*Crack* - The Injury Blues revisited


Nope, not in the 'will get you high' kind of way. *Crack* in the 'will make you want to hit your head against a wall' kind of way.

Please let it be 'just shin splints'.

I am not a fan of my left lower leg at the moment. Not at all. Last Thursday I felt a dull pain on my left shin. Just like that, out of the blue. When I was on my way to the coffee machine at the firm. Weird. Especially since I hadn't had any injury related issues in months. Plus, I felt great and not at all stiff after the Edinburgh Marathon 9 days ago. Don't get it. At all. I took rest days after the marathon. I've been careful building the mileage for the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78. What the heck!

No. No. No. :(

The pain is located on my shin (anterior side) and the spot is about the size of a chocolate chip cookie (my comfort food, get over it.). There's a dull pain when I run on it. And there's a dull pain when I jump on it. Walking, walking stairs, etcetera is pain free. Even tapping - and slamming - on the shin doesn't hurt. Yeah...'weird bones', that's what my GP calls them.

My GP checked it and says it's too small a spot for shin splints, so she says 'probably stress fracture'. The dreaded words no runner wants to hear! Just had an X-ray and as could be expected with a stress fracture they couldn't see anything on the X-ray. So...Bone scan it is to get some answers on whether or not is a stress fracture. Next Tuesday. I truly hope it's not a stress fracture, but my GP told me it has all the symptoms of one. I already had a good cry over it. And another one.

With 8 1/2 weeks to go till the Swiss Alpine Marathon 50-miler, and being right on track till this very moment, this is a huge set-back. Mentally mostly. Cycling, Eliptical and Swimming it is.

As for the Swiss Alpine Marathon 50-miler. Yeah....about that. I should be kicking my long runs into gear in the next couple of weeks, and should be doing back-2-back long runs on the weekends. Instead, I'll be stuck on a bike. No way to train for a 50-miler. I already made peace with the idea of joining my mom in the half marathon distance of the Swiss Alpine Marathon Festival and speed walking that one together. There's always another ultramarathon, right? Plus, getting my mom through her first half should be fun. :)

If you'll excuse me now, I have a date with a huge bowl of chocolate froyo.


Punk Rock Racing 'Runner Runner Runner' Tech Tee Review

A new favorite. Enough said.

Well, not quite enough, actually.

I already was a huge fan of the Punk Rock Racing gear. Not only is the fit of their shirts comfy, their designs are what really made me stalk their webshop. I love love love my 'Runner Runner Runner' cotton tee! :) And now Punk Rock Racing sells that exact same tee in a technical fabric! Can I hear a 'Woo-Hoo'? :)

For my review of the Punk Rock Racing Skull Tech Tee, check this link: PRR Skull Tee.

The fabric of the 'Runner Runner Runner' tee is the same as the fabric the Skull tee is made of. I wear a size small (the smallest size they carry) and it's a somewhat loose fit on me. But I like a loose, relaxed fit, so - for me - it's perfect. What I like is that the fabric is stretchy: it's easy to tuck the sleeves underneath your bra straps when you're hot. Yep, I think that's a great thing about this shirt. I'm weird like that.

What I love most about this shirt: the 'Runner Runner Runner' print. Seriously, love it. Actually planned on pairing it with a pinstripe skirt for a hearing today, but my colleague pointed out that 'the judge would probably not share my interest in running'. Hmmmmmmpppphhhh.... She might have a point. ;)

So, what are you waiting for? Go over to the Punk Rock Racing website and get yourself this shirt! :) You know, because you want to be one of the cool kids. ;)


Freaky Friday - The 'this is just wrong' post

If KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, gets it their way, I won't be running this, come November:

Why, you ask? Well...

My mom is my most loyal supporter. And a fantastic mom (sorry, guys, my mom is the best). However, she also suffers from a severe case of diabetes. And is assigned with a seizure alert dog (service dog) because of that. Her service dog literally gave her her life back. And has saved her life on several occasions.

What we did? We called KLM last January (11 months prior to the date of the flight) and asked them if it was okay to take the service dog with us in the cabin. 'No, problem! KLM is service dog friendly and knows she's obliged to take service dogs on the plane.'. Okay, so, we booked the flights. Only to find that it wasn't as 'easy' as KLM had told us. The service dog has been approved on the flight. However, there are only 3 or 4 Economy Class seats on that plane that provide enough leg room for the dog to lay at my mom's feet. And KLM won't (not can't, 'won't'!) guarantee that my mom will get one of those seats. And yes, we've booked 11 (!) months in advance.

KLM Customer Care (caring about whom?) literally told her that if a Premium Member comes along, that passenger will get the seat. To make matters even worse, if she doesn't get one of those 3 or 4 seats with her service dog, she won't be allowed on the plane. Because it won't be safe for the dog. But yet, KLM won't guarantee that they can give her one of those seats. And yes, she has already paid for the flight. And is willing to pay extra if that is what it takes to give her any guarantees. And yes, because of international laws KLM is obliged to give her - and any passenger travelling with a service dog - one of those seats and to let her/them on the plane.

Even after hiring an attorney (hiring the firm I work for as an attorney) and letting her (moi and several colleagues) work on it, KLM wouldn't change the way they handle this - now or in the future. 'KLM won't change her policy towards disabled passengers with a service dog.'. After 30+ phone calls, a news paper working on it, and writing them, I received a phone call from KLM Customer Care saying that they could (could, yes, could - not would) make an exception in this case and reserve a seat, but they still wouldn't guarantee anything. That leaves us with...nothing, right? Again. Yes, sounds nice, but we're left with the same 'no guarantees for service dogs' situation. Plus, they won't guarantee anything for future flights, and - as said - won't change their policy towards passengers traveling with service dogs. What makes me feel even more awful, KLM told the journalist that contacted them on this matter that they had done nothing wrong, and that it was just my mom. Basically KLM states that they won't obey the international laws mentioned above. Disturbing, very disturbing. Equal rights? Apparently not.

Why this is such a shame? I have always loved flying with KLM. Their cabin crew is superb! What they're doing now, changes everything. I honestly can't believe that these things still happen in this day and age.

So, no New York Marathon for me, I guess. I can't even begin to describe how this makes me feel.

And now I'm beyond angry, mad, pissed off. And I believe I have every right to. This calls for an angry run.


Three Things Thursday - quickie edition

1. Amino acids: My MD and PT advised me to pay close attention to my diet. To make sure that I'm getting all the vitamins, etcetera I need. My MD pointed out that Amino acids could be a useful addition to any long distance runner's diet. I've been looking into it, but am still not quite sure about in what amount I should add amino acids to my diet, and if I should do so at all. Any thoughts on this one?

2. Tired: Last Sunday's marathon and crazy busy days at work have taken the best of my energy levels. I'll be hitting the sack early tonight. And I feel wimpy because of that. Enough said. ;)

3. Reviews: I have several reviews coming up: Merrell Pace Gloves, Moeben arm sleeves, Moeben running skirt and Eco-friendly sleeveless shirt, and - oh yeah - the Punk Rock Racing 'Runner Runner Runner' technical tee. If you happen to have any thoughts on any of these products, please share! I'd like to add any input to the reviews! Thanks :)


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

A huge surprise that came in the mail yesterday! Ron @ PunkRockRacing shipped this awesome tee, bag and pins to me. Just like that. How did he guess that their skull technical tee is one of my favorite tees ever? :) Ron, you rock. And yes, there's definitely a review coming up on this one!


Race photos 101 - And this time I tried hard not to mess them up

...and yet I did.

The race photos from the Edinburgh Marathon didn't look that bad in the preview photos, but after receiving the link to download the high res photos, it's fair to say that I did manage to mess up those photos. Yet again. Okay...I didn't mess up all of them, but still... Check the evidence below. Please feel free to click on these photos and see the high res version. Might cause damage to the eyes, though. You can't say I didn't warn you.

Can you tell from my eyes that I had a migraine the night before and have still some sort of 'heavy head' thing going on up there? I'm hiding it well...I'm hiding it well...

Yep, apparently I wasn't struggling with my GU pack, but texting on my phone. Texting at mile 18/29K? Seriously? My handheld? Squeezed In my left arm pit area. Oh yeah, I'm classy like that.

The classic silly face. Patent (still) pending.

Stopping Mr Garmin at the finish line. What I should have been doing? Don't look down and smile!

The ones that didn't come out too sucky:

I just truly hope that that's a shadow thingie going on on my left upper arm... Avoid. Men. Arms...

I look happy. And that's exactly how I felt. :) And sweaty. I do look sweaty. And it does look like every bit of mascara I had on is go-one. ;)


Edinburgh Marathon quickie recap - The 'the little engine that could' post

Date: Yesterday, Sunday May 22nd.
Event: Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Plan: run this thing as a training run - the Swiss Alpine Marathon training thingie is what's important now.

I've never been less prepared. I had the worst possible marathon preparation.

1. I did not taper for this marathon (I didn't run a lot of miles in the last few days before the marathon, but had covered 50 miles in the week before, and did a Back-2-Back hill training in the weekend before the marathon - the Swiss Alpine Marathon training schedule is what's important now. And yes, I know there are several runners out there that would say 50 miles a week is low mileage, and that it would qualify as a taper period, but my body is used to running less miles than that in a taper period. Yep, I'm slow, I know. ;)).

2. I spent the day before the marathon sightseeing around Edinburgh. Walking, that is. Lovely city!

3. I had an awful migraine the late PM/evening before the marathon and spent hours in bed. And did not eat. Had a tiny bit of rice, but that stupid migraine made me feel sick.

4. I tried something new on race day. Not shorts. Not a shirt. Not socks. Nope, worse. I tried a new energy drink (GU Brew), because I couldn't take my usual Gatorade with me on the plane. Bad girl, I know.

The Race

I was already approaching this marathon as a training run for the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78, but - especially considering the migraine that left my musces feeling awful and me feeling exhausted - I really had no other option than taking it slow. So, I did take Mr Garmin with me, and turned it on, but never really looked at it. I couldn't care less about finish times or predicting a finishing time.

Start line: chatted the time away. Nice, friendly crowd of runners. And hardly any lines for the port-a-potties. Me likey! Not nervous. At all. No race day drippy poo (which is nice for a change). I was actually looking forward to heading out for a long run. All smiles.

Start: *Bleep*. Mr Garmin is on. Bag pipe players are playing. All choked up - already. Yep, way to go.

Mile 1-6 (1-10K): Not checking Mr Garmin. Just taking it slow. Some nice downhills and slight uphills. As long as I'm able to chat with other runners and able to hand out high-fives to the kids that were cheering us on, I'm fine. Filled up my watter bottle at mile 5.8 (9.5K) where my mom and a friend of hers were cheering me on.

10K mark: Mr Garmin bleeps, and since I'm on a timing mat for the 10K-split, I check how slow I'm moving forward. 54:22. Too fast. I know I'll pay for that later, but I really couldn't care less.

Mile 6-13 (10-21.1K): Still cruising along. My legs are okay. I can feel the aftermath of the migraine in my legs, but it doesn't get any worse than that. Refill my watter bottle at mile 11 (17.6K).

Mile 13.1 (21.1K): Timing mat. Let's check Mr Garmin again. 1:54:17. Can't be right. And I still couldn't care less. Doesn't feel like I'm racing, so I'll just head on and wait till I hit the wall.

Mile 13-18 (21-29K): Nice loop along the ocean. Scenic course. Now, where's that wall? Come out, come out, where ever you are! Mom and her friend are panicking because they missed me at mile 16 and are worrying their pants off that I might have crashed into that wall. Numerous phone calls later (yep, I was running and on the phone. Multi-tasking, baby), I've reassured them that I'd just missed them and that I'm fine.

You can't tell from the photo, but the rain at this point was insane. In-sane. And nope, those chicken wing arms aren't an example of bad running form. I was trying to take a GU, but was struggling with my handheld and opening the GU-pack at the same time. :)

Mile 18.8 (30K) mark: *Bleep*. Hi there, Mr Garmin. Ah, timing mat. 2:43:14. Oh, I'm going to hit that wall big time.

Mile 18-20 (29-32K): Because I missed mom at the 16 mile mark I didn't have any GU Brew left. Just took a salt pack. And I did just miss a water station. What's the plan? Flunning myself into getting some guy's water bottle. Yep, worked like a charm. He emptied his bottle in my handheld. Thanks! :) Still awaiting the point where I'll hit the wall.

Mile 20-22 (32-35K): Stop blocking the road! The course is narrow and there are quite a lot of runners walking. Next to each other. Chatting. Please, go to the side of the road and stop blocking others: that's what I always do when I'm walking for a bit (or limping it out, like I did at the NYC Marathon in 2010)! Finally find mom and her friend at mile 22 (35K), and get to refill my bottle. 'Are you okay?'. 'Yeah, I think I am. Just awaiting 'hitting the wall' moment.'. Still haven't walked through the water stops, which is what I'd normally do.

Mile 22-25.5 (35-41K): We're still running along the ocean. Headwinds! Headwinds! Insane headwinds! What the what! Decide to keep on doing what I was already doing: keep a pace that seems comfortable to me, and don't look at Mr Garmin. Now, please don't let me hit the wall hard in those last few miles!

Mile 25.5-26.2 (41-42.2K): Almost there yet? No! I'm having a blast! Hmmmppfff. We're directed to the right and sent onto a racing course. And there's the finish line. Chick a guy in front of me. And cross the finish line. Legs feel a bit stiffish, but I feel...fresh? Huh? That can't be correct.

Mile 26.2 (42.2K): 3:50:33. PR'd by 9 minutes and 22 seconds. 395/2913 women. Huh? And I never pushed it. It did not feel like racing. I was just having a blast. Maybe the 'I'm just going to have fun. I couldn't care less about speed'-attitude did the trick. I'm happy to have a second sub-4. :) The Edinburgh Marathon spoiled me. :) And yes, I know, it's no BQ-time, but I'm happy with it. Get over it. ;)

Yep...the silly face did make an appearance. ;)

Right before the finish line. Chicked the guy behind me. He had it coming. :)

'End run' - the finish line. And not believing what's on the screen of Mr Garmin...

And then some

After crossing the finish line, we were directed to the finisher's area. While I'm on my way over there, some TV-crew starts asking me questions. They are taping the interview. On camera. I was babbling. Babbling babbling. I do NOT want to see that interview. Must have been hilarious to watch.

Got my medal (from a cute little boy that was struggling with the medals. Too funny.). Have my finisher's photo taken (why aren't the photos available yet, marathonphotos.com? Then again...I might not want to see how they turned out...). And suddenly hear someone calling my name. Mom! She bragged her way into the finisher's area. Ha! Mom, where would I have been without you? Probably hitting some wall...

And then, it was over. We're through the reunion area and on the streets. Mom's friend was kind enough to drive us back to her place (where we were staying). All was left was packing our bags, getting Mr service dog ready and heading to the airport. No time to celebrate. Let's see if I can squeeze in some champagne and sushi tonight! :)


Freak out Friday!

Yep, it's official. I'm freaking out over what's supposed to be just a training run. Uh-uh. I've never freaked out over a training run. Go figure.

Please send me 'good weather and no thunderstorms as forecasted' vibes! And good luck vibes. Good luck - have a great race vibes would definitely help. :)

Off to play peek-a-boo with some kilts! :)


Three Things Thursday

1. Marathon. Marathon?: Taper madness didn't kick in this round. Might have something to do with me not tapering. Might. ;) I'm in full 'I'm training for the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 50-miler, and should focus on logging miles' mode. Did Back-2-Back long runs last weekend. My legs don't feel fresh and rested. At all. Hopefully this marathon will make a great training run. However, I wouldn't be my silly self if I wouldn't be already kicking myself for not getting a new PR. Yeah, great one, silly, great one... The keyword is 'training run'... Repeat. Till I've convinced myself to not feel bad...

2. City trip: On a more positive note. Travelling to Edinburgh (United Kingdom, or should I say 'Scotland' :)) could just turn out to be a great city trip. Any advice on what to see/do? :)

3. Scotch Whisky and Kilts: On an even more positive note: I plan on doing some Whisky tasting when I'm in Edinburgh. Yeah, I'm a girl, and I love Whisky. To make matters worse, I even smoked cigars in my sorority years. Yeah, I know. Get over it.

Oh, and since Edinburgh is not only known for the Whisky, but also for the guys wearing kilts... Well, let's just say that I expect to give you a full report on whether or not those Scots go commando when wearing a kilt. :)

Hey, I'm twenty-something and single. Give me a break. ;)


Wednesday makes me wonder - the 'running buddy' edition

Funny how things can work out. And yes, this post is brutally honest. Again.

I love heading out for a run and meeting up with a running buddy. Luckily I've found plenty of running buddies in the past 12 months. Most of them through blogging. I've also found a supportive running group (and yes, I haven't been training with them a lot in the past couple of months, but that mainly has to do with the 50-miler training schedule that tells me intervals and speedwork are off for the time being).

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind running solo. Not at all. Most of my long runs are performed 'solo'. I like the peace and calm of heading out for a 20-miler - all by myself.

Running buddies = true gift

I might be a weirdo, but I treasure each and every running buddy I have. Running buddies are a true gift. At least in my opinion.

That's probably why losing one leaves me feeling sad and disappointed. And recently I did lose one. And I still don't understand why. That bugs the heck out of me.

Why? Well... We started training together a little over a year ago. Instant click. Fun, great training buddy. Registered for races together, raced those races together, did our long runs together, etcetera. Perfect running buddy.

Things I don't get

Fast forward to late last year. I got injured, running buddy got injured, so we didn't train together too often. Picked it up again this January. Paced running buddy to a new PR on the Half Marathon in mid-February. Good old fun again.

And then, after the pacing running buddy to a new PR thing, running buddy started cancelling running dates. One time, two times, and after that it didn't stop. Until running buddy reached a point where she wouldn't even want to schedule a 'new' running date anymore. Left me questioning myself. At one point I had even convinced myself that I must have been the worst running buddy ever for pushing her throughout that race to get that PR. But, quite honestly, I could not think of one thing I had done 'wrong'. And I'm the kind of girl that tends to blame everything on her little sad self. So, I had to dig deep to realize there truly wasn't a single thing I could have done wrong.

I'm the girl that's easy on giving second, third, fifth, tenth, 30th chances. I'm the girl that stays in touch no matter what. But at a certain point even I give up. After realizing that that running buddy wasn't injured/busy/pre-occupied, but still racing. Races we both registered for. Races where I ran into that running buddy at the start line. That's when I gave up. And I feel sad that I had to let go. I do.

Have you ever experienced the same thing? Any thoughts?


Tuesday Tidbits - Things I love

1. Puppies and Vibram Five Fingers:

2. Companies that have great, amazing, 'wow' customer service. Moeben deserves a huge shout-out: their customer service is hands down amazing! I'm seriously in awe. As from today I'm not only a fan, but also a loyal customer. More on this one later. Post coming up! :)


What the heck was I thinking?

Okay, this might have not been the best idea ever. At all. It would however probably place high in the 'Top 10 Stupid Ideas'.

Think, than sign up for a race.

Yeah, about that...

I honestly didn't know that I would be nutso enough to register for the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78. I knew I wanted to race one of the distances of the Swiss Alpine Marathon, though, but I figured it would be the K42 again (fingers crossed that I'll make it to the K78 start line in one piece...). The ignorance...

So, I filled out the registration for the Edinburgh Marathon on May 22nd 2011 (as in, 5 days from today) - back in September (lower fees). Said to be the 'fastest course in the UK!'. With a decent marathon training cycle and a 3-week taper, this could be a PR-course. Yeah...woulda coulda shoulda.

A few months later, I clicked 'register' on the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 registration. And decided to focus on training for that one.

Guess where I'm going?

Long story short: a friend of my mom's offered me a place to stay in Edinburgh, and since I hadn't cancelled my registration...well...I said 'That's so sweet of you! I'd be happy to stay with you!'. She even offered to cheer me on.

Yep, I'm screwed. I ran 2 marathons in April. I'm training for the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78. That includes building my mileage. Adding miles to my long runs. Running back-2-back weekends. Doing hill work. And spending a lot of time on the treadmill at the gym, set at 15% incline. I did not taper. At all. My legs don't feel fresh. I'm in no shape to race a marathon (and this comes from a girl that's sloooooow to begin with). I'm fully aware of the fact that all these hardcore marathoners and ultra runners are ready to race a marathon any day of the week, but I'm neither hardcore nor ultra ready.

I'm trying to look at this as 'a great chance to run a fun training run'. What doesn't help is the voice in my head telling me 'You suck. You're slow! You unprepared!'.

The one thing that might get me through this marathon: What IS underneath those Kilts? :)


Confessions of a redhead: I have a bit of a crush

This guy is not only a real-life hero, but also a true inspiration. And not bad to look at either. Yep, it's no secret that I have a bit of a crush on Mr. Krupicka. If only he were looking for a nutso boring lawyer that talks a lot. Meeeh...just my luck. ;)


You know you're a runner when... - the 'work' edition

... this is what you find in your brief case when cleaning it out.

Okay, so I've been walking around with GU, Arnyca gel, Tylenol, anti-blister patches and salt tabs in my brief case for the last couple of weeks. How I ever got through security all these times I had to go to Court for a hearing, is beyond me...


Three Things Thursday

1. The Feet: Black Toenails? Problem solved. Enough said.

The pinky toe on the right foot. Well...there's really no point anymore in drowning that one in nail polish. The nail is coming off in the most crumbly way possible...

2. Team Hole in the Wall at New York City Marathon fundraising: Thanks to Stichting Evellius and medisch-fit.nl my fundraising for Team Hole in the Wall got a huge kick in the butt. My original fundraising goal was to raise $3,000. This would cover the costs of one seriously ill child going to one of the Hole in the Wall camps. Thanks to Stichting Evellius, medisch-fit.nl and all your generous donations, I'm now up to $5,665. Needless to say that I now have my hopes set on raising enough money to cover the costs of two seriously ill children going to camp.

All these generous donations... I feel humbled, excited, happy, ready to jump around the room... Speechless.

3. UV protection: Hot spring or summer weather + trying to train for a 50-miler = spending lots and lots of hours outside. Add my natural redhead status to that (and the freckled pale skin that comes with that package), and, seriously, I need to be careful. As the Redhead pointed out a couple of days ago, freckles might look cute, but could lead to something far less cute. Not only us redheads out there, but every runner should be careful when spending so much time in the sun.

So, I've been looking into UV-protective clothing. I'm still on it, but plan on putting up a blogpost on it as soon as I've found enough info to make a 'ready to share' blogpost. For now: Runningwarehouse has a UV-protection tab that has some clothing in it. Plus, Moeben has very cute UV-protective running gear (Note to self: find retailer that is willing to ship Moeben gear to the Netherlands).

Three Things Thursday

1. The Feet: Black toenails? Problem solved.

Pink and red nail polish didn't hide the fact that there is a black toenail thing going on there. So, darkish grey nail polish it is! Très Chanel Summer 2009. As in a couple of seasons ago.

As for the pinky toe on my right foot... Well, let's just say 'silly me for thinking the toenail would come off in one piece...'. It's abandoning the ship in the most crumbly way possible as we speak. ;).

2. Team Hole in the Wall at NYC Marathon Fundraising update:
Thanks to Stichting Evellius and medisch-fit.nl and their incredibly generous donations, my fundraising for Team Hole in the Wall has gotten a huge kick in the butt! My original fundraising goal was $3,000: the amount of money needed to send one seriously ill child to one of the Hole in the Wall camps. Thanks to Stichting Evellius,
medisch-fit.nl and the incredible bloggers out there that donated on my fundraising page, I'm now up to $5,665. I feel incredibly happy, humbled, amazed... I honestly can't describe how excited I am! Thanks so much! Means the world!

Needless to say that I now have my mind set on trying to raise $6,000! It would be amazing to raise this amount of money and to give two seriously ill childeren the opportunity to go to one of the Hole in the Wall camps!

3. UV protection: I'm a natural born redhead. The freckled skin comes with the package. As the Redhead pointed out a couple of days ago, freckles aren't 'just cute'. They could transform into something far less cute. Yeugh!

So, since the thought of skin cancer scares the sh*t out of me and the 'just slapping on sunscreen approach' won't cut it for this girl, especially not when out there on a long run (or, in the 'training for a 50-miler' plan, really long runs), I could use a bit of extra help. UV-protective clothing it is.

Runningwarehouse has a 'UV Protection' section on their website that has some cute looking shirts and shorts. Plus, Moeben has super cute UV protective arm sleeves, skirts and shirts (fingers crossed that I will someday find a way to make a retailer ship Moeben gear to Europe...).

I'm still looking into it, but will turn it into a blog post when I have collected some 'ready to share' info.

In the meantime: please share any 'UV protective running gear' info!


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Let me introduce you to the latest addition to the Canicross gang. Meet our new service / assistance dog in training 'Frits'! And yes, that Canicross harness might still be a tad too large for the little guy. Don't worry, he'll grow into it before you can say 'cutie pie!'. :)

Oh yeah, those are Christmas decorations in the background. Let's just pretend I'm 'early' this year.

"Why the bleep did she make me wear this? It's pretty obvious that it doesn't fit, right?"

"Don't touch me, woman! Stop that!"

"Harrrrr!!! I told you to stop touching me!"


This girl likes it dirty - Dirty Girl Gaiters review

I, for one, wouldn't be the perfect girl to run for president of the 'I like gravel and sand in my running shoes' fanclub. Not a fan. Not a fan at all. And somehow I always manage to get at least one tiny rock per run in one of my shoes. Gravel + running shoes = bloody blisters. Fact. Ouch. And since I love offroad/trail running too much, there really wasn't an easy way to avoid the gravel/sand.

But, lately I've been okay on the 'annoying rocks in my shoes' problemo. Apparently the running gods did hear my prayers for an affordable solution (because paying $40 or more for a pair of gaiters 'ain't my thing'): DirtyGirl Gaiters! Best. Looking. Gaiters. Ever. Plus, they work. Comfy. Easy to attach to the shoes. And...they keep the dirt out. :)

A few photos to show you what the DirtyGirl Gaiters look like:

DirtyGirl Gaiters has a wide variety of fun designs in stock. The Gaiters are made of a thin technical fabric that's really lightweight and dries superfast (yeah, baby!).

You attach the front part of the gaiter to your shoe laces with a hook. Easy peasy!

The gaiters come with a piece of velcro. Just stick the velcro to the heel of your shoes, and you're ready to go.

The photos above show you a pair of my trail running shoes with the gaiters on them. However, I also made a pair of my Asics GT-2150's gaiter ready, and wear gaiters with those to keep tiny rocks out (perfect in case I don't pick trail running shoes for offroad running). It works and keeps my feet happy.

You can order the gaiters online here.

Extra info

For those of you that would like to know a bit more about how to wear the DirtyGirl gaiters and getting your running shoes gaiter ready, here's some info I found on the DirtyGirl Gaiters' website.


Your shoes must be new, or, clean and dry. The spot where you will place the Velcro must be smooth.

If they are dirty, or have a groove in the heel, the strip may not adhere securely.

Shoes with grooved or uneven heel surfaces may need Velcro glue or epoxy glue to attach the strip. This glue can be purchased at Walmart, craft stores, office/hardware supply stores.

Cut off about an inch and a half of the self-adhesive Velcro strip for each shoe.

Attach it to the back heel of the shoe. Allow 12 to 24 hours for the strip to reach maximum adhesiveness."


Put on your socks as usual.

Pull the gaiter on over the socks.

Put on your shoes over your socks and tie as usual.

Pull the gaiter over the shoe.

Attach the rear Velcro on the gaiter to the strip on the back of the shoe.

Hook the front hook under the shoe lace on the front of the shoe.

Adjust the gaiter over the top of the shoe.

Go outside and get dirty! "

I love love love the 'go outside and get dirty' bit! :)


Oh yes, I did...

...join the Marathon Maniacs.

And yes, I'm fully aware of the fact that Tracy might never, ever ever, talk to me again. And I'm truly hoping on her checking in with her forgiving side, and finding the courage to meet up with me again at the NYC Marathon (I'll promise not to wear the MM shirt). That is, of course, if this accident prone silly girl (moi, not Tracy) makes it to the start line in one piece.

So, why did I decide to join?

1. Because I could;

2. Because I ran two marathons in two weeks - both in 'too hot for a marathon' heat - I needed something to remind me of that;

3. Because one of the guys at Marathon Maniacs told me that I would be the first Dutch member. Since I'm too slow to ever be first at any race, I'll take what I can get;

4. Because the Marathon Maniacs seem like a great group. I love chatting to other runners at the start and finish line and during the race (oh yeah, I'm that annoying girl...);

5. I was in a sorority in my University years - we used to walk around in the same shirts all the time. And I still think that's fun. Pathetic, I know;

6. Brightish yellow colors look kind of good on me. At least, I like to think so...

Hello, fellow Marathon Maniacs, #3755 is reporting for duty! :)
(Okay, I'm joking here. Okay? I'm not that weird...)


I'm one of the cool kids

Yep, that's right. I am. Stop laughing at me...now. Not buying it? Well, you should.

According to Instyle magazine, two-toned nails are the nail trend in Hollywood.

$100 manicure...

Now check out my toenail:

Effortless chic, that's how I like to call this look. ;)

As I said, I'm one of the cool kids. :)


Three Things Thursday

1. Fundraising for Team Hole in the Wall: As you've probably already noticed I'm raising funds for Team Hole in the Wall (and picked Team Hole in the Wall as the charity of my choice for the New York City Marathon '11 - fingers crossed that nothing will keep me from showing that marathon who's boss...). When I came home from work yesterday, and checked my mail, there was a letter from a Dutch Stichting called Stichting Evellius, that said that they are willing to sponsor the costs of one child to go to one of the Hole in the Wall camps. I'm beyond happy because of this, and feel humled by their generosity. I can't thank them enough!

2. Playing footsie: The toes... What can I say? Well, the toes are still behaving like a naughtly little 3-year-old. Yesterday the podiatrist worked on my left 'big' toe. She squeezed some kind of fabric underneath the toenail to prevent it from growing in. If this doesn't work, she'll have to place some kind of braces on the toenail. Sounds painful. However, the toe isn't any less annoying. I have to check in with the podiatrist in 2 weeks.

The pinky toe on my other foot is somewhat less annoying. Or, it was somewhat less annoying till I accidentally popped the blister yesterday morning, and now it's back to looking like a gross pinky toe again.

And then there's the second toe on my left foot (the one next to the 'big' toe - does that make sense?): that one is truly bugging the heck out of me. When I wake up in the morning it's okay, but at night or after a run it manages to work it's way up to being 1.5 times its original size. Huh? It doesn't really hurt though, just a bit of a sore-ish feeling going on there. No clue, no clue at all. If it doesn't feel better in a week, I'll check with my GP.

3. Running shoes: My beloved Asics GT-2160's (2A width) felt heavy and bulky on last night's run. It was the first time that they felt heavy on my feet. Weird. My Asics are my go-to shoes for long runs (14+ miles / 22+K), since they have good pronation control (at least, in my opinion), and that's just what I need when I get tired at the end of a long run. Plus, they come in narrow widths and still have a large toebox. Could the 'heavy' feeling be caused by the barefoot running I've been adding to my schedule lately? And to the shorter runs I've been doing in Newtons? Do you have any recommendations on lighter shoes that have good pronation control and are narrow or come in AA width?


Deco my Eco - Eco-friendly running gear

How eco-friendly are you? Where do you draw the line? What's one thing you wouldn't trade for an eco-friendly alternative?

Well, that thing doesn't have to be cute running gear. At least, in my book it doesn't. Last night I spent some time on the internet researching eco-friendly running gear. And guess what? There's a lot of cute stuff out there! Here's a list of great websites to check out!

Gaiam: Mainly Yoga gear, but they have some shirts/shorts/tights that look like they could be great for running.

Atayne: Short/long sleeves only (at least, I couldn't find bottoms on the website). For example: shirts made from 100% recycled water bottles. I like that idea!

Patagonia: I blogged about their running dresses a couple of weeks ago here. Patagonia is known for its eco-friendly products and has high quality cute-looking gear!

Lululemon: Has some eco-friendly running products. Check the product specs to find out whether or not the product you like is eco-friendly.

Golite: Nice looking website and their running gear looks great! I love the colors on their Tilly Jane Run Skirt.

Moving Comfort: Has some eco-friendly running products. For example, an eco-friendly running skirt. Check the product specs to find out whether or not the product you like is eco-friendly.

Moeben: Has an eco-friendly line. Their bamboo arm sleeves are beyond cute. Hard to find online retailers that have a wide selection of Moeben products, and ship to the Netherlands. :( Especially since I would so love to try out the Moeben shirts and dresses.

Rei: Has an eco-friendly 'tab' on their website that shows you the eco-friendly products on their website.

Do you have any websites/companies to add to this list? Please share!


And I thought I'd need a head doctor...

...turns out, my GP wants me to see a feet doctor. As soon as possible. As in, preferably in the next 48 hours. Uhm...emergency foot situation? In the middle of (ultra) marathon training. Not what I wanted to hear.

Lesson learned: threat your feet well. Especially when you're a runner! I never did and will have to pay for that...

Why? Well, after my brilliant plan to run 2 marathons in 2 weeks (it was a fantastic plan! And I had so much fun!) my right pinky toe turned against me. It did. It's a bit better now. Plus, I was able to run. Barefoot or in Newtons (large toebox), but it didn't keep me from running.

Warning: Gross photos coming up!

That cute little pinky toe still looks gross, but if feels a heck of a lot less painful than a couple of days ago. And guess what? I might not lose the toenail. Check!
And, uhm, did you spot the conveniently placed blister on the other toe? Yeah...sexy feet. Sexy feet...

Fast forward to last Sunday. I planned on doing a 10 mile recovery run. Easy peasy. But I woke up with a stiffish and sore calf. Used The Stick on it, but it didn't feel better. So decided to do the sane thing 5 days after a marathon, and headed out for a 6K hike with the dogs instead.

'Big toe' is a scientific term

Halfway in my left 'big' toe (that's a scientific term, I'm sure) started to hurt. When I returned home I took off my socks and figured I was dealing with a black/bruised toenail. The fluid underneath the toenail - due to the 'black' thing going on there - was causing some pressure. Applied Arnyca gel (yeah, I throw that stuff on about anything), iced the heck out of it, and rested it. Today (Tuesday) the black toenail thing is already less painful. A lot less painful. See, Arnyca works. ;)

However, when I woke up yesterday morning (Monday) it felt like The Black Big Toe had an ingrown toenail. Could this happen overnight? Tried to fix it with a pair of tweezers and scissors. Didn't work. Drowned the thing in Calendula gel to keep it clean. Phoned the GP and was called in to see her this morning. To remove part of the toenail. Something I was really looking forward to. NOT!

At the GP's - this morning - she told me she was not going to remove anything yet (oh yeah, I love the 'yet' part...ouch). Apparently the toenail is about to become an ingrown toenail, but not quite there yet. With the marathons and ultra bonanza planned and coming up (hopefully), she wanted me to go see a Podiatrist as soon as possible. She released some of the pressure by taping the toe. So, made an appointment with the Podiatrist and was told that the Podiatrist will put something (not sure what) underneath the toenail to prevent the nail from growing in. Oh, and this will be painful (not only the procedure itself, but in the weeks after that) and will most likely keep me from running for a while. Fingers crossed she's wrong! :(

I can only blame myself - lesson learned

Apparently I'm not the only runner with an (almost) ingrown toenail. The GP told me it's a common thing. Great. Plus, she told me that it could be prevented, at least in most cases, by regularly having a pedicure done. Uhm...I've never ever had a pedi. Never. Ever. The look on the GP's face when I told her that. Lesson learned: spend money on a pedicure.

Oh, wonder what my 'big' toe looks like? Even more gross photos coming up!

There's a bit of a black-ish toenail thing going on there, but nothing too bad.

1. I have extremely long toes. I know. Get over it. 2. See how the toenail is somewhat 'rounded' instead of straight. That's what's causing the 'about to get an ingrown toenail' thing. It's not ingrown yet, but if I don't let the Podiatrist do something about it, well, uhm, NOW, it could get infected. Apparently this could happen to every runner: especially when you're running in higher temps and your feet get sweaty.


April recap/stats

Miles / Km planned / ran: 120 miles / 192 km planned 125 miles / 199.9 km ran - Apparently running 2 marathons in 2 weeks and in the same month with rest/taper in between will bring your mileage down...

Rest days planned / taken: 10 / 10 - taper taper

Highest mileage / km week: 25/4 - 30/4 : 39.7 miles / 63.5 km - again due to the two marathons in two weeks thing...

Long runs planned / ran: 4 / 4

Pace / speed work outs planned / ran: 4 / 4 (Because a marathon counts as a pace work out in my book....)

Cross training work outs planned / done: 5 / 5

Donuts burned: 92 (What? Only 92? I ran two bleeping marathons)

Current shame-inducing guilty pleasure: Laughing my butt off over the outfits of some of the guests of the Royal Wedding in the UK. Seriously, Beatrice and Eugenie: what were you thinking?

Current obsession: Checking ultramarathon websites to check whether or not my training is on track.

Current drink: Still fennel tea, water and diet coke. And Gatorade. I'm boring.

Current song: Snoop Dogg - Sweat. No kidding.

Current need: The cure for my bleeping feet and toenails. Bruised, black, ingrown toenails. Ouch. That ingrown toenail prevented me from heading out for a 10-miler yesterday. So did the bloody Calf. My body is screaming 'NO!' after this two marathons in two weeks thing. At least, I hope so. Fingers crossed this won't be a long-term thing...

Current triumph: Running two marathons in two weeks, both in up in the 80's heat, and PR-ing with a sub-4 on the second one. :)

Current bane of my existence: My toenails and feet.

Current blessings: Running two marathons in two weeks. :) And my mom cycling next to me for every single mile / km on the second one. :)

Current excitement: Running a sub-4 marathon. :)