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.

Thursday August 15, 2013: Vacation recap part 1

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Short recap of the first days of our vacation.

Monday: When you stay at home during your vacation, this means the housework continues. I spent the morning cleaning downstairs.

Tuesday: Bella and I did our first trail walk, see my Tuesday post for the recap.

Andrea asked me if I will always drive to the starting point.
Yes, I will drive or use public transportation because most walks aren’t close to home. The finish of Tuesday’s walk was a 30 minute drive from home.

Amy asked if I’m going to walk the complete loop.
Yes, that’s the plan but it will take a couple of years before I finish it because I have 4 other trails and I’m mixing the 5 of them. I will always start at the point I finished the last walk.

This is Bella after our walk, she has been sleeping the rest of the day since we got home.


Wednesday: the garden needed to be done and I also had to remove weeds from the terrace. After I finished that I continued at the street at the front of our house. Better get it done all at once so I’m done with that chore during the vacation. I started around 9 and was done around 2 including coffee and lunch break.

Today: The plants and accessories in my living room have been there for years now and it was time to buy some new plants and accessories. I went to the garden center this morning and spent a lot of money. Below the results, the left shows the old situation, the right the new one. I’m very happy with my purchases.

R. has been painting every day. The garage and carport are done, the kitchen and front door too and now he started with the bedroom and bathroom windows.


Coffee table:


Fire place:

Living room window:


Running Monday   

Last 3 weeks of the program and not the easiest ones. From this point on it’s more minutes running every time. It’s pretty hard so I’ve decided not to look at my pace but just run and finish the intervals. Once I can run a 5K without walk breaks I’m going to work on my speed. Today it was 12-12-8 minutes of running and I made it. Had a little “mistake” at the second 12 minute part. I thought I was done and started walking but looking at my Garmin (use it for the intervals) it didn’t give the walking signal and I realized I had 2 more minutes to go. I started running immediately again to finish the 12 minute part.


Distance: 5.2 K / 3.2 miles
Time: 00:37:06
Running: 12-12-8 minutes.
Paces: 6:54 – 6:50 – 6:53
Weather: dry, cloudy, not much  wind, 16C (60 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Lady Gaga – The Edge of Glory


Monday August 12


Rice with vegetables and chicken.

Tuesday August 13


Steak tartare with pak choi and mushrooms with baked potatoes and some carrots/green peas.

Thursday July


Modified version of chili that we ate with tortilla chips.

Sunday August 11, 2013: Vacation

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My vacation started Thursday afternoon when I got home a 3 pm. R. had to work a half day on Friday but then his vacation started too. We are not going away this year. Our house needs to be painted on the outside and R. wants to try to get that done in 2 weeks. In the 3rd week we will be going on a few day trips. My plan is to do 1 or 2 long trail walks a week if the weather is cooperating (no rain and not too hot).

We started our vacation Friday night with a dinner in our town after which we went to have coffee at our friends house. They came back from vacation in France and we wanted to hear their vacation stories. It was a very pleasant evening.


Of course Bella went to dinner with us too. During our vacation we take her with us almost everywhere we will go. When we work she is already alone enough so we don’t want her to be alone during vacation days.



Cardio Wednesday

Turbofire HITT 25, 24 minutes.
HITT workout. I like HITT workouts, they are short, you have enough recovery time between the exercises and it doesn’t get boring because it’s short.

Running Saturday  

This was a toughie: I hadn’t run in 10 days and I had a couple of glasses of wine the night before. My only goal was to do the running intervals (8 – 10 – 8) without walking, pace didn’t matter. And I did it! Now all I have to do is go back to regular running 3 days a week and I’ll be fine.

Distance: 4.3 K / 2.6 miles
Time: 00:31:13
Running: 8-10-8 minutes.
Paces: 6:54 – 6:56 – 6:56
Weather: dry, cloudy, not much  wind, 16C (60 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Neil Diamond – Cracklin’ Rosie

Photo a day August

August 7: Sign
I was supposed to take a photo of a sign. But I had to shorten our daily walk because Bella thought a pond filled with duckweed was a road and she thought she could chase the duck. Instead she got a wet suit and I had to go home to shower her. There should have been a sign “watch out dogs, this is a pond, not a road”. Instead I give you wet Bella …

August 8: Peek-a-boo
I took this photo of Bella when she didn’t know I was watching her.

August 9: 2 o’clock
At 2 o’clock I was cross stitching in the garden with a cup of tea and the radio on.

August 10: Beverage
After downloading I saw the photo was bad but this is espresso with almond milk, my favorite beverage at the moment.

August 11: I love doing this
I love walking more and more and especially longer walks like today. I got up a 7.30 am and Bella and I were on the road around 8 am. We walked almost 8K (5 miles) in 1 hour and 30 minutes. Because it’s Sunday and early there was hardly traffic on the roads and I didn’t see many people. A few early birds on a bike but Bella and I had the roads mostly to ourselves. In this busy world we are living in, it’s a great feeling that you can do quiet and peaceful walks.


Friday August 9
Dinner in town: pork tenderloin with pepper sauce served with green beans, rocket salad and French fries. Dessert was a hot chocolate cake with ice cream and whipped cream.

Review July 2013

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Notes July:

  • This month was okay. I had expected to do more but the heat wave had me adjust some things. Mostly the walks with Bella suffered from that because it was too hot for her to walk on the street.
  • This month Bella and I will start walking the long distance walking paths. I have 5 different routes that I want to do. This is a “project” that will take us years to complete because they are about 400K (250 miles) long and I want to walk approx 15K (9.3 miles) per walk.
    More about this when I start the first route but be prepared to see many, many beautiful places of my country in the future. For me I will see places of my country that I have never seen either. I really look forward to this.
  • I don’t have goals for August except to keep on running. I signed up for a 5K race on September 1 that I want to run without walking. I’m pretty well on schedule so it should be possible.
  • Total time I did something (including walking): 20 hours and 52 minutes.

Workouts July:

Running. Done: 9
Strength training. Done: 3
Cardio. Done: -
Yogalates/Stretching. Done: 1

Number and time of workouts in June: 12 workouts, total time 7 hours and 10 minutes.
Number and time of workouts in July: 13 workouts, total time 6 hours and 35 minutes.

Yearly mileage

Total July: 38.7 K / 24.1 miles

Total till 07/31: 235.9 K / 147.4 miles
Total running time: 27 hours and 44 minutes

Walks with Bella:

Days with at least 1 “long” walk this year: 140 days
Total time we walked so far: 91 hours 44 minutes.
Total mileage we walked so far: 460 km / 287 miles.

July 6, Recreatietocht Utrecht, 10.77 K (6.7 miles), 1 hour 57 minutes.

Book I’m reading

Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter never disappoints me, every book she writes is good. This wasn’t any different. The plot was very well written. Usually I have an idea about who did it but not this time, I was surprised at it. Can’t wait till the next one but that will be probably next year.

George R.R. Martin
A Dance With Dragons, Dreams and Dust

First part of the last books (there are 2) that have been published. I had a hard time finishing book 4 but this one reads much easier because it has more of my favourite characters in it. I expect to finish it this month.

Low this month

Nothing really, not even the heat because I keep remembering how cold and long our winter has been and how much I complained about how long it lasted.

Highlight(s) of the month

BBQ with friends at our place.


Dinner with colleagues.

Haircut: short!

Dinner with my friend K.

Sunday June 16, 2013: Weide Natuurwandeling Vinkeveen

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Time: 2 hours and 37 minutes.

Distance: 13.38 K / 8.3 miles

Weather: dry, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, pretty much wind, 17C (60 degrees).

The walk was in a town where, as far as I can remember, never had been before. It was a 35 minute drive from home. We arrived there around 8.30 am. I had planned to do a 10K but they told me that the last part of that route (about 4K/3.5 miles) would be walking next to a road. There was an alternative route on my map but that would be around 12.5K (7.8 miles). I decided I would make that decision when I got there and see how Bella was doing at that point.

The first part was on a nature trail that had lots of rocks on the ground which made walking sometimes hard. You had to be carefully where to put your feet. There were grasslands and water on our left and right side. After about an hour we rested for about 5 minutes.

We moved on and had to cross a bridge and walked alongside the highway for about 5 minutes when we had to take the stairs down again. This was around 6K and the point where I had to make a decision: 10 or 12.5K? I recognized the road, I drove on it earlier and I knew it would be pretty boring. Bella was doing great and I took the longer route. This was on a road with lots and lots of huge houses that were situated on the water. I saw so many beautiful houses.

Around 8K we came at a crossroad where a restaurant was and we took another break and I had a cappuccino. After that we did the last part of the walk. This was just one long road with more huge, beautiful houses. We arrived back in the town and we were done.

I am so proud of Bella. She has never walked this distance or this time and she was great the entire walk. I never did this either but I enjoyed it very much. When you walk you see so much more than when you are running. I definitely will do this more often.

Enough said, here’s the walk in photo’s.

A well deserved nap :)

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 March 23, 2013: Mishmash

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It’s been a week since my last post. I haven’t been feeling much for blogging the past couple of days. Without sounding negative again, the reason is that the weather has such a big influence on my mood, my exercise and my food intake. Today it’s -2C (28 degrees) but because of a very hard Eastern wind it feels like -15C (5 degrees). For heaven’s sake: it’s Spring! Can we please have some weather that looks like Spring? We have someone else here at home who can’t wait till the weather gets better and she can be outside all day:


Speaking of our lovely Bella, Sunday it was 3 years ago since we lost our previous beloved dog: Roussy. There couldn’t be a bigger difference between Bella and Roussy, the only comparison is that we both love(d) them very, very much.

Monday it was exactly 20 years ago R. and I officially started dating. I can’t believe how fast those 20 years have gone by. I can’t imagine my life without him, he’s the most important person in my life. We are celebrating this tomorrow with a nice dinner.


Last Thursday I went to my first fashion show ever and it was great. I have seen so many beautiful clothes, I have to make choices because I can’t buy them all. This summer has clothes I like: feminine and colorful. At the beginning of the show I got some coffee with chocolate and during the break we got a glass of Prosecco. At the end of the show we got a goodie bag with discount coupons for shops in my village and a little box of chocolate. The store was open after the show but it was very crowded and I’ll go there next month to buy something.

Our uninvited guests have returned too. These ducks are almost everyday on the roof of our garage and they stare at me when I’m cooking in the kitchen. They were here last year too, they are the same ducks and did the same thing last year: sit and stare.

A short post today and I hope I’ll get back in a good mood soon and back to regular blogging.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday February 12, 2013: A great run

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Saturday morning we went to pay our respects to friends of ours. His father passed away last Tuesday and friendship is not only sharing good times but also be there in sad times. We went together with our other friends. We didn’t go to the funeral because we didn’t know his Dad that well. But they appreciated that we came.

Saturday afternoon I went to the forest with Bella, the weather wasn’t that good, it started snowing while we were walking there. But Bella didn’t mind, she loves walking in the forest so much. I had the resolution that I would go to the forest every weekend but so far I’ve only been twice and one beach walk. Seeing however how much fun she’s having, I really need to take her there more.


I had to cancel Thursday’s run, the roads were to icy, I almost fell 3 times within 5 minutes. It’s not worth falling and get injured because that takes longer than skip a run.

Saturday morning I went out again and this was the perfect run: weather was great and the run went easy. The kind of run that reminds you why you love running so much and the one that you wish every run would be like this one. It was great.


Run-walk ratio: 8-10-8 minutes, 2 minutes walking inbetween (26 minutes running, 6 minutes walking)

Weather: dry, not much wind, little bit of sunshine, -3C (26 degrees)

Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles

Time: 00:31:52
Last song on Ipod before finish: Randy Newman – You’ve got a friend.


Woohoo: another good run Monday morning. It was cold though (cold wind) but like Saturday it went great.


Run-walk ratio: 8-10-8 minutes, 2 minutes walking inbetween (26 minutes running, 6 minutes walking)

Weather: dry, windy, -3C (26 degrees)

Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles
Time: 00:31:32
Last song on Ipod before finish: ABC – All of my heart.

This morning I did a short Zumba Flat Abs workout. I really like Zumba, it’s a fun variation to my other workouts. Total time: 17 minutes.



Breakfast (5 points): 2 slices of whole wheat crackers with chicken and a honey-mustard, 1 orange.

Lunch (12 points) A pita bread filled with smoked chicken, dried apricots and a dressing of yogurt and mayonnaise -> delicious. I bought mushroom soup at work because I was cold and needed something warm and a glass of milk.

Dinner (9 points): a simple dinner of a sausage, potatoes and green beans.

Snacks: 3 clementines, 1 apple, 1 cookie (1 Point)


Breakfast (6 Points): Two slices of raisin bread with butter, 2 kiwi.

Lunch (9 Points): A pasta salad with chicken, red pepper, corn, red onion. This wasn’t very tasty and I won’t make this again.

Dinner (6 Points): Sort of pizza only the bottom was of beef meat. Topping: mushrooms, tomato and leek. Like lunch also a no-keeper. It was okay but not good enough to make it again.

Weight Watchers review:

The past two weeks I got careless. I didn’t track everything, I didn’t stick to my planned meals. As a result I still haven’t lost all the weight I gained during our little getaway weekend. But it bothered me and as of yesterday I got back to counting all Points and stick to my plan. Because when I didn’t ate the meals I planned, I choose easy things but they didn’t taste as good. When I follow the plan and have variety in my meals, I don’t feel the need to snack much in between.


Sunday February 3, 2013: Lovely weekend

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We are back home. We had a lovely weekend away. The weather was okay, yesterday it was windy but most of the day it was dry with sunshine every now and then.

We arrived Friday afternoon and after we checked in and put our bag in our room we immediately took Bella and went to the beach. She was brave enough to get wet feet but that was more because she was surprised by the waves coming up. The hotel had a great restaurant where Bella was welcome too and we had dinner there both nights.

Saturday morning we went to a historical city called Brielle and walked around there for a bit. After that we went to a different beach for another walk with Bella. We had dinner again in the restaurant of the hotel.

Today after breakfast we took Bella for a last and her birthday walk to the beach before heading home. It’s her birthday today, she’s now 3 years old. We were home around lunchtime refreshed from a little getaway.

A bummer this weekend was my tooth pain. I’ve been having tooth pain for about 2 weeks now and kept hoping it would go away. Till Saturday the pain was manageable but yesterday I had such heavy stabs of pain I had to stand still and wait till the pain went away. In the afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore and bought pretty heavy painkillers. I’m still using them because as soon as they don’t work anymore the pain is returning. I’m calling the dentist tomorrow because something is obviously wrong. I am afraid of the dentist, that’s why I didn’t go at first when the pain started.

Here are some pics of our weekend.

First day at the beach

Fireplace at the hotel

Friday’s dinner: chicken, salad and french fries


Another beach walk

Love the sky in this picture

Bella, Fran and R. were here

Tea time with chocolate pie

Saw a llama

Friday dinner: started with carpaccio

Followed by steak in pepper sauce

Birthday girl on her last beach walk for the weekend


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.