That Obligatory Year End Post

Ok maybe not obligatory, but all of the cool kids are doing it, so…

2013, what a year, eh?

I started off being pretty excited about the Berlin Half Marathon – I was scared but felt like I was ready to tackle the distance again. I have to say for this event I trained the most and was the most serious about food and keeping to my schedule. In fact, it kind of proves that when you really stick to something, like a total package, you can really achieve your goals. I ended up running the Berlin Half in 2:23:24 which was well under my desired 2:30:00 time and almost 19 minutes faster than the first Half I did in April 2011. I’d say as far as running and training goes, this was my best race so far.

While I was training for the Half I also ran my fastest 10K yet (and have since failed miserably to beat it or meet it… in fact these days I’m slower again) in March at the CPC Loop in Den Haag. I loved this run even though it was BITTER cold and I couldn’t find my people after the race for quite a while. I used to live in Den Haag and I miss it terribly sometimes, so I was just really cool to run there and have a great PR of 1:00:50.

I ran a LOT last year. In fact I ran a total of 15 races, even one race I won not only an entry into, but also a EUR 100 certificate at Run2Day for my contest entry. I ran races I never thought I would run and I ran with friends, my husband and even my stepdaughter. I also ran a few times with new Twitter friends which was, for me, really special. I don’t have a real running group here in NL and I wish I did, so at least knowing there are a few people out there who are not my colleagues or husband that want to run with me makes me feel like this is really what I’m meant to be doing. At a certain point your social life changes, if you run a lot, so having running friends to add to your circle is just really nice.

I ran another Half Marathon in October which I did not think I would do, simply because I thought doing one would be enough. Hubs lost the weight he wanted to lose (because men just think about it and they lose weight, right?) and got way more serious about running and I suggested he do a Half Marathon, so we signed up for the Lisbon Rock ‘n Roll Half. We both had a great experience though we both expected a bit better for time (it was super hot) and the course itself wasn’t über-gorgous or anything after the initial start off the Vasco de Gama bridge. Nonetheless we had a fantastic time.

Other than running there was of course the amazing time I had in Portland for Fitbloggin. It is really hard to understand for outsiders how amazing it is to attend a conference like this and meet all of these amazing people in one go. Honestly, my life is richer for having many of these people in my life and while we are not in the same place throughout the year I know there are people out there I can call a friend, it may just take longer to cultivate the relationship. Being that we are constantly online and in touch though, that definitely helps. (Sadly, I will not be going to Fitbloggin ’14, there are other financial obligations and choices made so I have to skip it this year. If you ever think you’d like to go to Fitbloggin, I can totally recommend it. You will be welcomed with open arms.

If I talk about the rest of my life last year, there is one word I have to describe it: stressful. As with many companies sometimes things become stressful and dynamic and rolling with the changes isn’t always easy. It’s also not easy to accept that you can NOT change, as it make a career switch, as it may just not be the right time for you. While I won’t put the details out on the web, I do think at this point it’s no secret that I want to do something else in my company, but I need to remain focused and accept how things are at this very moment so I don’t drive myself mental. I would be lying if I would say I was not disappointed this past year with how everything panned out, but I won’t let that disappointment discourage me or make me perform my current job less than what is expected of me (from myself as well as others).

Another disappointment is my weight. I know it’s not the be all and end all, but I am seriously so frustrated. I know that part of it is in my control and I am in a tailspin of believing it’s never going to happen anyway so I really need to fix that mentality. I have no idea yet how I’m going to tackle this but to be open and honest with you all, I am up 4KG from from last year this time and I only have myself to blame. I started the year out quite well but I really lost it somewhere around after the Half Marathon in April. I find dieting (which is what I’m in a constant state of doing, regardless of whether i talk about it or not) to be such a mental screw (sorry for saying so … but I could have used the “f” word) and it’s totally wreaking havoc on me. I think I have some deeper issues that need to be solved or losing weight will always be a struggle. Or let’s say, losing it and keeping it off forever will be the actual struggle, since I’ve proven about 3,682 times that I *can* actually lose weight. Being overweight (which I am, ladies and gents) means I also do not progress much with running. Another frustration is that I can’t really belong to a running club or group because I don’t meet requirements (running 5K less than half an hour for example). I know I am being stubborn when I say I do NOT want to join a beginner group because I’m not a beginner… but let’s face it, there are no advanced-yet-tubby runner clubs out there yet. Perhaps I should start one?

The highlight of my year was definitely my trip to Rwanda (and I was chosen to go, so this I can be very happy about work-wise). It was really life and perspective changing. I won’t forget all of those beautiful children’s faces, or going to the coffee farms and picking coffee cherries, or the amazing colleagues I met. And I won’t forget that feeling I had of real purpose when I was helping to build the health clinic. I long to go back to Africa and wish there were more vacation days and less working days a year so I could do EVERYTHING.

While I do have plans and hopes and wishes for the new year, I’m not yet sure how to put all of those thoughts down, so I don’t have a list per se of what I’m going to do in 2014. I know it’s going to be a pretty epic year, but to what extent of epicness, I don’t know yet…

Hope you all had a brilliant year and I look forward to seeing you in the new year! Tell me what your highlights were!


  1. quix says:

    Sounds like a wonderful, even if stressful 2013. I hear you on the weight thing, it’s SO HARD for me to lose weight, and I feel like with the way I train, and eat mostly healthy, it shouldn’t be. Ah well. We have the rest of our lives to figure it out, at least! :) Cheers to a great 2014!

    1. Renée says:

      I suppose you are right, about having the time to figure it out, but to be honest I’m just tired. Tired of fighting my inner demons, tired of caring so much, tired of wishing and hoping, tired of thinking this is going to be my year, etc. I need to clear my mind so that I can make space in there for letting it actually happen.

      Hope you have a great year too!!

  2. Ffion says:

    Despite being stressful, its looks like you had a good year, look at all that running!

    1. Renée says:

      there was quite a bit of running, yes!

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