Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DETOXING Happy Feet: On Blogging, Simplifying and Decluttering 2017 Part 2

Read other parts and future posts of this Series, using the tag: Detoxing Happy Feet 2017 

 “Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?” 

This is the image (our back garden, my oldest daughter waving through the glass door of our kitchen) which greeted me after I brought youngest daughter to school, and biked home. On my way home I saw middle daughter biking to school.

I love mornings like this.  Simple, predictable, routinary.  It is strange and somehow difficult to look back and point specifically a point in time, when I used to dread mornings like this for the very same reasons.

The more I gain structure and stability in life, the more I have deep appreciation and take deep comfort in simplicity.  The more my focus sharpens, the more I find creative ways, tools to aid me in simplifying.

Simplifying, I have experienced is best achieved when you have set clear goals.  My main Happy Feet in the Netherlands blogging goal this year is enjoy the process of training for Berlin Marathon by documenting every step of the way. I have not been able to do so   previously (with Berlin Marathon 2012: my first marathon) in a satisfactory manner. 

Two weeks, ago I created a draft to record my first week of training for Berlin Marathon.  I published this draft, which was originally only suppose to be covering the first week of my training, yesterday.  It ended up to be a post of 3 weeks of back to training.  From today on, I will call it my "Back to Berlin" blog series.

Yesterday's after run selfie, using the Photo Booth of P's (my husband) iMac.
A celebratory photo of my first official run for 2017

I am so excited because I feel everything (daily life, marathon training, blogging) is taking beautiful shape, as I had hoped they will. When I made up my mind in 2015, that I will no longer let my bipolar disorder rob me of my life, I knew it will take time to be mentally strong. I have been working on myself for over 20 years!

Two years of patience and perseverance, and our home is slowly becoming the home we visualise.  Two years of never giving up, and I keep feeling more and more at home in my own skin, ready to keep on going. 

Speaking of keep on going! I will revive My Daily Moorings in the Netherlands blog.  

I am using the energy and motivation of training for Berlin Marathon to write about anecdotes, the family and I do not want to forget as well as the regular outings we would like to do this year.  As much as possible we would like to explore Holland on foot during weekends. 
Happy Families have Happy Feet, right?!

A look back of some of the "highlights" of the last 6 months in pictures; a lot of changes in our family, our home and how I will combine working out  for my marathon and renovating  our house. 

There will be a lot more at "My Daily Mooosings . . ." in 2017! I can't wait to share our stories and travels with all of you. :)

Last Sunday, our 2017 " January Carfie" ;) on our way to a family gathering

Toasting the New Year! Welcoming the first minute of 2017 with positivity :)

Our traditional "Girls in front of the Christmas Tree" picture
December 24th
November 2016
A photo from a collection of photos taken for an Instagram planking challenge
(probably my last online challenge for a very long time!)

Happy J on her 17 Birthday
October, 2016
I was very happy to finally surprise her with balloons, s
he's been wishing for since we moved in this house (March, 2013)

September 2016
Celebrating the ending of late Summer and enjoying our new (back) garden  after  (work) my English class

September 2016
Happy M (youngest daughter), Happy Harry (house guest cat)
(front garden)
P's Zen moments at our new (front) garden after work during Summer 2016
August 2016
Middle daughter after our power walk, when she prepared for her first 5K training, which she ran 2 months later

August 2016
The best thing in 3 years of living in our house?
The clearing of the old garden, and watching our new garden(s) transform!

August 2016
Happy Harry - at home in and out of the garden, at last!

August 2016

Our second home during the sailing season: Summer Breeze!

Friday, January 20, 2017


“I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.” 
Berlin Marathon 2012
My first and most memorable marathon

The Story of Berlin Begins...

In my search of finding an inspiring quote about individualism, I found the one above!

The words made me laugh, and I thought it is the best way to start my blog series on my way to going "Back to Berlin"!

No, I don't see running a marathon in Berlin as going to hell. :D Even though the process of the marathon training can sometimes be hellish - specially the mental process, in my case!

I feel the quote is apt for introducing the first 3 weeks of my marathon training because the sentiments of the words echoes, how I will be training this year: in my own way, no excuses and no feelings of accountability to anyone but myself.

You will read in my previous blogs about my (semi) "social abstinence", about how I will be sharing blogposts links, here:  a new FB page for this blog

The Life Behind Running 

DETOXING Happy Feet: On Blogging, Simplifying and Decluttering 2017, is part 1 of what hopefully will be a series of "what else is happening in the mind of a runner" training for a marathon. A runner, who has bipolar disorder.  

I would like to remember, when and how I separated, what I used to squeeze all together in my blogs.

This separation (of rambling posts and details of my training posts) is a good solution in dealing with  the persistent writer's block, which I constantly encounter in my attempt of consistently documenting my marathon training process.

If you read DETOXING Happy Feet, it will give you a whole picture of who I am as a runner.  Let's say that series is the chaos in my mind, which I constantly deal with, and this series of blog posts about the (technical and not technical) details of my training is my structure, which gives me peace of mind. 

Let me add, you do not necessarily have to read the Detoxing Happy Feet series,  and can simply follow this series, which will be "pure and simple" (I will try to KISS it! :D ) documenting of the details of my actual marathon training.

I leave it up to you!

I wish I were a cat or at least have the life of a cat...sometimes! Lazy but always limber. :D

The Statistics

Week 1 This week, I biked to warm up to running again.  It is my first week of biking after 4 weeks of break.  I need to build up slowly towards my running training to prevent past mistakes (i.e. burn out, injury!) from happening.

It was cold and freezing on the 18th of January!

16.01.17, Monday : biked 10 km   P brought M to school

17.01.17, Tuesday: biked 20 km

18.01.17, Wednesday: biked 20 km

19.01.17, Thursday: biked 10 km J picked up M from De Meenthof 

20.01.17, Friday:  REST
Jillian brought and picked up M from school
21.01.17, Saturday: 4 km leisurely walk with the family at the Zaansche Schans

Spending Saturdays with the family outdoors is the sublime meaning of quality time!

22.01.17, Sunday: REST

Total: 60 km biking &  4 km walking  after  7 weeks of no running and 4 weeks of no biking

Week 2 This week, I accelerated my biking speed for my preparation to regular running routine. I am aspiring to run at least 4X a week.  This year, I will NOT permit myself to feel bad, if I don't reach this weekly goal; it is all about the quality of the run in the week rather than the quantity.

Abs are made in the kitchen. ;)
The September 2017 question: will I have abs to show in Berlin?! :D
My lunch last Saturday, 28th of January

23.01.17, Monday: biked 10 km  J brought M to school

24.01.17, Tuesday: biked 20 km

25.01.17, Wednesday: No school/ REST

26.01.17, Thursday: biked 20 km

27.01.17, Friday: REST   J brought and picked up M from  school

28-29.01.17, Saturday/Sunday: REST

Sunday lunch date with the extended family.
Celebrating what would have been the 100th year birthday of P's (my husband) father

Total: 50 km biking / 8 weeks of no running

Week 3 This week, I will start using the Zombies, Run! application as motivation for my come back to the running routine.  My running stats will still automatically be recorded with my Nike+ Sportswatch and synched online via Nikeplus.

If you are curious, which marathon training plan I am following, I am using the MyAsics personalised plan (for structure) in combination with what I have learned in the past 5 years of running.

I hope this year to be able to shed more light on how I train, than I have done in previous years.

I discovered this app on the 25th of January

30.01.17, Monday: biked  20 km / ran 4 km (average pace 7:21 min/km - 29:24 minutes )

How I fuelled my first run of 2017!

31.01.17, Tuesday:

biked 20 km  /
ran (well, actually I hobbled! I had massive muscle aches due to skipping on stretching, after my Monday run, my first for 2017 ) 6.72 km (average pace 8:19 min/km -  55:59 minutes )
blogged to get over building up anxiety***
slept last night - 4 hours

Detoxing Happy Feet Part 2 *** 

01.02.17, Wednesday:

biked 20 km/
RESTed from running (even though I would like to - runner's high craving is back! :D )
slept longer last night, than yesterday - 6 hours
Still On the Agenda* (will update later, if this got done*: NOPE, I did not get it done, today) : a session of Stretching* DONE Sunday, 5th of February

I am trying to give up coffee because it is not good
for my moods and nerves but this morning I gave in to my craving!
Zombies, Run app is absolutely fun!
I am thinking of making a separate blog series to document on
how it is motivating me to go out  and get my run done.

02.02.17, Thursday:

NO biking mileage today for school drop/pickup (K is bringing and picking up M from school!)
run plan: 5-6 km build up pace ( average 8 min/km)
OR training for tempo 4 km (7:00 - 7:30 min/km pace) RESTed from running

pre-run breakfast today at 08:58

slept bad again, last night -  5-5 1/2 hours (PMS'ing messes up my brain)

03.02.17, Friday: biked 10 km/ ran 5K  (average pace 8:45 min/km -  43:47 minutes )

Happy!!! 3rd run this  week.

My view right after I ended my run in our back garden

04.02.17, Saturday: Strength and mobility exercises (using BLACKROLL)

My phone was loading, so I did not have a cute picture of M, while she did the exercises with me and cheered me on.  I will try this  Saturday to make sure my phone has a full battery for Saturday morning fun!

Picture was taken on Sunday, 5th of February.

I placed it under Saturday because I did not take any photo of our brunch.

This photo is to remind myself how happy this weekend made me feel!
We all slept in until 9 am and had brunch togehter, excited to experience and share as much weekend as we can. all together.
I'll probably blog all about this @ My Daily Mooosings in the Netherlands.
In case, I don't get to though, I am taking a note, how it warmed my heart that eldest daughter, prepared brunch for Saturday and Sunday.

05.02.17 Sunday:

biked with the family 8 km in the afternoon

ran 5.16 K ( average pace  7:27 min/km - 38:29 ) accompanied part of the way by my beloved P and beloved M/

stretched -  1 hour session before I went to bed

Snippets of our Sunday below . . .

SO proud of myself! Thanks to Zombies, Run app, I managed to complete my goal of running 4 times this week!

In my fourth run, I tried the Race mission feature of the app and ran a 5K.

We snacked after my run before we all biked home.

Happy Harry, "Oh man, she is back with photo journalling!" :D

Total:  78 biking km / 20.88 running km

A great 3 weeks!!!

UPDATED  6th of February

NOTE TO SELF: The date of the post is when I started the draft, and at the bottom right of the page is the date I published and/or updated the blogpost.

06.02.17 18:36Monday

Monday, January 16, 2017

DETOXING Happy Feet: On Blogging, Simplifying and Decluttering 2017 Part 1

I love watching our (permanent!) guest cat (Harry) stretch out without a care in the world!

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old” 

It's fascinating to watch him; he is always on guard, and always quick & ready to change his "relaxing" spot, and move on elsewhere, when something bothers him.

He is a curious cat, who explores, and finds many other new spots inside and outside of our home.

Some words before you read this series. . .

The "blatherings" below (and all that will be posted in this blog series) are more for myself, actually.

Writing reflections in a regular basis over the process, I am going through  helps me be reminded, why I need to do, what I have to do.

I chose to share these reflections instead of keeping it in my private journal  because I know a lot of people struggle with the same things I struggle, and they too find it hard to articulate what they are going through.

It is far better to say or put down into words those seemingly "clumsy", disjointed, racing thoughts even if they stay clumsy and disjointed in print, than keep them in.  In the end, all these collective thoughts put into words will eventually make sense, even if only to the writer! Or the random reader, who identifies with what has been written.

You can say, I am following the example of our guest cat, Harry.  I am following my curious thoughts, and settling in a spot it leads me.

Humans find it quiet safe to stay in the status quo, even if doing so,  takes out the life out of one's spirit.  There is a certain comfort with the familiar. You find out though, when you dare, that you can liven up your life, if you change your perspective, your "geography", when you step out of your comfort zone, and nurture the curious side of your being.

When you enter the world of exploration for what you have never done and where you have never been before, life become more alive.

Rehabilitating an Internet and Social Media Addict

A month has passed, since I deactivated my various Instagram accounts.

This was a part of my plan to decrease my time online, and limit my use of the internet. I would like more quality time with my family, more than what we already have; I would like to deeply enjoy "the quiet" (physical and mental) ; this is  my concept of  sublime quality time.

Simply put: a life of quality outside of the web..

The decision has been both a huge relief and a struggle to make.  It was a relief to finally act out a plan, to attend to a personal need, and fulfil a promise I made to my family; I procrastinated to do so for more than 3 years.

I admitted to everyone  of my internet addiction and how it was affecting the quality of life for my family and I.  In the steps, I have been doing since November last year (deactivating Instagram, for example), I take full responsibility and hope in this first of many simple steps to rehabilitate myself.

In order for me to "function" with my condition (bipolar disorder*) and continue my ongoing healing process, I need to follow my path to recovery, no matter how strange it may seem to others.

Changes, Curious Paths, Challenges . . .

This week, I resumed my marathon training; the detailed blog about this: here.

Contrary to my original plan of completely being social media free for 2017, I created a new private FB account for the sole purpose of having access as administrator to a new FB page for this blog.

The plan is to share there links of my blogposts.

I will share links to blogposts about my running years from 2011 - 2016; they will be  (belated!) race recaps, my favourite race events in Holland, random reflections about running and life behind running.

My blog links regarding my current training will not be shared there.

Subscribers to this blog (you can subscribe by submitting your email, via the box on the upper left side of this blog page, under the title : Follow the Adventures) will receive blog updates regarding training related blogs.  Or if you do not want to submit your email address, you could simply check here,  every week for (a) new blogpost(s).

Of course followers of the FB blog page and the public in general would be able to read these blogs as well, if they visit the blog.

Why do I seem to be making it complicated for my blog followers?

I am not.

This decision belong to sets of compromises, which best accommodate the needs of my mental health*.

I am excited to see, where I will be (mind, body and spirit) a year from now.

NOTE TO SELF: The date of the post is when I started the draft, and at the bottom of the page is the date I publish the draft.

31.01.17 00:51 Tuesday