2017 – The Expected Unexpected

Can you guys just believe it?  this year is OVER.  And what a year it was!

In a nutshell:


It was a throwback kind of year as far as concerts goes.  We used to go to gigs all the time!  In fact we used to travel to see bands.  Now we travel to run.  I’m so glad I was able to see more shows this year.  And I love that I made new friends and spent time with old friends and Ron seeing bands I like!

This year I went to 11 gigs and saw 10 headliners:

January – Disturbed
March – Depeche Mode
June – Depeche Mode (in Rome)
July – U2
August – Marilyn Manson
September – Susanne Sundfor (in Cologne)
October – Gary Numan & Goldfrapp
December – OMD, Hurts and Five Finger Death Punch

Most gigs were in the Netherlands but at various venues in Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Tilburg. Seeing Depeche Mode in Rome was amazing since it was at the football stadium – I absolutely LOVE seeing them in venues like this, even though it’s huge and there are so many people. The energy is just incredible. It’s hard to decide what my favorite gig was this year but I know what my least favorite was… Marilyn Manson. This show was just a disappointment on many levels. I waited a long time to see MM and expected something, I don’t know, different.

running, music and friends


12 trips
8 countries

  • England –  Liverpool, London
  • Italy – Rome
  • Turkey – Okurcalar
  • Ireland – 2x Dublin
  • Germany – Hamburg, Cologne, Münster, Dusseldorf
  • United States – Chicago
  • Belgium – Brussels
  • France – Paris

I had a great year traveling this year.  I always have a blast with Ron when we go somewhere.  I love going to Liverpool to participate in Rock n Roll weekend – this is a great opportunity to also see friends I’ve met over the years.   Rome was a great time because we not only saw our favourite band, we also played a bit of tourist and got to see an ex-colleague of mine and meet his girlfriend (finally!).  After a few years of not having summer holiday, we did another first – spent a week at an all-inclusive resort.  Dublin was again for Rock n Roll weekend but also to see my parents while they were in town.  Our trips to Germany are easy enough to do since we live near the border, and obviously Münster sticks out the most as Ron qualified for Boston there!  Chicago was amazing – seeing old friends, seeing running friends and supporting the Man running the marathon (and my parents!).  And my most recent trip was with Nellie –  crazy, fun, amazing, challenging… LOVED seeing her and going on this whirlwind adventure (Brussels, London, Paris).

We are going to Boston next year and I’ve devised a new budget plan for traveling so that we can possibly do a 2nd trip to the US in the 2nd half of the year.  I do not know if 2018 will have as much travel, but we shall see.  I am becoming somewhat of an expert finding good deals for flights and accommodation in any case.


medals, miles and memories


This year was way less about running.  Which is odd, since I basically define myself with “running”.  I have realised that I don’t have to do that anymore.  I can define myself as a runner, a fitness enthusiast, and a sports massage practitioner.  I really needed the time off from running so many races (and much longer distances than a half marathon)  so that I could let my body heal from overtraining, too many kilometers and a foot operation that I never fully let heal before pounding the pavement training for yet another marathon.

I had a goal of 1,100KM (not sure where that even came from) and as of the time of this post I have achieved 892 KM.  Which, in my opinion is not shabby at all considering I feel like I haven’t run at all the last several weeks (not true, just feels that way).

I don’t want to forget to mention the RopaRun (which started in Germany) which was an incredible experience for me.  Not only was it physically challenging (and I was just doing sport massage, not even running), it was mentally and emotionally challenging.  It was not only memorable, it was also humbling.  A lot of tears were shed at the finish line, crossing with my entire team in the name of all of those we have lost to cancer.  While I’m not sure I would do it again, I certainly don’t regret a single moment of the experience.

Summer running, friends and pool planking


I got a new bike this year, something I hadn’t really planned on.  Every year I say I’m going to get a new bike and I don’t, since I’d had my trusty Giant Trooper since 1996!  But… Ron also started biking as a way to cross train and HE started looking at bikes, which means I started looking at bikes and here we are!   I was tracking my commute km’s just to see how much I bike in total per month but I just lost interest in my little 4.4KM per day after around June haha!   I did a lot of longer bike rides with Ron to support him with Chicago marathon training.  And I biked more to my appointments around town (which I had more of since I seemed to have about 10 different physios, trainers, etc.  I also bike approximately 8KM extra each Tuesday for sports massage and 10KM in total on Fridays for the same.

According to Strava I did 1,280KM biking this year but that’s not an accurate number.  Maybe I’ll track it better next year.  I was not joking when I say I bike everywhere.  I pretty much never use the car and only use public transport around town when really desperate (or going out on the town)


a change of hair, but the scenery is similar


Yeah, swimming was a dud.  I really tried but the anxiety got the best of me.  I would still love to go swimming once a week but I’m not going to pressure myself to do that again just yet.



Chicago was absolutely amazing



  • January
    • Nijmeegse nieuwjaarsloop 10K
  • February
    • de Acht van Apeldoorn 8K
  • March
    • Stevensloop 10K
    • Achtkastelenloop 10K
  • April
    • Rotterdam 1/4 Marathon
  • May
    • Liverpool Rock n Roll 5K
    • Liverpool Rock n Roll Half Marathon
  • June
    • Zuidas 10 Mile
  • July  – no races
  • August
    • Dublin Rock n Roll 5K
    • Dublin Rock n Roll Half Marathon
  • September
    • Rund um de Fühlinger See -Cologne (Half Marathon)
  • October
    • Chicago International 5K
  • November
    • Zevenheuvelenloop 15K
    • Horaloop 10K
  • December
    • Montferland Run 15K

So, for not running a lot I still did 14 races this year.  I can truly say it was a weird year for it too –  I did do a lot of training, especially in the beginning of the year and yet my times did not improve at all and in fact I seem to have gotten “worse”.   I use ” ” because I don’t personally see it as negative but I know the world of comparison and sometimes it does get to me.    I trained quite a bit for Dublin, for example, but I fell pretty hard around 8KM of the Half Marathon and that sort of wrecked the rest of the race for me.  While not my best time ever, I had a surprising half marathon in September, where I not only ran the whole thing (I tend to take walk breaks because of various body complaints) but I ran the whole thing in new shoes.  That was my best Half this year.   I did 3 5K’s, my best was in Dublin.   I did 3 10K’s this year and my best was at the Stevensloop.  I did 3 15K’s and my best was at the Montferland Run.



running, spinning, family, friends

I do have some goals for next year for running, but I really have to lose weight (heard that one from me before?) to achieve them.

and on that note:


Funnily enough, I started last year at 80.5KG.  And…  my weight loss for the year is… 2KG.  Not my best year, folks!  It’s not for lack of trying, that is for sure, however it is for lack of discipline.  I am definitely an emo-eater and this year I haven’t felt mentally well at all.

This is what it feels like









I know what the cause is but I’m just not sure how to solve it.  You know how when you are in a situation that you don’t want to be in but you don’t really have much choice in the matter because it would just create more stress?  Don’t worry, guys I’m not talking about my relationship, I’m talking about work.    I need to fix that and I’m still working it out in my head.  Things are changing anyway and I’m keeping my options open.  In the meantime I want to nip stress eating and boredom eating in the bud.  Because the thing is, it doesn’t solve anything!!

So I’ve been yammering on for I don’t know how many years about losing weight and here we are again.  Same story, different year.  It’s time I shut up and take action.



just the tip of the iceberg – 3 countries in 4 days with Nellie

Sport Massage:

Speaking of work, I’m excited to share with you that things are getting better and I’m feeling more confident as a sports massage practitioner.  I am grateful that my own sports massage therapist took me on to work for and with her.   I want to do more and learn more so there will definitely be growth in this area in 2018.  What I would love to do is work full time doing what I love – be that sport massage or learning something to enhance or add to this skill.  Anything to do with physical activity or sport or helping others become and/or stay healthy.   That’s not going to happen right now, but it’s a long term vision.


finishing the year the way we started


Physical Issues: 

I had a lot of them this year – back, glutes, restless leg, hearing…  pretty much most of it is solved.  I had two shots this year in my back which helped my leg and foot tingling a bit, I had plenty of manual and physiotherapy, I had dry needling in my glutes and after 4 sessions I had zero pain (highly recommend).  My foot continues to be a problem, but I do not have another neuroma (the experts say bursitis in my toe, but the 2 shots I’ve had has not helped so, back to the drawing board).  Lastly, I will get a tinnitus masking device for the ringing in my ears (just got the letter in the mail yesterday, which I can now take to the audicien).  So there are improvements after taking a year “off” (ok, not really off, but we all know that what I was doing two years ago up until Athens marathon was just too much) and I am happy about that.


In 2018 I turn 50.  I think it’s pretty logical that there are many thoughts in my head for quite some time about what makes me happy, what doesn’t and that I want to make changes.  It’s definitely different than when I turned 40.




I hope you all had a great year, or at least one where you are able to reflect and think about the things you want to change.  You don’t need resolutions, you can just change what you want, when you are ready.  You can have goals, they can be big or small.  The new year is just simply a new chance to head in the direction you want to be in.  But then again each new day is the same!  I’m going to definitely take action in 2018  –  what are your plans? 


Here’s to a fresh start!  May you all have a new year filled with health, happiness and fitness! 

28 thoughts on “2017 – The Expected Unexpected

  1. I”m definitely in the same situation as you with work. I’m trying to start off the year with a new attitude but it’s hard to shake off the deception and the way I was treated last year. I’m trying to detach and just focus on my patients, which is really why I’m there. Let’s just breathe and run….

    1. It’s easy to get wrapped up in other things besides what we maybe should just focus on. I also started off today thinking I was going to just be positive, etc., and then I was already angry after an hour. I decided right then and there I was going to let it go. It is what it is. I’m going to do my job, the best I can and focus on that. Let’s Breathe and Run – should be the new hashtag!!

  2. Happy New Year Renee! I’m so bummed I missed seeing you in Chicago at the marathon. Your “less running” year still had plenty of it. I’m in a similar place with running. I just want to enjoy it. Quality over quantity. More travel adventures. It appears 2018 will be a less adventurous year for me but there’s a small chance I might make it to China, so that would change things a bit. Oh 50. Don’t get me started. I’ll just say a good sense of humor comes in handy. Ha!

    1. I’m bummed too Marcia! But it was just bad luck! Seems like we will possibly have a similar year… though I’m not going to China anytime soon!
      Ron will be 50 in 10 days! Yesterday I was saying to him what a great age 50 will be. You can finally stop caring what others think of you! It’s like a different kind of freedom! With hotflashes ;)

  3. Wow, that’s a whole lot of everything, really! Lots of travel, lots of running, lots of races, lots of biking.

    I’m sorry work isn’t going well. That can really just color everything else.I have been there, and it isn’t fun. I hope you can find something that feeds your soul.

    1. Hi Judy! Yes for a year of doing less it is actually kind of a lot! I think 2018 really will be less but more quality. that’s what I’m aiming for anyway!
      Work is paying the bills but yes, I would like something that would really fulfill me, so I’ll be working towards that by getting my finances straight, get some more courses under my belt and hopefully work more in helping others in the area of sports!

  4. Wow! You accomplished quite a bit in 2017. I’m jealous of all your travels. I wish I could afford to travel more. :) Cheers to 2018!

    1. cheers to you too Clarinda! I am in Europe so it’s a bit “easier” to go to all these places. Chicago was good because I used to live there and still have my very best friends there – certainly helps when it comes to travel if you don’t have to pay for lodging!

    1. it was a fun experience to look back yes! happy new year to you too and here’s to a great one with more connections!

    1. yes it was actually a good year! I used to live in Chicago too so I absolutely LOVE going back! If we were to move to the States (Husband is Dutch and I’ve been here in NL since 1994) we would likely go there. Not that it’s perfect, but … almost!! Looking forward to getting to know you too!

  5. Wow at all the places you were able to travel!! I’ve got my eye on Dublin RNR Half one year! My family is from Ireland and that race is close to my birthday!! Blessings for a wonderful 2018!!

    1. Oh Katie that would be AWESOME! I’m most likely going back to Dublin this year as well! would be amazing to see you there!

  6. Dang, you were busy!!! I have seen most of your activity via Faceabook & Instagram, but seeing ALL of in one place is pretty incredible. I totally missed the news you saw U2 in July…we saw them in Chicago in early June. Best wishes for a great 2018…hope your 50th year is a little less eventful than mine was LOL

    1. right? once I started putting everything together I was like “whoah!” How cool you saw U2 as well! Wishing you the best as well for the new year! Now I’m curious how your 50th was (do I want to know??? LOL)

  7. Wow you had so much going on! I LOVE Depeche Mode and U2. I would have loved to have seen them both in 2017. #jealous!!!

    1. it still was quite a lot yes! I hope to find a good balance for 2018! Concerts I will never give up though!! We are going to see Depeche Mode again in February, in POLAND! IT WILL BE COOOOOOLD I think! ha!

    1. I do realise that it’s still quite a lot! My perspective of the year really changed after I started reflecting! Thanks!

    1. Thanks Smitha! Hopefully 2018 will still have the quality of the races and a bit different places!

  8. Looks like you had a pretty awesome year. I am totally jealous of all your travels! I really need to travel more! Happy New Year!

    1. happy new year to you! I’m in Europe so a lot of the travel is “easy” compared to what it would take for you all to come over here. But I do realise I am lucky to be able to see and do all I do!

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