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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Running pearls of wisdom

I find running with my children a great opportunity to impart some motherly wisdom.

This morning my son Jan rode his bike alongside me, and I pointed out all the lovely fall colors to him to which he dutifully nodded.

I long to instill an awareness of nature in my children and running is a great way to do that.

I also pointed out some very odd looking houses. You know the sort, built by an architect with illusions of grandeur. Not practical at all, but certainy striking. A lot like high heeled shoes!

But the biggest lessons I can teach my children during running concern character.

So why don't you stop running?

After about thirty minutes of running I whined: 'I wanna stop! I don't feel like running anymore!'
My son is nothing if not a practical child so he answered: 'So why don't you!'

But of course I kept on running on and said:

'You can't just quit something because you feel like it! It's all about willpower and pushing through! As it is in life, so it is in running!'

And the next time he doesn't feel like cleaning up his room, or doing his homework, I'll be sure to remind him of today's running/life lesson.

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Spilling chi

In ChiRunning it's important to keep your pelvis level.

Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of chi also known as life energy. And if that doesn't do it for you, just imagine it filled with chocolates or potatoe chips. You wouldn't wanna spill any, now would you?! I didn't think so.

Before I start my run, I put myself in position

So before I start my run I always take the time to put myself into the right position. But during my ChiRunning course I got some good news and some bad news. I got the position right, but as soon as I made a run for it, I heard my instructor shouting: 'Okay Nicole, stop please! You immediately let your pelvis go!'

Spilling my chi all over the place

Obviously I'm still spilling my chi left and right during my runs.

I'm like the woman in dr. Hook's song: 'Baby makes her blue jeans talk'.

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The mother that could

Thanks to several training programmes, by John 'the penguin' Bingham and Jeff Galloway, I can now run at least 45 minutes at a time.

And on Sundays I even run for two hours to a local restaurant where I can get a cup of coffee. And then I turn back home.

It takes 45 minutes to run for 45 minutes!

But now here's the thing: it takes at least 45 minutes to run 45 minutes! And because my inner running snob feels she's too good for a thirty minute run, one day I almost didn't run at all.

I was lying on the couch, bored and busy talking to myself:

'Thirty minutes isn't worth the trouble, so I won't go. It's not my fault we had people over all day, is it? If there'd been time I wóúld have run to Westendorp, really I would have! Besides: now I'm too tired. Are there any chips left?'

It's the left side of your brain talking! Ignore it!

In his book You can do it, Jeff Galloway says these kind of thoughts come from the left side of the brain. The left side of the brain is afraid to exert itself, and prefers to lie around on the couch with a big bag of chips.

The left side of the brain reminds me of me.

I think I can, I think I can!

But while I lay there going nowhere, I felt myself getting more and more depressed. So when my left side of the brain wasn't looking I quickly jumped up and ran out the door. I huffed and I puffed and I felt like I was walking through the children's playdough, but I was doing it! And instead of whining: 'I don't wanna' I said to myself 'I think I can, I think I can!'

And you know what?!
I could.

I'm the mother that could.

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Therein lies the toe rub

toe rub
My little left toe and its nearest neighbour, rub each other the wrong way.

And yesterday, after my run, I discovered they'd made a bloodbath. So I wrapped the neighbour in a nice plaster with little trains on it, and thought no more of it.

I'm hurt real bad!

Today I went running, but after three miles my little left toe started sending me frantic messages:

'I'm hurt real bad!'

I ignored it, because I hate whiney toes. But after another mile it hurt so much I decided I to take a look.

I took off my shoe, and saw my little toe's neighbour's plaster had created a nice big blister on my little toe! Feeling like the little mermaid I tried to hobble home, because there was no way I was putting my shoe on again. It hurt too much!

How do I get home?

'So this is barefoot running', I thought to myself. But soon my feet started to hurt and I tried to find another solution. I tried to tie my whole shoe beneath my foot, but that most certainly didn't work. Then I had this great MacGyver moment:

'I'll use my sock to wrap my little toe in! And then I'll put my shoe on.'

So I did, and it felt wonderful! 'I can walk again!' I shouted in delight.

But when I got home I put a plaster on my little toe, just to be sure. It had little eskimo's on it.

I hope it's neighbour doesn't get jealous.

How to prevent toe rub: tips and pointers!

Using some lubricant, like Bodyglide, on the toes that rub each other the wrong way can help a lot. Also make sure your running shoes are suitable for your feet.

You could also buy some toe socks, like Injinji toe socks.

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Running lessons


The Dutch publisher of Anna Fels' book Necessary dreams: Ambition in Women's changing lives asked me to review this book, saying she was really interested in my opinion! So I was all flattered and everything and told her: 'Of course! I'ld be happy to review it!'

Where's a picture book if you need it...

So now I'm reading it and I find it very hard going indeed. My mind is groaning and moaning with effort, begging me to stop and read something a little easier. Preferably a children's picture book.

There I was, ploughing along when suddenly it hit me: reading this book is a lot like running! In both cases I want to, but also I really, really don't want to.

Using running lessons

So I decided to apply the principle of running programs to reading this boring book:

Divide the task at hand into little managable pieces! 

The book consists of fourteen chapters, and I've decided to read two of them a day. That way I'll finish it in seven days.

Suddenly it's not so daunting any more.

Isn't it wonderful how the wisdom gained from running applies to life in general?!
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By John Bingham, she's got it!

I'ld like to toot my own horn because I finally managed to stay 'in the moment'.

Wherever you go, there you are does nót apply to me : (

I find it quite hard to stay in 'the moment'. The mindful saying of 'Wherever you go, there you are,' doesn't apply to me, much to my chagrin. It would be more apt to say:

'Wherever you go, there you are not.'

I'm usually somewhere in the future

Instead of being in the moment, I'm usually off gallivanting somewhere in the nearby future. Thinking about the things I have to do, thinking about how much further I have to run, thinking about what's waiting for me when I get home (pandemonium and mayhem), and then thinking: 'I don't wanna go home.'

Right now, I'm here!

But yesterday I managed to stay in the moment for a moment! I was completing my Sunday ten miler, and I was, as usual, trying to see what was ahead of me, when I thought:

'No Nicole, wherever you go there you are, and right now you are here!'

So I concentrated on my legs and feet moving one step at a time, my arms pumping away, and just feeling myself run. And what do you know: it felt good! So I said to myself: 'By John Bingham, she's got it!'

Thank you John Bingham!

So thank you John Bingham for writing about the joy of running; about enjoying every simple step of running as a goal in itself.
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