Wednesday, December 29, 2010

September 2010 and Singelloop 13.1

*** This is post 2 in a series of 5 posts meant to catch up on five months of blogging absence*** 

September should be renamed IKEA month. Seriously. We spent the month buying and building IKEA furniture. My in-laws came to visit, we went on a weekend trip to Baarle-Nassau to celebrate my hubby's birthday and I found my way to the gym and the pool.

Race of the Month: Breda Singelloop half-marathon (1st weekend of October).
This race was organized in my new town, looped twice around my house, so obviously I had to sign up. The distances were 5K, 10K, 15K, or the half-marathon. Since it was two weeks before the Amsterdam marathon, I was hoping it would help me train.
The name singelloop comes from the word singel, which is used to refer to the myriad of canals surrounding the historical center of Breda.  Most of the run was along those.
The half marathon was supposed to start at 2pm. I was busy nailing some furniture (what else), and got carried away. So I had to dash to the start, and got there at 1:55pm, just in time to make some small talk with all the serious runners that already had their ipods on. It was a LOT hotter than I had anticipated. It was 24C, which is rather high for a Dutch fall day, but I wasn't too overdressed.

The race consisted of two loops. The first loop was fun, but a bit too hot, and I was feeling my lack of training. The second loop started right next to the finish. I passed that point just a few minutes before the winner. It is really a strange feeling knowing I still had half a race ahead of me, yet some people were close to done.
The only big downer of this race was that there were only two water posts, very close to each other, so I was getting very thirsty. Fortunately, the race passed close to my house, and my hubby was there waiting for me with a bottle of water. It would have been SO easy to stop and go home there, but him being there was good motivation to keep going. About 2 miles later, the race passed close to our house again, and the temptation was large. I started walking, pondering over my choices. Eventually I decided I really wanted the medal and to be able to wear my t-shirt, knowing I had finished the race. My legs were cramping really bad, so I finished the last 1/2 loop using a combination of running and walking. I think many other people suffered from the heat and lack of water. Surprisingly, I finished in 2:08:54, 52nd out of 94 women. So, not even too shaby. If I had run the same time as my Pittsburgh half, I would have finished 24th.
Moral of the story: I need to train a bit more!

Training for the Month
Things got better! Yes they did! I found a pool, and I found a gym. The hard part was getting used to a new routine. We do all of our commuting by bike, which requires some good preparation.
This is what my new bike looks like

We started getting up at 6 again, so I would have time to work out before work. The pool is only open Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 7 to 9 and I tried to be there at 7, to make it to work on time for 9. Then after work, I tried to fit in a second workout. The results were mixed. Most of my efforts were focused on running, since the Amsterdam marathon was looming ahead. I totaled 55 miles of running, 72 miles of biking, and 2,000 yds of swimming (hey, I found the pool, it doesn't mean I also used it...).

Travel for the Month
My in-laws came to visit us for two weekends. So we spent one weekend in Scheveningen, and visited Breda, Nijmegen, and Eindhoven. We also went in a day trip for lunch to Meersel-Dreef (Belgium) and on an overnight trip to Baarle-Nassau (20k by bike) for Ondrej's birthday and spent the night at a B&B.
Scheveningen Beach with Ondrej and his mum

The dunes
A delicious lunch of spare ribs (me) and mossels (Ondrej's mum)
Our new coffee hangout: Inspire in Breda
Spinach Bacon soup (delicious) in Meersel Dreef
Off to Baarle-Nassau (Ondrej on his folding bike)
Traditional Dutch roadside view: cows
The sun was shining for a bit
Loads of rain showers too
 Life this Month
Pretty good. Getting used to our new routine. How to get to work, how to workout before and after work. Where to hang out for coffee during the weekend, where to do groceries. Ondrej's parents' visit was also a huge highlight!

Progress on the furniture corner: dining room corner


  1. I have that same bookshelf in black!

  2. Funny IKEA across the Atlantic! In the meantime our , shelf has multiplied and has two more little ones on either side...