My love on the run

Solid proof that it is doable to capture happiness in a picture. :)

I tried an easy 3.3 miles / 5.3K last Saturday. Lordie and Diddy were happy to accompany me. :) Amazing blue sky, freezing weather, sunny...I couldn't stop smiling. :)

Plus yesterday (Sunday) I tried my luck at a long run. Runningbuddy A and I found a paved 5K path around a lake, and decided to run these 5K laps to see if The Foot would hold up. If The Foot would bug me again, I could just go back to the car, and A could finish the long run. After a little over 5 laps, 16.3 miles / 26.1K we decided to call it quits. :) When we headed out for the run I figured I would be perfectly happy if The Foot would be okay for 9.4 miles / 15K. I couldn't believe that I had actually finished the long run - without limping, crawling, etcetera due to The Foot. :) Today there's a bit of a tired feeling going on in The Foot, but I guess that's okay. :) I celebrated with sushi! :)

Hmmm...sushi...that brings me to 'post long run' snacks. :) What's your favorite 'post long run' snack?


Endurance with a capital E

And the guy that puts the capital E in Endurance is Kilian Jornet. At least, in my book he is.

Kilian Jornet. Doesn't ring a bell? Shame on you! :)

For those of you that haven't heard of Kilian (yet!), this is him:

Yep, not that bad. ;)

Kilian Jornet is an endurance athlete from Spain / Catalonia who is mostly known for his ultra runnning victories. He won the Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc twice. And came in third in 2010's Western states 100. Plus, recently he has set a new world record for both the Mount Kilimanjaro ascent and the combined ascent/descent. And would you believe that this guy is only 23 years old?

Not impressed yet? Watch this video of him setting the new World Record on Mount Kilimanjaro. This guy is a true inspiration, if you'd ask me. The will power he has: I'm in awe.


Three Things Thursday

1. The Foot: I've been a good girl. At least, that's what my PT just told me. The exercises he advised me on doing: I've been doing those religiously. Everything to get my lower leg/foot going again. Plus, I've been doing extra core work.

Fingers crossed and knock on wood, but me being a good girl seems to pay off. At least, for now. I tried a short 3.8 mile/6K run last Tuesday and a short 5 mile/8K run yesterday. And The Foot seems okay-ish. There's a bit of a tired feeling going on there, but no excruciating pain yet.

For now, I'm glad I chose to listen to my Sports PT instead of to the Sports MD. :)

2. Exercise dresses: It's still freakishly cold out here, meaning I'm bundling up for evening runs, but yet I'm looking for an exercise dress. Mainly because the word is out that my favorite running brand ever (www.runningskirts.com) will add a running dress to their Spring line. I'm in love, and I haven't even seen the dress yet. An exercise dress seems like a great thing to wear to the gym. My cycling shorts will look less diaperish (is that even a word?) with a dress over it, I'm sure about that. Size wise I'm just a bit worried about my higth (5'9"): most dresses are actually shorter on me than the designer intented them to be... Any advice on the Nuu Muu dresses and tall girls? And could anyone fill me in on what the Runningskirts.com running dress will look like? I'm just being nosy, I know... ;)

3. Throwback Thursday: Moi. 2 years old, striking a pose with my beloved grandmother. I was quite the fashionasta back in the days. The way I pair that hat with the oversized bag: Louis Vuitton eat your heart out! ;) Plus, there is no way I could ever hide that I was born a redhead. :)


Relight my fire

Update on The Foot: I tried a short 3.8 mile / 6K run last night. Just to see how The Foot would hold up. It felt a bit sore, but it was more of a 'tired' sore, than an 'ouchieouch' sore. Afterwards I went to the gym, set the treadmill on a 15% incline, and walked for 20 minutes. And did some strength training and core work. The Foot felt okay-ish. Baby steps on this one. I don't want to overdo it and trigger The Foot and The Calf again.

Headlamps for running
Last night's run brings me to this. I discovered a route that is nice and quiet, but not very well lit. I did have Lordie with me, but still. I felt a bit uncomfortable being out there - pretty much all alone. Plus, that route was pretty bumpy. Bumpy road + clumsy me + not very well lit = accident waiting to happen.

It's pretty obvious that I'll need a headlamp for this one. A headlamp wouldn't be such a bad idea anyway, considering all the late night and early morning running I've been doing. So, a headlamp it is. Silly me figured I could just go into a running store and there would be headlamps all over the place. Nope, apparently that's not the case. Naturally I hit the internet and googled for running headlamps.

Halle-bleepin-lujah! I had no idea that there were actually so many picks in headlamps. And they have all these different features and price ranges (ouch!). Petzl and Black Diamond seem to have a wide variety of headlamps and several price ranges. After googling a bit and some advice from kick ass trail runners, I'm looking into the Petzl Tikka and the Petzl Myolite at the moment. As soon as I found a headlamp that suits my needs, I'll put up a review on the lamp.
The Petzl Tikka headlamp
The Petzl Myolite headlamp
Do you run with a headlamp? If so, what would be your pick?
On a different note: I discovered the joy of Dailymile and am using their website for my work out stats. Therefore, I will no longer be posting my work outs in my blog posts. :) You can just click on the Dailymile stat on my blog and track what I'm doing. ;)


Hey! That's not fair! Or is it?

I really really really have my mind set on running the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 this July. I truly hope that my training will go as planned. Especially with the injury rut I've been in lately...

The name of the race says it all: K78. In these last couple of months I've been slowly adapting to the idea of running 78K. 78K.

Well, something has changed.

Different course

In december the race officials notified us that they have changed this year's course. Why? Apparently they have a back-up course for bad weather conditions (which is a good thing, if you'd ask me). And this year, that back-up course will be the actual course. You could say this year's runners are testdriving it for future bad weather conditions.

This is the statement of the race director on the changes to the course:

"One-off revival of former route.

Holding the K78 on the panorama trail requires good weather conditions. If the weather fails us, however, we do have an alternative route via the Sertig Pass/valley. In order to review and optimise our organisation, on 29 November 2010, the Organising Committee decided that in the year 2011 it is going to use the Sertig route - as a one-off and irrespective of the weather.
We are convinced the Sertig route will offer you a one-of-a-kind experience. This will also confirm that the Swissalpine - depending on weather conditions - has two fully-fledged courses to offer and therefore is both more reliable and more exclusive."

In my opinion this is a wise decision of the race committee. Plus, only the high alpine terrain part of the race will change (approximately 21 km). The rest of the course will remain the same as last year's course. As long as the course doesn't change to a point where it will take me out of the Swiss Alps, I'm fine. :) I would still love to participate and hope I get the chance to! :)

However, the Swissalpine Marathon Facebook page and the Guestbook on their website is filled with negative feedback on these changes. Some runners have actually decided not to participate in the 2011 K78 because of the changes to the course. Obviously it's up to you if you participate or not, but some comments are just harsh, and in my opinion the Race Committee does not deserve such comments.

It did make me wonder. Would you decide not to participate in a race you do every year if the race committee would change the course for that year and that year alone?

Not quite 78K anymore

One last thing. The 'original course' of the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 is, duh, 78K. And has a 2320 meters / 7611 feet elevation. Due to the changes this year's course will be 79K. And will have a 2370 meters / 7775 feet elevation. I'm mentally adapting to this one as we speak. ;)
How to train for that in flat flat Holland? Spend 2 or 3 weekends in the German Eiffel and the Belgian Ardennes. And spend a lot of time in the gym with the treadmill set on a 15% incline. Sounds like a plan. :)


Stylish? Moi? Neeeeeehhhh...

Kristal, Jessie and Kadie tagged me with the Stylish Blogger Award. Thanks! That's extremely sweet, especially since I'm anything but stylish. Unless ofcourse going out for dinner in your Vibram Fivefingers is considered stylish...in which case I would be 'da bomb' in the stylish department. ;)

The rules?
1. Thank and link back to the blogger that awarded you with this award - DONE! :)
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 7 other bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

I'm going to follow the Redhead on this one and give you 7 (mostly embarrassing) photos of moi. And beware, these photos are solid proof that I am not stylish...at all. So, here we go, whether you like it or not. ;)

2004: Skirt = way too short... And why I'm striking a pose with the stroller is beyond me...

2005: Vietnam. The hat. Enough said.


2006: I'm on the right. All dressed up for 'Sinterklaas' (a Dutch Holiday in December). Why?

No comment.

2005: Skirt = way too short. Again.


2005: The skischool I was employed at made me wear those pants. That's my only excuse...

2004: Sorority theme party. Theme? Trashy. What was I thinking?

I know I'm cheating on rule #3 and #4, but I'm tagging every blogger that loves cupcakes! Because eating cupcakes is stylish in my book. :)

Note to self

A triathlon specific swimming clinic with mass start + all women, no men = one major cat fight. I was astonished to see that some girls were actually on each other's back to finish faster. And this was just a (training) clinic...not even a race. This girl is a bit worried about the actual race... Enough said.

Just one of the bruises I ended up with. And yes, it is more painful than it looks. Did make me feel 'bad ass', though. ;)


What he said, what she said

Sports MD numero 4:

He: Well, what seems to be the problem?
She: My foot has been bothering me in these last two weeks. It hurts here [pointing at my foot], I can't even get up on my toes, and I can't run. [rambling along about the foot]
He: You can't run? Okay, we've got to fix that.
She: I like the sound of that.
He: Could you remove your shoes, socks and jeans, and then I'll have a look.
She: [slightly embarrassed] My jeans? If I'd known that...I apologize for my choice of underwear...
He: [just looks at me...obviously waiting for me to get on with it]
She: Okay...
...[a very very very quick medical check of The Foot]...
He: Well...I don't think it's anything too serious. You know, like a muscle strain or something. The problem seems to be your core stability and one of the joints in your foot seems a bit tight. That could have been caused by the new inlays.
She: Uhm...I know runners need to work on their core and I already am on a core stability regime. My PT made me do that. But...my foot hurts, and 2 weeks of rest didn't seem to do anything. I'm a bit worried.
He: Still...you need to work on your core. If the pain isn't better in 4 weeks, I'll just give you a steroid shot.
She: Okay...and that should fix it?
He: Yes. If it doesn't get any better, come back in 4 weeks, have a new X-ray with you, and I'll check again. And give you the shot.
She: But what is wrong with the foot? Is it just the joint that's a bit too tight?
He: Yes, and your core stability. And get rid of those inlays.
She: And when can I head out for a run?
He: When the pain let's you and doesn't get any worse during the run.
She: So, if that's okay, I CAN run?
He: Yes.

My Sports PT:

He: [after doing several tests for about 30 minutes] It's not your core. Your core is fine. But working on your core stability won't hurt.
She: Right...
He: And that joint is not a bit tight. Not at all. Plus...that joint couldn't have possibly caused the pain you're experiencing.
She: Right...
He: In my opinion, but check this with your MD, the pain is caused by overuse. Due to the calf strain and a possible slight change in your gait. And the new inlays. Those inlays are the bad guys, if you'd ask me... Plus...due to the injury the mind-foot link might have been 'interrupted'. Meaning...you need to do some exercises to help your mind-foot link remember. It needs to 'remember' how to get up on your toes again. This is actually not that uncommon for injured runners.
She: That sounds plausible...

After that the PT made me do several exercises. Strange exercises, so be it. But...the next morning I could get up on my toes without any help. It still hurts, but the limping isn't as bad as it was. So, I'm going with my Sports PT on this one. :)


Three Things Thursday

1. The Flue: Yep...the flue. I'm pretty sure that I coughed up a lung. And that my head is officially filled with snot. Enough said. Thank the running gods for the Sex and the City shoebox. ;)

2. The Foot: No improvement here. I'm Miss Worry Pants at the moment. Let me explain that: last night I was so upset that I actually believed that I won't be able to run the Swiss Alpine Marathon this year. Yeugh. Not a good feeling. The part that hurts is the inferior extensor retinaculum band. I can't find any running related injury of this band. Weird...

I'm seeing a Sports MD tomorrow, and I truly hope that he knows how to fix this.

3. Paris Marathon: If (and that's a big IF) I'll be able to run the Paris Marathon this April, I'll run it for fun. 4-ish hours will be just fine with me. So...that's why I figured I might as well make it as much fun as possible. Yeah, I'm talking 'running in costume' here! :) Any ideas for a fun costume?


One year of running - 75 random things about me

One year ago today (January 2010) running became a way of life to me. Running was no longer just a hobby (since October 2009 I occasionally headed out for a jog - 15K a week tops). Till one year ago today I didn't run more than 10K at once. The difference a year makes. 365 days. It may sound corny, but the girl that's typing this post, isn't the same girl that signed up for the New York Marathon in January 2010 and decided to give it a try. Corny, I know... Get over it. ;) But, seriously, who could have guessed that I would actually prefer to spend money on new running shoes than on a new pair of heels?

So, I guess I owe you 75 random things about me now, huh? :) Why 75? Because everyone else does 100. ;)

1. My non-blogworld name is Christel. Well, actually it's 'Christina', but my mom figured that that name sounds too mature...
2. I love my dog to pieces.
3. Therefore he's pretty much spoiled rotten. It's not like I dress him up (well...I do dress him up during the holiday season... ;)), but he does get to pick his own faux-fur duvet cover...
4. Plus he actually sleeps on my bed. On his fancy faux-fur pillow. I tried a fleece pillow, but he refused to sleep on that one... He's spoiled and I have no one but myself to blame. ;)
5. I would love to own a Bed & Breakfast in Switzerland one day.
6. I absolutely love being in the Swiss Alps, and mountains in general.
7. I'm a certified Skike instructor. I don't teach Skike, but it just seemed fun to get the certificate.
8. I drive a Subaru Impreza station wagon. I actually wanted a Mini, but hey, the Subaru has 4x4.
9. When men find out that I drive a Subaru, they usually laugh at me. Pretty harsh...
10. As a little girl I really wanted to get my ears pierced, but my mom wouldn't let me.
11. I actually thank her for that, but did get my ears pierced at age 21. And she came with me and bought me my first pair of ear rings.
12. I joined a sorority in my University years. Loved it. :)
13. Also, in these University years, I partied hard and drank a lot. On the plus side, I'm pretty much done with partying and drinking now.
14. I was an honors student.
15. I have both a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Law.
16. Actually, I wanted to be an Archeologist, but figured picking law was the wise thing to do.
17. Lucky for me, I actually loved studying law.
18. I still would love to get a degree in either Archeology or in Art History.
19. I do believe in monogamy, but I don't believe in marriage. I blame that on my job. ;)
20. Plus my parents got a divorce. It was nasty. That probably doesn't help either.
21. Seriously, I never really dreamed of 'the white dress' and 'the wedding party'. And I'm fine with that. I'd rather spend that money on a trip around the world. Or on that B&B in Switzerland.
22. I'm afraid of the dark.
23. I'm also a bit scared of swimming in open water. Especially when my feet can't touch the ground.
24. Seven for all mankind jeans are the only jeans that fit properly on me.
25. I don't dye my hair: I was born a redhead.

Still there? Not bored yet? Wow!

26. I'm a certified ski instructor.
27. In my High School and University years I earned some extra cash working as a ski instructor in Switzerland, spending a couple of weeks a year in Switzerland.
28. After High School I even lived in Switzerland for a year to work as a ski instructor.
29. Not because I didn't want to go to University right away, but because my mom got really really sick and I got the chance to take care of her.
30. I learned how to ski at age 3. And every year after that, up to date that is. I truly hope the gift of skiing will be there in the years to come.
31. I was a competitive skier all through High School.
32. I had a training accident at age 16. Slalom practice. Knee. Ligaments and cartilage were pretty much messed up.
33. I had to wear a knee brace for six months. My leg was half the size when it came out of the brace. In the years after that I still had to wear the brace while skiing.
34. I was able to teach, though. I preferred teaching the little ones (3 and 4 year olds). :)
35. I am able to ski without the brace now, but skiing hard for an entire day or doing moguls more than one run in a row... Well, let's just say that I will pay for that the next day.
36. Without my PT my knee would still be messed up. I've been going to the same PT for 12 years now.
37. I'm trying to master the Telemark technique now. It's easier on the knee and I've truly fallen in love with it. :)
38. I tried snowboarding, but didn't like it. I love skiing too much.
39. I also love cross country skiing. Not the old school kind, but the cool 'skating' technique. :)
40. When I was 8 years old the Ski Gymnasium in Davos, Switzerland asked my mom if she'd consider letting me go there to be trained as a professional skier. She said no. They asked her again the year after that and the year after that. She didn't change her mind.
41. I was pretty angry with her back then, but am now grateful for it. She wanted me to get a proper education and the opportunity to go to University.
42. I was involved in competitive ballroom dancing at age 17 and 18.
43. I actually placed 2nd once at the European Championships for amateurs.
44. I didn't go through with the competitive dancing when I went to University. With all the classes I did no longer have the time.
45. I would love to compete in the Dakar Rally one day. And I'm aware of the fact that I will most likely never be able to compete in it, but still. It would be an amazing experience. :)
46. I would also love to visit Antarctica one day.
47. Sushi is my favorite food.
48. Cheese fondue comes in second. :)
49. My grandmother died 3 years ago. I still miss her presence. Every single day.
50. It's scary how much I look like her. Looking at photos of her at age 28, it could have been me in those photos. Except for the clothes. ;)

Almost there! You're a trooper! ;)

51. I enjoy cooking. A lot.
52. I probably own at least 200 cooking books.
53. And yet I order in at least once a week... Shame on me.
54. I'm a kidney patient. Plus I was born with chronic intestinal problems.
55. Due to that my MD told me I would never have the energy to run any distance over a 10K. I sure proved him wrong. ;)
56. I'm fine most of the time as long as I take my medication and watch my diet. For example, I have to be careful with salt and calcium.
57. I love to read. Plus, I just keep buying books. I like the smell of new books. You'll find piles of books in every single room in my home.
58. I don't like cold showers. At all.
59. I would love to have kids one day. And a jogging stroller. ;)
60. My Ipod is filled with Nirvana, Metallica, Coldplay, Nickelback, Kings of Leon and other rock bands.
61. However, I also listen to opera music. A couple of months ago I bought the complete works of Maria Callas...
62. About a year ago, I did an upholstery class. Yep, I know how to upholster an antique chair.
63. I also don't suck at using a sewing machine.
64. If I had to choose, I'd pick winter over summer.
65. I've never ever smoked a cigarette. I did smoke cigars in college. And drink scotch.
66. Also I have never ever tried drugs. I never felt tempted too. And yep, I AM Dutch. ;)
67. Secretly, I love reading Oprah's magazine 'O'. Sssssshhhh. :)
68. I can't stand being around mean and negative people. I honestly don't get why you would deliberately try to make someone feel bad.
69. Poppy flowers are my favorite.
70. I took a bit of my grandmother's ashes with me on the Swiss Alpine Marathon in 2010.
71. A peanut butter and cheese sandwich is my favorite for lunch. That combo is too tasty. :)
72. My cats have health insurance. I wanted to get health insurance for my dog too, but did the math and figured that saving EUR 10 a month for medical expenses would be a cheaper and better option.
73. I suck at every sport with a ball in it.
74. I don't eat pork.
75. I have a fear of failure. Always have. I'm working on it. :)

If you're still here, and I didn't bore you to death with these 75 random facts...you're a rock star in my book! :)


Bosu-ka! - How to use the Bosu Ball for strength and stability training

The Bosu Ball. Funny looking piece of fitness equipment. But, guess what, I like this ball! It makes a great work out and is a new way to add some 'shoosh' to your strength and stability training!

I've been using the Bosu Ball for my strength and stability training for a while now. I used to focus on just weights, but my PT advised me to try the Bosu Ball. And I'm glad she did!
For those of you that aren't familiar (yet) with the Bosu Ball, this is what it looks like:
Yeah, it's actually just a ball. Why didn't I come up with this thing?
You can do all kinds of exercises on this ball and even inflate/deflate it to toughen up your training regime. I'll just sum up my favorite Bosu-exercises below (in pictures). I did not have the chance yet to have photos taken of Miss Weirdo (me, in case you were wondering... ;)) on the Bosu Ball, so: Photo courtesy of Hubpages.
This exercise helped fix the The Calf and The Knee problem. Since I'm battling The Foot (stupid injury) at the moment, I have a chair or wall around just in case I tumble off the Bosu Ball when I'm doing exercises on the injured leg.

This is a great exercise for those of you that want to work on those quads. I actually place my leg a bit more backwards than the girl in the photo does.

This one is hard! But it sure works!

Squats! I usually do 3 sets of 20.
Well? What are you waiting for? Find yourself a gym that features the Bosu Ball!
In my opinion the Bosu Ball is a great piece of exercise equipment for runners. I truly feel that the strength and stability work benefits my training as well as my running.
Do you use the Bosu Ball?
Work out:
Cycling: 4K - 15 min
Stretching: 30 min
Elliptical: 15 min - 5K
Cycling: 30 min - 11K
Running: 15 min - 1.2K - 15% incline - walking
Weights/strength training: 45 min


How to battle the Blue Monday blues

1. Spend some time thinking about something you really love to do, and find a clip on it on Youtube. In my case that would be (besides running and other things) telemarking. :) Instant happiness! :)

2. Wear your favorite 'blue' outfit to work:

3. Plan something to look forward to all day. Yep, that would be a Mojito. :) It won't take a diamond to make this girl happy. ;)

Cycling: 15 min - 4K
Stretching: 30 min


Supporting EMZ!

Go Emz! Now go kick that marathon's butt! You're a rock star! :)

Trying to look 'gangsta'...Fail! I blame the 'tired eyes' on the Japanese beer I had last night... :) Plus, that's my 'just out of bed' face/hair...

To quote Kevin: Since I'm wearing the Run EMZ shirt: does that mean that I'm one of the cool kids now? ;)

Treadmill 16% incline: 15 min (walking) - The Foot still hurts like...I'm not posting 'that word'. ;)
Cycling: 30 min (10K) + 10 min (3K)
Strength training: 35 min


Runner's remorse

We've all been there.
Runner's remorse.

During a run or in a race you feel this sudden pain. Somewhere in your legs/feet. You figure it will go away, and if it doesn't during the run/race, it will be all gone when you've finished this thing. That's how it usually goes. So, that's how it has to go this time. You continue to run/race. And you don't pull the plug.
The pain is still there after the run/race. It did not go away. Annoying. Icing your leg/foot, and resting it for a day will do the trick, right?
It doesn't.
Six days later, you're still in pain. And not able to run - by far not able to run. You're crosstraining to remain your level of fitness. Mentally, you feel awful. Heck, you're freaking out! You're on a training schedule! Bye bye spring marathon, bye bye BQ attempt, bye bye ultra?! You now realize you should have pulled the plug. You've been into running long enough to know what is the difference between 'the pain that will go away' and 'the pain that will still be there in the days after that run'. But somehow you decided to push through it.
Let me just quote TMB (http://racingwithbabes.blogspot.com/) here: Runner first, logical thinker second. She couldn't be more right.
These last couple of 'freaking out over The Foot' days made me realize: sometimes (just sometimes) you need to stop listening to 'the run' and start listening to 'reason'. If you don't, you might find yourself having Runner's remorse. And in my humble opinion...Runner's remorse is right up there on the 'Sucktastic' scale.
Did you ever have 'Runner's remorse'? (I know you have...;))


Three Things Thursday

1. The Foot. Sucktastic is still 'the word' to describe the 'The Foot' situation. I'm seeing another MD this afternoon. Why? I woke up in more pain than I went to sleep with yesterday. Walking: still limping. No improvement whatsoever. Plus the cyste on the ankle is twice the size it was yesterday. Not good. Not a happy camper. And I really want to be positive minded about this one. But it's hard. And I apologize for that to you all. I'll stop whining now. :)

2. Throwback Thursday. Don't be fooled by the haircut: I'm definitely a girl! And once again, I'm sporting the preppy European girl look. Lacoste polo, deck shoes, field hockey stick. I had pretty much mastered the preppy look at age 2. To this very day I'm still surprised that Ralph Lauren himself did not ask me to model for him. No hard feelings, Ralph. Your loss. ;)

3. Speedo. Again, not a girl to break a promise. So, here we go: a photo of me in my Speedo...
swimcap. I felt so cr*ppy because of The Foot that I honestly did not feel confident enough to confront you with my bod covered in a Speedo. A high cut Speedo. Showing more leg than a Rockette does. I'll promise to share a photo of the 'Speedo' one of these days. ;) I do. :)

Awkward...Really no other word to describe this...


Flexing it

Cycling: 20 min
Swimming: 60 min
Strength training: 20 min

The Foot. Who could've guessed that this nasty little thing could cause so much pain? I can't even do a single leg raise on my left leg. Gee... Frustrating. I feel completely drained and depressed, and I really don't want to not hold my head high.

Yesterday I saw another MD. For a second opinion on the foot. To sum it up: I did not like the opinion of this second MD. Why?

The MD examined the foot and told me that the joints in my feet are more flexible than they should be in a normal person (okay, bring on the 'you're not a normal person'-jokes! I can take it...). Plus, there's some sort of cyste on my ankle (size of a pearl). Apparently lots of athletes (or semi-athletes like myself: ha!) have 'flexible feet'. I figured 'flexible' was a good thing. Well...guess again. The MD explained to me that this überflexibility could cause early arthritis. I figured that if that's the case I should just rest the foot for now, start building the mileage when it feels okay (for the record: it does NOT feel okay at the moment), and then add more strength training and replace one work out per week with swimming or cycling.

Uhm...nope. The MD wants me to not exercise (besides hiking and some strength training) at all. I repeat: no exercise besides hiking and strength training (no cycling, swimming, etcetera). In her opinion even walking around would be hard when I turn 40, if I don't. What the bleep? For the record: this MD is not involved in some kind of endurance sport herself. Nor did she understand what running means to me. Being silly me, I googled on the subject as soon as I got home, and did not find one article stating what she had told me.

Two days, two MDs, two completely different opinions. I'm clueless.

My sports PT told me to crosstrain for at least a week. And check how The Foot feels after that. And start building the mileage again (slowly) as soon as the foot is OK. I'll just go with her advice for now. After all...she works with athletes every single day.

Guess who's off for a swim tonight? ;) I might even take a few photos of me in my Speedo (or, what I'd like to call, 'the dealbreaker'). ;)

Any bloggers out there with 'flexible feet'?

"I like big butts and I cannot lie"

I'm not the girl to break a promise. So, as a bonus post for today:

The cycle shorts.

With the crotch pad (yeah, I know you're supposed to call it a 'chamois', but 'chamois' sounds like some sort of expensive moisturizer, and, let's face it, what's inside my cycle shorts is nowhere near as high class as an expensive moisturizer is...).

The front looks like short tights you could wear for running, right? Nothing weird about the shorts so far.

And there's the crotch pad. These shorts are a godsend for obvious reasons (no more 'butt blisters'), but somehow they do give you the feeling of wearing diapers for the first 5 minutes you have them on. On the other hand, these shorts do make my butt look more like JLO's than it normally does ('cause normally my butt looks as flat as the country I life in...).

Ofcourse I had to pair the shorts with these. What else would you wear for gym cycling?

That's how excited I was about hitting the bike. And about all the cross-training I'll have to do because of this stupid foot. More on what the second opinion MD said later.


Is sucktastic even a word?

Update on The Foot: triple sucktastic. Still hurts. I can stand on it (painfree), but walking and doing single leg raises with my left leg: ouchieouchouch impossible. My PT thinks that The Foot might have been the problem all along. That little sucker might have even caused The Calf and The Knee. Go figure. I already tried to ice it to a point where I felt the next step would be de-frosting it. The numbness was nice for half an hour, but didn't really help after that. I would NOT make a good doctor. Fact.

So, guess what?

I'll be hitting the bikes again. And the pool. For the time being, that is. Luckily, swimming and cycling are my new-found loves. ;) And my 78K schedule does not start till mid February and happens to have a high run/walk-ratio for the weekend long runs (5+ hours on Saturday's and 5+ hours on Sunday's - Yay!). Plus crosstraining makes your body stronger, right? Right?

Also I asked for a second opinion on my foot. And the possible foot/calf/knee thing. Tonight another MD will examine it. I really really want to know what this MD has to say on the foot-subject.

Oh, as a bonus, later today/tomorrow, I'll post a photo of charming me in my cycling shorts with crotch pad. Uhm, I mean 'chamois'.

Did you ever have some kind of foot injury?

Cycling: 30 min Strength training: 45 min Hill work (16% incline) (walking): 17 min


And she's out again...The injury blues

Call me grumpy.

After slowly building up the mileage I decided to try my luck at a race. Last Saturday. The Calf held up the way it should. So far, so good. During the race I felt some stiffish pain in my left foot, below the outer ankle. Figured it was just my body getting used to racing again.
Well, society should thank me for not pursueing a career in medicine. The pain was still there the next morning. Even more annoying: it's still there today. And I'm limping. It hurts when I walk around (not when I'm not walking), mainly when I'm 'pushing off' (know what I mean?). What the bleep? My MD told me to rest it and check back in 2 (2!!!!) weeks. He had no clue what could be causing the pain. Sucktastic...
I don't want to go all Negative Nancy/Debbie Downer on you, but this sucks. I've been nursing The Calf, slowly building up the mileage, and then this happens? What's up with that? I know there are worse things that could happen (I do!!!), but still...it sucks.
I think I deserve a cocktail and some greasy food right now! And some chocolate cheesecake. And another cocktail to go with that.
Cycling: 30 min


And she raced...

Ran: 10 miles / 16.1K
I've been easing back into running in the last couple of weeks. Slowly building the mileage every week. Cutting back the mileage whenever The Calf felt stiffish or painful again.

And I'll be honest with you. I was scared sh*t to race again. What if The Calf couldn't handle a race yet? I didn't feel ready. The Calf does still feel a bit 'off'. Not like my old faithful calfie. But my PT and MD told me it would be OK to try a shorter distance race if I'd take it slow in that race. And would drop out if The Calf would do 'that thing' again.
Yesterday I decided to put on my big girl pants and stop whining about what could happen to The Calf. So, I registered for a 10-miler. Might as well get it over with, right? ;)

The race (Florijnwinterloop, Woudenberg, the Netherlands)

Mile 1-5 (km 1 - 8): I was surprised to find myself feeling as I usually do for the first couple of miles of a race. That is, thinking about more pleasant ways to spend the afternoon (watching a movie, having lunch, reading a book...) and wondering why I registered for this thing in the first place. But, besides that 'first couple of miles feeling', I also realized how much I love to race. :)

Mile 5-7 (km 8-11): Wind. Tornado-like wind. Gasping for air kind of wind. Can't hold my pace due to the wind kind of wind. That bloody wind was dead against me! Plus, rain. Enough said.
What the bleep did all this swimming and cycling do to my quads?

Mile 8 (km 12/13): Ahhhh...now the wind feels more like a breeze. Nice. Kick up that pace again!

Mile 9-10 (km 14-16.1): Great, wind. Again. Hello, tornado! What the bleep? It feels like I'm kicking it into gear, but my pace is dropping. I'm so over this wind! Sure glad to spot the finish line. Might as well chick that guy right before the finish line, right? ;)

Photo courtesy of Bjorn Paree (www.runoutofhell.nl)

I crossed the finish line in 1:26:30. My 10-mile PR is 1:22-ish. So, considering the calf injury, not being up to speed yet while still nursing that injury, the fact that I wasn't really pushing myself as I normally do, and the wind: not too shabby.

The day after

The Calf doesn't feel off or stiffish. Progress. :) However, I must have - unintentionally - slightly changed my gait to take it easy on The Calf. Why? I woke up with this strange pain on top of and on the outside of my left foot. I felt this same pain during the run, but figured it was just my foot getting used to running at a higher pace again. It only hurts when I walk (the pain causes me to limp, actually), it doesn't feel painful when I touch it. No running today. Tomorrow is a rest day, so, fingers crossed that it feels better on Tuesday. In the meantime I'm icing it...

I know a lot of bloggers are racing Disney this weekend! Can't wait for all the stories and pictures! :)


Runner Runner Runner Runner Runner

Cycling: 30 min
Pretty much wordless Friday. Step 2 in the de-pinking process:

I'd just like to add that I love this tee so much that I would marry it this very moment if it would get down on one knee and propose to me. No kidding. I would.
(Love this tee as much as I do: you can buy your own at http://www.punkrockracing.com/)


Three Things Thursday

Cycling: 30 min
1. Homemade Pasta: My mom bought me 'The Pasta Bible'. I already knew how to make (fresh) pasta, but usually find myself buying the Grocery Store kind anyway. Now I really don't have an excuse anymore not to make fresh pasta. Seriously, check out this book. It has some great recipes and tons of different kinds of pasta in it. Do I hear 'Carb-loading'? I'll be posting some truly delicious recipes in the next couple of weeks!

2. Nighttime running: In these dark (but oh so cosy) days of winter, the sun is already setting at 5 PM. Considering the fact that I won't get off work till 6 or 7 PM...nighttime running is the way to go for this girl. I don't mind running at night, though. It's a great way to de-stress from a busy day at work. However, the obvious issue with nighttime running is .... well, the safety issue. That's why I usually head out looking like some kind of Christmas Tree mishap. Okay...it's actually not that bad (I hope), but I do think that it's important to 'run visible'.

Therefore: my go-to for nighttime running is the Saucony Vizipro line. In my opinion the Vizipro line beats the yellow Brooks Nightlife line in visibility. By far. Plus, I'm Dutch, and with orange being our national color, I have a natural weak spot for everything orange.

I love this shirt: comfy, yet warm. The light is USB-chargeable.

3. Throwback Thursday: Me: just a couple of months old. So, what can we learn from this photo?

a. I indeed did not have any hair whatsoever as a baby. How I ended up with the lion-like tresses I sport nowadays will not only remain a mystery to me, but also to every (and I mean 'every') hairdresser around;

b. Did you see the 'devil eyes' photo in yesterday's post? Where the bleep did all that baby cushy cushy cuteness go?


Silly Girl Running goes Punk - Punk Rock Racing Tech Tee review

Ran: 6.2 miles / 10K - running group + Cycling: 30 min
Huh? What happened to the runningskirts, the girly pink gear and the braids?
Nothing, absolutely nothing. Runningskirts and the braids: still there. As for the girly gear...also still there. I'm just a teeny tiny bit over the pink stuff. So, expect a lot less pink in 2011. Fortunately, there are lots and lots of other obnoxious colors out there. At the moment I'm a big fan of mixing purple, yellow and bright orange. Ha! Just so you know...
Punk Rock Racing
First step in the 'de-pinking' process is this Punk Rock Racing (http://www.punkrockracing.com/) technical tee. Most of you (well, the ones that live in the United States of America) are probably already a huge fan of their gear. However, the Punk Rock Racing brand is still pretty unknown in Europe. Well, I plan on changing that!
And guess what? Ron at Punk Rock Racing told me that I'm their first Dutch customer/fan. Ha!

Ouch! Serious devil eyes! Must remember to take photos with my camera instead of my phone to prevent future 'incidents'.

Bad phone camera pic...again. At least you get a proper idea of the tee and the obnoxious purple and yellow shorts. And, by the way, I love those shorts!


I got the technical tee and their 'Runner Runner Runner' cotton tee (and a bonus beanie! :)) in the mail yesterday morning, and immediately took the technical tee for a spin on last night's 'still nursing the calf strain, but easing back into running' run.
The verdict: great technical tee! Great fit (I wear the small). Plus, absolutely OK wicking qualities (and that's what this girl needs...the way I sweat...Yeugh!). And I love the design! I truly felt like a bad *ss rock star wearing this shirt. ;)
As for the run itself...I had a huge glass of wine and half a bag of crisps before heading out. Let's just say that you won't catch me having wine and crisps as a pre run meal again anytime soon...