5k Pop-Up Run Amsterdam

5k Pop-Up Run



Last Sunday I finished my second official 5k run and even improved my time by 1:37 min! It’s still a rather slow pace as my 5k time used to be around 25 min – but that’s fine, not going to put pressure on me as the fact that I can run again is more important than PRs and a miracle in itself. Still waiting to see any kind of improvement concerning my fatigue though, can’t do a lot on days I run and sleep at least 1 hour on top.

My next 5k is on May 10th and I alsoĀ started to train for 10k as I need a new goal šŸ˜‰

running results


I (we) did it!

We started and finished the 5k Rokjesdag Run ( “Skirt Day Run”, that’s why most runners wore one) together as a team and thanks to my friends Steffi and Iris I even managed to run through the entire distance without a sneaky walking break for the very first time since MS joined my life.

It was a great event with more than 900 female participants. There was a 1k kids run, the 5k and 10k run and last but not least, a 5k walk that also included wheelchair users. Unfortunately we missed the finish of the walking teams as we started shortly before these teams returned.

The first kilometer was the longest and there was even a small hill we had to run up ( go figure, a hill in the Netherlands!). When we passed the 1km sign I thought I’ll never finish the run but all of a sudden, thanks to chatting away timeĀ with my girls, the 4km sign showed up and I felt like running on forever. I noticed again that the first 3-4km are the hardest, after that my legs go into ghost mode (can’t really feel them and they just keep on running automatically, should have signed up for the 10k šŸ˜‰ )

We crossed the finish line as a team, holding hands and I must say I felt a bit emotional as 2 years ago I could have never imagined that one day I’ll run again. 2 years ago, simple things like taking a shower resulted in a nap and here I was, passing the finish line of a 5k RUN, crazy! Ā It took us 33:38 min to finish the 5k which is better than I expected!

I was able to collectĀ 360 Euro for MS Research thanks to your donations, the total amount raised for this event was 21.215 Euro which will go to the VUmc MS Center. Fantastic!

What’s next?

Well, the day after the run I signed up for my next 5k on April 26, the Pop-Up Run, together with my friend Steffi. I need to have another goal or I’ll quit running, lol. At first I wanted to sign up for the Nike “We own the Night” 10k in May but, as it’s only a few weeks away, I know it would be too much on my body to train for that distance in such a short time. It took already quite a toll to train for the 5k and honestly, especially my social life was pretty much on hold the past weeks as I felt even more exhausted, so I’m not willing to do that again. I will focus on 5k runs for now and try to improve my time.

I’m also super happy that many of you, with or without MS, felt inspired to start running again!

Keep up the good work! x

Start of the 5k and 10k run, you can see us in skirt/ fluffy tutu on the right at 1:00 šŸ˜‰

The devil is in the detail – running essentials

Today is the big day, at 2 PM CET I’m going to run the 5k for the MS Research foundation, wohoo!

And that’s the first tiny problem as I usually sleep at 2 PM. I thought about it last night and realised there’s so much more to it than training.Ā Did my body recover well enough since my last run and did I sleep enough? I sure hope so. Running with MS is not only a challenge in terms of training and condition, the devil’s in the detail.

Luckily, there are ways to cheat on the devil šŸ˜‰

running essentials

  • Cooling vest

The weather plays a HUGEĀ role. As I’m super heat sensitiveĀ a sunny and/or warm day would beĀ a nightmare and by warm I mean anything above 20 degrees C – and that’s even tough without working out. I can tell and feel onceĀ theĀ temperature hits the 20 degrees mark and believe me, working out isĀ the last thing on my mind on one of these days. That also means Ā I won’t be able to run during the summer months, except if I would get up in the middle of the night ( luckily it looks like we’ll have another cold and wet summer, yay! ) Ā Thanks to my cooling vest I can trick the weather devil for a couple of hours. I even managed to walk around Ā the Medina of Marrakesh comfortably during a heat wave that reached 44 degrees during my vacation last May.

  • Bluetooth earbuds

I can’t have any distraction while running ( also pre MS) and always HATED the crazy headphone cable business, grrr. I must admit thatĀ I was a bit sceptical at first if these earbuds would actually stay in my ear – but they fit perfectly and are super comfortable. As I can’t feel or tell how fast ( well, slow) I run, music helps me to keep my pace.

  • Running belt

For the same reason as the bluetooth earbuds – I HATE stuff like keys, phone etc. bouncing around in my pockets. This running belt is made of neoprene, fits comfortablyĀ and there is absolutely no bouncing at all. It’s big enough to fit in my IPhone, keys, tissues and money for the essential post workout drink ( slow pressed juice that is šŸ˜‰ )

  • Lock Laces

Wow, where to start…I should have known about the lock laces when theĀ fine motor skills in my hands didn’t work! They come in all kinds of colors and options. Now I use them to avoid tripping over my own shoelaceĀ while running ( yes, that happened before) as I need to minimize risk and distraction.

It’s still cool & cloudy outside and if I manage to squeeze in a cheeky siesta before the run, everything should be fine.

At least I tricked the devil, in my case MS, once more! Fingers crossed! x

Running update, 7 days to go!

The countdown has begun!

Only one more week until the 5k charity run that supports the Dutch foundation MS Research and theĀ VUmc MS CenterĀ where I’m a patient and they do an amazing job.

What started as a crazy idea definitely took over the past weeks. It feels as if everything I do right now is running šŸ™‚ Unfortunately I didn’t have a long time to train and this “new” body of mine would be happy to have a few days extra until the run. I still can’t run the entire distance but even with my 2-3 walking breaks I should be able to finish within the time limit.

My biggest problem is my competitive side thatĀ makes me want to run further and faster each time and I definitely pushed too hard. As I don’tĀ feelĀ sore muscles or any kind of discomfort I ran without allowing my body a recovery day way too often and paid the price for it last week. Starting the rowing class while training for that run also wasn’t one of my brightest ideas as rowing needs about 50 spoons šŸ™‚ Ā It was ugly and very scary as my fatigue reached a point where I felt physically ill and I couldn’t do a thing. My right foot acts up more often and the numbness moves from the foot all the way up to my knee at times. Ā I spent the past 3 days on the couch doing as little as possible and am finally feeling better. Just in time for my rowing class this morning, lol.

Old Anja wants to run 3 times this week but maybe I should really rest in between, take it easy and make it only 2. I just want to make it over the finish line in one piece and need Ā to accept that I won’t make my old 5k time. Yet.

Luckily two lovely friends will run with me as part of the stumblingprincess.com team and I’m sure we’ll have a great time next Monday. At least we got great team shirts šŸ˜‰

tshirt front

tshirt backI still need to work on my fundraising skills though, my goal is to get Ā 500,00 E donated by next Sunday, April 6 2015, the donation deadline. If you live in the Netherlands and/ or have a Dutch bank account you can help Stichting MS Research getting a step closer to find a cure as research is very expensive.

If you want to help me and my fellow 2.5 million MS warriors around the world, we’re happy for any donation, every Euro counts. Please visit the donation page if you want to support Stichting MS Research. Thank you!

Have a great week, now off to rowing class!


Self-experiment #2/ 2015: running (for real!)


BREAKING NEWS – turns out I can run again!

Until now I was either too poorly or too scared to run as I’m not a big fan of falling, failing or more drama. For some reason I decided to give it a go this morning and what can I say – WOHAAA! It was 100% better than I could haveĀ imagined and it felt so good. Well, I better be careful with the word “feeling” as I can’t feel how fast I run or anything else, I only know my legs are moving but it feels as if they’re not mine. Crazy feeling but on the positive side I also never felt any pain while exercising. I ran all the way to our dog park, added a HIIT workout there and back. Of course it was a bit too much but I can’t stop myself once I’m in my hyper mood šŸ™‚

Honestly, I thought this would never ever happen again in this life, that’s why I’m feeling very blessed as I know not all of my fellow MS Warriors can do that anymore or at least at the moment. That thought gives me the extra push as I’m definitely not taking it for granted. It took Ā 2 years of physiotherapy, gym, theĀ pool, all kind of exercises, lifestyle and diet change to get to this point, step by step, in tiny baby steps.

But now I’m here.

That doesn’t mean I’m doing that much better, I just learned how to deal with the daily craziness of MS and it doesn’t bother me a lot, I finally feel like I’m the boss now. My efficient day still ends around lunch, so combining my daily walk with my dog and exercise seemed like a smart idea.

My next goal – running the 5k for my hospital’s MS Center in April, only 6 weeks to go but it should be doable if nothing major happens in between and if I allow myself some extra rest. Fingers crossed šŸ™‚