Wordless Wednesday

Things I might consider wearing for a future race.

Photo courtesy B-skinz



Three Things Thursday

1. B-U-S-Y: It's the season to get busy. This is the time of year that things get kind of crazy at the firm. More work load = less time to blog. Sorry about that. :) Not that you're missing out on anything interesting with less posts on this blog. ;)

2. Effing knee: As I've already mentioned in Monday's post, I have some knee issues (PF) since I've spend 2 hours working through case files a week ago...on my knees. Do not try that one at home. The horror! My PT laughed at me and told me spending hours on your knees is a pretty stupid thing to do. Yeah, thanks. I know that...now! So...uphill speed walking on the treadmill (great mountain marathon work out...boy, does it get your heart rate up!) and cycling it is. Road running = angry knee at the moment, so I'm sticking with the dreadmill for the time being. Fingers crossed on this one.

3. 2012 vs 2011: I've told myself that it's okay to start planning 2012 races, even when the Knee is bothering me right now. And boy, it's fun to plan! Fun runs, city marathons, the Swiss Alps, and a dream race I don't even dare talking or thinking about. Are you already planning your 2012 races? Any tips on races I should try to work into my schedule? :)


Peee-ace bunny Galore - How to mess up race photos with your pants down

The Ugly

Last Wednesday I spent 2 hours working on a case...on the floor....on my knees. I was working my way through a heck load of case files and somehow figured that the floor was a much better place to do so than my desk would ever be.

Boy, I could not have been more wrong. Apparently my knees are NOT made for spending 2 solid hours in the same 'on your knees' position. Ouch. A couple of hours after finishing working on the case files, I went out for a 7 1/2 mile / 12K run, and 'bam'...ouch...hello PF knee pain! At least I know what caused it. Then again...knowing that, doesn't cure it.

The knee felt a-okay on Friday, but - doing the wise thing - I opted on taking it slow on last Saturday's planned Half Marathon (Linschotenloop, Linschoten, the Netherlands). Making a nice marathon pace tempo run out of it. That worked out fine, and the knee felt okay till the 16K / 10 mile mark. After that it started bugging me again, but I could still run on it - relatively painfree too. It must have been the adrenaline, because after finishing the knee got angry. Angrier and angrier. Took a rest day yesterday, K-taped the thing and plan on cycling my way through the next couple of days. My PT is working on it and will check if I can try running on it again this weekend. Will this kill ultra plans for next year? Oh yeah, I've already convinced myself that that's the case. Hmmmpppffff...

The Fugly

I paced running buddy Gert to his new half PR on said half marathon. Without him knowing I was doing so. He must have hated me for the last couple of miles of this half. Plus, 10 miles in I had to pee. Big time. Jumped into the bushes, used Gert for stabilization (oh yeah, I'm classy like that) and spent a couple of minutes rearranging skirt/underwear/tights. Tangled up mess! Oh yeah, Gert was ready to kill me when we crossed that finish line after 1:48:56. Without the pee-thing, that would have made a great marathon pace tempo run. Then again, considering the whole slowpokie thing...this will propably never be my actual marathon pace. Uh-huh. ;)

Oooh, and I messed up his race pics. And mine. Yet again.

I actually look like a somewhat normal person in this one. Half of the other runners laughed at my outfit, though. Dutchies aren't ready for running skirts...

18K in, I was going for the happy girl look. Uh-huh...'Goofy's little sister' would be more accurate...


Full Moon or 'What I do on weekends'

Last Saturday Night. Full moon. A fun group of runners. 'Santa's little Helpers' picked as a theme for this theme run.

That's moi on the right. On the left, yep, that's a guy. In a dress.

A full moon trail run = A heck of a lot of fun.

Courtesy of Fred & Marianne

The 13K Lordie ran on Saturday, combined with the 24K he ran yesterday (Sunday) made one tired doggio. :) He snuck his way on my side of the bed while I was in the shower...


Doodling outside the lines - Zalando webshop review

This post might just be interesting for readers from the Netherlands/Europe, but does have something in it for all of you out there! :)

We all know the 'established' running gear webshops out there: Runningwarehouse.com, Rei.com, Lululemon, etcetera. For the Dutch readers this would be: Hardloopaanbiedingen.nl, Hardloopcentrum.nl, Run2Day.nl, and so on.

A webshop that doesn't have 'buy your running gear here!' written all over it (yet!) is Zalando. That's why I was extra excited when they contacted me and asked me to review their webshop and the brands they sell.

So, since I'm an official IceQueen (okay okay...bring on the jokes...), I ordered a warm baselayer for winter: the Columbia Heavyweight Baselayer - half zip.

This thing puts the T in Thermo. Warm and toasty.
The webshop

The Zalando webshop is easy to browse around in. When you're a trail oriented / mountain running oriented runner, make sure you also search under the brands tab. The Columbia, Patagonia, TNF and Salomon running gear won't show up when you click on the 'running gear' tab. So, if you'd like running gear from those brands, just search by brand. Worked for me!

The gear

Unlike most online running gear shops, Zalando doesn't stop at the usual brands (i.e. Asics, Nike, Adidas, Saucony, etcetera). They also sell Columbia, Patagonia, The North Face and Salomon gear. And that's pretty unique. I'm a fan - I love those brands! I think it's a huge plus that Zalando thinks outside the box on this one.


Easy peasy. Just add the stuff you like to your cart, and fast forward to check-out.


Also easy peasy. They take Ideal payment and credit cards.


Took a bit longer than stated. The shirt I'd ordered was in stock, but it took over a week to be delivered. Also, the track & trace option was a bit of a hassle.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the Zalando webshop and the number of brands they sell. Be sure to check out their website and shop around a bit! You won't be disappointed!


About the 40-miler that wasn't

The Plan: To run a 40-miler in Belgium on November 27th. Hilly race. Extra fun, while Paula would be there with me. Oh boy, I was looking forward to this race!!!

Training: I ran several marathons in preparation for this 40 mile baby. Did lots of hillwork.

How it turned out to be: Well...The day before the race, the flu kicked in. Not just a cold, nope...the big old flu. And it kicked in big time. Result: I spent a week in bed (hence, the not blogging for a week). High fever. And obviously did not run that 40-miler. And felt awful about that. Am still feeling kind of awful about it.

So, here's what the brain says: wise call. The flu isn't a mild case of the sniffles. You should not race while trying to beat the flu. It would have been a truly stupid thing to do tip toe the start line. And yes, it doesn't matter that it was a 'I really want to do this one' race. The flu = no racing.

But here's what the heart says: This was a 'I really want to do this one' race! You're such a weak pussy for not sucking it up and tip toeing that start line! And spending a week in bed - you have lost all of your fitness!

Yep, the funny way my mind works...

Did you ever miss an A-race due to flu/injury/etc? Are you a 'mind' or 'heart' person on racing while dealing with flu/injury/etc?


The Flu Blues

Spending a week in bed with the flu (not just a cold...nope, GP diagnosed it as the flu...woohooo...) doesn't do anything for you mileage. Enough said.

Any tips on battling this effing flu asap?


Swiss Alpine K78 revisited

What running a 50-miler in the Swiss Alps does to this girl:

Taken about an hour after finishing.

What running a 50-miler in the Swiss Alps also does to this girl:

The day after. :) And yes, that's a Snuggie.


Thank YOU!

This is not the one day this year that I feel thankful. I'm fortunate enought to experience these 'I'm so thankful for...' moments almost every single day. With 365 days in a year, that's a heck of a lot to be thankful for. And even those moments that score high on the 'Yeugh'-scale, there's usually a little blessing attached...hidden somewhere - in a hard to find place.

As for this year...let's face it...I did have some rocky lows. Not going to lie about that. But the highs (till this very day of this year - not making up the scores yet)...the highs...are more than I could have wished for. More that I dreamed of. It gave me a lot to be thankful for. And I do realize that ... every single day. Putting them in writing - today - makes me realize even more, that there are a couple of true gems in this list. :)

1. My mom:

I could not have wished for a better mom. The support and love that she has shown in this crazy running journey I've been on this year, is out of this world. She knew that I would make it through those Swiss Alps in that 50 miler, while I only started to believe I could when I crossed the finish line. I can't think of a way to put down in words how grateful I am for her love and support.

2. (Running) buddies:

The number of (running) buddies I've met through the last couple of months, while doing something that I love, is huge. Yay on new friends! Double Yay on friends that get your passion. And won't tell you to slow down or get a life. ;)

3. My bod:

Knock on wood, but so far this year...it has been cooperating. And that is something to be thankful for.

4. Doggios!:

They make those intervals and long runs so much more fun! :) Heck, they make life more fun! :)

5. Jelly Beans:

After years of searching for the little bastards, I am now reunited with my beloved licorice Jelly Beans. ;) Hey, don't shoot me for trying to lighten up this post. ;)

6. New Marathon (and half) PR:

No BQ and still slow, but that 3:42 in the Full Marathon IS a PR. A PR I'm still freaking excited about at this very moment. A PR I couldn't even have dreamed of a year ago. Let this slowpoke have this, okay? ;)

7. Toenails that actually grow back:

The ones that had left the building, are now back for more action. Hello, shiny nail polish!


Three Questions Thursday

1. Naughty?: I was recently contacted by quite a large company that asked me to post about their products...but after me asking me which product they wanted me to review and in which time span, they told me they would send me some info, and I could write my review based on that. Yep, that's correct...I wouldn't review the actual product, but would just be writing a review based on their info. How could I possibly write a decent review without having the actual product in my hands? How weird is that. Especially since I'm talking about a well-known company here. Any thoughts on this?

2. Telecom: I've been home for several days now, but am still receiving text messages that seem to be sent to me while I was still in NYC. Uhm...roaming services? Did any of you ever have this problem?

3. Hello, here I am: On tonight's run I spotted way too many runners that worship the 'dark lord'. Exactly...no reflective gear. No blinkies. No light on them at all. Hello! Dangerous! Still don't get it. Also...I noticed that most runners were running on the right side of the cycling path. Which side of the road do you pick on late night/evening or early morning runs? Left or right?


This IS the time and the place

Last Sunday night. We'd just returned from our trip to New York and I was having dinner with my Mom and a friend of hers. Chatting about the trip and how much fun we'd had. My mom's friend had recently lost her husband, so we talked about her husband's funeral. Out of the blue my mom's friend said: 'Oh right, I forgot to tell you. While you were in NY, S died'. (S being a classmate from elementary school - she lived in the same city I live in, so I ran into her several times after elementary school - last time must have been a couple of years ago).

'Shocked' doesn't even begin to describe how I felt at that moment. I wasn't close to her, just ran into her occasionally. While running errands or walking around town. But still...I remember her as an incredibly nice. A sweet girl. Close to her mom and baby brother. Had graduated Law School. Seemed to be enjoying life. A cancer survivor. Saddest part about this: she died while celebrating her 'I'm clear!' moment with dinner. Just like that.

This is one of those moments that's on my 'Things I don't get'-list. I can't even begin to describe how so so sorry I feel for her mom's and brother's loss. I wish them all the strength and support they need in the process of learning how to live with this loss.

This IS the time and the place

This is also one of those moments that made me realize that you have to live this life as fully as you can...every single day. I've said and heard 'This is nor the time, nor the place' or 'Maybe next week/month/year' too many times. This IS the time. AND the place. I've also heard 'There will always be another marathon/ultra.' way too often in the last couple of months. And yes, I do hope there will always be another marathon/ultra. But the sad news of S's passing made me realize that I should take every race in as 'THE marathon' or 'THE ultra'. Treasure any moment I'm out there running.

The same goes for wishlist races. These races where training/money/emergencies within your family aren't really an issue, I should no longer postpone. Neither should any of you. Who cares what the rest of the world might think of it. Collect memories. Precious memories.

If you want it, come and get it. And girl, do I want it!


And so...I puked - New York New York

This New York City Marathon thingie...let's call this my 'lessons learned about marathoning' marathon.

The Plan

Plan was to run this marathon at an easy long run pace, since I wanted to really take in the crowds and have a planned 65K ultra (trails, hilly...love it!) planned on November 27th. The New York City Marathon would make a great training run for that one. Plus, I ran a 3:42 marathon at the Amsterdam Marathon just 3 weeks before the NYC Marathon, which is superfast for this slowpoke (don't expect anything like it again anytime soon ;)! Slowpokie is back in town! ;)). I was still riding high on that one. Anything around 4 hours would be okay for a long run pace marathon.


Plus...running the NYC marathon at an easy pace was the only way to go, since:

a. I was in the middle of the Kidney Stone bonanza. A kidney stone and the pain that comes with it, won't do much for your fitness. Enough said.

b. I'd sprained my ankle 2 weeks before the marathon. Badly sprained it. Still hurts, still can't wear heels. And it's still slightly swollen. Running a marathon on it might have something to do with that. Just might. ;)

c. Stomach bug. Oh yeah. Caught that one just 2 days before the marathon. Spent the night pre marathon in the bathroom and ended up feeling sweaty and nauseous from mile 12 on. And I puked...but more about that later. ;)


Barbora was in town to run her first marathon! Totally talked her into letting me pace her for a bit. :) She did great! Read her full report here! It's fun, promise! :)

The Start

Since Barbora and I were both running for Team Hole in the Wall, we had the same bus to the start. Chatted the ride over to Staten Island away. Would have been great to have a bathroom on that bus, though....

The Team Hole in the Wall tent at the Charity village was amazing: no lines to use the bathroom!!! Woohooo!!! :) And a warm place to hang out before the start. Time flies when you're having fun, and before we knew it, it was time to head over to the corrals. We talked the crew into letting Barbora into my corral (I had the 'higher' BIB), so we could start together. :) It wasn't too long till 'New York New York' was playing and it was time to head to the start line. Woohooo!!! :)

At the start line! :) Stole this pic from Barbora's blog. ;)

The race

Crossed the start line, and it was on! Time to enjoy the heck out of this marathon. The crowds in Brooklyn were amazing!!! Same goes for the crowds in Queens. Right before entering Queens not only my ankle started to play up (as in...trying to get twice its original size: ouch!!!), but my tummy was no longer cooperating. I can only hope Barbora missed the smelly part of it. ;) Passed the Half Way mark in an easy 1:59. :) And yep, Barbora, you can easily run a sub-4 marathon with a 1:59 half split. ;)

By the time we were heading for Manhattan (First Avenue), I was truly feeling sick and swallowing down little vomit burps. Nothing to freak Barbora out with (it was her first marathon, I didn't want to scar her for life ;)), so I kept chatting away. ;) She didn't even strangle me for continuing to tell her to take the 'downhill' sections to recover. :) Meanwhile, all I could think was 'where the ef is the next bathroom!'. Our splits were nice and even, and on sub-4 pace. :)

Taken at mile 18-ish. I look way better than I felt (that is...'ready to throw up'). And yep, I also stole this one from Barbora's blog.

And this one. ;) Check out the cool Team Hole in the Wall tattoo on our quads. Uh-huh...badasstinistas for life! And yes...I know...short skirt...get over it. ;)

By mile 20 my ankle was killing me. Two miles later (mile 22) I told Barbora to go and kick those last 4 miles' butt. I'd checked the splits on Mr Garmin at mile 21 and knew we were running at a comfortable sub-4 (not a 10 minute - sub-4, but still a sub-4) pace. With the extra endorphines of 5th Avenue and the even splits we'd ran, I knew she would fly through those last 4 miles. However, my ankle did not feel good (from mile 5 on), and with the planned ultra in just 3 weeks, that freaked me out...big time! I was in pain...and limping. Plus, at that point I was truly feeling sick because of the stomach bug. Cramps and I felt nauseous. Truly nauseous. And that didn't really help the legs to keep going. Add to that the toll I'd paid for the kidney stone thingie, and I was pretty much feeling blah. Two miles later (mile 24) I forced my way through the crowds to throw up. And throw up. And throw up. In Central Park. Classy. But, you know, that's just how I roll. ;)

Made it to the finish line in 4:10:43. Three weeks after running a 3:42. Oh yeah....slowpokie is back.

Then again, I was going for a marathon at long run pace, and this is long run pace. ;)So what the heck am I complaining about. Let me blame the kidney stone/ankle sprain/stomach bug, okay? ;)

Oh, and when crossing that finish line...I looked like sh#t.

I'm too cheap to buy the full Brightroom package - $350 - no effing way!

On a more positive note: despite of still feeling nauseous the next day (bloody tummy bug), I did not experience any muscle issues (despite of the ankle...duh). Fresh legs - woohoo! :)


Still alive!

Just enjoying my vacay in New York City! :) Managed to finish the marathon despite of the bloody kidney stone and the ankle sprain. Paced the lovely Barbora in her first marathon! Let's just say it was a great training run for this month's planned 65K trail race! :) Boy, do I love long distance running!


Start spreading the news...

Guess where I hope to be tomorrow (if KLM cooperates...that is...)? Guess. Guess. :)

Hint: planned marathon. ;)


Why I've been MIA

1. I'm battling a kidney stone. I've had 21 of those before this one (hereditary thing). It hurts. It hurts like @^@^@&@&. I'm scheduled for treatment tomorrow PM.

2. Last Saturday on my trail run with the dogs, the dogs saw a bunny. The bunny was minding his business and hoppy like...well, a bunny does. The dogs figured he/she would make a fun snack. They dragged me through the woods. Result: ouchie ouch ankle sprain. Swelling. Skipped Sunday's, Tuesday's and Yesterday's run and cut today's run short. With a marathon in 10 days, timing is perfect. Uhm...nope. Can you say: personal worst?

3. I'm battling a kidney stone. Enough said.

Once that kidney stone is go-one, I'll be my happy preppy self again. I hope. 'Cause there's still this ankle thing. I'd like the doggios for that one. But, seriously...have you seen these guys: hard to stay angry with those guys. :)


Zensah Leg Sleeve Giveaway!

My awesome blog buddy Barbora is raising money for Team Hole in the Wall and Running the New York City Marathon for Team Hole in the Wall! :) So cool! Since Barbora is nursing a calf injury and I have a sucky sprained ankle, we plan on limping out that marathon together. ;) I'll be sure to bring my camera for that one! Ha! :)

To raise money, Barbora is now hosting a Zensah Leg Sleeve Giveaway on her blog here. Go check it out!


I interrupt this Foto Friday for...

...this month's Women's Running Magazine (US edition):

Photo courtesy: Larissa

Thing is...they didn't send me a copy. Larissa was sweet enough to send me a phone pic of hers, but I would love to have my own copy. Could I bribe one of you into sending me a copy by mail? And yes, I will pay for both the magazine and shipping. ;)


I interrupt this Three Things Thursday for...

...this month's Runner's World (Dutch edition):

Some of you asked for a translation, so - here you go (now you wish you hadn't asked for that, right :)):

"The running skirt and Christel Jaarsma are a match made in heaven. The running skirt has been her go-to gear ever since she picked up running. 'Shorts can be boring'. She still gets some stares and looks at races. 'But it's not as bad as it used to be'. The running skirt seems to be way more accepted in the ultra running community that Jaarsma focusses on. Not that weird, considering the fact that a skirt is chafe-friendly. In colder temps Jaarsma pairs her skirt with capri tights. Plus, she stays warm wearing thermo shirts and jackets. Arm sleeves are a piece of gear she wears on all her runs. 'They are comfy, have UPF in them and will keep me warm when it's colder.' Functionality and durability are key for Jaarsma. Preferably paired with fun colors and prints. Jaarsma has to wear a lot of gray and black in her day-job. 'All the colors in my running gear bring out 'me' during my runs.' She still has a pair of bright blue tights on her wish list. She mainly shops for running gear online."

Best thing: runningbuddy and fellow Badasstinista Paula is also in it!


Race photos 101 - How to work the 'tongue' pose

A short 'how to' on a more advanced race photo pose: the 'Tongue'.

Think 'Heidi Klum', then think 'Drag Queen', then think 'Kiss cover band'...and....strike a pose!
Really no need to fake this one. There are only so many Gu gels a girl can eat....

Think 'Nanananana!' at mile 25...and...Strike a pose!
(All photos above: photo courtesy Bjorn Paree)

Another great way to mess up race photos: cry in the last meters of the race... And do a double chin thing at the same time...

And if that doesn't mess up your race photos, you could always try the 'throw a death stare at the photographer while showing a great example of bad running form'...


Fun run never felt so good - Amsterdam Marathon 2011 race recap

With the planned 65K on November 27th, I went into this marathon looking for a fun run. Going for a fun run, a training run. The old 'here goes nothing, might as well mess up some race pics' state of mind. :)

The race? Amsterdam Marathon 2011, October 16th 2011. :)

The start

At the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. Great location for a start, if you'd ask me. ;) It was chilly out (at 9:30 AM), and sunny. Sunny sunny. :) I liked it! Ditched my throw away jacket, and was fine heading out in a short sleeve with Moeben arm sleeves. And a running skirt. Duh. ;)

Woke up with GI issues. Not what you'd hope for on race day, but - really - nothing I could do about it. It did make my legs feel 'tired' earlier on in the race. Earlier than they'd normally feel tired. The crampy feeling wasn't that comfy, but well, I just had to be careful on the 'farting' thing (too much info, I know - but, come on, who doesn't fart and burp during a long run/marathon...). ;)

The race

Scenic course through Amsterdam and along the Amstel river. Loved the Amstel river part! And, bonus, the Amsterdam marathon course is a flat course. :) I'd take mountains over asphalt any day, but hey, a girl can't have it all. ;)

The on-course support

I feel humbled. And blessed. Seriously...the on-course support was amazing. The aid stations looked okay, but I never had to use them. Why? I'll tell you why. :)

Ronald (and his gang: Sylvia, Marco, Jolanda- you know who you are!)

This guy was there for the runners at the 11K and 30K mark. I'd asked him to hand me my GU brew at 11K and at 30K. And he did - Brilliantly! Cheered me on in a way I've not seen/heard before. And gave me that much needed hug at 30K. :) Ronald, thanks to your 'aid station' I did not hit the wall - at all. :)

Bjorn (and his camera)

The bet was on! Bjorn was convinced that he could take a non-sucky race photo of moi...after the 22 mile / 35K mark. Ha! That, I did not believe! But, guess what...he did manage to take a heck load of photos I actually look okay in. And gave me the pep talk I needed after 22 miles / 35K. Bjorn, you made 35K-39K a heck of a lot easier (well...don't get me wrong, those miles weren't easy...at that point I was counting down the miles...)! And I believe I still owe you a hug for that (I did say that, right? ;))...

Mom (and the doggios - and her rather special driving style...)

I could not wish for a better mom, and I should tell her that more often. You were there, and violated at least 10 traffic laws while doing so. :) I'm pretty sure that no other mom would do that for her long distance crazy kid. :) 'I love you' doesn't even begin to describe how blessed I feel.

Paula (and her flat tire)

Last but not least. Last but not least. Without me asking, Paula was there. Being injured at the moment, and not able to run because of that, she grabbed her road bike and cycled to Amsterdam. To cycle along the course. Where and when she would be cheering for me was a huge surprise every single time she spotted me along the course. And with that, she did not give me any chance to even get close to hitting the wall. Every single time she managed to make me smile. Texted me where she was waiting for me after the finish - just seconds after I'd crossed the finish line. And let me cry for minutes. Didn't even tell me to harden the f up. :) Paula, I know it's you I owe that 3:42 finish and 8 minute PR to, don't you? :) I owe this girl BIG TIME!

I feel blessed and humbled. This support meant the world to me!

Enough with the sobby stuff, how about the race!

For now, I'll let the photos do the talking! (photo courtesy of Bjorn Paree)
24.5K in - I'm doing my Heidi Klum gone bad pose. ;)

Still 24.5K in. :)

35.5K in. The ugly. ;)

I'd like to think that I look 'focussed' instead of 'ready to jump into that river'...
37K in.
Crossing the Amstel river at 37-ish K.
I think I spotted Paula here! :)
40-ishK in - the Vondelpark. :)

Says it all, doesn't it? ;)
The stats:
5K 26:57 (26:57)
10K 52:46 (25:49)
15K 1:18:50 (26:04)
20K 1:45:16 (26:26)
21.1K 1:51:04
25K 2:11:28 (26:12)
30K 2:37:41 (26:13)
35K 3:04:02 (26:21)
40K 3:30:49 (26:47)

42.2K 3:42:27 - an 8:05 minute PR. :)


Foto Friday - (Taper) Madness?

Memorizing the marathon course. Did you read yesterday's post on the 'here goes nothing, let's make a fun run out of this' thing? If so, you know the memorizing thing makes no sense at all. I'm a certified weirdo...


Valium, please? - the 'Why am I freaking out over this marathon?' post

This Sunday. Another marathon - that's the plan. With a 65K planned on November 27th (oh boy, I really really hope that one works out! :) Fun! :)), I planned on making a training run out of this marathon. Go with the flow. Taking it easy. Enjoying the run.

That is...until the Twitter gang (they mean the world to me) started to predict finishing times. Based on the recent half marathon I ran in Koeln, Germany (2 weeks ago). On a hot day...a really hot day. Blah! Finishing times that are way out of my league. And that's when I started to freak out.

'Training run' turned into 'Boy, they'll think I suck when I don't finish in a kick ass fast time'. Freak out in...3, 2, 1. But, let's face it...I had a great new marathon PR at the Edinburgh Marathon last May. I finished my first 50-miler and had a blast. New 10 mile PR last September and new Half Marathon PR this month. I've had some great races this year. So, why jinx it? Exactly... After the Swiss Alpine Ultra on July 31th, I just kept base mileage up, but didn't really pay attention to speedwork. I just ran. Wanted to enjoy those runs. And I did. That 65K is what I'm focussing on.

So, - despite of the 'freak out' part - I'll go into this marathon as a training run. A fun run. A 'here goes nothing' run. :)

And I'm fine with that. :)


Wordless Wednesday - That little voice inside

Just when I was this close to freaking out - and I mean 'freaking out' - over this Sunday's planned marathon, I read this article in this month's O magazine. What's holding you back?


About that hair

The plus side of chopping of that waist long hair I was sporting:

1. Locks of love will make a rock star wig out of it. No doubt about that.

2. Less weight on the head.

3. Every single muscle in my neck area loves me right now. Uh-huh.

4. I no longer strangle myself in my sleep. (True story...)

5. Less. Shampoo.

However, there's also an 'okay this takes some getting used to' side:

1. I keep making the 'flipping your hair over your coat' move. But at the moment...my hair isn't long enough to 'flip'...

2. I keep using too much shampoo.

3. Brushing my hair... The strokes are a heck of a lot shorter. And it feels weird.

4. What the heck do I do with my hair for work outs? I used to rock the Lara plaid...but, obviously, that no longer does the trick. So, this weekend I experienced the joy of pony tails and sweat dripping off said pony tails. Yup. Luckily Paula came up with this brilliant idea - I did get some stares, though...


Race photos 101 - How to blind the photographer

Yesterday. Bosmarathon Soest, the Netherlands. Paced a running buddy, Gert, for the first 21K. Fun! :)

Apparently this outfit was considered too much... Neeehh! Check out the cool retro print on that runningskirts.com skirt! :)

Ha! Let me pace you and I'll even mess up your race photos! Skills, baby...bad ass skills. :)

And yet again, I manage to look like I'm doing the bunny hop. Yup...


Weight loss

There you go, Locks of Love!

Makes me wonder, though: less weight = more speed, right? ;)


Race photos 101 - How to add a 'subtle touch'

Well...this edition of 'Race Photos 101' has any chance of being a classic...

Race photos from last Sunday's Köln Half Marathon are up. Warning: these photos point out why the world should thank me for not pursuing a career in modelling...

500 meters in. I look like I'm 'in the zone', but...on the upside...am still fully dressed... How to get this look? Think 'grumpy' thoughts right after the start line (and boy, was I feeling grumpy...too effing crowded!).

19K later (20K-ish mark) I've ditched my tank top. I may of may not have traumatized some kids. Check out the 'boy am I hot' face... And me twisting my ankle on those effing cobble stones! At least...for once...I'm not heel striking in the race photos.

Okay, now we're talking. I seem to be doing some sort of skipping move. Great way to entertain the photographer. Works even better when singing 'I feel pretty' at the same time. Even when it's obvious that you're feeling nowhere near pretty...

Race photos 101 - advice no 2431: Find a fellow runner in a colorful outfit. Stick with the guy to color clash that all black girl's photo, then chick the guy. Oh yeah.

Make an 'Ooooohhhh!' face when crossing the finish line. Finish line pic fail guaranteed!

Uhm...the girl in that pic...she doesn't even look like me...I hope! This photo might just haunt me for the rest of my life... Then again...that photographer is a huge a-hole for even posting this: hello, have some mercy!