Tuesday February 4, 2014: Finally a run with (almost no) stopping

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Bella loves chasing ducks, birds and cats (sorry Lori, Roz and Shelley) but her intention is not to hurt them, it’s the chase itself. I was able to take this photo last Saturday when she chased a cat. This is as close she dared to get to the cat. She does act like she’s the toughest dog around but in her heart she’s just a chicken, she’s afraid to get closer.

We went to dinner in the restaurant in our mill last Saturday. I had a Groupon for a 3 course dinner: 2 for the price of 1. It was good as always although a bit too much for both of us. After dessert we were really full, a bit too full. I have two other Groupons for 2 for 1 dinners so we’re good for February and March. We will try to go out to dinner once a month this year.


Tuesday: Running

My last run was 15 and 10 minutes with a 2 minute walk break. I wanted to do at least 20 minutes, walk and then do 10 minutes. But it went so well that when I got to the 20 minutes I decided to run 25 minutes. After that I started to walk but was almost home and took a walk break of 30 seconds before I ran again. And I ended up running 4K (2.5 miles) almost without stopping. This was also my “fastest” run this year. It felt great afterwards.

I want to run a 5K nonstop by the end of next week. I finally had the guts to sign up for a 5K race on March 15. That leaves me 5 weeks after this week to “practice” the 5K.

Distance: 4 K / 2.5 miles
Time: 00:28:45
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 2C (35 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: P!nk – Sobert

Photo a day challenge:

January 29: Window.
From my archives, the view on one of our trips to Italy, this was in Umbria.

January 30: Best Invention Ever
According to Bella is: a ball!

January 31: Polka Dot.
This one was hard for me. I kept looking around until I remembered this on my coffee table that has a few polka dots in it.

February 1: You.
Taken May last year with a very unwilling Bella.

February 2: Favourite.
My favourite artist ever: Bruce Springsteen.

February 3: Something Orange.
A yellow-orange bike parked at the bus stop.

February 4: Childhood.
I got this chair from my grandmother when I was 4. It is handmade and got my name and birth date on it. I haven’t kept much from my childhood but this little chair is after 41 years still special to me.


Saturday February 2

Out for dinner. Starter: risotto with mushrooms and Parmezan cheese.

Main: Steak with mushrooms and a sauce of red Port.

Dessert: Crème brulee.

Sunday February 3

New recipe from a cooking magazine: Pasta with bacon and mushrooms. I’ve added some Italian herbs and some cooking cream. If I hadn’t done that it would have been pretty tasteless. It still wasn’t that special so this one won’t return in the future.

Monday February 4

I made this stew Sunday afternoon with beef meat, lemon beans (they are called that because they are yellow, they don’t taste like lemon), carrot and cavolo nero. This was surprisingly good, didn’t really expect that. I also cooked some pears Sunday afternoon to go with this.

Tuesday February 5

I made rösti of the parsnip and “soesterknol” and I like it a lot, R. not so much. We had some pork meat in bacon with it and green peas/carrots.

Review May 2013

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Notes May:

  • I did better in May then in April.
  • Especially running went much better. Every run this month was pretty good and the mileage is going up slowly.
  • My goals for June are:
    - No skipping of runs
    - Walk more with Bella
    - Lose some weight.
  • Total time I did something (including walking): 17 hours and 42 minutes.

Workouts May:

Running. Done: 10

Strength training. Done: 3

Cardio. Done:

Yogalates/Stretching. Done: 1

Number and time of workouts in April: 11 workouts, total time 5 hours and 49 minutes.

Number and time of workouts in May: 14 workouts, total time 7 hours and 0 minutes.

Yearly mileage

Total May: 42.2 K / 26.3 miles

Total till 05/31: 158.9 K / 99.3 miles

Total running time: 18 hours and 36 minutes

Walks with Bella:

Days with at least 1 “long” walk this year: 96 days

Total time we walked so far: 58 hours, 9 minutes.

Total mileage we walked so far: 293 km / 183 miles.

We did our first official walk event in May and I will look into other walks this weekend. The plan is to do a 10K (6.2 miles) walk every month.

Books I read/am reading

Tess Gerritsen - The Keepsake


This was a good book, I’ve completed it within a week.

Lee Child - Killing Floor

My first Lee Child book and the first of 17 books that he has written. I liked it very much and will read the other ones in time too. These books all have the same main character: Jack Reacher. Of one of the books there has been made a movie with Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, haven’t seen the movie yet.

Jussi Adler-Olsen - De vrouw in de kooi (The woman in a cage)


This is a Danish crime writer. The first book about “department Q” a special department of the Danish police corps. I don’t know if his books are translated in English, I couldn’t find it so the translation is probably not right. So far I’m half way through this book and it’s a very good one.

I also received the new Karin Slaughter yesterday and the new Karen Rose will arrive next week. Have a few good books to read during Summer.

Low this month

Nothing! Well except the weather maybe. We are having a very cold Spring. It’s in the top 5 of the coldest Springs since 1900. I’m not a huge fan of heat but it’s about time that it’s getting a bit warmer now.

Highlight(s) of the month

My Mom’s birthday (71).

Beautiful day for a walk in a park.


Mark Knopfler in concert, although the concert wasn’t that good, going a night out is always fun.

My birthday: 45!


Rondje Spakenburg with Bella.


And this beauty is an every day highlight for us.

Sunday May 26, 2013: Rondje Spakenburg

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Yesterday Bella and I participated in our first official walk event: Rondje Spakenburg. A 7K walk in my village. I have to admit that it was a bit boring because most of the route was where we do our daily walks and it was kind of an out and back walk. They could have been more creative on that. But … it was fun to do with Bella and I’m going to look up more of these events so we can do this more often but then in a different town. It was supposed to be 7K but the tracker on my phone said we walked 8.26K (5 miles) in 1 hour and 33 minutes. Are you ready to take that walk with us? Here we go, welcome to my village.

My walking buddy and I

There was also an event called “Boeren beestenboel” with animals from the farm, old professions and you could buy biological products made on a farm like cheese, honey and jelly.

And a goose parade, this was really funny to see although Bella was a bit scared of the music. Little whimp :)

The week market

Saturday May 11, 2013: Beautiful day for a walk

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We are having a 4-day weekend that started on Thursday. Thursday the weather was lovely and I decided, instead of a walk in my village, to take the car and drive to a park at Castle Groeneveld with Bella. I wasn’t the only one with that idea because it was very busy. Lots of people walking with their dogs or lying in the grass to soak up the sun. Bella was having a great time. Lots of dogs jumped in the water but not Bella, she’s not to fond of water, but she came close.

I bought a new outfit yesterday. I have my birthday coming up and we are going for dinner in a fancy restaurant and next month I have a reception of my formal manager who is retiring. I’m part of the organization together with a colleague of mine and I want to look nice then. I bought a powder pink dress and a blazer with lace. The shoes aren’t exactly the right color and I ordered powder pink pumps online that should arrive today.


Easy Wednesday

I grabbed myself together on Wednesday and went for a run before work. I still had trouble leaving and decided to do just a short run to get back at the running and 15 minutes is always better than doing nothing. I was a bit surprised by the humidity, that wasn’t too nice to run in. But other than that it was an okay run.

Distance: 2.3 K / 1.4 miles
Time: 00:16:07

Speed per km: 8.56 km/hour (5.3 miles/hour)

Time per km: 07:00
Weather: dry, not much wind, humid, 11C (52 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: Philip Philips – Home

Long Friday

I had a 7K planned and it has been 2 weeks since I did the 6K. I was a bit concerned if I could do it and came up with a new strategy the day before. I decided to run 1K and then take a walk break of 1 minute. Mentally I only had to run 1K and then have a break which sounded better to me than 7K. When I got outside it was raining and pretty much wind and I almost decided to go inside again. But I said to myself that there would be more rainy runs in the future and if I could do this run it would be good for my confidence. So I went and luckily it stopped raining after 5 minutes but still there was a lot of wind. Again I had luck on my side because I had the wind in my back for about ¾ of the run. I took my walk breaks after a minute and tried not to run too fast and I did it. I came home feeling great.

Distance: 7 K / 4.3 miles
Time: 00:50:44

Speed per km: 8.28 km/hour (5.1 miles/hour)

Time per km: 07:15
Weather: dry, windy, 11C (51 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: Blondie – The tide is high.

Review January 2013

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Notes January:

  • This month didn’t go exactly as planned due to being sick for a week and 2 weeks of extreme cold (that is for our country). These things happen and you just move on.
  • I have to admit that because this month wasn’t all that great, I took it easy the last couple of days too but have every intention to make February a great month.
  • I lost weight which is a very positive thing.
  • All things considered I didn’t do all that bad compared to December, my mileage was higher than last month too. I’m making progress and that’s what is important.
  • Total time I did something (including walking): 17 hours and 16 minutes.

Workouts January:

Running. Done: 9

Strength training. Done: 1

Cardio. Done: 4

Yogalates/Stretching. Done: 1


Number and time of workouts in December: 16 workouts, total time 7 hours and 9 minutes.


Number and time of workouts in January: 15 workouts, total time 7 hours and 21 minutes.

Yearly mileage

Total January: 36.8 K / 20.7 miles

Total running time: 4 hours and 22 minutes

Book I’m reading

George R.R. Martin

A Song of Fire and Ice – Book 4 A Feast for Crows


I haven’t read in my book for at least 3 weeks now. Sometimes I have these periods where I don’t read that much.

Highlight(s) of the month

My jubilee party at work.


Low this month

Sick for a week and very cold weather with snow.


Tonight we went to the vet with Bella for her yearly vaccination. He did a short check up and she’s a very healthy dog. Her weight is exactly the same as last year, at least one of us is maintaining her weight LOL. Does this look like a relaxed dog or not?


Tomorrow we are going away for the weekend. I booked a hotel at the beach for 2 nights. Bella is coming too. I booked it at a website that has daily special travel offers and it was a very cheap deal. I’m also checking Groupon daily for dinner offers, so far I’ve scored 3 coupons for dinner at restaurants, all with a 50% discount. It’s been June last year since we last went away and we both are looking forward to it.

Monday November 19, 2012: Mishmash

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Daily stuff:
It’s been quiet on this side of the world but I had a lot of thinking and reading to do regarding my health. I like to say I’m healthy but the truth is I’m not: I have overweight, I drink too much wine and I don’t sleep enough. I do exercise and I don’t smoke, at least that’s something I’m doing right.

Lately I have a lack of energy which is (in my opinion) a combination of eating too much carbs, not enough sleep and a glass of wine almost every night. Rereading my low carb book made me realize I have a lot of symptoms that can be reduced by eating low carb.

As of today I’m going to:

  • Eat low carb. I’m not eliminating all carbs. The book says you can only have fruits once a day in your “carb hour” but I’m still going to eat my fruits. I’m going to eat carbs at dinner and eat low carb at breakfast, lunch and snacks (except for the fruit that I eat as a snack).

    I’m going to have 1 carb moment for 6 weeks and see where I am then (that is also the end of the year). If I haven’t reached my target weight I’m going to continue with only 1 carb moment. If I do reach target weight I’m going to add a few carbs moments a week extra (this is also what the book advices).

    I hope that this gives me more energy, helps me lose weight and less IBS problems.

  • Sleep. I need 7 hours of sleep. Lately I slept around 6 tot 6.5 hours a night. I’m going to make sure I’m in bed at 10:15 pm on weekdays because I get up at 5:15 am.
  • Wine. No wine during weekdays except for special occasions.
  • Keep on exercising. I always plan 6 workouts a week of which I have to do at least 5 every week.

This is not a challenge or something I’m doing for a certain period. It’s my intention to make this my lifestyle. Unless the IBS problems continue, in that case I will let me test on other allergies.

Today I had a health check at work. We used to have them every 2 years but with the new Vitality program we introduced we get it every year. And I got an “A” for having such a good health. Yes, I do have a little bit of overweight but everything else is perfect. We talked about my low carb plans and she (the doctor) thought it was a good idea and she adviced me too to keep eating my fruits.

Something else, Saturday I went to the weekly market in my village. I used to go there every week for years but the past few years I bought my fruits and vegetables in the grocery store. However, there’s a crisis here inHollandand we have to spend our money carefully. Things like fruits and veggies, potatoes, chicken and cheese are cheaper at the market than at the grocery store. And more important, it tastes better and stays fresh longer. So, I’m going to make it a habit to go to the market every week now.

And Bella enjoyed the sunshine yesterday.

Today’s outfit



I got up yesterday and it was raining and I didn’t want to run in the rain. Instead I cleaned my house and did my run this morning (Monday is usually my cleaning day and rest day). I had to do 2 x 10 minutes and I can’t even remember the last time I ran 10 minutes straight, but I did it both times and felt great afterwards.

Run-walk ratio: 2 x 10 minutes, 2 minutes walking inbetween (20 minutes running, 4 minutes walking)
Weather: dry, not much wind,0C(32 degrees)
Distance: 3.3 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:24:10
Last song on Ipod before finish: The Jam – A town called Malice.

Weekly workout review:

Not a very good week, mostly due to a low energy level.

Bella and Fran’s Autumn challenge: walk at least 30 minutes every day:

Days till the end of Autumn (Thursday December 20): 90 days
Success: 51 days
Fail: 8 days

Sunday dinner

First recipe from this cookbook: Mexican tomato soup with a pistou of yogurt, mint and Jalapeno peppers, sprinkles of avocado, feta cheese, spring onions with tortilla chips with cheese and red peppers. Delicious!


I made a batch of nut muesli (nuts, coconut oil, flaxseed and spices) to eat with Greek yogurt for breakfast.


Monday dinner

Another recipe from the Jamie in 15 minutes cook book: Greek chicken with couscous with red pepper, spring onions and feta cheese with tzatiki. Another delicious meal.

Sunday November 11, 2012: Mishmash

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Daily stuff:
We have had a quiet weekend. R. still isn’t better yet and I haven’t been feeling well on Friday and Saturday either. I visited my Mom yesterday morning but for the rest it was quiet.

We did go for a short walk in the forest this afternoon because R. could use some fresh air.

Last Monday at lunchtime we had the kick off of the vitality program at work. You might remember I’m in the project group for this program. We had a healthy lunch ready for everyone and there were two speakers. One of them does nothing more everyday than study overweight and he had a really interesting presentation. It is clear that overweight in The Netherlands is becoming a huge problem and something has to be done. Therefore it’s great that our employer thinks it’s important to have healthy employees. In 2 weeks I have a health check up and we now are working on a health week in January. It’s really fun to be part of this and it’s made me think about my own health.

I still have overweight, about7 kg(15 lbs). This past year I haven’t gained but I haven’t lost any weight either. I think my exercise routine prevented me from gaining because I often eat too much. Mostly at lunch and dinner, I don’t eat that much in between meals at all.

I want to get rid of those last kg’s for once and for all. Not by following a diet but by eating healthy and making sensible, healthy choices. I’m going to count calories for a few days to be focused again on what’s enough for my body. A couple of months ago I started weighing only once a month and I will continue that. Other than stay active, I will eat as less processed foods as possible and drink less wine. I’ll see if this helps or that I need to take other steps to get to goal weight.


World Run Day today and of course I ran. I was supposed to run yesterday but heard about World Run Day and decided to do the run today. According to my Running Coach plan I had to do 3 x 8 minutes. It’s been a while I ran 8 minutes or more and I wasn’t sure if I could do it. But … I could and I did. I kept to the recommended pace (6:45-7:00 per km) and it went very well.

Run-walk ratio: 3 x 8 minutes, 2 minutes walking inbetween (24 minutes running, 6  minutes walking)
Weather: dry, not much wind,8C(46 degrees)
Distance: 4.2 K / 2.6 miles
Time: 00:29:51
Last song on Ipod before finish: Journey – Don’t stop believing.

Weekly workout review:

Friday I didn’t feel well and was afraid that I catched the cold that R. is having. I decided to take it easy and see day by day how I would feel. Saturday I felt a bit better but took another rest day. It seems it was false alarm because I didn’t catch that cold after all.


Bella and Fran’s Autumn challenge: walk at least 30 minutes every day:

Days till the end of Autumn (Thursday December 20): 90 days
Success: 44 days
Fail: 7 days

It’s official: Bella hates it when it rains hard. Last Tuesday we went for our walk and it rained pretty hard. I had plans to do a 30 minute walk but she didn’t want to leave the carport where she was dry. When she finally came she tried to turn around everytime but I kept on going. After a while I gave up, she just doesn’t want to take a long walk in the rain and we turned around. Suddenly the diva walked in front of me, knowing she was heading home.