donderdag 12 mei 2016

The Rotterdam Mini Marathon

It's been a few weeks ago but I really wanted to post about my very first run.
When I think about it I am still so proud of myself!

Just over a year ago I started running after my physical therapist said I should take up a sport.
A friend provided me with audio guided lessons to train for a 5k run.
It was really hard at first but I quickly discovered I loved it.
Now I don't have a runners-body; No slender frame and long legs here.
And my speed is also not race-winning.
But I love being outside and pushing my body.

Running races was not a goal of mine. But when my brother ran the full Rotterdam Marathon last year the vibe of the whole event made me want to run a race. Not 42k but something small.
So Nico suggested I'd sign up for the mini marathon; a 4.2km run organised in the same weekend as the Rotterdam marathon.

After lots of training saturday 9. April was race-day
Because my brother took part in the full marathon the next day we where in Rotterdam for the whole weekend.
First up was picking up my "bib". My brother came along since he had to pick up his as well.
It is a bit special; walking around with so many runners. Everyone dressed up in their gear.
After picking up our numbers we had a stroll around the Expo. A kind of fair with all sort of running related things. I really wanted a special tshirt. At the New Balace stand you could buy a tshirt and have it specially printed. I opted for a bright fuchsia tshirt and a modest "run rdm" print.
Next up: waiting for the race to start.

There was no point in going back home and back into town later so we opted to stay  in the city. After a stroll we ended up at a small festival at Schouwburgplein.
We just hung out a bit there for a while; had a drink, something to eat and listened to the music.
I was super nervous the whole day.
At 15.45 it was time to head up to the start.
Best part of the mini marathon; both the start and finish where at the Coolsingel. Just like the real marathon.
I pinned on my starting number, checked my stuff and waited... I discovered my earphones didn't work so no running-music for me. The waiting was sooo long! They delayed the start a bit because of the fact there where still some kids from the kids runs before on the track.
It was really quite a special thing waiting for the start.. all of those nervous people..

After the start it was quite busy at first; some people pushing and shoving. And all of us trying to find our pace. I tried my best to stick to my own pace. I looked to find some people to keep up with (not to finish last was one of my goals) and after a kilometer or so I got into the groove. I saw my mom quite soon after the start. It was a lot warmer then I anticipated and there where already lots of people walking.
But I had set a goal of running the entire distance so no walking for me. I did slow down a bit though. It's quite difficult to stay in your own pace. I kept a look out for my brother but couln't see him.
I'm not familiar with the part of Rotterdam we where running through so I just followed the rest. It did make it difficult so guess how long I still had to go.
But I did feel I was running much faster then my ususal pace.
Suddenly I spotted the bridge and I knew the finish was close. Just before the Coolsingel I spotted my mom again; cheering me on.
With all the people along the road I knew I couldn't start walking. When I saw the finishline I was sooo happy. I even remembered to make an effort to smile for the finish-photo =)
I crossed the line in just over 30 minutes; 30:27mins to be precise. That is about 5 minutes faster then my regular time!

After the finish there where people handing out the medals, bananas, a small smoothie and water.
I had arranged to meet up with everyone at the medal engraving stand.
Because on your first race you go all out; so I had my time engraved on the medal.
Apparently my brother had missed me as well. Eventhough he was wearing a tshirt that said : "GO NINE" So cool!

We wrapped up the day with some Corona's at a bar and an early bedtime to prep for my brothers big day the next day.
* I was on "team banana" handing out bananas and water and throwing confetti*

I can reccomend siging up for a race to everyone! Even if you are running just for fun; pick a distance you know you can finish. The vibe is just amazing!
I got bitten by the 'race bug' and have already signed up for my next race.
On June 4. I will run a 5k right here in Hoorn.
**also I've started training for the 10k in Rotterdam next year =)

zondag 13 maart 2016

Getting Organised: Birthday cards

To me there is nothing more birthday-like than having a big stack of birthdaycards sent to you by mail.
Yes the old fashioned kind of mail with a handwritten card and a stamp on it.
It just gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing someone went to all of the trouble of buying a card, writing it , putting a stamp on it and dropping it in the mailbox just to wish you a happy birthday.

And wanting others to have the same feeling I try to send out birthdaycards to the people I know as well.
But with lots and lots of people and time flying by I found that I missed some of them.
Enter: The birthday Chart.


I found this idea somewhere on the Martha Steward website a long time ago. And as we all know Martha is the Queen of good housewifery ;)
She has a printable chart on her website but I decided to make my own. This way I could keep it as small as possible since I wantend to stick it somewhere in sight.

I have it taped onto a small shelve just above where my laptop lives. That way I see it practically every day and can quickly see any birthdays coming up. I update the list every time I find out a new birthday with a pen. And then update and print a new one about once a year.

Near the end of the month I gather up my birthdaycard supplies and set about writing all of the cards for next month.
I have a huge selection of pens, washi-tapes, different cards and bits and pieces to make every card a little special. I also love special stamps. I find the standard ones a bit boring... 

After writing the card and decorating the envelope I immediately stick on a stamp and put a little post-it on the envelope with the "needs to be mailed" date on it. I always try and plan it out so the card arrives to the actual birthday itself.
The stack then moves downstairs.

Underneath the stairs we have our shoe-cabinet. I bought a little silver toastrack a while back and that's where the birthdaycards live until their "send date". I ususally have a look  every morning before I walk Abby to see if something needs to be mailed.

And there you have it. How I try to send everyone a birthdaycard.
Do you send out birthday cards?