Friday January 3, 2014: Happy 2014!

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We stayed at home New Years Eve like we have been doing for the past 3 years. We always went to friends but that always resulted in staying up way too late and have a hangover the next day. Besides that Bella isn´t really afraid of fireworks but she´s restless all day and evening and we rather stay home. It turns out we love it. I always have fingerfood on the table the whole evening, we put on the fire and just have a relaxing night at home. We both don´t really care about this evening and don´t really need to celebrate.

Happy New Year to all of you. Are you all glad that the new year has started and life is back to normal? It’s not totally normal for me because this is my last vacation day. Normal regular life starts on Monday and I can’t say I’m sad about that. I saw some of you have lots of snow now. I’m lucky, we hare having a very mild winter so far and there’s no sign right now that it’s going to get cold or that we get snow. For me it can stay this way all winter.

This is a long post because I have to catch up on the Photo a day challenge that I didn’t post on my Tuesday post. But no worries: lots of pics today :)

Beebox content week 1:

Apple-strawberry juice, apples, pears, eggs, beef, bacon, rocket salad, parsnip, pumpkin, mushrooms, pak choi cabbage, onions, celeriac.


Tuesday: Running

What else to close the year than to go for a run. I want to run on the last year of 2013 to close the worst year in running I had since I started in 2009. It wasn’t pretty but I did it. I kept scrolling through my Ipod for motivational songs like “The final countdown” (since it was the last day of the year), “The logical song” (running is logic, just put one foot in front of the other) (Supertramp), “No Surrender” (Bruce) at the part that was the most difficult, “The Edge of Glory” by Gaga and I finished with “Glory Days” by Bruce, hopeful for glory running days to come in 2014.

Distance: 5 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:36:44
Running: 8-8-8-8 minutes.
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 5C (11 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Bruce Spingsteen – Glory Days

Wednesday: Running

Where I closed the year with a run, I started the new year with a run too. I didn’t watch my pace because my running intervals are getting longer now. Finishing the intervals is more important than the speed. I completed this run too which was a bit easier than the one on Tuesday.

Distance: 5 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:37:01
Running: 10-10-12 minutes.
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 5C (11 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: The Doobie Brothers – What a fool believes

Photo a day challenge:

December 24: Wrapped
The historic boats called “botter” in my village are wrapped for Winter.

December 25: Best bit of your day
Spending Christmas with R., my Mom and Bella.

December 26: Where you slept
In my own bed at home.

December 27: What you’re doing now
Grocery shopping.

December 28: Something awesome.
I find trees awesome, especially the majestic ones.

December 29: Reflect, best bit of 2013.
There are many highlights in 2013, it was a good year. But for me the best bit is that I started doing long (organized) walks with my dog. We do 10K (6 miles) on these walks. It’s my best bit because I found out I love doing these long walks, so does Bella, and I see so many beautiful parts of my country.

December 30: You.

December 31: Celebrate.
Since I started running back in 2009 this has been my worst running year. Today I celebrated that, even though it was such a bad running year, I never gave up and I did that with a run. I look forward to a better running year in 2014.

January 1: Lunch.
This was on the table at my Mom’s house during lunch time. Typical Dutch treat on New Year: “oliebollen and appelflappen”. I didn’t have any however, haven’t had lunch at all today.

January 2: Begins with G.
Greylag Goose.

365 Days In Nature:

December 27: The weather was crap! Not a dry moment all day, couldn’t find anything interesting to photograph this day.

December 28: Winterwandeling Zeist.

December 29: Another photo from the walk in Zeist on Saturday.

December 30: Met the swan family again.

December 31: Beautiful sunrise on my last run of the year.

January 1: The sky during my first run of 2014.

January 2: It was raining and all of the sudden it stopped, the sun came out and off Bella (my dog) and I were for a walk.


Thursday January 2

Sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and sausage.

Sunday June 30, 2013: Running version 3.0

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It has been a busy week. Besides the fact that work is pretty busy, my evenings weren’t all that quiet either.

Monday night I cleaned my house. Tuesday night we had to visit my brother in law who celebrated his birthday.

Wednesday night was an emotional one. The manager I have worked for the first 8 years I’m with my company had his retirement reception. My colleague and I had organized everything and it was a great reception. He was very happy with how we arranged everything. There were speeches by my current manager, the big boss of the company, his son and himself and I had to wipe away lots of tears. I have never worked this long for one manager and I was sad he is leaving the company. We made a “deal” that I am going to visit him in August and bring Bella so she can have a play date with Bas, his cairn terrier.

By Thursday night I was so tired, I needed a quiet night on the couch which I did. Friday I was still pretty tired and took it easy. I had taken the day off so that was a pro.

Yesterday evening I had a wedding party to go to. One of my colleagues married yesterday and invited a few of us. They had to get married because his wife has gotten a job offer in the USA. She’s going to work at the university of Pennsylvania for the next 6 years in January. He is going to follow her a few months later and if he wants to live and work there, they have to be married before they leave. It was a great party, he looked so happy, I don’t think I ever saw him this happy. It was such a lovely couple.

“Well here I am! My first blog!” Those were the first sentences when I started this blog on June 27th in 2009. I can’t believe it’s already 4 years since I started this. I still haven’t reached goal weight since then but I am still running. The best thing about my blog is that I’ve met so many beautiful people online. Some of you have been reading here almost from the beginning and I consider a lot of you my friend even though we have never met. Thank you for coming back every time to read my blog and for your support.

Running version 3.0

As you know I’m struggling with my runs lately. So much that it’s hard to get out the door for a run and I do skip runs more than I want to. I have been thinking a lot about my running lately.

Fact: I can’t run longer than 20 minutes straight.

Fact: I need to stop a couple of times and walk during long runs.

Fact: I am slow (and in Holland runners are fast which means I’m always one of the last to finish).

Fact: I am running for 4 years now and I haven’t really improved.

I think (and I have had this thought many times the past 4 years) that I moved on too fast to a next distance when I started running. I trained for a 5K, finished it in not a good time. Started training immediately for a 10K and didn’t finish in a good time either. 10K done? Oh well, Let’s train for a half marathon where I had a DNF because of the heat. I can’t remember finishing a race without at least 1 walking break.

What do I want to accomplish?

  • I want to run at least a 10K without walking breaks.
  • I want to get faster and run a 5K in about 30 minutes and a 10K in about 1 hour.

What am I going to do?

I’m starting over! Tomorrow I start a 7 weeks to 5K program. The first runs have walk breaks but at the end of the 7 weeks I should run a 5K without stopping. At the same time I’m trying to improve my time which should be possible with the walk breaks during the first weeks.

After I finished the program I signed up for a 5K and start an intermediate 5K training plan after that and do it all over again and signed up for another 5K after that. If needed I do another 5K training plan, if not I move on to a 10K training plan.

This is how far my plans go at the moment. This time I’m going to take it slow and only move on to the next distance if I’m ready. This means I won’t be running a half marathon soon and at this point I’m not even sure if I ever want to do that. I want to enjoy running and come home happy after a run, not frustrated. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, I’m running for me.

Because my runs won’t be that long the next 6 months, I’m also going to do more DVD workouts and I planned a lot of long distance walks with Bella.

This doesn’t feel as a failure to me but as a new beginning. I can’t tell you how relieved I am when I made this decision and let go of the thought of that half marathon in October. I look forward to the months to come. I want to have fun again when I race like I did on this photo back in 2009.

Sunday March 3, 2013: First 5K of the year -> done!

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Thursday I had a follow up appointment at the dentist. The appointment was first scheduled for March 19 but a couple of days after the first treatment I started to have pain again. This time I couldn’t bare anything cold: no drinks, no food and no wind. Everything that was cold, gave me pain in the treated teeth. At first I thought I would sit it out till my next appointment but on Monday I said to myself that I was crazy going on like this and rescheduled. The emergency filling was removed and it all looked good so he gave me a permanent filling. I should be painfree after the weekend and so far so good, I haven’t had pain after the treatment.

Friday night my friend T. came over for her birthday dinner. Usually I cook for her but I haven’t had much cooking inspiration lately and I could buy a Groupon for a dinner in a restaurant. I decided to use the Groupon deal and go out for dinner. I didn’t know the restaurant but the food was very, very good. We had a nice evening with great food.

Saturday we were invited by friends of ours for a pleasant evening with them and our other friends and it was a pleasant evening. We did go home on time because I had a race on Sunday and I didn’t want to be tired for that.


March has started and I followed my friend Shelley’s example: she did a plank challenge in January that I’m going to do in March. Started this on Friday:

Friday: 20 seconds (I thought this would be a piece of cake but 20 seconds is longer than I thought LOL)

Saturday: 20 seconds

Sunday: 30 seconds

I took a short run on Friday morning because I was still recovering from the dental treatment and had a little after pain. I didn’t walk and I couldn’t be more surprised that this turned out to be my fastest run so far this year. Felt good!


Distance: 2.2 K / 1.4 miles

Time: 00:14:35
Speed per km: 9.05 km/hour (5.9 miles/hour)

Time per km: 06:38
Weather: dry, not much wind, 2C (35 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: The Corrs – OldTown

Trappenbergloop Huizen 5K / 3.1 miles

My first race in almost a year! Because my training plan hadn’t been going all that well lately due to crappy weather my goal was to go, run it and finish and that is exactly what I did.

It was a trail run and it was sometimes hard because there were lots of sticks, pineapples and other stuff on the paths. You had to look where you were running all the time. I prefer road races if I have to be honest.

The course was 2 rounds of 2.5K and the first round I ran without walking. I did start to fast and had to pay for that in the second round where I had to take 3 walk breaks. But overall I am satisfied with how it went. I finished and that was what I came for.

I was also happy that R. and Bella were there to join me so R. could take some pictures of me.

Before the start, I’m in the middle with the pink jacket and head band.

Coming through after 2.5 K:

 Run to the finish:

I did it!

Distance: 5 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:34:20

Speed per km: 8.74 km/hour (5.5 miles/hour)

Time per km: 06:52
Weather: dry, not much wind, 4C (39 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: Queen – We will rock you

Weekly workout review:

I’m okay with the results of this week.



Starters: Carpaccio.

Main: beef tenderloin with a pepper sauce, mashed carrots and caramelized chicory.


Dessert: a vanilla pie with whipped cream.


Lunch: a salad with apricots and warm goat cheese with honey with some honey-mustard dressing.

Monday December 10, 2012: Snow!

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Daily stuff:
Well snow definitely arrived last Friday and a lot too. We didn’t go to the concert because of the weather. It snowed all day Friday with a nasty cold wind. Saturday it was still cold but a beautiful day: blue skies and sunshine. Even though I hate snow, I thought it was a beautiful sight. Yesterday it started to rain at night and by the time I got up most of the snow was already gone but the roads were still very slippery.

We were supposed to buy a Christmas tree last Saturday but R. had to work and wasn’t home till 8 pm. He thought the store was open yesterday and we went there in the morning but when we got there it was closed. So he would buy one today after work but they sent him on a job and he still isn’t home when I’m posting this so I went to buy one myself after work. I haven’t decorated it yet but when it’s finished I’ll show you.

Friday pics:

Saturday pics:


Due to the bad weather I couldn’t run this weekend and I ran this morning. Usually Monday is my rest day but since I hadn’t done anything the past 3 days, a run was the best way to start the week.

Run-walk ratio: 2 x 10 minutes, 2 minutes walking inbetween (20 minutes running, 2 minutes walking)
Weather: dry, not much wind,5C(41 degrees)
Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:22:16
Last song on Ipod before finish: John Fogerty – Rockin’ all over the world.

Weekly workout review:

What can I say: not a good week. But it is what it is, this was all I had this week.


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: 64 days
Fail: 16 days

Bella loves snow, I don’t. But because she loves it so much we did go out for a walk even if it was snowing.

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.

Wednesday November 7, 2012: Mishmash

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Daily stuff
R. went to the doctor and got antibiotics for his cold. We have decided to stay home this weekend. He isn’t feeling any better despite the medicines and it’s better to stay home and get well.

Sunset Monday afternoon

Today I got an email that my photobook of my jubilee day in September was ready. I went to pick it up immediately. The girl who took the photos that day made a personal photo book for everybody. It looks really nice and is a great reminder of a fantastic day. I asked her if I could get the best photos digital and here they are.



Tuesday morning I did The Firm Total Body Time-Crunch, the express workout. It’s a complete weights workout with exercises for the upper and lower body. Great workout.
Total time: 25 minutes.

I got my butt out of my warm bed to do training 2 of my 5K program. I knew I only had to do 20 minutes which made it much easier to get up and go outside. And it wasn’t bad at all. The only thing was that my right calve started to hurt halfway, this happened last Sunday too. I’m starting to think my sneakers are causing this, I have them for over two years and wear them everyday during my walks with Bella. Maybe it’s time to buy some new ones.

Running 2-3-2-3-2-3 with 1 minute walk breaks (20 minutes total)
Weather:dry, not much wind,11C(51 degrees)
Distance: 2.9 K / 1.8 miles
Time: 00:20:10
Last song on Ipod before finish: Marco Borsato – Kom maar op


From your comments it seemed you like it if the outfits will come back. I’ll post as many as possible from now on but not with me in it. I don’t like it when there are too many photos of me on the blog.

Tuesday I wore a grey dress with a black jacket and grey suede boots.

Today a grey skirt with red and black stripes with a red sweater and high black boots.



This is where all the “magic” happens. One of my favourite things in our house.

Tuesday dinner

I made an oven dish of potatoes, chicory, ham and cheese. Very simple and easy to make and very tasteful.

Wednesday dinner

Spaghetti with onion, garlic, bacon and spinach.

Book I’m reading

George R.R. Martin
A Song of Fire and Ice – Book4 AFeast for Crows

Still don’t read much and still haven’t finished this one.

TV shows I watched last week

Mad Men, Rookie Blue, The Walking Dead, Once upon a time, Revenge, The Big Bang Theory, Parenthood, Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy.

Sunday November 4, 2012: Starting over

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Daily stuff:
Because some of you still got a virus alert when they tried to read my blog, I have decided to delete everything and start all over again.

Not all is lost because before I deleted everything I transferred the old posts to the blog I had before I got my own domain. I’m going to make a book of the 2011 and 2012 posts like I did for 2009 and 2010. But these hackers were driving me nuts and the best thing that I could do was start with an empty “page”.

When I was securing and writing down things, I noticed the subtitle of my blog: a blog about living, health, running and cooking. And I realized that I haven’t been writing much about some of those. Actually the restart of this blog, can also be the restart of focusing more on these subjects. It feels like a new start. So here we go.

In the past I have been showing outfits but lately I haven’t. I want to buy some new clothes but don’t want to spent much money on it so I’m searching Ebay for second-hand or new items for not much money. Last week I bought 3 dresses and a longsleeve for about € 15 (around 15 USD). This is one of the items, you can wear it as a dress or with pants underneath it. When I get the other dresses, I’ll show a photo of them too.

I’ve booked a weekend at a lodge hotel at the sea in February. Last week I got one of those one day deals in my mailbox for this and it was a very good deal so we decided to go for it. Bella can come too and since the beach is close, she will have a blast.

We have also plans going away for the weekend, next weekend. This time with 2 friends couples. This is also close to the beach but in a different area. Bella will be coming on this trip too. But we’ll have to wait a few more days because R. got really sick again last week and still isn’t better. If he’s not feeling good, we won’t be going.

I have a question for you:

Some of my favorite bloggers quit blogging this year. I used to read a lot of blogs that were only about running but I’m now more interested in “lifestyle” blogs. The ones that have a little bit of everything in it, like Shelley, Helen, Roz, Bizzy, Amy, Lori and others.

I’m looking for some new blogs to follow. Can you recommend blogs you like, and that you know I would like, to me?


 I started the Running Coach plan for a 5K today and it went fine. I decided to stick to the recommended paces as much as possible. My goal is to run a 5K in about 30 minutes after I finished the program (which will be at the end of this year).

Run-walk ratio: 6 x 2 minutes, 1 minute walking inbetween (12 minutes running, 5  minutes walking)
Weather:almost dry, windy,2C(35 degrees)
Distance: 2.5 K / 1.5 miles
Time: 00:18:03
Last song on Ipod before finish: Wings – Maybe I’m amazed.

Weekly workout review:

Not the best week ever, but I’m satisfied with it.

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: 38 days
Fail: 6 days



I made a stew this afternoon: beef meat, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic and bacon. It was good and I made plenty of it so we can have it again for dinner tomorrow. The recipe came out of one of my cooking magazines: Light Cooking.