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!


The Half that was - Koln Half Marathon recap

I loved the Koln Half Marathon (Koln, Germany) last year. Very well organized. Nice course. Only a 2 1/2 hour drive from where I live. And a great city to spend the weekend.

So...why not do it again this year? :)

I registered for the half a couple of months ago. October. Fall. Cooler temps. Perfect conditions to run a comfy Half. Well...about those temps... Being me, I'd been checking the weather forecast everyday in the last couple of weeks. And the weather looked great...for a city trip. Not for racing. Hmmmppppffff... Weather forecast said: hot hot hot and sunny. Hmmmpppffff...

Okay...the plan is to run a marathon in a couple of weeks, so this could be a great marathon pace tempo run, right? Okay, at least I had a plan. For once. ;)

Arrived in Koln late Friday night. Spent Saturday hitting the expo and walking around town. Sightseeing. Eating 'Flammkuchen' (local food: yumm!!!). And Saturday was already a sunny and hot day. But...according to the weather forecast, temps would be even higher on Sunday... Woo-hoo... In case you didn't know yet...I do NOT do well in heat. Not at all...

Race day

Sunday AM. The race had a 8:30-ish AM start, but it was already too hot to wear a long sleeve / arm sleeves. Well...at least I could spend the rest of the afternoon drinking beer...in the sun. ;) Check! :)

The Plan:

Okay: Finish in 1:54 - marathon pace tempo run.
Great: Finish in 1:52:29 or faster - new PR (the 'old' PR was from a year ago)
Woo-hoo!: Finish in 1:49:59 or faster.
Dream - never gonna happen: Finish in 1:45.

8:35 AM: Off we go! And boy...is it crowded. Too crowded!!! Way too crowded! I could NOT hold a steady pace. The whole 'slower runners on the right, those trying to pass on the left' concept doesn't seem to work here. Bummer...

I spent the next 13.1 miles / 21.1K watching my step. And other runners. No way I can settle into a comfy pace here - way too crowded. You seriously needed to be careful not to bump into another runner.

The aid stations had everything a runner could wish for (even Coca Cola), but were a mess. Empty cups all over the place. What didn't help is that the crew was 'blowing' the cups to the side of the road. Impossible thing with all these runners. However, it was pretty easy to forget about that mess. How? Well...there were so many people out...cheering us on. A-ma-zing! :) Thanks, Koln!!! :) And...it made time fly! :)

Oh...before I forget to mention....the heat. Boy...it was hot! Too hot! Wanted to ditch my tank top within the first mile, but managed to keep it on till the half way mark. That's when I stopped caring about what others might think, and took of the tank top. Hello, red polkadot sports bra! Koln residents, your welcome. ;) Oh yeah, I'm classy like that. ;)

I basically stopped looking at my watch after the 5K mark. I was too frustrated by the pace, which was sucky because of weaving through the crowds. I just start to run at a 'this feels like a tempo run' pace. Boy...it's hot. And boy, am I glad when I see the Koln Dom at the 19K mark. Just another 2K to go. In this effing heat (I feel so sorry for those poor marathon runners that have a 11:30 start...). We take a right, over some cobble stones (ouchieouch...ankle killers!), head for a bridge, turn left after that bridge...and after that...straight ahead till the finish line. BEEEEEER! :)

I crossed the finish line after 1:44:50. Happy with that. :) Really happy with that, considering that effing heat. :) Immediately after crossing the finish line, a guy came up to me and asked if I was running in a red polkadot sports bra for a reason. Ha! Well...at least I color coordinated it with my red plaid running skirt. ;)

Needless to say that I feel another 'How to mess up race photos' post coming up... ;)