Big Things, Little Things

The last 10+ days have been full of big and little things. I believe we should celebrate as much as possible to keep things in perspective. This is a particularly hard lesson for me when it comes to work, but I don’t want to digress right away into that subject, so…

First of all, I decided to have TWO WINNERS for my giveaway! YAY! Elizabeth and Denise will soon be sporting new RoadID’s and keeping safe on the road with their fitness journeys. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Last weekend I ran my fourth Zevenheuvelenloop again with the Meeùs Running Club – to “jog” your memory, last year I won an entry in the Tilburg 10 Miles with Meeùs including EUR 100 gift certificate to Run2Day and was automatically a member of the running club with that entry. Since then I’ve run a few times with them and it’s so great! Safe place to put your stuff, normal toilets (no Dixis!), catering, beer, etc. And of course entry is always free with them! The Zevenheuvelenloop (7 Hills Run) takes place in Nijmegen which is very close to home. Several members of my local running club were also running, plus the Running Junkies (Amsterdam based group). Joanna was there, as well as Babette whom I haven’t seen since LAST YEAR’S 7HL when she was pregnant with her baby boy (who is since born and pretty much the most adorable baby ever). Was great to see J & B especially since it had been a while and luckily we were all running for Meeùs so we could hang out a bit before and after. Since Babette wasn’t pregnant this year we decided to go for 1:35 to have a slight and nice improvement for me and a kickass improvment for B. Though it was chilly and rainy (not as cold as last year in any case) we basically went for it! Babette and I ran pretty much the whole way together which was very helpful for me when my legs felt super heavy at 12KM until we literally ran into Joanna at 14KM. I was glad B gave it her best sprint at the end and didn’t wait for me – I was literally 20 seconds behind her at a finish of 1:34:34. Once again, ladies and gents, a Personal Record (how many is that this year???).

Babette and I keeping warm before the start

Babette and I keeping warm before the start

L - Babette, me, Udjen, Eva, Joanna before the race R - me, Joanna, Babette with our Blingy Bling

L – Babette, me, Udjen, Eva, Joanna before the race
R – me, Joanna, Babette with our Blingy Bling

After the race, the very cold 3 of us hobbled over to the Vereniging (where Meeùs was located) changed, ate, met up with Hubs,Udjen and Eva (Running Junkies) and then eventually headed to De Hemel (in town) to meet up with some SocialMilers. Great day indeed.

Still trying to get to the gym but work is fairly demanding at the moment – hoping this will change very soon – working on my new program which involves mostly body weight exercises, lunges, squats that sort of thing. Once Marathon training starts I’m going to have to be much more dilligent with getting my workouts in. Right now I’m not really training, so as long as I get there 2 times a week, it’s ok.

I went to the podiatrist as well this week – seems my orthotics aren’t 100% correct, or rather, they could be better. Also that horrible tingling in my left foot most likely isn’t going to go away because the chance that it’s a blocked nerve is really high and the only thing that helps with that is time. Boo! However, lately I’ve been laying flat in bed (so the millions of pillows have to go) or a little bit bent at the knees (laying on my side) and the tingling is less. As far as the pain and issues in both feet – also very likely that I have another neuroma (BOO!!!!) but orthotics could help but I may need to have an MRI later which could lead to (very worst case scenario) an operation (BOOOOO!!!!!). In my right foot it’s probably just painful from overcompensating and will also go away with time (definitely no stress fracture or something like that).

no surgery, please!  doesn't fit in marathon training schedule!!

no surgery, please! doesn’t fit in marathon training schedule!!


And last but not least, went to WW (skipped last week) and FINALLY the scale went down again. Loss is 1.5KG which is a total of 7.1KG since end of April. NOW WE ARE GETTING SOMEWHERE! According to WW scale I have 5KG to go to be back at goal weight. For the first time in 5 years I really feel like I might reach my goal early next year. Now to survive all of the treats and holidays that are ahead.

Speaking of which – what is your best tip for surviving the holidays without wrecking everything you’ve worked for???

What I’ve Gotten Out of Joining a Running Club

While I know there are tons of articles out there about the benefits of joining a running group or club I just wanted to share with you my own personal experience.

One thing I wanted for a really long time was to join a group so that I wasn’t constantly running alone. While I love my alone time most of the time, it’s also sometimes really hard to be motivated to go out and do it, especially if you are training for something (yes, I know it’s a personal choice to train to do races, etc.; that doesn’t mean it’s easy all the time). I joined a group via Facebook that my friend Joanna belongs to here but I was always either intimidated at their running level or I just couldn’t make the runs in Amsterdam (I planned on going after work one night and my fear pretty much kept me from going the first time).

So in January of this year, the Hubs mentioned to me that he saw a group on facebook called SocialMile. I thought, “yes! that’s it!” A group that runs together and then hangs out socially after the run for a drink and a chat. A group whose policy is to stay together no matter the level. While I was nervous (because this was also a Dutch social group for me – another hurdle to get over), the Hubs and i went together to our first run on a cold, dark January Wednesday night.

Since then we’ve done countless runs with SocialMile, I can’t imagine not being part of this group!

Here’s my reasons why you should join a running group:

Meet people who share your running passion – not only will you meet people in your hometown who share your passion, it’s also a great place to make friends. It’s possible you don’t like everyone on the same level, but at some point you will meet someone that you feel you could really develop a friendship. Especially important if you don’t know a lot of people or don’t have a real social life (like me for example – my friends were my ex-colleagues, plus my bestie M here in Arnhem).

Have a regular running appointment every week in your diary that no one can touch – it’s so easy to skip out on a workout or a run because of other people or work things that come up. Joining a running club with scheduled runs means a real commitment to yourself and you are worth it! I haven’t missed many SM runs – only a few where I wasn’t feeling well or had a big race coming up or when I was on holiday. Many times I don’t even feel like it, but I go and I never regret that I did!

Support and Motivation – know how great it feels when other people recognise that it’s going better for you, or that you’ve lost weight, or just express how great it is that you are doing a Half Marathon (or that you had your best 5K or whatever!)? You get that a lot with a group and you are also able to give back.

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A little dose of healthy competition - as much as I hate to admit it, the need to NOT be the one at the back of the pack drives me to push a bit harder. I am still often in the back but not so much anymore.

High chance of improvement – Improving your fitness level, your speed… basically you are improving because you are running at least that one time every week and you are driven to not be last.

Do fun stuff with fun people outside of the regular running dates – I have done many races and random runs with my SM’ers, and we share opportunities with each other if we are able. For example, my Starbucks team had extra entries for the Dam to Damloop, so I was able to offer them to my SM’ers. A group of us are all going to Paris in April next year as well for the Paris Marathon. The fun stuff just keeps on manifesting itself!

Access to Information by being a member of an athletic union – get discounts on races and running gear at local sports shops. If you are injured or just want to know your fitness level, often members of the running club know about how to get sports and fitness tests, refer sports doctors, sports masseurs, trainers and the like. A wealth of information and references is basically at your disposal.

For me personally, it’s helped me on a social and language level and I’m super happy and grateful to be a part of the group. If you are thinking “should I?” or wondering if you would be good enough, just stop right now and check out your local area running clubs. There’s no reason you shouldn’t at least try. If it’s not for you or not the right group you can find another group. Most people I’ve heard from have had only positive experiences. What have you got to lose?

5 Bloggiful Years!

Today is the Blog’s 5 year anniversary!
5 years!

I started off with absolutely no clue of what I was doing or how I even wanted to do it. I thought perhaps that it would be a great way to keep account of my life, my experiences and my quest for fitness and health, but I never ever thought it would bring me together with so many (hundreds??) other people out there with similar goals!

When this little blog began it was really more like a journal to keep track of weight loss and progression in running. After a while the weight loss stopped and I had to keep focus on what I could do and what I could control and having been learning more about myself and the process ever since.

Because I couldn’t have completely done it without all the friends and acquaintances and contacts in all forms of social media, I am giving thanks to everyone by this ***amazing*** giveaway!

(disclaimer: no one asked me to test anything, no one gave me anything to give away, this is purely an action on my own and therefore whomever wins will have direct contact with me for the exact details of the prize)

I wanted to give something that meant something to me, therefore I’ve chosen the RoadID! I personally have two RoadID’s (and one extra sport bracelet) and the Hubs has a shoe ID (that I arranged for him) as well. Having ID is SO important because you never ever really know if something can happen to you or not. Also, I never fill in that info on the back of race bibs (does anyone???) – with a RoadID you pretty much know all you need to know should I need medical attention, to call my emergency contact, or to just just set me up on a beer IV to get me on my way again.

There is a choice of the Wrist ID Slim
wristIDslim

Or the Wrist ID Sport

pinkroadid

Both in an array of colours of course!

Or if you don’t like to have stuff on your wrist or your Garmin takes up your entire arm, you could go for the Shoe ID:
roadID_shoe

To participate, start by logging into Rafflecopter below with facebook or by entering your email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I know it’s probably silly but my favourite part of the RoadID is where you can add a sort of motivational text or boost on the last line of your info. You can have anything from deep and philosophical to just plain old fun (the Hubs’ says: “Better on a stretcher than on the couch”). As a bonus entry you can tell me in a 2nd comment on the blog what YOUR motivation would be on your RoadID should you win!

Good Luck and thanks for participating!

PS! don’t forget to login to Rafflecopter to get as many entries as possible! Giveaway ends 11/14 (or 14/11 if you are in Europe) at midnight CET (that’s 6 hours ahead of New York and 12 hours behind Auckland, NZ)

To Market, To Market, to buy a Fat …

Carrot?

crazy large organic carrots at the market.

crazy large organic carrots at the market.

I used to really hate going to the market. All those people. And the smelly fishmonger. And the yelling. I mean, really, how can anyone stand all of that? Occasionally I would go to a market in another town (and then end up hating it, or just being overwhelmed) because somehow it’s “different” if you are in Seattle, or Camden, or Münster but in actuality, it’s all the same. Vegetables, fruits, cheese, meats, fish, herbs, etc.

asparagus anyone?

asparagus anyone?

In the past year or so I’ve come to embrace the market a bit more. I don’t go every weekend, because, that would be nuts of course, but I try to go more often because the selection of fruit and veg is amazing and it’s much cheaper in most cases. Since I started juicing more, I want more bang for my eurobuck and buying fruit and veg at the supermarket just won’t do.

eat me

Normally I go to the same stand every time – this is one of the confusing things about the market. How are you supposed to know who has the best broccoli or carrots, for example? You can walk all over and shop around but ain’t nobody got time for that! So I now pretty much go to the same stand and load up. I must come home with 10KG of stuff in my (bike) bag. At least it feels like that when the bag is still on my shoulder!

while I prefer to buy in packages (perhaps I should rethink that...) this stand had herbs, spices and even nuts you could buy by weight.

while I prefer to buy in packages (perhaps I should rethink that…) this stand had herbs, spices and even nuts you could buy by weight.

At the market is also nuts and cheese – I don’t eat much cheese these days, but yesterday I bought some freshly roasted pecans and almonds (and then, oops, ate about half the pecans on my way home! Delish!) because I wanted to put nuts in my pulp bread this time around. Nuts are expensive here! So honestly it doesn’t matter if you buy them at the market or not. (Side note: I also went to the dairy farm and bought farm eggs, honey, mustard, apples and low-fat cheese, all from the region).

Must. Not. Eat. The. Cheese!

Must. Not. Eat. The. Cheese!

My staples these days are:
courgettes
carrots
beets
avocados
mango
pears

If something else takes my fancy I’ll pick that up as well. For example yesterday I picked up some alfalfa, 2 lemons and 2 limes in addition to my regular load.

My "regular" fruit and veg stand.

My “regular” fruit and veg stand.

I never thought I would enjoy the market as much as I do now. I still think the fishmonger stinks and there are far too many people, but hey, you can’t have everything, right?

Do you have a market where you live? Do you shop there for regular groceries? Or are you an avoid-at-all costs type?

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.

park gym 2014-06-23 17.17.23

park 2014-06-23 17.16.42

park 2014-06-23 17.16.36

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?

park 2014-06-28 18.48.30

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?

SI_joint_anatomy01

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?

paris-banner

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?