Tuesday December 3, 2013: I got an original …

Posted on

I won’t be doing a review over November. I’ll post my final results of this year at the end of this month.


  • It was my best month with exercise this year, I moved for 26 hours and 27 minutes. Can you believe almost 20 hours of that was walking with Bella and about 100K (62 miles)?
  • Bella and I took 4 long walks in November.
  • I even ran a little more K’s than in October.
  • I finished “The Coachroach” by Jo Nesbø and continued in his next book “The Redbreast”.
  • It was the month of R.’s birthday which we celebrated with a delicious dinner.

I got one! I got an original Shelley hat! Yesterday a package arrived in the mail and when I saw it was from Shelley I almost immediately knew what was in it because I’ve been nagging her about one everytime she finished one. And now I got my own beautiful pink hat which I will wear proudly on the cold Dutch Winter days:

Thank you so much sweet Shelley, I love it!


Monday: Running

Week 7 started today. The weather was perfect for running: not to cold and no wind. I had my thermo clothes underneath my running clothes but that was too warm actually. I didn’t watch my pace during the running intervals and just ran at what pace felt fine. I was a bit slower than the last runs but the intervals were a bit longer too. Overall I was happy with this run.


Distance: 4.5 K / 2.8 miles
Time: 00:32:10
Running: 5-6-7-8 minutes.
Paces: 6:44 – 6:44 – 6:49 – 6:39
Weather: dry, no wind, 3C (37 degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Simple Plan – Summer paradise

Tuesday: Strength

X-TrainFit Chest & Back. Total time 43 minutes.
The total workout exists of 3 circuits of the same chest and back exercises. I did 2 circuits today.

Photo a day challenge:

As I mentioned last week I joined two photo challenges on closed FB groups. I’m sharing them on my blog too. On Tuesday I will do a recap of last week’s photo a day challenge. On Thursday/Friday I’ll share the week of 365 Days In Nature.

December 1: Red.
Saw these red berries on my walk last Saturday.

December 2: Where I stood.
Stood on this train track last Saturday when I had to cross it during our walk.

December 3: Silver.
This was a difficult one, I thought of something Christmas but saw a lot of that today. I choose a glass with silver where we burn little lights in at night.


Sunday December 1

I made a vegetable soup with the soup vegetables from the Beebox: it was delicious. I made bruschetta with pesto, tomato and mozzarella cheese (all from the Beebox) to eat with it.

Monday December 2

Time to try the Soester tubers: I cooked them and then mashed them. I made a kind of stew of the Romanesco with tomatoes and we had a meat ball with cheese and mustard to go with it. I liked it, R. not so much.

Tuesday December 3 

I was home late and I knew I would and had planned an easy dinner: pork, baked potatoes, carrots/green peas. Ready in 15 minutes.

Monday October 28, 2013: Rotterdam

Posted on

Saturday we had a day out with R’s work. We went to Rotterdam for a tour at the port of Rotterdam. It was a bit technique but quite interesting. We did spent (too) much time in the bus during the day though. The port of Rotterdam is huge, it’s the largest port in Europe. The port covers 105 square kilometres (41 sq miles) and stretches over a distance of 40 kilometres (25 miles).

We first did a boat tour through the port that took about 2 hours. We started at the oldest part of the port and then moved to the newer parts. After the tour we got on the bus and drove to a terminal that handles coal. It was dirty (we didn’t get off the bus) but interesting to see.

After that we drove to the newest part of the harbour: Maasvlakte 2.

Maasvlakte 1 was created in the 1960s by reclaiming land from the North Sea through dykes and sand suppletion. The sand for the suppletion was largely taken from the North Sea and the Lake of Oostvoorne. This lake was created by the construction of the Maasvlakte. Fossils were (and can still be) found in the sand. Before the completion of the Maasvlakte it was a sandbank which was hazardous to shipping.

In September 2008 work has started on the “Second Maasvlakte” or Maasvlakte 2: the existing area is being expanded and in 2013 the new harbours in the Maasvlakte 2 will be opened for commercial use. By spraying sand in the North Sea the port of Rotterdam will be extended by some 2.000 hectares

Then we got on the bus again and passed interesting viewing points of which the Maeslantkering was the most interesting. The port of Rotterdam and its surrounding area is susceptible to a storm surge from the North Sea. In the Delta Works flood protection plan various options have been considered for protecting Rotterdam. Finally a unique design was built, the Maeslantkering. This flood barrier consists of two huge doors that normally rest in a dry dock besides the Nieuwe Waterweg. When a flood of 3 metres (9.8 ft) above NAP (mean sealevel) is predicted the gates are floated into positions, like caissons, and sunk in place. When the waterlevel recedes enough to open the gates, they are floated back into their docks.

The port and the maasvlakte once again showed me how our small country can accomplish great things.

Other news: we had the heaviest storm today since 1990. We didn’t have damage, we live in the middle of the country and although the storm was here too, it was worse at the coast and in the north of the country. By now it’s over and tomorrow we go back to normal Autumn weather.

Tomorrow it’s our anniversary, 19 years ago we moved in together on October 29th and still are happy together. We won’t celebrate tomorrow but Saturday night with a dinner.

I do have dinner plans this week: I’m seeing my friend K. next Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing her and to see how much her belly has grown. Did I mention already she’s pregnant? It’s her first child and she’s due in February.


Monday: Tapout XT

Cross Core Combat, 25 minutes.
I bought this program a couple of weeks ago and this was the first time I did a workout from it. I’m not sure yet if I like this workout. It’s a tough workout, I couldn’t do a lot of the exercises because my fitness level isn’t good enough. I skipped those (original length of the workout is 46 minutes). I am going to try another one of the workouts, see if I like that better. If not, I either wait till my fitness level is better or I try to sell it.


Sunday October 27

I made a stew of chicken, mushrooms, bacon and carrots. We had some bread with the meal.

Monday October 28

I used the kohlrabi from my Beebox. I did nothing special with it, I just cooked it and added a sauce that I have bought semi-ready made (just had to add water). The kohlrabi was tasty. We had potatoes and a sausage with it.

Sunday August 11, 2013: Vacation

Posted on

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

Posted on

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.

Friday July 26, 2013: Heatwave

Posted on

It is official: we are having a heatwave, the first one since 2006. And it’s been hot, today is the first day it’s a bit cooler and it rained just a bit a while ago which we desperately need. I’m not complaining but man it’s been hot. And unfortunately I have a body that can’t stand the Dutch heat very much. So my energy level is low at the moment, I don’t sleep well and I am tired. I haven’t exercised since Monday and only took short walks with Bella because she’s suffering from the heat too. The streets are too hot for her little feet. It’s getting a bit cooler after tomorrow which will be nice.

Last Friday I had an appointment at the hairdresser. Lately I haven’t been satisfied with how my hair looks. I have had the same style for over a decade. An hour before I had to go, I decided I would cut it all off and go for short hair. I haven’t had short hair that often in my life. After I made the decision, I had no doubts anymore and was very pleased with the result. The photo isn’t showing my hair very well but there will be lots of pics in the future with this new style. I’m happy with it.

Last Sunday we went to the forest for a walk. I was stupid not to bring water for Bella because I thought it wouldn’t be that hot in the woods. I was wrong! Poor Bella was hot and luckily we passed a drinking spot for the animals that wasn’t dried up so she could drink some. After that she was okay for the rest of the walk.

Yesterday I met my friend K. for dinner. It wasn’t too hot so we could enjoy our dinner outside. We had a lot of catching up to do and as always it was very good to see her again. We had a mezzes menu which meant little plates of everything, it was very good.


Running Monday

Since I only ran once last week I decided to do one of last weeks training on Monday. I have 2 weeks flexibility between the 5K I signed up for and the end of this schedule. I wasn’t ready to move on to week 4. The weather was okay but it’s starting to get a bit humid in the morning. That’s why I decided on how I felt and not on paces. Afterwards it turned out I wasn’t much slower than last week.

Distance: 4.4 K / 2.7 miles
Time: 00:31:13
Running: 5-7-7-5 minutes.
Paces: 6:28 – 6:30 – 6:39 – 6:36
Weather: dry, bit humid, not much wind, 18C (… degrees)
Last song on Ipod before finish: Billy Joel – James

Friday March 15, 2013: Mishmash

Posted on

I’m glad to say I am all better, except from the bruises on my left butt but that just needs time to heal, also my lower back needs a bit more time to heal.

Wednesday night I had a date with my friend K. We had sushi for dinner. I took photos of the food but totally forgot to let someone take a photo of us. The thing with K. is that the minute we see each other we start talking and don’t stop till we say goodbye, it’s always like we had seen each other yesterday even if it has been 3 months. Being around her is so comfortable.


My company sponsors the Dutch Moto GP team. The official team presentation for the press was held at our office yesterday. I am not particularly interested in Moto GP but R. is. I went down to see the presentation and it was fun to see.


I can’t believe the weather. For crying out loud, Spring starts in a week and it’s still Winter. It’s cold and we had some snow this week. We are breaking weather records but not the ones that make you happy. Last Saturday we broke the rain record: it rained nonstop for 24 hours, the old record was almost 100 years old when it rained 23.5 hours. Last Monday we had the coldest March 11 in a century. It’s way to cold here for this time of year and I’m so done with it. Last year around this time I was already running in my capri’s. Now I still have to wear thermo clothes under my winter running clothes. The cold effects my running and my walks with Bella because I’m so done with it, I can’t get motivated anymore to run or walk in the cold, I’ve had enough. Let’s hope warmer weather will be here soon. I know I can’t wait.

And finally: how stupid is it that Google Reader stops at July 1? I’ve already looked into other readers and am testing feedly at the moment. So far it’s working good but I have to test some more. Do you have any suggestions for good readers?


Plank challenge March

I have to restart this challenge but won’t start till my butt and lower back are completely painfree, probably next week.

Monday morning I did a short easy run, just to see how it would go. And it went very well, better than expected. I didn’t take walk breaks. It was freaking cold though, the temperature wasn’t that cold but there was a very cold hard wind.


Distance: 3.2 K / 2 miles
Time: 00:22:52

Speed per km: 8.40 km/hour (5.2 miles/hour)

Time per km: 07:09
Weather: dry, hard wind, -1C (30 degrees)

Last song on Ipod before finish: P!nk – Who knew


I had one more workout program on my wish list: Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. It was hard to find a seller in Europe but after a couple of months I finally found a seller on Ebay Germany and I could buy the program. This makes my workout collection complete, I have a great variation of all kinds of programs: strength, cardio and yogalates. I did the first workout of the program last Tuesday and it was a great workout, I like it a lot. I had 4 circuits, every circuit was done twice and existed of 3 exercises. Between the circuits was a 1 minute cardio interval. All the workouts are about 30 minutes.

Sunday January 6, 2013: Mishmash

Posted on

Daily stuff:

Back to work Thursday and it wasn’t easy to get back into routine. I didn’t really wanted to go back to work already but bills have to be paid and food has to be on the table. At least the advantage of 2 workdays is that it was weekend after just 2 days.

We had a quiet weekend which was lovely after all the holidays. Most people don’t like January but I love it because everything is back to normal and a whole new year is lying ahead of us.

We didn’t do much, had movie night yesterday and watched Horrible Bosses, it was an okay movie. We didn’t want a “heavy” movie just one you could watch mindlessly.

This afternoon we went to my friend T. who is having her birthday today. She never celebrates big but we always go to congratulate her. As usual my gift to her was an invitation for dinner at my house, it’s a tradition we have for years now.


Back to working out before work means running in the dark again. We’re lucky that the weather is so mild so far this winter, it hasn’t been really cold yet. Only a few more months and daylight will be return. The run itself went good. I had to do 7 x 3 minutes running and the last 3 minutes was at a 6:00 pace (per km). That was hard and I had to step out of my comfort zone to do it but I did.

Run-walk ratio: 7 x 3, 1 minute walking inbetween (21 minutes running, 7 minutes walking)
Weather: dry, bit windy, 9C (48 degrees)
Distance: 4 K / 2.5 miles
Time: 00:28:12
Last song on Ipod before finish: Chicago – Saturday in the park.

I did a fun run this morning, just running for fun, take a walk break when I need it, don’t look at my pace and it turned out to be a very good run. I took 2 walk breaks and just enjoyed running.

Weather: dry, little  wind, 7C (44 degrees)
Distance: 3.5 K / 2.1 miles
Time: 00:23:49
Last song on Ipod before finish: Fun! – We are young.



Lunch (8 points): brought my own lunch which I plan to do more often. I made a salad from a WW cook book: couscous with cucumber and tomatoes. This was for 1 person but it was too much to eat it all. I ate about ¾ of it. I also had to kiwi (Zespri) fruits.


Lunch (9 points): Another salad with pasta yellow pepper, rocket salad and cherry tomatoes with a dressing of low fat yogurt with a little bit of pesto. I like the salad but the yogurt in it not so much. Think I will replace that with a little extra virgin olive oil. Think I will like it better that way.


Breakfast (6 points) was a whole wheat bread with a boiled egg.

Lunch (10 points) was 2 slices of bread with bacon, spinach, tomato and cheese that I put under the grill for a few minutes till the cheese was melted. It was delicious, I had the same for lunch today.


Dinner (6 points): Tomato-lentil soup with Turkish bread that I put under the grill with some garlic and olive oil as a topping. Delicious! I made two portions and put one in the freezer for a day I don’t have much time to cook.


I forgot to take pictures of my breakfast this morning that was a croissant with jelly. I didn’t make dinner because I was full from the snacks I had in the afternoon and just ate 2 slices of bread with peanut butter.

Weekly workout review:

I have been taking it easier the past 2 weeks with my exercises and running and I don’t mind. Sometimes you have to take it a bit easier. As of tomorrow I will pick up my regular exercise schedule again.

Wednesday January 2, 2013: Happy New Year!

Posted on

Daily stuff:

First: I wish you all a happy New Year and hope it will be a fantastic year for you.

The last days of 2012 were very relaxing for us. Last Friday we had our friends over for our first evening to end the year together. We had lots of fun and it was a great success.

The food:


The guys giving R. Ipad lessons (they both already had one):


The girls:

We spend New Year’s Eve at home as we have been doing the last couple of years. Especially I don’t care about New Year’s Eve and I don’t want to go anywhere that night. I’m always in anticipation for the new year to start. New Year’s Day we did the traditional visits to both our Moms. R. had to go back to work today but I had another day of vacation. For me normal life starts again tomorrow.


It’s time to reveal my plans: a new year has started and this year is special to me. In May I’m hoping to reach the age of 45 and in March it’s 20 years ago R. and I met. Because it’s a special year to me, I started thinking about what I want to accomplish this year a couple of weeks ago. I thought and thought about it over and over again till I was convinced I can do this and I want to do this.

I have 2 big goals this year:

1. Reach my goal weight
2. Run a half marathon

Goal weight:

For years and years I’ve been struggling with my weight. I lose some, I gain some which kept me at the same weight for a couple of years (except last year where I gained weight). Nothing wrong with that, except that it isn’t a healthy weight. I have thought about how I was going to reach it and after lots of thinking and testing I have decided to go back to Weight Watchers. WW has been the only program in the past that has really worked for me and helped me reach my goal weight 13 years ago. Since then I’ve been struggling with my highest weight 10 years ago in 2003. A decade!

This time I’m not going to give up, I won’t stop till I reached a weight that’s healthy for me and that I can be happy with. I don’t have a specific date in mind but December 31 will be great (if not I keep on going in 2014). I have to lose 9 kg (19.8 lbs).

Half marathon

After two attempts at running a half, I still can’t get it out of my head. Not finishing has been one of the biggest failures to me and I can’t stand that, neither can I let it go. So I’m trying again this year. I have a race in mind in October and I have made a training schedule that will prepare me for that.

But, one of my biggest “problems” is race day nerves. I have messed up a few races because I was nervous.  I have planned a few races the next months to see how it goes, if I’m still that nervous I might not run that half in a race but on my own.

I don’t care if I run it in a race or on my own or that I run in October or maybe even on December 31: I shall run this distance in 2013!

I don’t have to prove to myself that I can run a half in a race but I have to prove to myself that I can run  it. That’s what matters most to me.


What better way to start a new year and my plans for 2013 with a run on the first day of the year. When I got up it was raining cats and dogs but I had my mind set on a run and after about 30 minutes I went. It wasn’t that bad at all although I had to take more walk breaks towards the end of run (probably because of the wine on New Year’s Eve). Because it was early there was hardly any traffic and no one outside for a walk or run except for this one girl that I saw. Just like me she was running: girl power!

Run-walk ratio: 7-7-14, 2 minutes walking inbetween (28 minutes running, 6 minutes walking)
Weather: rain, bit windy, 5C (41 degrees)
Distance: 4.8 K / 3 miles
Time: 00:33:46
Last song on Ipod before finish: Spandau Ballet – Lifeline.


Now that I have started Weight Watchers I will make pics of my meals for as far as that’s possible (not going to take photos when I have a work lunch for example).


Breakfast (7 points): 2 slices of bread with cheese and marmalade and an orange.

Lunch (8 points): 2 slices of bread with egg/tomato/cottage cheese.


Dinner (7 points): Pork meat, potatoes, green beans.