Going of the beaten track

Every Saturday morning my husband drives into town to do some grocery shopping. I always use this opportunity to catch a ride, and run a different route then I do during the week.

Let's go off the beaten track!

Today I was about 5 minutes into my run, when I saw this interesting track on the right. I couldn't help myself, and took a right turn.

And the track took me places I had not planned on going. It was exciting and a bit scary at the same time. Because I felt like the path was taking me in the wrong direction.

However, I'm at home now, writing this post : )

So I did get home, even though I went off the beaten track.

Pictures of my run!

A sign I'm on the right track: a nice bench and a white arrow pointing to the left

I'm not lost! Look at the sign at the left!

Interesting... Don't know what the green things are though

Crossing a tiny bridge!

I'm not lost, but I accidentally stumbled on another track. Look at the different arrow....
All in all, I had a great run this morning. It was something different and it was adventurous.

And in the end I got home.

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I'm aware of the ground I run on


Now that I live in the country I run a lot on dirt tracks.

And from my running books I have learned this is good news to my body.

Because dirt tracks provide a softer landing.

Sidewalks are harsh to your body

When I lived in the city I avoided sidewalks as much as possible, because they're made of concrete. On the other hand: sidewalks are máde for pedestrians, so they are usually safer than the street. So whenever I could, I ran on the street, and if that was too hazardous I used the sidewalk.

I'm aware of the ground I run on

In general, I'm quite aware of the ground I run on. I really don't want to get hurt! Neither as a runner, nor as a mom.

I find it hard to protect myself from hurt as a mom, because I'm vulnerable through my children. But as a runner, I have more control!

Do you run on sidewalks? Dirt tracks? Bike paths?
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The woman in the mirror

There are times when I've really had it up to here with myself.

I wish I could take a vacation without me!

The constant worrying, the terrible scenarios even Stephen King would find too scary, and the doubts. And I find myself thinking:

'I wish I could take a vacation from myself!'

There's a part of me that I do like!

But today I was out running, and I suddenly realized: there's a part of me that I always like! A part of me I appreciate, and even admire. That's the part of me that goes out for a run five times a week, rain or shine.

And I find myself reconciling myself with me, and I decide:

'I'm not so bad after all.'
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Running scared

running scared
Brothers Lionhart: scary dragon

As a child I just loved the books by Astrid Lindgren.

In my mind I played with the children from Bullerby, lived on Seacrow Island and had adventures with the Lionheart brothers. So when I saw a dvd-box with the complete works of Astrid Lindgren I grabbed it and happily ran to the cash register.

Then the dvd-box just stood there for a while, gathering dust. Until this afternoon. In a surge of desire to be a Good Mom I announced: 'Let's play Let's go to the movies!, and we'll watch the Brothers Lionheart together!

Watching with the kids

The kids and I gathered on the sofa and watched both Jonathan and Karl dying and then go to the land Nangijala, which must be the most beautiful piece of land anyone has ever seen. With lots of trees carrying cherry blossoms, and gently sloping hills and small babbling brooks.

Indeed it would have been paradise if not for that big bully Tengil, who spoiled everything with his big fire breathing dragon.

But while I, as a child, I quaked with fear at the sight of  that big dragon my children just laughed.

'Is that dragon made from paper mache?' my son John giggled.
'It's sooo fake,' his little sister agreed.

Next time I'll watch it with my husband Floris.

At least he runs scared easily!
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Don't pass me..

Yeah... thát feeling....
I don't like it when people pass me.

I don't like it as a runner, and I don't like it in general. When I'm out there, running my heart out, and some runner effortlessly passes me, I can't help but grit my teeth.

Not until he or she has disappeared on the horizon, can I start to relax again.

Runners who are faster than me make me feel uncertain

Runners who run faster than me elicit all kind of feelings and thoughts. '

Am I really that slow? Why can she go so much faster! I don't get it. Shouldn't I run faster? She's obviously a much better runner than me. Why am I such a slow runner?!'

Uh-oh, what's happening?

But as much as I hate it, being the 'slow one' is familiar. So when I ran past a runner myself this week, I felt decidedly nervous.

'Any minute now, someone will come and tap me on the shoulder, saying: Who do you think you are!' I thought uncomfortably. But I felt even more uncomfortable when the running gentleman picked up hís speed, and we were running side by side.

Don't speed up when someone is passing you!

Then suddenly I didn't feel uncomfortable anymore; I felt annoyed! It's not very gentlemanly to speed up when someone is passing you! It's not nice on the motorway, and it's not nice on the 'runway'

My annoyance provided me just enough speed to get past him, and while I sped away I shouted triumphantly: 'Eat my dust!'

Well okay, I didn't.

I had too much trouble catching my breath.
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Reaching for your goal


Last week I decided to run 8 kilometers to a neighbouring town, and then back home.

Full of happy anticipation I followed the signpost pointing me to the right. I ran across a beautiful path, the sun gently smiling down at me, thinking smugly how very sporty I was.

T-junction: now what?

But then I came to a T-junction. I looked around me, looking for a sign, but found none. Now I know how Tom Thumb felt when he found out the birds ate all his breadcrumbs!

With nothing telling me which way to go, I had to follow my own, questionable, instincts. And they led me on a wild goose chase, causing me to double the distance.

When I finally reached my destination I couldn't face running back home. So I'm ashamed to admit, I hopped on the train.

All's well, that ends well

But in the end all's well, that ends well, because I ran 16 kilometers, which is exactly what I was aiming for.

Only in my plans I would be home again at 16K, instead of in the town I was aiming for.

Which just goes to show:

Sometimes you reach your goal, but in a different way than you anticipated.
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Mama has entered the building!

running mom

I was at school being a good little mom, wiping off hundreds of little wooden farm animals.

School materials have to be cleaned regularly of grubby little fingerprints. And volunteering is expected if you don't want to be known, as 'that mom who never helps out'.

Suddenly I heard excited whispers, culminating in one loud cry: 'Mommyyyy!'

He was happy to see me!

I looked towards the sound and there was my son Piet, looking like he'd just been offered a dozen Happy meals. I gave him a little wave, which made him jump up and down in a heady combination of joy and excitement, and he waved back so hard he almost fell down.

Now I know how people like Carl Lewis en Paula Radcliffe feel! And I didn't even have to run one centimeter.

All I had to do to receive this unadulterated adoration was being Piets mom.
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You know it's really cold when...


You know it's really cold when your glasses freeze during a run!

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Running Santa Clause


I was minding my own business, drinking a cup of coffee, when suddenly there was a loud banging on the kitchen door. Before I could take another sugary sip the door flew open, revealing a very small Santa Clause with a plastic gun.

He took aim, shot me, and ran to the playroom like a modern day Speedy Gonzales.

It's all part of the job

I shrugged and took another sip of tea. Running Santa Clauses and getting shot are all just part of my job.

But maybe next time I go out for my run, I'll ask my mini Santa Clause to accompany me.

I'm sure he'll do wonders for my pace!
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Use of schedules

Are you stuck in a rut?

The work of a mom is cyclic. The laundry, meals, raising the children: these things keep coming back. Sometimes this can make you feel like you're stuck in a rut.

Runner's advice for when you're in a rut

When you feel like you're stuck in a rut as a runner the advice is to create variation. Try a different route, play with your pace, go running with a fellow runner or change your training programme.

I got me a schedule!

So when I felt like I could scream if I had to do another thirty minute run, I registered with Myasics and got a training programme for the 10 k! Gone were my feelings of boredom: I was going somewhere, and it would take me 10 kilometers to get there.

The same principle works if you're a mom!

You can do the same as a mom. Have a look at your daily schedule and tasks and try a new approach. You could, for examply register yourself at Flylady.

Flylady is your own free coach who sends you your schedule for the day in regular emails.

Take your running lessons and run with them as a mom

Take advantage of the use of running programmes in the running world and apply it to your world as a mom. Spread your work over the days of the week, and then lie back in the pleasant knowledge that you're really done for the day.

With a fresh look the world is at your feet.

Ready to run on.
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The world is my gym!

One of the things I like about running is the cheap thrills it offers me!

I boldly go where many has gone before. But so what?!

In the gym that is the world, I regularly find new and exciting new routes, which give me that great feeling of boldly going where no one has gone before.

Right now my gym is decorated for winter. The trees show me their barren branches. And the houses are decorated for Christmas.

My Granny's run

I named my newest route after Granny's in honor of the Granny's where I grab my cup of coffee after 5 kilometers.

Seeing the sights

There are lots of things to see on the way there. I pass the train station, run through a residential area, and then on to a road which is very fittingly called 'Sports Road'. And it really is very sporty. Because it's surrounded by playing fields with children playing hockey and soccer while their parents stand on the sidelines watching.

This gives me an extra thrill from the joy of nót being one of thém.

And then there it is: Granny's! 

Then on to a little harbor with lots of parked boats, over a footbridge and then there it is, my goal for the day: Granny's.

And as I run towards it I can already smell the coffee and freshly made apple pie.

There really is no better gym than the world itself!

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Running calms mommies

I'm certain the reason I haven't cracked yet has to do with running.

There's nothing more natural, than going for a run when you're feeling stressed out.

Back in the days, when we lived in caves, we felt stress when we looked a Tyrannosaur Rex in the evil eye. The adrenaline that our bodies produced in response helped us run away.

Mom stressors

Nowadays we experience stress from different kind of things. Like fighting children for example. You can't run away from them! You could try of course, but they'll just follow you. But what to do with all the adrenaline your body produced?

The answer is easy: go for a run!

And sometimes when you're running you stumble across the most beautiful things: a field of flowers, a beautiful blue sky, green leafy trees or a philosophical fellow runner.

Running shows you hidden treasures along the eay

A few days ago I was running a ten miler, and a voice inside of me whined:

'Why don't you just sit down?!'

Then a fellow runner passed me by, looked at my red, sweaty face and asked: 'Are you alright?'
I mumbled something affimative, after which he brightly said: 'Just persevere, right?!' He gave me an encouraging nod, and disappeared in the distance.

Just persevere!

I felt strangely strenghtened. And I repeated to myself:

 'Just persevere, just persevere.' 

And it struck me how true this is. Because isn't life in general a matter of perseverance?

With new courage and strength I ran the last miles.

Because I'll persevere.
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