help alleviate the pain and struggles of someone else.






Last night my partner - exhausted from a day of "everything went wrong" day at work - laid his head on my lap.  He told me for the hundredth time, how he enjoys me caressing his head, running the palm of my hand  up and down his back.  He sighed almost close to falling asleep, how my voice  (no matter, what I am talking about! :D) soothes him, and can put him to a peaceful slumber. 

As I ran my hand through his hair, and ran my palm up and down his back, I renewed a much repeated promise: I will share my story. Repeatedly. I will write my story.  Leave a written legacy for our girls, for those who need the story, for those  who want to understand, for those who do not want to feel alone.

A story of how someone never gave up, how no one should ever give up on life, and how  we can all keep finding ways to not let mental health issues become an enemy but a source of inspiration on being there for others, living, loving, persevering, understanding and sharing.

Sharing is Caring.



Do you have a story to share? Besides sharing your own keep moving stories, stories of helping and being a friend, do you have any other ways of "being there" for someone, who struggles (with or without mental health issues) ?  I always love to read and learn more from others and their experiences.

Please share your story, or questions in the comment box. OR send me a message via Facebook (click the link on the caption above or click on the link at the right side of this page to be redirected).  Or reach out via email: happyfeetinthenetherlands@gmail.com.

The story we share of helping others and ourselves can empower many.


HAPPY FEET IN THE NETHERLANDS



created 18th of  May, 2017 11:00 

Monday, April 10, 2017

BACK TO BERLIN: Week 13




Too many people have refused to begin running or have quickly dropped out of running programs because they 'have no talent for it.' Ridiculous. Talent has nothing to do with it. The only thing that matters is mental discipline.
- Amby Burfoot -



This Week's Purpose


I love beginning the week with a sense of purpose.  


My purpose this week (Week 13: 10.04 - 16.04) is to research on how to be an effective runner.



***** (please, see at the bottom of the post, how I fared at the end of the week with my intentions) 



Since I almost always write a daily impression of my day in my Instagram account, I will link my daily post there, here. If you would like to read a longer recounting of a specific day, simply click on the date (when link is available!) and you will be redirected to @happyfeetnl
 



10.04.17, Monday : 20 bike km, rest from running




11.04.17, Tuesday:  20 bike km, 5K tempo





12.04.17, Wednesday:  


20 bike km and I shared my 4 minute planking routine on my IG Stories












13.04.17, Thursday

20 bike km 




 2

20 bi

14.04.17, Friday

PR on my 5K!!! I'm currently putting together my 5K story: 2011 - 2017; hopefully, you will be patient with me (I am sure you are, if you are still a loyal blog follower at this point! :D ), until I can give you the complete story of my road to this 5K PR.














15.04.17, Saturday:  

As P my beloved, K (middle daughter) and M (youngest daughter) put together a 1,000 piece puzzle, I put together pieces of my own mental process puzzle!  The result in a separate blog (continuing the series of  Detoxing Happy Feet 2017). :)






16.04.17, Sunday:  

Simple (Easter) Sunday!










Total  :    80  biking km /     11 (rounded off ) running km




***** P.S. On the purpose of this week : I discovered my new "running coach"! :D

Resting on the couch on a very lazy Sunday, M gave me a quick tutorial on how to view youtube on our SmartTV. Yup, the youngest in the family teaches the rest of us, how to use technology! :D

This is how (through random zapping!) I came across, The Run Experience.  I don't want to get into every thing I watched and every thing that I will be trying out in this blog, all out once.  So, you'll probably see/read what I have learned and what I am trying in the coming weekly training recaps.

I am excited about my training in the coming weeks, and excited to share them to all of you. Here is hoping we all learn something to keep moving forward and becoming happier & stronger runners. :)


✓ Week 1, 2 and 3 (Biking : 188 km Running (started 3rd week: 21 km)
✓ Week 4 (Biking : 60 km Running : 13 km )
 Week 5  (Biking : 50 km Running : 29 km )
 Week 6 (Biking 0 Spring BreakRunning : 29 km )
 Week 7 (Biking : 60 km  Running : 36 km)
✓ Week 8 (Biking : 43 km  Running : 35 km) 
 Week 9 (Biking :  20 km  Running : 32  km)
✓ Week 10 (Biking : 50 km  Running : 24 km) TAPER
✓ Week 11 (Biking : 50 km  Running : 22 km)  RACE WEEK/10K
✓ Week 12 (Biking : 41 km  Running : 33 km) 
✓ Week 13 (Biking :  80 km  Running : 11 km ) 




13 weeks of Biking : 642 km
11  weeks of Running :  285 km



created 10.04.17 13:01 Monday
updated   19.04.17 01:37   Wednesday

actually published 20.07.17 12:32



Blogger's Note:  Due to daily life being busy, I had a lot of my weekly marathon update written in blog draft form.  Specifically  Berlin Marathon Training Week 13 - Week 26, all remained unpublished.  Until today!

Beginning this week: Week 27, I will be regularly publishing training updates once again, every Monday.  Week 13 - Week 26 will be edited as time becomes available but I would like to finish them before my 6th RUNniversay (in 19 days!). Basically, I have at least a day for each unpublished blog draft.

Often, when I go back to piece together my own story/documentation, I can no longer recall why and how I did, what I did. hahaha ;)

This is  the original reason, why I started blogging after all: to remember and never forget! :)

The dates of the blogposts will  be the dates , they were created in draft form. I'll be publishing them with annotations (such as what you are reading , now! :D ) mainly to avoid confusion in the future!  

Specially if lots of time has passed in between; I've learned not to trust my own memory and simply write everything down. 

If you would like to read through/back from Week 13 until Week 26, you can find these posts under the tag:  

They (a total of 14 blogposts) won't show up all at once because I am still in the process of (20.07.17: 1 published blog!) finishing each post.  

It is always about the links, the notes for specific training days (thoughts/epiphanies  I had during the run, which I don't want to forget!) and my struggle to let go of my perfectionism, which makes it longer for me to publish!

Anyway! Taking a much needed rest  (from blogging, social media, training), and what I did during those breaks helped me a lot regain a more positive, productive attitude.  I've re-learned how to look at and approach everything with simplicity.  I hope my renewed energy, positive attitude, my never ending quest to simplify will continue on as I write my future blogs.