September Update or How to Fail Your Blog

So. Crazy times you guys.  I think I just totally failed my blog since I haven’t had time to post.

Let me just tell you about September:

I’ve been going to the gym! whoo hoo! So far it’s not been more than one time a week but I’ll get there soon. It’s difficult with my schedule to go more than 1 time. At least that’s my story right now.

Gym time – kettlebells, lunges and squats
gym shenanigans

Two Saturdays ago I even tried RPM (spinning)! I have been saying for years I want to try and I never do. It’s just a thing I have about trying new things. But last week I thought “screw this” and I went. And you know what, I LOVED IT. So I went again this Saturday and was able to even make it a bit more challenging for myself with the resistance and I sweated up a storm! I am definitely going to keep going to this class, I seriously think it’s amazing!

I once again got new shoes. With my foot again irritating me (I am certain I had two neuromas, they only removed the huge one) I was on the lookout for shoes that could help people with foot issues, people who may have neuromas. And I found them. I went to Utrecht and I tried on several pairs and I got the Altra Torin 1.5. And they are a dream! A gift from above! I am so happy to run now because I DON’T FEEL A THING whilst running!

my new Altras = LOVE
September running in the Netherlands is simply the best!

I’ve done a few runs here and there and also ran with SocialMile again twice, not a ton of kilometers, but… a couple weekends ago I ran a Half Marathon in Cologne! I wasn’t sure at all if I should drop out of this race or not but I finally decided I would just start it and see how far I got – it was 3 rounds of 7km and I figured if I wanted to drop out after 14, it would be very ok. We actually went to Cologne to see Susanne Sundfor do an acoustic show (which was AMAZING) on the Saturday and the run was on Sunday.

Just Susanne and her piano (her guitar and her keyboard for other songs). Amazingly talented woman.


This meant that we had to pack an overnight bag.  For once I wasn’t writing out lists for my weekend, I was simply just throwing things in my bag I thought I needed and I forgot to bring my “regular”  running shoes so I didn’t do a Half on my new Altras.    But… as it turned out the Altras actually helped me so much I ended up able to run the entire half marathon with no walking breaks.  It’s been a LONG time since that happened!   Let’s not talk about the calf pain I had for 4 days afterwards (since they are zero drop!)…  So very happy with the result – gives me hope that my running can finally improve and I can run a marathon again!


Obligatory Before Photo
at around the 12K point
at HRC Cologne – I look just like Joan Jett, right?? (well except for the hair colour at this point…)

But let’s talk about Ron for a minute…

We went to Mūnster the week prior to Cologne so that the man could run the marathon there and hopefully with a Boston qualifying time.  We also went the night before and stayed in a village close to Mūnster – had an awesome (and super cheap!) italian dinner for carb loading festivities.   The hotel was also amazing!  We had to leave early, however, so we weren’t able to eat breakfast there (we had stuff with us, since Ron of course wanted to be sure to have the exact marathon prescription before the race) but they came up and gave us coffee and a hot water kettle so we could at least have coffee before we left (normally the room we were in did not have coffee facilities).

The day was absolutely amazing.  The weather was insanely perfect.  Blue skies, cool but not cold temps.  It was the ideal marathon morning situation.  We arrived on time and Ron was able to warm up and then eventually he was in his starting corral and the start gun went off!  My plan was to go to km 5, then 15, then 40 to see him on the route   However he was going too fast for me to get to the 5km point (which was only a 20 min walk for me)!   So I simply made my way to 15 and waited.  By the time he came around (after the elites and a few fast runners) he looked SO good!  And he had the road to himself it seemed!

Munster Marathon expo day – just a “training” marathon for Chicago… but not!
we found this book in a sea of German Language books that were for sale at a market inside the expo.
The Winning Number
Ready to Start!
looking fresh at 15KM

Between 15 and 40 I had some time so I stopped off at a cafe near the 40km point and had some breakfast and coffee.  I then walked over to 40 and waited.   But I was worried about how fast he was running – there was NO WAY I would make it from 40 to the finish before he actually finished!    Finally he came around and while he looked like he was finished with running I just shouted that he just needed to push through and reach that finish line!    I then started walking and jogging myself towards the finish.   And as I suspected, he got there before me!  We found each other and he told me his time:   3:20:54.  He needed under 3:30 so HE QUALIFIED!  Ah he was so happy!  Happy he ran the whole way, happy he was almost pain free, happy that everything he had been doing to fix his issues (back, hamstrings) was working!  I am so very proud of him.

Finishing superstar!

And since he qualified, he then signed up on the date that he could sign up and we got the notice this week that he’s in!  So…  we are going to Boston!!


This month has been a lot busier on the massage front.  I have a few new clients and they have been repeat clients as well which is GREAT.   Quite often I get a client that has been referred by the physio and then they don’t return.  I don’t take it personally – I know that massage can be expensive and here in the Netherlands a lot of things are covered by insurance that the physio does, but massage is not one of them (a lot of clients find this out later and don’t want to bear the cost themselves, plus WE are not physiotherapists).  However, I personally find that when you have an issue, it’s generally not solved with only one appointment.

In any case, I’m really happy to have a few more clients, I feel like I’m more confident and I’m enjoying it a lot, even though it’s hard work.  I’m very grateful to my own sports massage therapist, Eva at e-body for giving me this opportunity to work for her.

I am still on my no/less meat quest, I’d say mostly ovo- lacto- vegetarian and sometimes vegan.

adding quinoa and bulgur to the salads helps with protein
did you know that asparagus is rich in protein?

I have had meat a couple of times – I think twice I had a burger and maybe twice I had chicken.  What I find is that I’m not getting enough protein, even though I’m trying to bulk up on protein rich vegetables and beans, etc.   Also there is no change in my weight.  But there could be other reasons for that because…


Because I am still having issues sleeping, due to my restless legs and tingling foot (which IS less but still is bothering me enough to wake me up at night) I desperately went to my doctor and asked her to give me something to help with the nerve issue and the restless legs.  So she gave me Lyrica.  I didn’t start it for a few days because I was scared of all the side effects.  I’m really not a prescription medicine person but I’ve tried a lot of alternatives prior to asking her.  Magnesium citrate, CBD oil / capsules, melatonin, stretching, showers at night, electric sheet under my regular sheet, no coffee/ caffeine after lunchtime, meditation podcasts – these are just a few.  But it doesn’t help and I still wake up 10 times in the night and end up exhausted when I have to get out in the morning.  So after thinking about it for a few days I finally started taking the Lyrica (I asked for Gabapentin, but she said this was “friendlier” …).  One of the side effects is that you can gain weight or retain water.  So now I’m really tracking what I’m eating and trying to stay within my daily calorie budget.  At least if I gain weight, no one can say that I am the one who did it to myself and not the medication.   And so far, no real side effects.  I have slept better since I started taking it – but is that in my head or is it really working?

Welp. I did it again. I’ve coloured my hair (again the non-permanent vegan colour) and this time fully in purple and dark pink.  The comments at work have been interesting.  I’m glad I don’t really care what people think!   Basically I feel like life is too short to worry about age rules (I’m apparently too old according to some to do this to my hair);  Colour your hair, buy the shoes, travel the world and run the marathon is my current life motto.  Seriously, who made up these rules anyway?

purple and pink!


October is going to be a whirlwind as well.  We are off Wednesday for the Windy City.  The Fonz is nervous as heck for the marathon and I totally get it – it’s the marathon in the US we both said we wanted to run more than any other.  The fact that I lived more than half my life in the suburbs of and later in the city of Chicago itself is a big factor.   So he has his dream marathon and I will be living vicariously through him AND cheering him on from the sidelines at the same time.   After Chicago he will have completed two of the Six World Majors.   Boston of course will be number three.  London, Tokyo and New York will be harder but at least he can probably qualify for NYC.


So, tell me:

Have you ever done a spinning class?  Did you like it or hate it?

Have you heard of zero drop shoes?

Have you ever had a Boston Qualification or have you run the Boston marathon for charity?

Do you go for sports massage?  Do you feel it helps you during your training cycles?

Are you a vegetarian?  Do you struggle with getting enough protein?

What do you think about age rules?  Do YOU think I’m too old (49) to colour my hair in crazy colours?

Have you run Chicago marathon?  What did you think about it?


  1. Wendy says:

    Hold up–you’re coming to Chicago? I don’t know what I was thinking, but I planned a trip to California this weekend. Seriously. WTH is wrong with me? So many people I know will be here this weekend. I hope you enjoy your trip and good luck to your SO with his run!

    1. Renée says:

      ah shoot Wendy! Yeah we have been planning to go for quite a while now, very excited!
      it will be fun, but busy! Friends and family and the marathon! it will be BUSY!!

  2. That is one amazing BQ finish time! Dang!!! I think your hair is funky-cool ;-) No way I could do the vegan thing….I can eat a gigantic soup kettle-sized salad, but it never fills me up (don’t know if that’s a psychological thing or physical thing). Zero-drop shoes would probably be an epic fail for me and my over-pronating feet…I need major arch support.

    1. Renée says:

      Yeah, I’m so proud of him! Thanks for the hair love! Being vegan or vegetarian does take some work. you gotta know what to eat and how much and you will be eating a lotttttt of veg which means there could be some “side effects” hahahaha! But I do understand that – I can not live just on salad, but I can live on sweet potatoes and nuts and mushrooms and tofu and tempeh and pasta and homemade sauce and other yummy stuff. It’s all about finding what you like and then eating a ton of it hahaha! but I’m still playing around with it. As for my shoes, I actually have orthotics made for my feet to give me arch support and they fit perfectly in the shoes. Thing is, if you don’t need zero drop or you aren’t looking to get into barefoot running or minimalist shoes then there’s no need to try them. Luckily plenty of shoes out there to choose from!

  3. First off, yay for finding the Altras and that your feet are so happy in them! I hope that they continue to work well for you and that your neuroma pain doesn’t return.

    Congrats to Ron for such an amazing BQ time! He will love running Boston! I’ve run it twice, but was very lucky to qualify many other times. I really wish I’d run Chicago and New York back when I was running marathons regularly and it was easy to get into them.

    I love your hair and I think we should do what feels right for us. My mom always says that women over forty can’t wear their hair long. Who says? It was probably something she learned in home ec in 1950 and she’s sticking with it. I’m 59 and I’m not going to wear a short teased up old-lady hairdo. LOL

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Debbie! I’m so happy with my new shoes even though they were more ka-ching than I wanted to give out.

      Ron is really stoked to get into Boston and also happy that it’s a place I’ve never been. It is tougher these days to get into these races and you have to work your butt off to qualify or get good for age entry. Tokyo GFA is insane. And London is for UK residents only. So… the world majors will be a long term goal.

      Thanks for the hair love! I also had a friend who, more than a decade ago told me she was sad to turn 40. When I asked her why she said “because now I have to cut my hair off”. I said to her “woman! no way do you HAVE to cut your hair off! Keep your hair long for however long you want!” It’s about 15 years later and she still has medium long hair and it looks great. who made up these rules anyway???

  4. Marcia says:

    Congrats to Ron on that juicy BQ! OMG age rules are some of the biggest BS out there. I’m glad you’re not listening to the crap people say. You look amazing and I love your motto. I’ll be at mile 13 on the right if you wanna come cheer with me in Chicago.

    1. Renée says:

      Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! it would be brilliant to see you – I’m going to map out my course plan, but mile 13 sounds great! What time do you think you’ll be there? Ron is in the first wave.

  5. Lets see… I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago as well so I’d love to run that one someday. Love the hair, eff the haters. Do you. I love massage but I don’t get professional ones enough. Haha, Boston. I hope to qualify when I’m 60 if my body holds out. Although I love the long events I’m much more competitive at the short stuff (ahem 1 min 47 secs from qualifying for tri nationals). Love my endurance spin class, looking for my next shoe so ill check those out and I tried being semi veg but I’m back on the meat train. Whew. Longest comment ever.

    1. Oh and congrats to the man. That’s a smokin hot time!

  6. I’m going to beat the longest comment record! The call to action at the end of your post has so many questions, I feel like I’ve been set homework, but they’re such interesting questions, I feel compelled to answer. :-D
    – Spinning: Yes, I really enjoyed it. Sweated buckets, was totally in awe of the speed some of the others can turn their pedals, but for me the big drawback is what it did to my shoes. The toe-clips completely wrecked the front of my shoes. So now I only go if the class I normally go to is completely packed out and there’s no room left for me.
    – Zero hours contracts, yes, but zero drop shoes, not so much. What on earth are they?
    – Boston? Chicago? Marathon? Nope. No way, no how. Far too slow. Maybe I’ll do a local marathon one day, but more likely I won’t. Never say never, though.
    – Sports massage – no, I’ve never tried it or felt the need. Sorry! I’d recommend it to someone else, though.
    – Vegetarian? Yes, I am, sort of. I was completely vegetarian for about a year, then we went to England and I couldn’t pass up the chance to eat fish & chips. Since then, I’ve been pescatarian so that gives me an option for upping the protein. Otherwise it’s a struggle, especially as I’m trying to lose weight and high protein, low carb works for me. So that means lots of yoghurt, cottage cheese and nuts. Also beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans?), kidney beans and mushrooms. Losing the dairy and going vegan would be really, really difficult, especially as the rest of my family are meat fans and mostly want meat, potatoes and veg. So I often end up doing that, then throw a Valess meat replacement in a pan. The ‘beef’ bits and the mince are really good. But that’s dairy, too. I prefer Quorn (mushroom-based), but they don’t sell it in my local supermarket and the range here is really small. :-(
    – Age rules? What’s age got to do with it? Your hair looks absolutely amazing! I know several older women who have brightly-coloured hair and it looks great. Why should it be acceptable to die your hair blond or black, but not pink and purple? If you’re confident enough to do it, then why ever not?

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