Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mom in Balance - Run for Pink Ribbon

I mentioned in a previous post that, along with my colleagues at Mom in Balance, I was busy planning a race that will take place in the Amsterdamse Bos on August 28th. All of the proceeds from the event will go towards the fight against breast cancer. A portion of the funds will go towards my fundraising goal for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure. The rest will go towards the Dutch breast cancer organization, Stichting Pink Ribbon.

I'm happy to announce that the website is finished and registration is open. The website is in Dutch but you can click here for an automatic English translation.

Please help spread the word to any local runners!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Where I'm walking this week: Waterland

Today on my walk I explored an area to the Northeast of Amsterdam called Waterland. The area earned its name because its low-lying position and abundance of water, made evident by the canals that cut through the landscape. The starting point of my walk was a village called Durgerdam, which sits upon the Zeedijk, a dyke that was built in the 15th century to prevent flooding from reoccurring.

Staying true to its name, Waterland greeted me with a massive rainstorm that I was fortunately able to ride out from inside the comfort of my car. As soon as the sky began to clear up, I started on my walk and hoped for the best. While it might not be a good idea to walk in the pouring rain, I've been told that it is important to try and train in all conditions since you never know how the weather will be during the 3-Day Walk itself. And the walk does take place in Seattle, after all (although September is usually a fairly dry month).

A rather Monet-like shot from inside my car
Waiting for the storm to pass

I began my walk along the dyke between Kinselmeer and Ijmeer (meer means "lake" in Dutch), to a quaint village named Uitdam. From there I continued to walk through Waterland, which is home to many cattle, sheep, and birds. I was pleased to see that farmers offer the same greeting in Waterland as they do in North Dakota, by subtly lifting two fingers from the steering wheel of their vehicle. Other than the farmers and a handful of cyclists, I did not pass any other people during my walk. Which seems odd considering how close to the city I still was.

Family of swans

Despite the handy "knooppuntensysteem," which I will explain in another post, I still managed to take a couple of wrong turns along the way and I ended up walking about 4 miles more than I had intended to. I only had water with me, and for that long of a walk I could have used a snack or a sports drink to refuel. I will definitely be sticking something nutritious in my backpack on my next walk.

Which way?
One of the many small bridges I crossed

That's it for this week's walk! 

This week's walk: 

Distance: 15.5 miles (26km)
Time: 4 hours
Weeks Left: 12

Amount Left to Raise: $1,000

Friday, June 17, 2011

Where I'm walking this week: IJburg

I had big plans to explore a new area on my walk today but time got away from me so I ended up staying close to home.  I walked in the opposite direction as last week, along the Amsterdam-Rijn Canal to IJburg- a man-made island on the outskirts of Amsterdam. My walk took me through two of the parks in which I teach fitness classes, Diemerpark and Flevopark. The clouds were threatening rain but I made it home feeling no more than a few sprinkles. I had a walking partner on the last leg of my walk, after swinging by daycare to pick up Jack.

This week's walk: 

Distance: 7.5 miles (12.11km)
Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Weeks Left: 13

Amount Left to Raise: $1,120

Amsterdam-Rijn Canal

Bridge to IJburg



My walking buddy

More like running buddy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Successful 5k Fundraiser!

My sister-in-law and fellow teammate, Kasha, held her 5k Walk/Run fundraiser in Beulah, ND this past Saturday and it was a big success! Nearly 50 people participated in the event on what was a beautiful, sunny morning.  She raised a total of $800 and that puts her in the lead for our team, but no worries, the rest of us will catch up soon!

Way to go, Kasha!

At the starting line!
At the start

Kasha with two of her volunteers


Friday, June 10, 2011

Where I'm walking this week: Westerpark

I have decided to take my camera along on my walks so I can report back here with pictures of some of the scenery I get to enjoy. Next time I'll be sure to check my camera's battery beforehand so I can take multiple pictures, unlike today when I only managed to snap one before my battery died. I saw a lot of stuff today on my urban walk around Amsterdam. This picture was taken at the beginning of my walk, close to my house.

Today was my first long walk of nearly 10 miles and I definitely started feeling it towards the end. Since we will be walking 20 miles each day during the 3-Day Walk for the Cure, I still have some training to do before I will be able to walk that distance comfortably. I plan on doing one long walk- between 10-20 miles- each week from now until the 3-Day Walk takes place in September. One day of training isn't a lot, and it is less than recommended, but I teach fitness 6 hours a week and bike to work so I think this schedule will work for me. It's just a matter of getting accustomed to those longer distances.

In the coming weeks, I plan on getting out of the city and exploring other parts of the Netherlands, so stay tuned for more photos!

This week's walk: 

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.3km)
Time: 2.5 hours
Weeks Left: 14