Saturday, 21 October 2017

I ran a Marathon this year!

Last week I finally ran the marathon! I made it. It was an unbelievable experience. After dislocating my knee last year I was not sure I would ever get there. 

In November last year I was training my leg joints to complete a full cycle on a bike. In January I carefully started running again. I basically started from nothing, and BOOM in October I ran a full marathon!

The last 4 weeks before the marathon I still was not sure it would happen. My calves were tired and tight and I spent two days a week at my physical therapist to try to get them ready. I started training with special socks that compressed my calves, and running felt so much more tiring. 

I was not sure if I should try to run a marathon with these socks if my body was not used to it. I fell into insecurity. I decided to use them anyway and just accept that my time would be slower. As long as I did not run myself an injury.

It was a long and hot run -it was 20C outside- and it took me longer than I expected. It was amazing, exhilarating, scary, exhausting, energising, and I could not have done it without the people cheering me on.

My mind kept telling me I should stop. It was too much. But I pushed through, and with a couple of walking breaks -especially uphill, because socks- I managed to put a little sprint in when I crossed the last 500 metre mark. 

Best medal I ever had!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

2nd try || Training for the Amsterdam Marathon || 4 weeks to go

wait, what? Just one month to go??!

Just one month before the big day. I have to say, who knew? Last November I was still relearning how to ride a bike after a bad knee injury. Now I'm running a marathon in 4 weeks! Crazy what the body is capable of.

I went to a physical therapist on Monday, to see if we can work on my tight calves, before an injury happens. And I have to tell you, the dry needling to loosen it up was absolutely brutal. But, the next day, really all was fine. So off I went to yoga.
Wednesday I took my loose calves out for a short run. Thursday and Friday rest day :)

And then Saturday was the day I took out my new compression socks for a long distance run (also advised by the physical therapist). The first 5K was horrible. The socks were soooo tight, running up hill felt impossible. The best visual I can give you on how it felt is when you put your cat or dog in socks or shoes for the first time, and they kind of forget how to walk, that's how it felt. Like your muscles forget how to work. I managed to squeeze out about 22-23K. 

Monday I'm back at the physical therapist. We'll see if the socks make it to the start of the marathon...Right now, I'm not sure...

Sunday, 17 September 2017

2nd try || Training for the Amsterdam Marathon || 5 weeks to go

The marathon is creeping closer and closer. Am I ready? I'm not sure. I think so...

Monday I did a morning yoga stretch, which got me ready for the week. Tuesday was an other early morning, with a 4K run at 7am. So, not me to get out so early. But I did and it was amazing! And that evening I was at it again, with a vinyasa yoga class.
The rest of the week it was raining cats and dogs, so I was a little less active. And then Sunday was my first 30K! Crazy!
I participated in the 30K of Noord, which is a run through the fields north of Amsterdam. And it went so well! It was amazing.
But knowing I will have to run 12K further than that in a few weeks is very, very scary.

And, on top of that (or because of that) the last week, I was not so good...And I have all of the excuses...It rained. A lot. Like. A lot. And work was stressful and busy (I know, exercise is especially important when stressed, but you know what, I did not listen to that voice, I'm human). 
But then on Saturday, even when I really did not feel like it, I ran 8K at the Damloop by Night in Zaandam with colleagues. Running my own little tempo, until I reached the 6K point and then speeding up all the way to the finish, finally getting rid of some of the stress of the last week. It was liberating. Just the endorphins I needed. I know. You told me so.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

2nd try || Training for the Amsterdam Marathon || 7 weeks to go

Errrr, 7 weeks...More and more the thought of possible failure creeps up. Or, maybe the even worse thought of, "what if it takes me 6 hours, or longer and the sweep car comes pick me up"?
I try not to think of it. It's too scary.

So what did I do the last two weeks, to dull this fear down a bit?

I got back from Bristol on Monday. Tuesday I took a sweet little break from working out. A good prep for Wednesday, when I ran my farthest run yet, 26K. That.Is.So.Far.I.Cannot.Believe.It! Took forever too. It was extremely warm and sunny. But it felt amazing at the same time. On the right track, right?

Thursday I spent the day in the car travelling to France where we had the best slow vacation in a long time. We were sleeping in this cute and luxe studio, on French castle grounds, surrounded by nothing else but woods and farms. And we did not leave the grounds for en entire week!
We did not have to, there was so much to do. Friday we went swimming in the pool, where I did some arm exercises. And we played table tennis.
Friday, swimming again, practising head stands in the shallow end of the pool. And some table tennis. Saturday, more swimming, playing with head stands and balancing exercises. And we went for a 45 minute walk. Sunday I did a 30 minute yoga sequence. And of course, more swimming, and more table tennis.

I ran into the new week with a 5K run. It was far too warm. I really found it very, very tough indeed. Temperatures reached 33 degrees Celsius during the day. Even when running later or earlier in the day, was really too much. I don't know how some people do it. And of course, the daily swimming and table tennis happened. Tuesday we took on the tennis court on the grounds, where I tried to teach my significant other how to hit a ball the tennis way, and not the squash way. Wednesday was a very, very wet day. But I put in a full body work out, doing exercises for arms, legs and my core for 45 minutes to an hour. Think; lifting small weights, planks, dips, push ups, jumping squats, and many, many others. We ended the day with an other short tennis playing session.
And, alas, Thursday, an other day spent in the car back home. Friday was a rest day. Saturday I did my errands, which turned out to be a lot and in a lot of different places across the city. According to the google fit app on my phone I spent 2 hours and 35 minutes on my bike! Thinking back, this is probably about right...
Sunday was another long distance run. 20K, mostly through IJburg and Diemerpark.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

2nd try || Training for the Amsterdam Marathon || 9 weeks to go

Monday started with a 5k run, short but sweet. Tuesday was my regular yoga session, vinyasa. Where I sweated through many a vinyasa plank. 
Wednesday was a rest day, and then Thursday I ran through the most amazing sunset over Amsterdam for 8K. Is that pick sky not super inspiring and motivating to get outside?
Friday I smashed out a 20 minute HIIT workout I found on Youtube. And I finished the week off with a 20 K run, through Amsterdam, up to the North and through the fields near Ransdorp.
And back to Monday! Swimming for 30 minutes in the medium lane, brought my heart rate right up. 
Tuesday I was back to my Vinyasa yoga and Thursday I was off to Bristol for the UK Barista Championship finals, sitting on the Tamper Tantrum panel. And we did a lot of walking. A. Lot...

Also...just 9 weeks to go...that is scary!

Monday, 7 August 2017

2nd try || Training for the Amsterdam Marathon || 11 weeks to go

What a hectic couple of weeks it has been. The days are flying by, and as I wrote down 11 weeks to go, I had a little panic attack...just 11 weeks to go? That's officially less than 3 months! Let's recap the last two weeks. I went for a 5K run on Monday two weeks ago. Taking a day off on Tuesday and back to vinyasa yoga on Wednesday. On Thursday I had an interview with a coffee magazine, so that was my day done. I did spend some time walking through Rotterdam. And finally I moved my long distance run to Friday as I was flying off to Lima, Peru on Saturday. It was a lovely run, 18K through the East of Amsterdam. I split it into 3 sets of 6K, taking some energy gels after every set. Overall I was able to keep a stable speed. Then from Saturday till Saturday I was in Peru! It was an amazing trip where I travelled to the North, to the regions of Cajamarca and Amazonas to visit coffee producers. And although I spent some time climbing steep coffee slopes in the mountains, I mostly sat in a car all day. So time to step it up again this week!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

2nd try || Training for the Amsterdam Marathon || 13 weeks to go

Monday, I woke up at 6 am. Which is absolutely ridic for me. I am a notorious sleep-in-er. But I went, I got up, and I biked off to a hot yoga class. I've been to a hot yoga class before, and I have really not enjoyed it. It was too warm, too busy, too clingy and honestly a little dirty. But this time I went to a new yoga school, Equal, on the Middenweg in Amsterdam. It was sweaty, dripping from all of my pores. But it was grand. Best feeling ever. Will probably repeat. Tuesday, I wanted to go to my regular vinyasa yoga, however I did not. Because migraine. Wednesday I still was not on top of my game, plus it was 30 degrees Celsius outside. I did go to a yin yoga class on Friday, stretching everything out. And then Saturday I went for a 10K run through Diemen. I closed the week off on Sunday with a half-hour walk along the waterfront near my house. So all in all, an okay week. Next week, the long distance run will be an 18K...not looking forward to that yet. So I will need to put out a neat route, so as to inspire myself.


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