Day 131: Oh dear intervals

Remember what I was talking about last time about the ugly side of Dutch spring weather?
Well, today we got a storm. A STORM. With rain, hail and 8-strength wind. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Perfect running weather! Well, the trains didn’t run… but I did. Please appreciate this beautiful picture made by @NoortjeArtz on twitter of how it looked like a bit south of where I live.


Actually I was lucky to manage my run in between the heavy bouts of rain and only some strong headwind got in my way. Nevertheless: the intervals are difficult. It was supposed to be a 3x1km run + 2-5 minutes of jogging breaks in between (mine were closer to 5).

I warmed up first with the Spartan WOD (or as much as I could from it) and headed off to run. Despite the strong wind which was completely in my face at times, I managed to get 5:11 mins/km for the first km. The second interval, however, didn’t go well at all. I only covered about 600m at the same pace before I called it quits. Third interval I felt much better, but I also ran considerably slower – 5:42mins/km. In general I managed to run 2.6 km instead of the planned 3. The middle interval is my enemy at this moment, so I will have to concentrate to improve on that. In general, it went pretty similar to last week. The average pace was slightly faster, so I count that as progress!

Distance: 2.6km intervals
Time:       13:44

What is your strategy for interval training? Which part is the most difficult?
Do you have any advice on how to run intervals?


Days 123-129: Week 2 of 10k training


This was a busy and eventful week. I bought some gear. Ran my fastest 1k. Yay!
Ran my fastest 5k. Double yay!

The weather was… very Dutch. Remember all the beautiful pictures of last week and even before that? Well, spring is in full swing here and showing its more ugly face: the rain. Raining cats and dogs with strong wind on top. But I run anyway. I ran though rain, wind, stomach cramps and sneaky puddles this week.
My eating experiment seems to be successful, too. I eat more and I try to fit in more protein in my food, and I feel generally more energetic. I also seem to be less fatigued from the exercise, what was my main goal with this idea.

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Days 121 & 122: First week of 10k training


I know many of you still have to train in the snow and cold, but here where I live the spring is in full swing. I am surprised and delighted by seeing the trees being covered in flowers more and more day by day. I go run in the park more often now and it is so wonderful. Even though the temperatures are not much higher than a month ago, the sun and the views certainly make the weather feel nicer. And oh, the sunsets… in the picture above is the view from my window. I feel blessed and so lucky to be able to enjoy this view so often.

The last week was an example for me how my training will look like the coming two months. I suspect that I am not eating enough for the increased physical activity, as I am getting hungry and tired easily. Fortunately all I have at home to binge on is fruit and nuts, but it’s a signal that I need to either increase my calorie intake or my protein intake. I’ll be experimenting in the next two weeks or so and hopefully I’ll find the proper way to fuel myself.


I woke up for the morning yoga class and head off to my slow 5k through the park directly afterwards. It was slow indeed, but I didn’t mind – it was what it was supposed to be. I had all the time to pause and take in the environment and even take some pictures. Other runners were passing me, but I resisted the urge to speed up.

Distance: 5.4km
Time:       37:41


Do you know what does not make one well prepared for a fast-paced run? Drinking and dancing at a rave till 6 a.m. does not. I had a great night and a short rest, but that resulted in a difficult run.
The training plan called for a fast run above my anaerobic threshold, so I headed up at a very fast pace, and I managed to keep it up for about 3km. After that, I noticed I was slowing down noticeably, and I did what I haven’t done for a long time now: I took a walking break, and I felt OK about it. Now that’s a big deal. After the walking break I did not feel particularly refreshed or much better, but I was able to pick up my pace and finish the distance in the way that I was supposed to. I did the day 10 of 30 days of yoga with Adriene while looking out of my window and enjoying this:


Distance: 5.1km
Time:       30:59

Is there spring already where you live, or do you still run in the snow?
Do you enjoy the view from your windows?
Are there any particular things you feel blessed for recently?

Day 119: Like a turtle in peanut butter

Hey, it’s spring equinox tomorrow! And a solar eclipse at the same time! Up to 80% of the eclipse will be visible where I live, what will be quite amazing. Sadly, I will have to be at work, but I might sneak out for an hour or so to watch the most interesting part. If you plan to see it – make sure to protect your eyes, please.

The run today, though, was… difficult. My legs felt like they were filled with lead and my feet hurt at some points, and I felt slow as a turtle in peanut butter. I was surprised that I ran pretty much in the same pace/time as the previous 8k, because it felt so much slower and, in general, worse. On the other hand, the tree I took a picture of last time is now fully covered in blossom. Just look at it! So wonderful! Looking at these pictures, I can almost forget that it’s still pretty chilly outside.

Distance: 8.5km
Time:        57:55

Do you plan on seeing the eclipse?

Day 117: Blissful nothings & the girls

I ran with the girls tonight again!

I actually got ill with some sort of flu this past weekend, and yesterday I stayed home in my jammies because of that (yup, even skipped dance class and yoga). It was… blissfully refreshing to do absolutely nothing for a day. I know “the importance of a rest day”, but for the first time I felt how my body and mind needed the complete and utter lack of activity. What makes me thinking of my busy training plan and how I planned to have something, at least some yoga, on every day of the week. Will I be able to keep that up for at least two months till the race? I hope yes. We will see.

Today I felt well enough to go to the running event. We ran the same intervals as previously, but I took it easy and slow. Every ~750m round, we got an exercise to perform:

  • 30m walking lounges <- these are a killer, especially when you give them everything you’ve got!
  • 10 pushups
  • 30 mountain climbers
  • 15 sumo squats
  • and another 30m walking lounges <- I am so happy to have long legs, trust me.

Afterwards, we lined in two rows opposite each other and did planks with high-fives for 3x30s, and 2 sets of 30 high knees. These were intense!


…and then I ran home. Yup!

Distance: about 7k total
Time:       No idea!

How demanding is your training plan?
Do you give yourself at least one day per week of complete rest? 

Day 103: Running with the Girls

Every Tuesday in my city two wonderful women organise a free running event open for girls only. There is no basic level required and everyone is welcome to join, as long as they want to run and are female. This week I decided to join them and it was really cool!


There’s me in this picture, on the left!

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Day 101: Back to running! kind of….

So, how did your weekend pass? Mine wasn’t that great (I haven’t managed to do half of all the things I wanted to), but I did run, and it was blissful. For the first time, I ran outside any plan, any route, any time limits; I just set off and ran through the city and the park in here for as long and as far as my legs took me. I ran to the nearby park and then through and around it before coming back home. That was absolutely fantastic. The setting off to the area I never ran before, without a goal in mind, felt great, and so did coming back to the the familiar parts I ran through so many times before. Not to mention how nice and pleasant was it to run through the park itself!


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