What does your schedule say on February 11th?

Beth (Shut Up and Run) is organizing a virtual run for her cousin Sherry on February 11th. So, please mark your calendars and let - in Beth's words - the earth move. :) You can read all about the virtual run on Beth's blog here, and on the FB-page she's created for it here. This is what Beth wrote about Sherry and the virtual run on her blog (I borrowed this from her blog):

"On January 7, 2012, my cousin Sherry, age 43, left her house in the small town of Sidney, Montana at 6:30 a.m. for an early morning run. She didn’t always run in the morning because as a teacher, it was often difficult to fit in runs before she headed to Sidney High School to teach math. January 7 was a Saturday, however, and Sherry had a bit more time to spare. After her run she planned to meet her sister, Rhonda, and head out to their parent’s ranch a few miles outside of town. Her husband, Gary, had gone for a walk at 5:30 a.m. and when he returned home he could tell that Sherry had already left for her run because of the toothpaste splatters in the sink and a light that was on in the kitchen.

Sherry often ran within the town limits and January 7 was no exception. When Sherry did not come home later that morning, however, her husband began to worry. He called the police and a search ensued. By 3:00 p.m. hundreds of volunteers were searching for Sherry and only one clue had been found, Sherry’s right Brook’s running shoe.

My aunt called to tell me that “something bad had happened in Montana.” As the details unfolded, a weight sat in the pit of my stomach. I hoped for the best, but feared the worst. Please find her. Please bring her home.

For several days there was no sign of Sherry. On the seventh day, a tip was received on the FBI’s tip line that led to the arrest of two men, one in North Dakota and one in South Dakota. One of the men confessed to killing Sherry. She had been abducted at 6:40 a.m., only about a mile from her house.

Sherry’s body has not yet been found.

Sherry’s traumatic and heinous death has shocked, angered and saddened her small community. On a much larger scale, it has also rocked the running world from coast to coast and abroad. How could something so random, violent and senseless happen to someone so giving, someone loved by so many?

We have so many emotions. As mothers, runners, and teachers, we fear it could have been us. Our hearts break for her students, her family, her community. We feel things we don’t know how to express and we cry for someone who we have never met. We hope she did not suffer and we hope that she found peace in her final moments. The human connection often feels deepest during tragedy. These past three weeks this connection has been alive, pulsing and powerful. The goodness has poured out of each and every one of you, demonstrating that good overpowers evil.

Many of you have told me that you have dedicated your runs and races to Sherry. I have talked about wanting to do a planned virtual run in her honor. Her family has given me their blessing and Races 2 Remember has so generously donated their time to creating a running bib for Sherry.

The virtual run will be on Saturday, February 11.

GO. Run as far and as long as you want. Walk, hike, cycle, rollerblade if you don’t want to or can’t run.
Please share this on your blogs, Facebooks and Twitters
Keep it simple. Just run with Sherry on your minds and hearts."

You can print out the running BIB through the FB-page or through Beth's blog.

So, what are you doing on February 11th?



Life has its own 'funny' ways of pushing you in 'your' direction. Its own ways of telling you that this might be the moment to take a left or right and to stop going into the direction you were going into up till that point. Its own ways of telling you that you are the one leading this life. Its own ways of telling you that it's about time to stop doing what others expect you to do. Its own ways of telling you that it's okay to act Heart over Mind sometimes.

Last Friday I had one of these moments. One of these moments where it just hits you. 'Something needs to change, and I'm no longer putting 'change' on hold'. And as much as that thought scared the sh*t out of me, it's comforting at the same time.

It comes down to one simple thought: I want, need, love to spend more time outside, doing what I love. A bit of time away from that desk. Even 10% or 20% more would be food for the soul. I feel that I am too young to ditch my love for the outdoors and sports. Too young to trade that for spending all of my time behind a desk. Even when people around you expect you to spend all of your time behind that desk. And tell you that not doing so would be 'an abnormality'.

I want the desk and the outdoors. Is that that awful, weird, bad? I don't think it is. Apparently some people do and don't think I should spend a couple more hours a week doing what I love. And that's when it hit me. Something needs to change. Life is too short to let others decide what's right for you. To let others tell you how to live your life. And that thought alone scares the sh*t out of me. Oh, I've already mentioned that, huh? ;) So, to find some 'peace' I did what every reasonable 28 year old would do: read Dr. Seuss. And drink Mojitos.

And guess what, Dr. Seuss was a wise guy. ;)

So, for now, I'm working on that 'Direction' thing. :) Oh, and Dr. Seuss is right about another thing: being You is kinda cool. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. :) Unless you're Khadaffi, Saddam, Osama, etcetera, in which case being 'YOU' isn't that cool. Just wanted to point that out...


Mountain lover? Trail lover? Watch this!

Inspirational. And look at those views! :) Okay, I'll stop babbling now. Just watch this video. :)


Things I Love - Firedaughter Clothing

Have you heard of Firedaughter Clothing?

1. No. No? Where have you been hiding for the last couple of months?

2. Yes. Great, in that case you know how great these shirts are. :)

The Firedaughter tanks, shirts, sweat shirts, hoodies, etcetera are (i) too freaking cute, (ii) way cheaper than other running shirts, and (iii) great quality!

Seriously: 20 sweaty treadmill miles (32K), some crazy sweat, and no soaking wet tank. Not wet. At all. Get it? Halle-freakin-lujah.

So, if you are a total sweatfest like moi - go check out the Firedaughter Clothing website here. Come on, do yourself a favor and check. out. Firedaughter. Clothing. :)


Foto Friday

Fingers crossed on this one.

Now, first things first, let's talk outfits. ;) Ha!


Wordless Wednesday - What's on my playlist

I've been listening to the LMFAO song over and over again (I know...I'm a douche) - great song to work out on. Minor thingie is that I sing along. Long run and all - I sing along. Outside and at the gym. There are kids at the gym. And let's be honest - the LMFAO version isn't the most kid-friendly one. I might have to consider downloading Elmo's version and jamming it on my playlist...


Yay or Nay: Hitting the red carpet in your VFFs

Shailene Woodley hit the red carpet (Golden Globes) wearing...VFFs. And nope, she did not show up in her running gear. She wore a pretty dress, and paired it with her VFFs. How cool is that?

Photo courtesy: The Huffington Post

Check out the Huffington Post article on it here.

So, Yay or Nay? My opinion: I think she looks cute and the VFFs do not mismatch the dress. But that's just me. Feel free to disagree! :)


Don't let the bad guys win

As many of you, I learned the sad news about Beth's cousin Sherry last Friday. Devastating. I'm wishing and sending Sherry's loved ones strength and love in these most difficult of times.

The news made me sad. Deeply.

The news also made me angry. Angry that there are bad guys out there that claim to have the right to take a person's life. A person's freedom. And actually believe they can get away with that.

I learned the news the day before Paula and I had scheduled a road trip to the Belgian Ardennes. Holland is flat, and we really really wanted to run some hills. Wanted to slide down some muddy down hills. Wanted to splash through some streams. We'd planned an early morning road trip - to a remote area of the Ardennes. And yes, the night before I did find myself thinking 'What if something happens to us? What if there's some sort of weirdo hiding in the bushes? It's just the two of us out there. We'd be an easy target.'.

We went anyway. Looked out for ourselves. We tried (well...luckily for me Paula has some navigating skills...) to stick with marked hiking routes to run on. And we did run into some hikers, so there were people out there. I texted home when we arrived at the Ardennes and headed out for the run. And texted when we'd returned to the car. We finished the run covered in muddy muddy and with huge goofy smiles stuck on our faces. Those are our trails. We'd claimed our right to run through those bushes dressed in a skirt and laughing our butts off. We didn't let the bad guys win. We went out there anyway. Sherry, this one's for you.

I'd also like to quote my running buddy Wendy on this one: "... I refuse to allow fear to hold me back from doing what I enjoy.". She's right.

Look out for yourself. And don't let the bad guys stop you.

* To end this post on a more light-hearted note - Freddy Mercury said it right - 'Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball'.


Three Things Thursday

1. Heartbreaking: I dedicated a post to Sherry Arnold earlier this week. She is still missing. Could you please show Beth from Shut Up and Run your support and like the Help find Sherry Arnold Facebook page?

2. Beans: Sport beans? Not for this girl. I've been playing around with my food intake on long runs, and am giving the regular Jelly Belly Beans a shot instead of the Sport Beans. Combined with energy gel, sandwiches and energy bars, they seem to do the trick and I have one tasty fueling plan. :) Are you a Sport Beans fan?

3. RelaxReflect: Safety first, huh? ;) Even if this means you look like a total goofball. I'm testing some RelaxReflect tights at the moment, and so far, I'm a happy camper. These are comfy and make you a heck of a lot easier to spot than in plain black tights. :)


Please help out Shut up and Run!

Scrolling through Facebook last Sunday the news of a missing runner caught my eye. Turns out, it's Beth's (Shut Up and Run) cousin Sherry Arnold.

Sherry went out on her morning run last Saturday 6:30 AM in the town of Sidney, Montana (USA), but hasn't returned yet. The news makes me sick to the stomach. You can read more about Sherry here, and this the link to the Facebook-page dedicated to Sherry Arnold: here. Please help Beth out and 'like' the page. And spread the word!


Do you remember the day I placed 3rd in my AG?

Yeah...me neither. Since I missed the actual 'ceremony'. Heck yeah...

Rewind. Last Saturday. Running buddy John and moi met up to run a fun 25K race (Florijn Winterloop, Woudenberg, the Netherlands) together. I did a 5K hill work out as a warm/up and John had 24K on deck for the next day, so...we were going to LSD the heck out of this baby. Oh yeah, how slow can you go, baby. Of course, the excitement got to me and we ended up running the course at marathon pace-ish (for me, that is...John is super speedy).

It was fun running together, but the course ended up being kind of boring. There's only so many farm land a girl can handle on a 25K run. Then again, the volunteers were amazing - very well organized!

Finished the run in 2:11:49. Fun long run. Oh, and this is what we looked like at the finish line. I sure messed up those pics, huh?
Photo courtesy Wim de Bruijne

I ran out of the pink K-tape. Note to self: get new pink K-tape!

After the race, I chatted a bit with other runners and then hopped into the car on my way home. Might have stopped to get french fries. Just might have. ;) Threw my pack (with my phone in it) in the back of the car. 20 minutes later, my phone was ringing. Didn't bother crawling all the way to the back of the car to get it. Turns out, it was John - trying to tell me that I'd placed 3rd in my AG. What the bleep - I've never placed in my AG. I'm too freaking slow. Apparently there was an award ceremony going on. And they were looking for me. That's me...always late for the party. Luckily, John was sweet enough to get my prize, medal and bottle of wine for me.

Oh, and in case you were wondering whether or not 'slowpoke' has managed to turn into 'not so slow-poke' - no worries, there weren't a lot of girls in my AG. ;)

So, what's your story of the weekend?


Three Things Thursday

1. Oh Ryan: Okay, Ryan Hall rocks. Enough said. And Ryan Reynolds is pretty easy on the eye. Uh-huh. ;) So...you'd say that putting those two together would be a great thing. Well, think again. Am I the only girl out there that doesn't think this commercial is funny?

2. Text WIND OFF to 1234: Not sure what the weather is like in the rest of the world, but it sure is windy, and unseasonably warm in the Netherlands. And when I say windy, I mean WINDY. I guess headwinds make a great interval work out, right? Right? And since I'm already whining and b*tching about this - it's too freaking warm to wear a windstopper jacket. And too windy not to wear one. Okay, done complaining. Thanks for listening. ;)

3. Runner porn: SALOMON WILL HAVE THEIR S-LAB RUNNING PACK IN A 12 LITER VERSION THIS SPRING. Can you tell I'm excited? Hiding it well, huh? ;)


(Almost) Wordless Wednesday - Lululemon or LuluDemon?

A blog buddy forwarded me this article on Lululemon in the Huffington Post (it's from a couple of months ago): here.

Short excerpt from the article:

"It took only a year for Lululemon to step into an even larger controversy. In 2006, the firm rolled out a line of "Vita-Sea" apparel bags that it claimed were made with seaweed fiber, and had health and medicinal effects for consumers, including stress reduction, through the release of amino acids and vitamins into the skin's natural moisture. But skeptics, including the New York Times, decided to sponsor lab tests, which revealed that Lululemon wasn't just misleading consumers: it was lying. There was no seaweed of any kind in the bags the newspaper tested. There was no difference, in fact, between the Lululemon bags and other bags made of cotton - except that Lululemon's, of course, were a lot more expensive."

I don't own a single piece of Lululemon clothing - it's pretty hard to get your hands on Lululemon in the Netherlands, so I'm unbiased on this subject. Really curious to hear what your thoughts are on this subject. Please do share!


Tuesday Tidbit: check out active.com!

Woohoo! I'm featured in this article on active.com:


It's the same article as the one in Women's Running Magazine. For those of you that didn't get their hands on a copy of Women's Running Magazine, go check it out. :) No pressure. ;)


Here's to life!

Funny how a single year can change the way you feel about your life. Yet, that's exactly what 2011 did for me.

I kicked off 2011 setting one A-goal for the year: the Swiss Alpine Marathon K78 (50-miler). Little did I know that even just working and training towards this race would give me a heck load of breath-taking moments. 'Blessed' would be an understatement. Plus, I learned a thing or two about myself while training for this race.

While I was training for the SAM I ran several marathons. Training marathons that made me love running marathons even more. Smiling at mile 25 / 40K of the Amsterdam Marathon - priceless. :)

I did back-2-back weekends. I did a couple of 30-milers (50 K's) on Sunday's. And a lot of 20+-milers. I ran through Holland's unseasonably hot Spring and wet Summer. I ran hills. I ran mountains. I spent some serious hours on trails. I even found a new love: cycling. And spent hours on my road bike to add extra hours of training to my schedule.

The out-of-this-world support running buddies and especially my mom gave me during this journey...is more than I could have ever wished for. Blessed. :)

I spent most of my non-working hours 'outside'. Training for the SAM made me appreciate nature in a way I didn't think I could. Who knew the sight of a squirrel hopping through the woods (instead of the sight of the Hermes Birkin Bag) could make me smile? ;)

The 'This is so cool! Can I do this again?' moment I had at mile 45 of the SAM was an amazing gift. I was out there, in high alpine terrain, covered in mud, in this freezing cold, and I was having a blast. That's pretty special to me. :) After all, I'm just a girl in a skirt...a girl that knows squat about running. :) Then again, winging it is kind of fun!

It has been a good year.

2011...you've been good to me. Sure...not all of it has been fun, but it's the fun and breath-taking moments that I decide to take with me. Fingers crossed that the beast I call '2012' can live up to your legacy. ;)

So, how about this? Let's have some fun kicking that beast in the balls Silly Girl Running style?:)