Numbers

Good Lord I can’t believe I haven’t posted since July. What a slacker!

Here’s what’s happened:

Days since I last posted: 103
Kilometers run: 463
Calories burned running: 29,198
Races participated in: 6
Races I ran two different distances the same day: 1
PR’s achieved: 3
Number of races to participate in until the end of the year: 3
Approximate number of KT tapes strips used on my feet: 36
Countries visited: 4
Hotels slept in: 8
Weight Lost: 1.6KG
Weight loss to goal: 8.3KG
Goal weight: 68KG (changed from 70)
Reason for goal weight change : 1 Marathon registration
Days to the marathon: 177

Races
Run on the Volcano 10K – near Los Alamos, New Mexico
This run was awesome for several reasons – trail running, running with my bestie from grade school, and the Hubs placing 2nd in his age group. Oh yeah, and running at “home” – beyond words.

all mentions of your best grade school friend deserve an old photo, right?

all mentions of your best grade school friend deserve an old photo, right?

Bert Timmers Memorial Loop 10K
PR at 59:39
Beautiful day, very close to home in Westerfoort and Duiven.

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Tilburg 10Miles
2nd time to run this one. Great day, great race, great organisation!

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Arnhem Bridge to Bridge
10Miles
then 3Miles
Loved running my hometown race! Signed up the Girl for the 3miles but she ended up not training. I didn’t order us medals for some odd reason, only for the Girl. Later i realised it was a special edition medal for the 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden and what a waste to not have it so… I ran her race to get the bling!

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Dam tot Damloop 10Miles
PR at 1:39:46
Awesome day, ran with Starbucks Running Club AND SocialMile! My two worlds coming together!

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Brussels Half Marathon
YES! this is the one I was training for all summer.
PR at 2:17:27

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The Hubs ran the Berlin Marathon LIKE A BOSS! 3:25:30; 13 minutes PR from his first marathon this April in Rotterdam. Was I a little jealous that I wasn’t running Berlin? Absolutely! However, I got to run with Scott Jurek at the expo AND I biked a bit during the marathon to see the hubs at a few different KM points.

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A week later we were in Brussels with some Social Mile friends running the Half Marathon, including the hubs who ran, 1 week after the full marathon, yet another PR of 1:31!

So now that I have new goals (weight loss and running) that means I’ll be posting more regularly again because I have a few things to talk about, like weight watchers, what’s going on with my feet, the reason I choose my goal weight and obviously my training, once I’ve started. I’m pretty much crapping myself that I’ve signed up for the Paris Marathon next year (oh, yeah and the Gothenburg Half as well…) but the deal is done so… on to the next big adventure!

June Wrap Up

It seems that whole changing jobs thing is really helping the rest of my life.

Physically I feel less tired and I have more time to be committed to my health. In fact, what I noticed is that having the time to actually do what you want to do makes a HUGE difference. I think the last few years of my life I was squeezing in a run or gym session and half of the time just going through the motions. It’s kind of crazy how much I enjoy running and going to the gym.

One night I even just went to the park and worked out. In the park. Public. Where everyone could see me. This included a park elliptical, running, skipping, jumping rope, doing tricep dips and pushups.

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I’ve started my Half-Marathon training as well, and am now officially in my 4th week (today is a rest day, whoo!!) – my friend Nathalie and I are doing the Brussels Half the first weekend of October. While I still struggle with certain things (like intervals) I’m just following my schedule and doing my best (and trying to not get too frustrated). My physiotherapist gave me some good tips after watching (and recording) me run on the treadmill and I’ve been using those tips as part of my warm up. In fact, I did two 10K’s in June after I got tips from the physio and they were two of my fastest runs in over a year (still not my fastest, but at 1:03 and 1:02 that’s way closer than I have been lately!). I feel like my body is healing and because I’m losing weight, it will only continue to get better. For the first time in well over a year I feel like running is my friend again!

In June I made a total of 107KM! For someone who hardly could move 2 months ago, this is pretty amazing mileage!

Work is still OK, still not in love but I’m honestly coming to terms with the fact that I probably won’t love it. This is a tough concept when you passionately love where you work to just going in to do your job and then going home leaving your work behind. Believe me though, this is good, this is way better than carrying everything with you all the time (and constantly being “on” – reading work emails, working late, working on the train – in fact, hardly ever stopping). I’ve had the opportunity to see a few ex-colleagues since I left and I’m so, so happy for that. I was terrified at the concept of having those friendships be just work relationships and, while it will take work from both sides, I’m so happy to maintain the relationships that are meant to be long-term.

I posted about giving my all at WW for four weeks and the week after that was a little less on target. This is the hardest part about weight loss. Actually having a life while you are in the process. the Hubs and I went out to dinner with friends and I made choices that were not 100% on plan. As far alcohol, I decided 5 weeks ago that alcohol HAD to be limited. On this particular night out I made the choice to ignore my decision. When I weighed in on Tuesday, I got exactly the result I deserved. While still a loss, it was just 200 grams. Imagine if I had kept my promises to myself!

So to be honest I’m getting used to not drinking beer or at least drinking alcohol free beer. Which for me, if you know me… is pretty weird!! On Saturday we went to a friend’s BBQ and I choose to eat different sorts of food (which included southern baked beans and cheese cake, but I can assure you, not at the same time) and completely forgo alcohol all together. Same happened last week – I went to the gym and then out to meet friends – I could have easily used my old excuse “I worked out, I deserve it!” but I decided it was or eating out or drinking but not both.

This is a real learning process. On the one hand I’m still throwing a tantrum. On the other, meh, do I want beer more than I want to be at my goal weight again? And here’s the thing… I got on the scale this morning and saw a number I haven’t seen for 10 years… while it’s not my WW weight and it’s not where i want to be, I’ve never had the opportunity to run at a lower weight before and I’ve seen exactly what 10 KG difference makes in a runner – my husband is leaner, faster, stronger and has way more endurance. I would be out of my mind to not want that as well.

In other news, we are off to New Mexico in just TWO WEEKS! VACATION!!!! Luckily my awesome, stupendous, amazing friend Melissa sent me the grocery book from Weight Watchers and the Simply Filling booklet so that I can prepare myself before and during my trip! I don’t want to be uptight about vacation, but I also don’t want to undo everything I’ve managed to achieve in the last 5 weeks. So, THANK YOU Melissa for helping a fellow WW’er out!

There’s more I want to talk about but I think I’ll actually attempt to just write a bit more this month rather than shove it all into one post!

How was June for you? Have you made any (renewed) promises to yourself?

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Four Hundred Percent

So, I discovered the whole secret to weight loss! Seriously! I shouldn’t share it with you, in fact I should CHARGE you to read this but because I’m such a nice person, I’m going to just come right out with it!

The big secret?

You have to actually make the effort to have it happen.

That’s right.

Seems easy right? “But I do that!” Really? Do you?

Have you done every single thing to make sure it happens or do you find reasons and excuses not to be committed to the effort?

Because – not being Judgy McJudgerson here – I notice – that I see a lot of us making excuses. And here’s the thing. I was CONSTANTLY making excuses and for the most part eating stuff that was not reflective of what I ultimately wanted.

My excuses:
Stress
I want it
I deserve it
A little bit won’t hurt my diet
What? I run a lot so I can eat more!

While some things I definitely had going against me – real stress, commuting stress, lack of sleep – I gave in all the time for many reasons, some I probably didn’t know or wanted to keep buried under the surface. While I was constantly sabotaging myself I was also angry that nothing was working. WHY couldn’t I lose weight? WHY was i just staying the same ALL OF THE TIME? Other people lost weight. Other people were successful at it, what the actual flip was my problem?

Well, I think some of it had to do with being stubborn. Why should I have to give up things? Why couldn’t I just magically lose weight and be like everyone else? Poor me. It’s not fucking fair. *Cue throwing self on floor*

As you know I re-joined Weight Watchers right before I started my new job, but the first 3 weigh-ins I gained weight. Like, seriously, WTAF? Who does that? Well I did, because I WENT to the meeting, but I only half-assed tried to follow the actual program. My Weight Watcher leader just asked me point blank – are you actually following the program? Being a horrible liar I had to come out with it, NO, I wasn’t. She asked me to try the Power Start, just for a week. We talked a bit more and decided that actually just going straight for Power Foods was the best choice (this is called “Telvrije Dag” in the Netherlands) because I really need variety to NOT see the numbers adding up making me crazy and feel like a failure if I go over one day (which, you can’t “go over”, but there’s a crazy mind game numbers play with me). So I promised her ONE WEEK. I promised her I would track everything 100%. I would prove to her stubbornly that it DOESN’T WORK. I AM AN ANOMALY!!

So I tracked everything for one week. It made me a bit nuts but I had to prove her wrong. Where I didn’t know exactly what points value was (because if it’s not on the PowerFoods list, you need to count), I had to just guess (which is where I generally give up). And I went in after a week expecting to see nothing happen and then…

I lost 2.2Kilos. That’s 4.8lbs.

Huh???

So I did it again. And I lost 700 grams.

And then I did it a third weeek and I lost 300 grams.

So I did it a fourth week and I lost 1.9KG.

Though I gained the first three weeks, I’m not even counting it. I wasn’t trying. I didn’t start. I started 4 weeks ago. I gave it 100% each week. No cheats. Everything logged. The worst part of all of it? I pretty much gave up alcohol with the exception of about 6 beers and 1 glass of wine. In the last 4 weeks. Me. I’m drinking alcohol-free beer for the Love of Pete. Who am I and what have they done with the real Pinky????

Four Hundred percent. 5.1KG. Just over 11lbs.

Imagine that. Making an effort and no excuses actually works.

A-MAY-zing May (see what I did there?)

Yeah, Yeah I KNOW it’s the middle of June now.

So let me tell you a little something about when you suddenly have a lot of time. Actually, you don’t quite know what to do with yourself! Hence the silence. Sure I would have been able to blog more because I’ve so much free time on my hands but to be perfectly honest, it’s kind of hard to get a new rhythm when you are so used to the old.

The New Job

The job is going well. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it yet either. At this moment i’m neutral and hopeful :) It’s not terrible, the people are very nice and let’s face it, not having to get up at the buttcrack of dawn is a total bonus. I don’t have to be at work until 9am but I could start at 7 if I want, and many people do just that. So it’s kind of weird to hear people saying “Have a good evening!” at 3:30pm but that’s how it goes. I’ve cycled to work just about every day, though I think two days I walked. I know the positives, there are no real negatives, I just really miss my friends and I miss knowing what I am doing. It will be better soon, I’m sure.

My back, acupuncture, manual and physiotherapy

At the beginning of May I was still in quite a state with my back and my SI joint. I went actually 3 times to manual therapy and once to physio and am still seeing my acupuncturist regularly. Manual therapy HURTS like a you-know-what!! WOW. However, I do think it helped quite a bit. My physiotherapist gave me some core work exercises to do and I now have a stability ball at home. Though, to be honest, I’m pretty bad about doing my exercises at home… I just need to do them, I know and it will benefit me, I know… but… I will probably stop seeing the acupuncturist after my next appointment because I don’t think anything at all is helping the tingling in my foot, which is why I started going to see all these people in the first place. I wish this tingling would stop, it’s driving me absolutely MENTAL, but I don’t know what it’s going to take at this point to make it stop.

Running

Incredibly enough, during a month where I had tons of pain and not a lot of energy, I ran more than 100 KM’s in May. I haven’t done that since January, but it had a lot to do with our run in Millau.

Millau was AMAZING. Like seriously. It was beautiful weather most of the time and the bridge was just breathtaking. I could not get enough of the bridge! I was pretty worried about the run, since my back was totally jacked up but decided I was just going to do what I could do and hope to make it within the time limits! Plan was to move as much as possible before the race to acclimate and I was armed with my foam roller and not afraid to use it! We stayed in a little apartment about 20 kilometres from Millau itself (and we drove down there so it was easy to get around) and on the Saturday we drove in to get our race packs and got familiar with where to park, etc. It’s awesome staying in an apartment because you can make sure you have all of your food items you need, especially on race day!

Highlights.  and I mean HIGH.

Highlights. and I mean HIGH.

Race morning started EARLY, we wanted to be in Millau by 7:30am as the race officially started at 9am. I could tell it was going to be a GLORIOUS day and we were prepared for temps to reach around 25 degrees (C). It was super busy at the corrals and the lines for the loos were incredibly long, but hey, that’s just something you have to go through if you don’t want to pee your pants along the way! We started right on time and already in the beginning I thought, “hey, this is not so bad!” but pretty much right at the 5KM mark we started to to up. And I mean UP. 3KM up a winding mountain road. Craziness. I had to walk it but I was NOT alone (of course my husband, Speedy Gonzales, ran all the way up). Finally I reached the drink post, ran through that and came up to the bridge – Stunning! The luckiest bit of the race was right when I started actually running the Bridge, I saw the Hubs on the other side! He was waving and calling my name! That gave me so much energy, I LOVED seeing him.

Crossing the bridge was tough because it was still going up! Only at the end when we turned to run the other side did it finally go down. I finally could run steadily again, all the way down to to the drink post again. I thought at that point the worst was over, but NO! from about 17KM – 20KM we were going up and down again! Once we hit 20KM we reached the outskirts of the town and it was downhill, 3 more kilometres! I not only made the time limits, I was WELL within the time, but it was the longest I’d ever run, 3 hours and 13 minutes. Incredible. I would totally do it again.

The most incredible part of it all – after 3+ hours of unsteady paths and going up and down hills… my back stopped hurting. It was almost becoming debilitating and now, nothing. WHAT A RELIEF.

The weekend after I met up with my old colleagues to do the Zuidas Run. I ran this a few years back, in fact one of my first races, the 4 English Mile (there’s a 4 and a 10), in 44 minutes. It was lovely seeing my colleagues/ friends again and again we had good weather so I was happy to run it. Again I started out feeling pretty fine so I just kept going. This time around I did it in 40 minutes! 40! This is really unheard of for me – 6.5KM in 40min! Normally I don’t focus too much on time but man it feels good to really run again.

The weekend after THAT I ran the 10K Stuwwalloop – pretty tough race here in my area through the woods and again uphill! Was pretty hot that day so my race time wasn’t stellar – 1:11:45 – in fact I wasn’t the LAST person in, but I was second to last. Never mind, I still came through with a smile on my face!

So yeah – lots of running in May, even though I turned my life upside down with my new job and had such bad back pain until the middle of the month. Thanks to a combination of things, I am confident that I’m back on the right track now.

So that’s the update, more for the current period coming up – more running, training and I’m sure you are wondering what is happening with Weight Watchers…???

Have you had an amazing time lately? Are you training for anything? What have you accomplished in the last couple of months?

Friday Five

It’s been an odd week. Basically I was free the whole week and the plan was to relax, do a few things around the house and prepare for starting my new job.

I definitely relaxed! The things I wanted to do around the house, not so much. I managed to deep clean the kitchen and that’s about it. Other things included a trip to the fysio, the accupuncturist and the hairdresser. I did a wee bit of shopping too. I know I probably need to dress a bit “neater” than I have done for the last 7 years – basically I live my life in jeans and trainers (and tops – I always wear a top as well ;) ) and I’m not used to dressing for a more professional environment. And maybe it’s not even that much more professional! However, I want to come across as more professional.

My Five Things to Celebrate this week:

1) without a doubt, getting to see Melissa and Tracey in Amsterdam! My dear friends from the internet to live in person at Fitbloggin were on a cruise and had Amsterdam as one of the Ports of Call. It was short but I thoroughly enjoyed our time together over coffee and bagels and walking around the city a bit. Melissa was ill but a total trooper, making it until about 1pm when I walked her back to the ship. Yay for friends visiting!

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2) I went back to Weight Watchers. As it’s Day 4 I will honestly tell you that only 2 of the 3 days have been on plan. Yesterday was totally off. That’s ok. I went to the supermarket yesterday and got a few things on my list – the WW mobile app is great for making grocery lists! I’m just going to keep trying to keep things in check.

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a different breakfast - WW style

a different breakfast – WW style

I call this "it doesn't matter which came first - get in mah belly"

I call this “it doesn’t matter which came first – get in mah belly”

3) Running – I ran 4 days so far this week (since Sunday) which is unheard of for me. I skipped Wednesday SocialMile run because I was absolutely shattered from getting up early to go to Amsterdam. Unfortunately today my back is hurting again. This comes and goes and I am actually looking forward to Tuesday, regardless of how painful manual therapy is going to be.

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4) Checking out a new gym – I have been a member of my gym for a while now, I think maybe even 2 years or more and there were two reasons why I choose the gym in the first place. First because the gym i was going to was bought out by another company and I didn’t want to continue and more importantly because of the location as it was a 7 minute walk from the train station. I would bring my stuff to work and back (or sometimes the hubs would bring my stuff and leave it behind reception) and then go directly after work. I know myself and i know if I have to go home first, I won’t go to the gym at all. So this was a way to prevent any excuses of not going when I had planned on going. So now that I’ve left my job and will start a new one literally around the corner from my house, I really think I need to find a gym close to work/home so that I make sure I will go.

Today I went to the gym I first joined when I moved to Arnhem – wow has it really changed and in a good way! The hours are great, the Location is about 7 min further from the office (so then I’ll be 15 min back home if I go to the gym after work), the price is about EUR 1,00 less a month than where I’m going now and it’s unlimited use – so I can go every day if I want (but who are we kidding) and I could go on the weekends later than where I go now. The best part of the deal is that once I stop my membership at my other gym, the “new” gym will basically let me attend for “free” so I can already start (you can get up to three months free when you are switching gyms and here you have at least 1 month notice to cancel). Oh and each month you get EUR 10,00 on account for the bar in case you want a coffee, tea, sandwich while you are there.

Once I had the tour, they said I could work out so I spent 35 min on a couple of cardio machines. I hadn’t thought I’d make it to the gym at all this week, so BONUS!

5) Sleep – though I’m still pretty tired (I think it will take a while before I’m over the exhaustion) I tried very hard to get minimum 7 hours of sleep each night and I even got 8 a couple of times. Now to just figure out when the best time to get up to get ready for work and when is the best time to go to bed. I have gotten up at 5am for so long (and sometimes earlier) with a target of 10pm for bed. I have to be at work Monday at 8:30am and I definitely don’t want to rush. I think it will take a couple of weeks to really figure that all out.

How was your week?

In Other News

another change, or rather going back to the beginning again…

Tonight I went back to Weight Watchers. Not because I want to be on a diet. Because I need the support. I tried to do it online for a while but I just am not motivated by myself to do it. I need support.

So, I’m going to give it another go, am going to go to the Tuesday night meeting (and if I can’t make it I’ll go to Thursday in Velp), I’m going to log in daily and I have the app now on my phone.

There must be some point in my life when I can reach my goal weight again, right?

Not a change, but a diagnosis -

Today I went to the physiotherapist and found out that not only is my left leg “shorter” than my right – most likely due to being out of whack – but I seem to have an issue with my SI joint. What’s an SI joint?

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I knew I had pain (and have had for MONTHS) but I thought I just pulled a muscle. Actually my back is constantly jacked up because of the issue I have with the SI joint – basically not having the mobility that I need on the left side makes the right side try to compensate! I’ll go to manual therapy a couple of times starting next week and then back to physio where my same guy who helped me with my knee will be once again helping me along the road to recovery.

Good news and bad news -

I actually have a 24KM run in a few weeks. I’m planning on a DNF that way it’s a bonus if I make it. That’s the bad news. Good news is that I may actually be healed (and have lost weight) by the time October rolls around, when I will do another Half Marathon – this time in Brussels with my friend Nathalie.

And… one more thing -

I had to cancel out of the Rotterdam marathon (well I did the first 10K as part of a relay, and at some point I will write about that) but I signed up for the Paris Marathon 2015 lottery and GOT IN. You know what that means, right?

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That’s right, come hail or high water I will be running the Paris Marathon next year. Did I ever tell you the story about how I dreamt of moving to Paris when I was 10 years old?

Major Life Change? CHECK!

So, it’s done. Yesterday was my LAST DAY at work. The place I’ve poured my heart and soul into for the last seven years.

This was a really hard decision, and there were a lot of tears, but in the end it probably the most courageous thing I could do for myself.

I wasn’t purposely looking but when I saw an ad pop up on LinkedIn that was pretty much exactly what I was doing in Amsterdam only around the corner from my house instead, I knew I had to apply for it. And, because I knew when I got invited for the interviews that I really had nothing to lose, I was relaxed during the interview. Everything went very fast though, however, and there was a lot of stress over the decision.

Many things have happened over the last couple of years and around 6 months ago it all really came to a head. Sometimes we just need to listen and look to all the signs that are in front of us to know it’s just time. And I knew, from my own frustrations at work to the issues I’ve been having with my body for YEARS that it’s time. And I made the step.

It has been an amazing experience, I have learned so much about myself, my own strengths and weaknesses, about other people. Not only did I do my own job but I had so many opportunities to share my love of coffee with others, to help with openings and all of that brought me to my trip to Rwanda (which is pretty much the absolute highlight of my whole working life). I feel way stronger than I ever was and now I know that I’m going to be OK without them. It’s sort of like when you leave your family to live and make it on your own. That first step is hard but, they will always be there for you, so you have to just take a deep breath and move forward.

Media Event for the First store opening in the Netherlands (outside of the airport).  I'm the short non-Dutch one in the middle :)

Media Event for the First store opening in the Netherlands (outside of the airport). I’m the short non-Dutch one in the middle :)

Coffee Seminar at Starbucks Sloterdijk

Coffee Seminar at Starbucks Sloterdijk

Dam tot Damloop with my Running Club team

Dam tot Damloop with my Running Club team

with my Origin trip partners, in front of the Healthcare Center we were helping to build.

with my Origin trip partners, in front of the Healthcare Center we were helping to build.

sporting my pink rain poncho in Karenge

sporting my pink rain poncho in Karenge

opening The Bank in Amsterdam

opening The Bank in Amsterdam

I have now 9 days to relax, take care of myself and prepare for my next adventure, which is only an 8 minute bicycle ride commute away rather than 2 hours (one way)!

For the Love of Orlando

The internet is great isn’t it?

I’ve been blogging for nearly 5 years and while I know I’m not consistent (but hey, I could be soon) I’m at least honest and try to give you my own personal take and opinion on things. This is not to say that my opinion is RIGHT or that you should do/say/act/whatever like I do, so please… be yourself.

But don’t be someone who just shows up at my blog and decides to have a go at me. Seriously. Why are some people so quick to make rude comments and judgements about MY personal experiences and thoughts? Didn’t your mother ever tell you “if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all”?

What am I talking about?

This:
Ten Reasons I will Never Do the Color Run Again

This stupid post has more hits now than my Tommie Copper post (which got me nothing, by the way, even though I mentioned to Tommie Copper that it was getting a lot of hits and hey, how about some stuff to review and more free advertising?)

So I didn’t personally like the Colour Run, is that wrecking your day or your life for the love of Orlando?

Boo Frickin Hoo

Boo Frickin Hoo

Get over it – there are plenty of people like me who did not like it. It does not have to be for everyone and thank dog for that! Life would be fairly boring if we all had the same opinion.

I know this is just ranting but honestly I just wanted to get it out. This is my blog. These are my experiences. If you don’t like it then just kindly leave. There’s no reason to slam someone you don’t know just because you don’t agree with them.

PS: Orlando…
orlando

Time for (another) Change

Hey. Wow. So it’s been a while.

I have actually started two other blog posts and either not known how to really put all my thoughts together or just not been able to finish. There’s a lot on my mind.

First of all – I feel like I’m falling apart. Mentally and physically. The stress of work is having a big affect on my emotional (mental) well being. It’s been like this for months. I’m not super happy. I don’t dislike my company or my colleagues and I feel like I have a very good deal in general. At the same time, after 7 years, the changes in the last several months are leaving me with uncertainty and feeling insecure about my own abilities. Which is crazy. There is nothing to be insecure about. Sometimes it only takes one vague decision with no clarity and one not so nice person to break a person a down. That’s where I’m at.

Also, I’m just really tired. Seven years of a 4 hour plus a day commute and trying to fit in the rest of my life in the little spare time I have is really wearing me down. I have been attempting to run on a specific schedule, which mostly I manage to do, and I have joined the social running club which I’ve managed to participate in three times. I’m trying to get to the gym and do make it on average once a week. However. There is no improvement. Not with running. Not with weight. In fact I ran yet another (my 4th in less than a year) Half-Marathon one week ago and the result was OK but I would have thought by now there would be some improvement.

I’m not only tired but I feel like my body is breaking down. My feet are tingling and I struggle to sleep. My legs and knees randomly hurt. My back is constantly bugging me. I started going to acupuncture about 4 weeks ago and even if it’s all a bunch of hooey I am feeling slightly better. I’ve stopped sweating at night, which often was waking me up at night. My feet are still bothering me, and I will eventually go the doctor if it doesn’t stop (I had blood tests done in the summer and there was nothing to indicate any problem like with thyroid or diabetes).

I signed up to do the Rotterdam Marathon in April, but I have now made the decision to NOT participate at this time, even though I have been training. The reason for this being that when I ran the CPC Half last weekend I felt like I had nothing more I could have given after 2.5 hours. There is no way my body can take 5+ hours of running. There is a 5.5 hour time limit at Rotterdam. A few weeks ago I thought I would just do it and see what happened – as in, if I had to be picked up due to time limit then at least I tried. This week I pretty much made the decision; it’s not worth it to put my body through that. This means that next week’s race – a 30KM (prep for the Rotterdam) will also be scrapped. I will continue running but with less pressure mentally and physically. I have a race on the 30th (12K) and in May we go to Millau (in France – 23.7KM). I might do another Half in the fall, but for now I need to take a break.

I need to make quite a few changes in my life, some will be very hard decisions, but in the long run, decisions that need to be made for my physical and mental well being. It’s crazy how the longer we don’t change, the harder it is to actually take action and the more fear we have to make changes. I am thinking of ways and now taking action to overcome these fears. That’s about all I can say about it for now, but I really hoping that my decisions now will mean good things for the near future.

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A Good Start – January Update

If you know me by now then you know that two weeks and nary a post from me is pretty normal. I am the Queen of Good Intentions.

So here’s a few things:

1- I started the month/year with choosing to stick to a healthy way of eating, rather than stress eating, not planning, comfort eating etc. I had a first weigh-in where I lost 2KG, then the next week I gained 500gr and promptly had a meltdown. I’ll say it again, dieting (which, let’s face it, when you feel compelled to get on a scale once a week to monitor your progress, that’s what it is) is a total mindf*ck – I’m pretty sure I felt bad for about 5 days until the black cloud of failure finally dissipated and I was able to move on with my life. Third week weigh-in brought me a loss of 1.1KG. So, I’m at least closer to that number I always seem to be at (80kg) than I was at the end of the year. I’m logging in to MFP every day to keep the thought in my head to stay on track and most days I’m fully logging my foods.

2- I started with a personal trainer (actually the same one I had last year) and while we had a great workout, where he even complimented me on my fitness level, I could hardly walk for days afterwards. really tough on keeping up my running workouts. Last year I was annoyed that he was constantly cancelling our appointments at the last minute or just not showing up (how did I forget that???) and already our second appointment was cancelled a few hours before I was supposed to go. Thing is, I arranged to work from home on these days and have worked out my running days around these trainings so it was just not cool to have it cancelled. I hope this is just a fluke and we can continue on next week (with more upper body and core work than legs).

3- We (Hubs and I) joined a running group here in ARNHEM! (yay!) and we did our first run Wednesday night with the group. As much as I love meeting new people I am also quite nervous about it. So when I meet new people in my 2nd language it’s a little bit overwhelming but I’m super happy that I pushed through that. I was pretty worried that I would be the slowest and hold up the group, but I feel like it was a good healthy challenge that I needed. Yes I was in the back, but there was another girl with me and we just kept on going even though the group would stop and wait for us a minute or two. After the run we hung out and had a beer and chatted and it was just really nice. I have wanted to join a running group for a long time and I totally get why experts say “run with a group or a buddy”.

The Egmond aan Zee Half Marathon 2 weeks ago was good. It was tough but it was good! It was beautiful, sunny, amazing. My whole team did really well. I was the only girl in the group though so I knew from the very beginning I would be the last one in. It doesn’t matter to be last it matters to do it, right?
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obligatory loo-queue photo

obligatory loo-queue photo

Everyone said the beach part would be the hardest part – 7KM on the sand and the tide was supposed to be rolling in approximately 1 hour after we got started. To be perfectly honest the beach was NOT the hardest part for me at all. The sand was pretty packed and I just ran consistently on the right. In fact my feet didn’t even get wet until about 9KM into the run (with 1 left to go on the beach) and that was fine, since you kind of know it’s going to happen, right? No, the hardest part for me was the dunes, I completely lost all steam trying to climb up from the beach and the next few KM’s were just really hard. The ground was not super stable and the path was very narrow so I struggled a lot with all the other runners.

photo courtesy of Egmond aan Zee website

photo courtesy of Egmond aan Zee Half Marathon website

Finally we reached the bike path in the dunes and it was a little bit easier to run again. I lost quite a bit of time though getting through the dunes that I *just* made my goal time of 2 and a half hours… however… the course turned out to NOT be 21.1KM… it was only 20.8 apparently! I checked with several guys on the team and they all confirmed, 20.8KM. Official time 2:30:11. This was the third time I ran Egmond, but the first time I did the Half.

Of course my husband kicked total arse at 1:47:03 – his second half marathon (first was in October) and 6 min faster than the first. Not only that but it was his 46th birthday!! What a way to start out your birthday, with a Half Marathon race!!

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I have some other things going on, things in the works, and I’ve been training (always training) but I’ll save it for the next update.

How’s the start of your 2014? Have you run a race already? Started a new exercise class? Got a new gadget or started a new food or exercise program? Tell me what’s up with you!