Sunday, November 16, 2014

Zevenheuvelenloop 2014 Weekend - Images & Impressions

How can you summarize so many impressions of a day - of a weekend! It always remain a beautiful, and at the same time angst ridden challenge for me as a blogger.

My need for perfection gets in the way, as well as my easily distracted mind.

It helps to remind myself, that my blog was created as a vehicle to overcome my fears, cope with my bipolar disorder in a positive way - make myself stronger.  Most importantly - hopefully! -  help others use sports and writing to be physically and mentally stronger, themselves.

If you are a new follower/reader, I hope this will lend a bit of clarity to my style of blogging.

Today, I'll attempt to share my weekend experience via (mostly, unedited!) images and bits of pieces of what I can remember.

In this way, I hope this story will not remain in draft mode!

Different links (to the social media channels of my running friends, etc!) will slowly be edited in, during  this week.

This rough draft of a blog is specially dedicated to Marleen (HalfCrazyRunners crew member), Natasja, Demi (all three were crew members of #crewGlowMagNL during the #ChaseSummer Nike Challenge) and Carlijn (my crew mate @ #crewTheMermaidClub).

I, thank you ladies for being such a great support since we met each other in Carré, at the live Nike Training Club class. You have all kept me focused and gave me positive powers in the past months!

The Zevenheuvelenloop weekend:




I was finally at home at 21:30, after a very eventful day in Nijmegen.

My husband picked me up from the train station, and served me soup, when we arrived. Happy Feet won't be all over Netherlands, if not for #MijnLiefsteP, or as some of my running girlfriends call him: the running manager. :D

I did not plan to write a blog, tonight. I was tired, and simply wanted to post a single picture (above) and tag all Instagram friends. Sadly during editing, I lost all text!

I thought after all the effort, I might as well share the pictures from today via a blogpost, and through this, thank my friends for all the support that led the way to this year's personally successful Zevenheuvelenloop weekend.

Speaking of pictures - recently, we purchased a Samsung Galaxy young.

It is so compact, that I can put it in the small back pocket of my running jacket and/or (just discovered today!) inner pocket of my running tights. I used it this weekend for the first time to make pictures at the start and at the finish line of a race.

The quality is poor (unlike the smart phone my husband uses for work), I admit but I love that I can take it during my run/race.

All the pictures made today, and shared on this blog were taken by the camera of this phone.

With husband's work phone, I took a picture of my new phone. :) 

The morning of Zevenheuvelennacht race, I was experiencing onset of a "massive panic attack".  Contrary to what experienced runners do, I jogged beyond the distance I would run the very same day.

It calmed me, and even though there were a bit of hurdles before,  and during the run, I reached the finish line empowered from the day's experiences (and lessons!).

Thanks to the - as always! - massive support of my family, I did not miss running Zevenheuvelennacht, 2 years in a row.





The following day, I was back in Nijmegen for Zevenheuvelenloop!  This time, I was running via Meeùs Run Club.

photo courtesy of Meeus

I arrived early, and was so proud of myself!  Due to my struggle with anxiety and panic attacks, I am often late for many things.

At the station, I took what was supposed to be an extra train to Nijmegen.  It was full but not as full as I experienced, when I travelled to CPC loop in the Hague this year in Spring (March). Still, I had to sit down on the steps of the train - I did not mind, I was on time!


When I arrived, I walked through the ZevenheuvelenExpo in a zombie state. hahaha I hardly slept the night before due to the excitement of my 7 km night run.

It is because of this state of mind, that my brain registered too late that I saw Marlous of HalfCrazyRunners, passing me by. Pity!




Arriving in the Meeus Run Club lounge, I saw a lot of familiar faces from previous running events. It was such a reassuring sight!

I changed into my running gear, and before I was finished, Eva & Udjen, running sisters by the Amsterdam Running Junkies group arrived.  Eef gave me the familiar, "Surprise from the back greeting!"hahaha

As they continued to prepare, I excused myself to eat.

While we were fueling for the run, the Meeus hosts introduced the club's running ambassador, Mr. Erben Wennemars.  He is a former Olympic and World Champion speed skater, who started running after his retirement from speed skating.  Recently,  he finished the New York Marathon in 2:56!

He gave an inspiring speech, and talked about his support for the Jeugd Sport Fonds.





Babette arrived shortly before the speech, and I was elated to finally meet her in person! We met via Twitter (about) 2 years ago, and this is the first time that we saw each other.  Meeting her face to face, felt so natural - assuringly familiar.  Thanks to our consistent communication via social media in the past years, we just jumped in like we have seen each other before, and have talked for ages (which we in a way did online!).


from left to right, Babette, Renée, Udjen, Eva, and moi


We all had different start time.  Eva and Udjen went ahead of us; Renée (who came in with hubby, Ron a few minutes after B) and Babette were my companions to the starting area.




I (still!!!) have to write a separate blog about my 3 year "love affair" with Zevenheuvelenloop!

This is my third year in a row of running this much beloved race in the Netherlands.

It is for me simply "a feel good race", even though it is known to be a challenging course. I salute the magnificence of Autumn, when I run this event.

Along the course, between km 3 - 6, I ran together with a lovely lady,  a fellow runner from the Meeus Run Club, whom I met for the first time at Dam tot Damloop.  She is a yoga instructor, and we share the same running philosophies: create your personal goals, run for the fun of it (it makes you feel more alive!), and run for your health!

I am grateful for her (spontaneous!) pacing because it was a great foundation for this 15K run.

I am between the lovely ladies of Meeus Run Club!
On the left is my beautiful (spontaneous!) pacer.
On the right is Asiye, a very inspiring and motivating runner, whom I met during Enschede Marathon.

Between kilometer 3-5, I heard a voice calling out, "Happy Feet!".

It was the voice of Lia (aka loopmeiden!)! What a boost when we reached out to each other for a quick, hello before she continued on her way.

Claudia (I met her when I ran Posbank loop) from Meeus also greeted us seconds after Lia passed us by.  Such beautiful moments, that makes you forget that you are there climbing hills with your running shoes!

Shortly after passing kilometer 10, Kim of  Social Milers, greeted me from behind (hahaha I know this greeting from behind is getting to be a pattern!), and it was awesome to see her! So lovely, so alive, and so fast for me! hahaha

This is why I told her to go ahead because I might have not reached the finish line, if I had attempted to keep up with her tempo.  Since April, I followed how they train with admirable focus for their first Paris marathon, next year.

At this point, I have to abruptly end my "race story" - the complete race recap will  follow!

I had arranged to meet up with Marleen, Natasja, Demi, Carlijn; as well as with my fellow fit Filipina sporty friends Minerva and Dheza (editor of  The Weekend Traveller) after the race. I was very excited to see them!

But unfortunately, my phone was "threateningly" low on battery (on my last stripe!) when I arrived at the finish.

photo courtesy of Demi
from left to right: moi, Marleen, Carlijn, Natas and Demi


After this group picture with Renée & Babette, I had to turn my phone off to save it for the journey home, so I could call my husband.

On the way back to the Meeus Run Club lounge, Renée learned that Ron finished with an amazing time of 1:00:20!

Back at the runner's lounge we had (early) dinner, race anecdotes, and chatted with more lovely people of Meeus, who provided us with such heartwarming reception and accommodation, that made the day just perfect!




After dinner, we said goodbye to Babette, and set off for De Hemel to meet up with the SocialMilers!

On the way we met Harald of Amsterdam Running Junkies, and lovely people from Social Milers.

This spontaneous get together with the Social Milers is our first complete reunion since we all ran Rotterdam Marathon, last April.


from left to right: Ron, Chantor, Renée, Kim 


Again, my apologies for the poor quality of the pictures to this blog!

But look at what Google did with the series of snaps together with Ron, Chantor (founder of Social Mile), Kim his beautiful better half, and my favorite blogger Renée (all running Paris Marathon 2015!) - what a fun ending to the day!!!




There you go! The Zevenheuvelenloop weekend in my imperfect but "I did it!" blogstyle. :) Just like how I ran. :D

Thank YOU ALL out there for the support and cheers!!! It is truly great when one is (back!) in a positive running flow. Without all of you: family, friends, followers, beautiful people, who uses the internet to connect - all these experience will not have such a deeper meaning.

Hope who ever you are, where ever you are, this photo diary will inspire you to conquer the hills of your fears!