Two lines, snow in April, marathons and beautiful blooms

There’s a common Dutch saying: “April doet wat hij wil”, which I first heard last year in spring when it snowed over the Easter weekend. It basically means that the weather does whatever it wants, even in “spring”. And just when I thought we had turned that wintery corner and were facing days of sunshine and dresses, along came a rainy, cold, grey and snowy spell, reminding me not to be so naive next year (to think I was going to store away our winter coats and swap our thick duvets).

Just before the weather turned, and a week before I was to be at the start line of the Paris Marathon, Max, Andrew and I got the dreaded two lines each on our rapid Covid tests. Max had been feeling headachey that weekend, and “just to be safe”, we tested him. And then we all tested, and Rebecca was the sole one-liner. I *think* she might have had it the week before as she was a little grumpy and was coughing a bit at night, but I can’t be sure and her symptoms (if they were that) weren’t so apparent. We went for official tests the next day too, which unsurprisingly were positive.

For the next few days, I had a bad sinus headache and was really tired, and my days were split doing some work, sleeping and taking Paracetemol every few hours. Andrew was a bit more functional and less tired, and Max didn’t feel terrible, but he didn’t feel great either.

I still ventured to Paris (when negative), unsure if I was going to run the marathon. I felt well’ish enough to go to Paris, eat macarons, shop at Sephora and “just be” in my favourite, plus I was meeting my dad there which I didn’t want to miss for a headache. I knew I wanted to at least try, and my plan was to run cautiously, note how I was feeling, check in with my family every few kilometres and try and enjoy it without worrying about how “slowly” I was running.

Things came together on the day and I felt fantastic. The race was as incredible as the last time I ran it, and the scenery, crowds and vibe propelled me every step. I saw my dad at around 25km which was a highlight, and I felt strong and happy, crossing the line as I blubbered with relief and pride.

                                                                               Can you see the tears already?

After time with my dad, my mom-in-law was with us for a few days after a work trip in the US, and I therefore had a wonderful and recharging family “fuelling”. We visited the magnificent Keukenhof which the 65 pictures that I took on my phone simply don’t do justice. The gardens are worth a trip to The Netherlands alone, and I’m so grateful to have been able to see them.

The day after the magnificence of Keukenhof, I headed to Rotterdam to run the marathon. Two marathons within a week of each other isn’t a norm for me, especially after Covid, but I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity, especially after the dearth of running races over the last two years. I had heard Rotterdam Marathon was a great one, but I could never have expected the phenomenal vibe and crowd support, and I had a superb time on the road. Andrew and Rebecca met me at around 37km, adding even more joy to my day.

More tears… can you see a theme here?

Until next time (and hopefully a bit more sunshine),


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  • Merle

    16 April 2022 at 9:58 am

    You are amazing! Such an inspiration. Pictures are beautiful 😍 On my bucket list to visit The Netherlands

    • Tanya
      to Merle

      14 July 2022 at 8:06 am

      I hope you can visit soon - please let me know if you do

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