Thursday March 20, 2014: Running in daylight

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Our weekend has started. We both took a vacation day tomorrow and Monday because we are going away for the weekend. I booked a bungalow at a park in Winterswijk, a little of an hour drive from home. We have never been in this part of the country but it is supposed to be very pretty. We leave tomorrow afternoon and come home Monday morning. Of course Bella is coming too. The weather forecast isn’t too pretty but as long as it’s dry it’s okay. Of course I’ll share some photo’s next week.

Q&A from my last post:

Debby and Biz both asked about the mushrooms in the Beebox. Debby the white things in the black box are mushrooms and Biz I don’t really know what kind they are. I’ve had them before, they say they are seasonal mushrooms, and they taste very well.

Andrea asked if I sometimes see the same people on my various walks: no never. I have never seen someone twice on a walk. The trails I am walking are all over the country so that is logical I don’t see the same people. The organized walks are closer to home but never met someone twice there either.


Tuesday: Tapout XT Plyo

I think this program may be one of the hardest I have. I didn’t do the full workout (it’s 52 minutes) and I did the exercises on my own pace. Otherwise I would have kept up but in the wrong form. I’m pretty out of shape because I haven’t exercised regularly in months but I keep on trying these workouts, in the end it will go better.
Total time: 21 minutes.

Wednesday: Running

I was a bit late before I went out for my run and decided to do 3.2K (2 miles). I had no plan when I was going to walk and just would see how it would go. I ended up walking just once around 2K. It was a great run and the best part …. I CAME HOME AT DAYLIGHT!

Finally! It was still a bit dark when I started but during the run it got lighter and lighter and by the time I got home I didn’t need my lights anymore. So happy about this! Sure, in 2 weeks when we will have daylight savings it will be dark again for 2 weeks but for now: I’ll take it. No more running in the dark dressed as a Christmas tree for the next 6 monts!

Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:23:23
Weather: dry, not much wind, 9C (48 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: John Fogerty – Rockin’ all over the world

365 Days In Nature:

March 12: Last one from Saturday’s walk.

March 13: No, we don’t want to pose for you …

March 14: At the beach.

March 15.

March 16.

March 17: Flower Monday.

March 18.

March 20.




Sunday March 16, 2014: This and that

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I definitely was sure Saturday after the hilly walk last Friday. In case you missed this post: Bella and I did another part of a new trail, see my Friday post. I decided to postpone my scheduled run to Sunday but did go for a walk, nothing loose up the muscles more than a walk. Today it’s back to normal.

The Golden Earring Wednesday night was great. I am not a real fan but I like their music. I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out I knew almost every song they played. Sure the high notes are getting difficult (they are all around 65 now) but the music is great, they are really good.

Q&A from my last post:

Char asked if the field of crocuses are farmed for sale because they seem hard to cut. It’s funny: I don’t know but I was wondering the same thing when I saw it. I did walk in an area where there are many flower fields that are farmed for sale like tulips for example but no idea if they do this with crocuses, I guess they do.

Debby asked if the cattle with the long hair is native. Not really, they are put in nature areas at various places in the country to eat the grass and keep the area clean natural. I’ve seen this in different parts before. The areas are surrounded by fences but open for the public to walk. Of course Bella has to be on a leash but she can walk there too

Beebox week 11:

Eggs, apple-pear juice, apples, chicken wings, garlic, cucumber, pak choi, pears, radish, mushrooms, cabbage, red onion, watercress, smoked mackerel.

Photo a day challenge:

March 5: Something beginning with i.
Icecream, part of the dessert I had last Sunday.

March 6: Chair.
Saw this in someone’s garden.

March 7: Fly.

March 8: In the corner … of our garden.

March 9: 10 am.
Having coffee after my run 30 minutes earlier.

March 10: Far away.
As soon as you leave my town you can look far away.

March 11: Something good.
A colleague of R. made this birdhouse. What’s good about is that he is recovering from cancer and sells these birdhouses. About 80% of what he makes he donates to the Dutch cancer foundation.

March 12: Partial.
Part of a bridge I crossed last Saturday.

March 13: Fresh.
Love going for a walk in the fresh morning air.

March 15: Evening.
It was cloudy yesterday so I took one of the archives, this was taken last month.

March 16: Beautifully ordinary.
My village.

Trekvogelpad. Friday March 14, 2014: Part 1 Bergen aan Zee-Egmond aan de Hoef

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Time: 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Distance: 12.84 K / 8 miles
Weather: dry, fog, not much wind, 7C (44 degrees).

A little background: the “Trekvogelpad” (migrate birds trail) is a trail that starts in the north at the beach and ends in the east, near the German border. The total distance of the trial is 400 K (250 miles). I will walk through 20 important birds areas.

Today we did the first part of this trail. I drove to the end of the route in Egmond aan de Hoef, about an hour drive from home. There I took the bus that brought me to the start in Bergen aan Zee. I got out of the bus at the beach.

We started at the beach that is at the North Sea. Unfortunately it was very foggy in this part of the country (at home the sun was shining). But I had to start this walk in March because as of April 1 till October 31 the beach is closed for dogs.

We walked a little over the beach and then took a road to the dunes/forest. We passed the “Seahouse” this was built in 1907 and was used to give children from the city of Amsterdam a holiday in the fresh air. Today it’s a hotel.

We came in the forest and the dunes, this was a long trail and was very pretty and beautiful. Again, too bad it was a bit foggy. I think I am going to feel my calves tomorrow because it was up the dunes and down the dunes and where I live it’s all flat so I’m not really used to that.

After a lot of forest/dunes we got to the little town Egmond aan de Hoef where my car was that I could find immediately. Next time when we do a part of this trail we will start where we ended today.

It was a really beautiful walk especially because it went through areas that I don’t have at home. Bella is used to these long walks now, she can keep up so much better than when we first started doing these long walks. She slept a bit in the car back home and was ready to play again with her ball as soon as we got home. We both had a really good time today.

Enjoy our walk!

Bergen aan Zee:

A sign with the route of the “Trekvogelpad”

And we went up …

Saw the view …

And we went back down …

More stairs

Walking in this loose sand sure will make me feel my calves tomorrow

The purple you see and the white in the back: a field full with crocus

Egmond aan de Hoef in the background

Community gardens

The mill of Egmond aan de Hoef








Tuesday March 11, 2014: Spring!

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Spring! Boy oh boy did we have great weather past weekend. It was Spring, spring, spring. On Sunday we came close to 20C (68 degrees) with sunshine all day on Saturday and Sunday. You get so much energy from this weather. Loved it!

We are going to the theater tomorrow evening for an unplugged concert of The Golden Earring. A Dutch band that you might know (Roz I know you do) from Radar Love. They had a hit with that song in the US. It’s been a while since we’ve been to the theater and I look forward to it.

Q&A on my last post(s):

Helen asked me what my grandfather’s name was. I have never met my grandfather. He was killed because he was hit by a car when my mother was 18. That was in 1960 and I am born in 1968. My full name is Janna Franciska. My grandfather’s name was Jan Frank.

Biz didn’t know what chicory is. The translation gave this word for this vegetable but maybe you name it different?

Char asked on my last post if the wild boars in the photo were sculptures.
They were made of wood and it looks like they were for kids to play on.

Debby: the red brick building was built in the water and it’s a castle. The sign outside that upstairs is used as an office and downstairs you could take a tour if it was open (it wasn’t) and that they decorated it in the style of the time when it was used as a house.

And the mill near the house was a watermill indeed. I don’t know if it’s still in use. It was also closed so I couldn’t look inside.

Beebox week 10:

Eggs, apple juice, apples, smoked catfish, celeriac, red and white cabbage, carrots, pears, leek, minced meat, shallots, onions, purslane, carrotparsley.


Wednesday: Chalean Extreme

Full body weights workout but mostly concentrated on biceps and triceps.
Total time: 44 minutes.

Thursday: Yogalates

For Dynamic Weight Loss, upper body.
Total time: 27 minutes.

Sunday: Running

Another 5K and again a walk break after every 2 songs. I had plans to walk after every 3 songs but I wasn’t feeling all that well. Because the weather was beautiful I did go (if it was raining I probably would have skipped the run) but it was a tough one. But in the end I was a bit faster than last run.

Distance: 5 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:36:13
Weather: dry, sunny, not much wind, 8C (46 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Paul McCartney – Listen what the men said

365 Days In Nature:

March 3: A couple of ducks and a dog.

March 4: One more because I just can’t get enough of Spring flowers.

March 5: It’s a beautiful day
The sun is shining
I feel good
And no-one’s gonna to stop me now, oh yeah

From Queen. So happy, Spring weather is coming our way this weekend!

March 6.

March 7.

March 8: Taken on our walk this Saturday.

March 9.

March 10: Another one taken last Saturday.

March 11: Still a bit light out now when I walk my dog after dinner.


Monday March 10

A salad of the red and white cabbage with purslane and the smoked catfish. Recipe from the Beebox. I wasn’t too fond of this dish but that’s because I am not a huge fan of smoked fish. But since it was in the box I used it.

Tuesday March 11

Merquez sausages, baked potatoes, roasted celeriac and carrotparsley.

Saturday March 8, 2014: Veluwe Zwerfpad, part 1 Around Arnhem

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Time: 1 hour and 49 minutes.
Distance: 8.55 K / 5.3 miles
Weather: dry, sunny, not much wind, 10C (50 degrees).

First a little background: the “Veluwe Zwerfpad” is a trail that leads you all over the largest part of nature we have in Holland: the “Veluwe”. I grew up in a little village at the “Veluwe” and when I found out there was a trail for this part of my country I knew I would want to walk that. The total distance of the trail is 357K (223 miles) and it will take me a while before I complete it.

We did the first part yesterday. I drove to the end of the route which was about a 40 minute drive from home. There was a bus stop where we took the bus to the start of the route. The bus stopped at the start of the walk which was perfect.

We are having the first days of real Spring this weekend and the weather was gorgeous, a bit brisk at the start but already sunny. The first part was through a park in the city of Arnhem but it was a beautiful one, probably one of the most beautiful parks I’ve seen.

This park went on in another park that was situated around a castle. It’s not a real castle to me but it is named this way so we’ll name it a castle.

From there on we walked a part in the woods followed by a part across heath. Last part was in the forest again and at the end of the route I was exactly where my car was parked.

This was really a very beautiful walk and I really live in a beautiful country, you just have to know where to go to see all this beauty.

Enjoy our walk!


Tuesday March 4, 2014: I finally did it, I ran 5K

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Sunday R. and I went out for dinner with a Groupon deal 2 for the price of 1. We have been at this restaurant before. The food is great but the interior is great too. Part of the restaurant is like a library and we are always lucky to get a seat at one of the tables in that part of the restaurant.

Voice is still not good. I think it’s some kind of virus on my vocal cords. My lung capacity isn’t very well either. Lori, I know you are worried but don’t be, I’m just waiting another week to see if it gets better. I promise I will see a doctor next week if it’s still the same.


Tuesday: Running

I did it! I ran 5K today.

It didn’t matter I walked for a minute after every 2 songs. It didn’t matter I have a lower lung capacity at the moment. I didn’t matter it was the slowest 5K I have ever ran.

What matters is that I did it!

From here on I can work towards running without walking and getting slower. But after such a crappy year, just doing a 5K was a big achievement today.

Distance: 5.1 K / 3.1 miles
Time: 00:38:43
Weather: dry, not too much wind, 2C (35 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama.

Photo a day challenge:

As of the first of this month I’m also posting my photo a day on my Facebook page. So you might have seen them already but since not all my blog readers are FB friends, I am still posting it here too.

February 26: Light.
Taken July last year.

February 27: My view today.
Pretty boring because I was at work.

February 28: Reflection.

March 1: Yellow.
Of course this had to be Spring flowers.

March 2: Something borrowed.
I don’t borrow things so I use a very free interpretation of this prompt. I borrowed this little guy’s permission to take his photo.

March 3: My name is …. Franciska.
Female for “Franciscus” meaning Frenchman; coming from the holy Franciscus from Assisi. His birth name was Giovanni but after his father took a business trip to France, he started calling him Franciscus. So my name means “French girl”. The photo is the cathedral of Assisi that we visited in 2009 and where the holy Franciscus is laid to rest.

It’s funny that I never knew this after I looked up for today’s prompt what my name means. Of course it’s not why my parents gave me this name, I was named after my grandfather.

March 4: On my mind.
Thinking about articles today  for the next issue of our intercompany magazine of which I am the editor.


Sunday March 2

Carpaccio, followed by something with goat cheese, steak with stroganoff and crème brulee for dessert.


Monday March 3

T-bone steak, baked potatoes, grilled zucchini.

Tuesday March 4

Oven dish of chicory, mashed potatoes, ham and cheese.

Sunday March 2, 2014: Weekend update

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Update on the voice: almost back to normal. There were a lot of people I spoke (if that was possible) that had lost their voice, looks like some kind of virus that went around.

There was a walk I could have done on Saturday but I didn’t go. There will be many walks in March, April en May so skipping one isn’t that bad. Instead Bella and I took a walk outside the town for 1.5 hours, the weather was very pretty for walking.

When I got home I worked in the garden for an hour, made a start to get the garden ready for Spring. We will hire a gardener in the upcoming weeks to prune the trees and bushes. But the cleaning up I can do myself. I only did 1/3 of the garden, which will be my “strategy” for gardening this year. Doing it all at once takes a lot of time so I will try to work in it for an hour every week or so.

We’re going out for dinner tonight. Scored a groupon for a 4 course dinner, 2 for the price of 1, in a restaurant we’ve been to a couple of times before now and it’s always good there. We get to choose from 2 options for every course but everything looks good so that won’t be a problem.

Beebox week 9:

Eggs, apples, green pumpkin, pear/apple juice, pears, radish, rib-eye steak, arugula, shiitake mushrooms, onion, chicory.


Thursday: The Firm Cardio Dance Workout

Hot Latin Mix: dance workout with latin/salsa moves and music. Nice short workout.
Total time: 20 minutes.

Friday: Running

This was a horrible run! I hadn’t run in 10 days and again I was reminded I need to run regularly otherwise I take a few steps back every time. Hopefully I will remind it next time when I don’t want to run. The first 15 minutes were fine, I ran without walking. After that it went downwards very quickly. At some point I just ran or walked when I needed too without checking my watch. I just wanted it to be over. Well, they can’t all be good runs. Positive note: I did go and tried.

365 Days In Nature:

February 22: Spring is coming …

February 23: Wild boars we saw during our walk on Sunday.

February 24: Crows playing soccer J

February 25: Taken last Sunday on our walk.

February 26

February 27: Cows taking a swim (taken last Summer).

February 28

March 1: Chickens

March 2: It’s a beautiful day today.


Wednesday February 26

Jambalaya without fish but with chicken and chorizo. I’ve made enough so I can eat the leftovers on Friday.

Saturday February 22

Arugula with bacon, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes and a dressing of Balsamico with olive oil.


Review February 2014

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Notes February:

  • Total time I did something (including walking): 22 hours and 56 minutes.
  • My workouts are still not much, hoping to do better at this in March.
  • Although I still can’t run 5K without walking, I’m confident I’ll get to that within the next 2 weeks. I’ve signed up for a 5K race on March 15 and want to another one on March 30.
  • Walking with Bella goes great so far, it helps a lot we had a mild Winter.
  • I’ve bought a Fitbit at the end of January. My goal is to reach 10,000 steps a day and although that seems easy, it isn’t always. On days that I work and don’t workout, just walk it’s hard to get to the 10,000 steps. I got 16 out of 28 days where I walked more than 10,000 steps, the other days I was close. The day I walked most steps was last Sunday where I walked 21,419 steps. I love  my Fitbit, it really motivates me to move more.

Workouts February:

Running. Done: 4
Strength training. Done: 2
Cardio. Done: 5
Yogalates/Stretching. Done: 0

Number and time of workouts in February: 11 workouts, total time 5 hours and 12  minutes.

Yearly mileage

Total February: 13.8 K /  8.6 miles

Total till 2/28: 34.8 K / 21.7 miles
Total running time: 4 hours and 22 minutes

Walks with Bella:

Days with at least 1 “long” walk this year: 47 days
Total time we walked so far: 35 hours 40 minutes.
Total mileage we walked so far: 177.31 km / 110.81 miles.

Goal: 1000K (625 miles) in 2014.

February 15: Winterwandeling Huizen, 10.81 K / 6.7 miles, 2 hours 10 minutes.

February 23: Zwientjestocht Ughelen, 13.03 K / 8.1 miles, 2 hours 37 minutes.

Cook book challenge

Use 92 cook books at least once in 2014.

Update challenge: 6 Books.

New recipes from cooking magazines: 5

Books I’m (have been) reading

Celeste de Blasis – The proud breed.

I finally finished this book, it was nice to read it again.

Jo Nesbo – The Readbreast

Just started reading this one.

Best Photo a day this month:

Best 365 Days in Nature photo this month:

Highlight(s) of the month

Dinner date with R., my friend T. coming over for dinner, my friend K. became a Mom, two organized walks with Bella, great weather

Tuesday February 25, 2014: Where is my voice?

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Can I brag one more time? Yesterday our Olympic athletes arrived home, 25 medals we have won, never have we been better at the Olympics. Everyone is so proud of them. When they arrived yesterday, they were honored immediately. Today they went to see the prime minister and the minister of sports and health. The gold medal winners all got one of the highest decorations in our country, so did 2 of the coaches. After that they visited our King and Queen. Most of them will be honored tomorrow in the town where they live and most of them will have a tournament already next Friday.

Back to the title: I have lost my voice for almost 2 weeks now. It’s weird because I don’t have a sore throath or do I have a cold, it’s just my voice. It’s also annoying because the more I talk, the worse it gets and when people hear my voice, they all ask what’s the matter with it. After 2 weeks I’m really tired of explaining what it is. I sure hope I get my normal voice back soon because it’s really annoying me by now.

Photo a day challenge:

February 19: Feet.
No way I’m going to show my ugly running/walking feet. Instead this is one of Bella’s feet.

February 20: Peace …
during a walk on a beautiful early Sunday morning (taken last Summer).

February 21: Funny …
shaped tree.

February 22: An act of kindness.
Shelley knitted this hat for me as a surprise gift. I was touched by it when I received it in November, especially about the time she put into it.

February 23: This is where I relax.
Well we both do …

February 24: Half.
Trees cut in half waiting to be transported.

February 25: Cut.
Vegetables for soup.


Friday February 21

Potato-Jerusalem artichoke soup: delicious!

Saturday February 22

Flower sprout marinated in honey and olive oil with bacon and pear -> delicious!

Sunday February 23

Entrecote with mangochutney, roasted parsnip.

Monday February 24

“Zürcher geschnetzeltes” (pork, mushrooms, onion, cream), baked potatoes and the last of the flower sprout.

Tuesday February 25


I made little pies filled with minced meat and parsnip. I had plans to eat a salad with it but we had more than enough and weren’t very hungry so we both ate 2 of these for dinner.

Sunday February 23, 2014: Zwientjestocht Ughelen

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Time: 2 hours and 37 minutes.
Distance: 13.03 K / 8.1 miles
Weather: dry, sunny, not too much wind, 10C (50 degrees).

This was definitely a walk that’s in the top 10 of most beautiful walks. Oh how much I enjoyed myself on this walk. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and it wasn’t cold.

There wasn’t a 10K walk so we did the 12K walk that turned out to be 13K but we were back at the start before we knew it. Again lots of people that participated in this walk, I’m still amazed how many people do this, I never knew this before I started doing this myself.

But enough talking, just enjoy our walk:

We saw some ostrichs

Crossed a railroad


An obstacle on the path

This is where we had our water and Bella’s cookie break

There’s a reason why this was called “Zwientjestocht” which means as much as wild boars walk. We saw them. This time in captivity so not as scary as last time that we saw them. Bella found them very interesting.

This was part of a climbing forest. You pay entrance fee and can climb in the trees.

Path with rododendrons on the left and right, imagine how pretty this will look in Summer.

This was a residential area for the elderly. Little houses where only elderly people lived.

This was the souvenir we got after the walk. Roz I thought of you when I got it.