Monday August 20, 2012: Bella’s beach adventure

Daily stuff:

Friday I got a new phone. I’ve had a Blackberry for the past 2 years and I could renew my contract which included a new phone. I have compared the Iphone 4 and the Samsung Galaxy SIII and after research I have chosen the Samsung and I’m so happy with it. It’s got so much more possibilities than my Blackberry.


Last Friday my boss turned 50. It was my day off but 50 is a special birthday and I live a 10 minute drive from home. So I went to the office in the afternoon to celebrate. He had petit fours and Prosecco to celebrate and appreciated it that I came back for him my day off.

Petit fours and Prosecco


 We had a heatwave last week with temperatures close to 100 degrees yesterday. It was the hottest day of the century and the hottest day since 1994 and I hated every minute of it.

You know by now I don’t do well in the heat and I spend most of the weekend in the back of the garden where I could sit in the shadow but even that was too hot. Everything I did made me sweat and I did not much more than sit and play with my new phone. What a waisted weekend.


The only fun part of the weekend was that we went to the dog beach with Bella yesterday morning. This is a normal beach where dogs are allowed. Almost every beach inHollanddogs are forbidden during the Summer months. At this beach there were only dog lovers. There were already so many dogs and they all had so much fun playing in the water. Bella was a bit scared at first (it was her second time at the beach) but after a while she dared to go further and swam a lot. After a while we noticed she was getting tired and it was very hot at that time and we went home where she slept the entire afternoon.

Note: this will probably be the first and last time you see photos of me in a bathing suit 🙂 It’s exceptional I even wear it and I usually don’t want R. to take photo’s of me in it.

Waiting for the bridge, lots of boats on the water



Are you sitting down? Because I’m going to drop a bomb now.

After weeks of thinking about it I have decided to give up on the half marathon and start my running adventure all over again. It was a hard decision because it feels like a failure. There are a few reasons why I have decided this:

  • For the past months I hated running more than I loved it. Almost every time I had a run planned I had to fight myself to go (especially at the long runs) and I’ve skipped more runs because of that than I wanted.
  • I haven’t made progress in the 3 years that I’m running. In fact my runs were better the first 1.5 years that I was running. My times got slower instead of a little bit faster.
  • When I started Start to Run for a 5K and after that a 10K I could run the entire distances without walking. These days I hardly make it through a mile after which I have to walk.
  • I think I have jumped from one distance to the next too fast. After every completed distance I immediately moved on to the next instead of getting familiar to a certain distance.

I want my joy in running back. I want to run a 10K without walk breaks. I want to run faster and don’t be the last person to finish in a race (inEuroperunners that participate in races are fast, if you finish a 5K in over 35 minutes for example, you are one of the last to come in).

So what’s the plan?

I’m starting with an adjusted C25K/Start to run plan. This is a 7 week plan after which I should run a 5K without walking. Because there are a lot of walk breaks the first weeks, I will also work on running the run parts faster than I usually do. I’m going to work hard on this. If I, for whatever reason, don’t feel comfortable after a week, I will do the same week again.

After those 7 weeks I will do one of two 5K’s to see if I have improved but more important, running it without walking. After that I’m starting a 14 week plan to run a 10K without walking. I will also do a few 10K races after that.

By the time I’m finished with these 2 steps it’s around February and I haven’t made my mind up what I’m going to do next. I do know already that the next training cycle will be for a 15K but it might be that I’m going to run 10K’s for a couple of months first.

At this moment I don’t know yet if I ever will run a half marathon, it all depends how the new plan works out. If I do it won’t be before Autumn 2013 or even Spring 2014.

I don’t expect you to understand this decision but for me it feels good. I felt a big relief after I had the courage to make this decision


16 responses to “Monday August 20, 2012: Bella’s beach adventure

  1. First off – you look great in that suit!

    Second, don’t ever think you are a failure. The point of training for something is to see how your body responds and what you can make it do. It is supposed to be enjoyable. If you have lost the love of running, then the training you are doing isn’t right for *you*. It’s no reflection on your abilities or your being successful. It probably doesn’t help that you have been further into your training program when it has been so hot out. Nobody feels good exercising in the heat.

    Maybe you could do biking, though… Just sayin’ – cause that’s what the cool people do 😀

  2. Such a wonderful entry filled with so many different topics…..

    ‘ love the hot weather ‘ 🙂 but agree its very hot…..I don’t want to moan as it will be over before I can count to 10! Hehehehe, you know the summer in this place.

    50 is a good year! I still pinch myself that I am 50 now! Sounds so old!

    I don’t need to understand how you feeling regarding your running… I trust you….and believe me I feel I was also a better runner last year and struggle to run as often as I used to….so you not alone.

    Can’t wait to get the same phone….but have a year to wait…jealous is me!

  3. I recently gave up my blackberry for a Windows Phone and I am in love. Which I would have done it sooner. I think its fiine to take a step back with running and go back to basics. Heck I have pretty much stopped running over all and walking for my trianing. When I get back into running I am going to need to start over again. Should be interesting.

  4. Love the Bella beach pics! So cute.

    I respect your decision on running. We should never do it when it feels forced–it should always feel fun or it’s not worth doing. I hope you find your joy again!

  5. I love that you guys took Bella to the beach AND that she had such a good time she wore herself out. That is one content dog! And you look fantastic in your swimsuit, you long-legged beauty!

    I’m sorry running isn’t going well for you. I remember when you used to like it. I hope you can find that joy in running again.

  6. Roz@weightingfor50

    Hi Fran. First of all, you look FAB in the suit, and AWWWW….lucky little Bella. Awww..what a cute little swimmer!!!!
    As for the decision, I say “good for you Fran”. You are NOT a failure!!! If you aren’t enjoying running, that’s ok. If there is no joy, why do it?? Life is simply too short to prolong activity you don’t like – especially with so many other alternatives!
    Hope the weather cools for you soon!!! Hugs.

  7. Yes, you look good in a bathing suit. Much better than I do!
    And if you don’t want to do a half marathon for the very good reasons you mentioned, you shouldn’t! I had lost my joy in running to a degree but had a couple of good runs recently. Who wants it to be painful? Do do do what is best for YOU!
    And I agree that 100 degrees is too hot. This morning I had to wear long sleeves when I ran. THat was pure joy!

  8. I love the beach pics! You look great, and I love that Bella had so much fun!

    I think one important point of exercise is that it enriches our lives. Of course it is tough sometimes, but you are the one to know if it doesn’t feel right. And if it doesn’t, you have to change things. And that’s exactly what you are doing. I hope your new plan will work for you, and if it doesn’t, there is nothing wrong with adjusting it! 🙂

    Have a great week!

  9. You look awesome in your suit!

    I totally understand your decision and I get the sense of relief you must feel. It takes a lot of courage to let go of something that you have invested a lot of time and energy in, and recognize that it isn’t making you happy anymore.

    It was just miserable this weekend – I am so glad things started to get cooler yesterday!

  10. The record breaking heat in Europe has been making the news over here! Glad you guys got a chance to cool off at the beach. You look great in that suit and shouldn’t worry about anyone seeing you in it.

    I’m sorry that you’re struggling so with running. It used to make you so happy. I hope that by taking some of the pressure off yourself you will be able to find that joy again.

  11. I completely respect your decision to hold off on the half marathon. If you are not getting pleasure from it then it isn’t worth it. I spent years and years only running 5 and 10k races. I eventually got up the nerve to do a 15k (all downhill and in the fall). Somewhere along the lines I decided to sign up for a half marathon and then a marathon but it did take me a lot of years. Mostly I just never thought about running longer distances until I started following more running blogs. I think in this world of running blogs where everyone seems to be out there running marathons (or half marathons) it can make you feel inadequate if you don’t do them too. That’s nonsense though. Do what is best for you and makes you happy.
    Love the pics of Bella at the beach! Delilah is afraid of any water that laps at the shore.. even a little bit. We haven’t taken Nova in the water yet but I think she’ll love it and be fearless. She’s a spunky one. I also think you look fantastic!
    Delilah does take worm medicine every month but they said she still could have gotten the hookworm from Nova. Nova likely got it from her mother or her mother’s milk (her sisters had it too) and was treated but it didn’t work. She is now old enough to begin a monthly worm medication and started it after her last vet appointment.

  12. A beautiful day on the beach with Bella. Here it’s difficult to find a dog-friendly beach.
    Very hot everywhere, this is an august not to forget even if I am spending all the day at home.
    Not important the distance, not important the speed but it is important to run. You are right here in Europe the running races are too competitive.
    Anyway I have the I-Phone 4.

  13. it easy to see that you enjoyed both the Samsung and the day on the beach with Bella.
    That day was hot on the night too: on Sunday night we couldn’t sleep! I don’t love the hot weather because I’m afraid my body could lose enough water and it isn’t easy to rehydrate our body considering these particular weather conditions.

    I hope your new running plan will be ok … you will be ready for the next races which will be held in Winter.

    Nice photo of you in bathing suit 🙂


    Ive done the same and it took me eons to decide
    for me the “kicker” was realizing I would only be doing it —keeping up the training—so I wasnt embarrassed.

    wrong reason for me 🙂
    I pulled out.


  15. Fran, I wouldnt say you are a failure EVER. I think that the decision is yours and no one can tell you whether it is right or wrong, that is only something you can judge!

    I would offer this advice, ask yourself some questions”
    1. why is it important me to to run a half marathon
    2. what is it that makes me feel like I can’t do it.
    3. do I compare my time to others
    4. if I do 3 5km runs in a week do I compare the times of these and if I do why?

    some tough questions to ask yourself, but to be completly honest with you Fran, I know you can do this, I think that you are putting to much pressure on yourself. I could be completly wrong, and I’m saying that to try to help.

    I have read a few of your posts over the last while regarding times and I fear that is the reason you are getting down about it.

    Training for an event like this takes over so much of you time and begins to consume you, I can understand this Fran. I’ve been there. I ran my marathon in under 6 hours. My goal was 4-5. to me when I think back on it my time is nothing to be proud of, infact it’s a tad embarrassing. But you know what is not embarrassing, that I did it. That I wanted it so badly that I would do anything to cross that finish line. and that is something to be proud of.

    When training becomes hard and difficult I believe that frames us as people. To learn how to push through the tough times and come up on top.

    I leave you with this to think about:
    Why not just run a half marathon distance WITHOUT doing a race. who says you have to register for one? why not just continue on with your plan and go out one saturday to do it. No time pressure, no one else with you, just you. I know you could do it! And hell I’ll send you a medal ;-).

    Know Fran that you can put your mind to do anything! I have complete faith that you would of finished that race. either way you are as strong as you were yesterday, and this decision does not make you less of a person.


  16. Hey Fran, I haven’t been on the blogs for a bit, but just saw your “news”. Not only do I understand your decision, but I actually strongly agree with it. Number one priority has to be to enjoy what you are doing. You know that you enjoy running, but each time you train for the half, your passion dies. I think this is an indication that a half might not be for you. That is SOOOO not a failure, AT ALL! I think in the running community there is such a strong expectation that you will start with a 5K, then a 10K, then move on to the half marathon at least once. It seems if you follow any other format then you aren’t doing things “right”. I think there’s a lot of pressure to at least do a half in order to be a “real” runner, but it is NOT true! Anyone who runs, any distance, any pace … is a runner. The most important thing is to enjoy it, benefit from it, and have a passion for it. Do what makes you happy and what you feel successful doing. Distance, pace, and all that other junk is completely irrelevant. I know when I considered (and was training towards) the marathon distance, part of that was because I thought it would make me feel more like a real runner. I even had a post about how I had people making comments that made me feel inferior that I wasn’t running a marathon distance, even though I had accomplished some pretty admirable achievements at other distances. I was partly doing it for the wrong reason.

    But, if you still have that passion to run the distance, then I think Syl has a great suggestion. Who says it has to be a race. Just run it! Some of the runs I’ve done that I’m most proud of were NOT races. Races raise expectations and present us with situations beyond our control. A single day, or days, does not define what we can and have accomplished.

    Oh … and don’t you EVER feel embarrased about wearing (or being photographed in) a bathing suit. You’re looking great woman! Be proud!!!!!!

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