Saturday, 10 December 2016

Running again!

It's been four months since I twisted my knee cap. The last run I went on was the 17th of August! Seems like forever ago. And these shoes! Also bought forever ago. I usually do not go to the gym and so I have never invested in fancy in door shoes. I just have these old classics, that have been in my life since But for the last couple of weeks I've been going to the gym for a session with my physical therapist, cycling, planking, squatting...and now finally today, RUNNING!
And so my first run in four months was on these old babies. 

Well, I say run, what I mean is 1 minute jogs. Everything I'm doing is based, not only on rebuilding muscles, but also regaining muscle memory. The first time walking without a cast. The first time walking up and down the stairs without lifting my hip awkwardly. Every time I try something I have not done in a while, I realise my body had forgotten how to do it. And it was the same with running. 
Running after this injury felt like the bones in my leg were bone to bone, without any cushioning. Like, bones smashing into each other. Not nice. Not painful, but not nice. According to the therapist, this is normal, as your leg muscles have forgotten that they have to cushion the blow. This is why, when you start running again after a long stop, you need to build back up from scratch. Literally, run a minute, walk a minute, run a minute, walk a minute...and so on. 

But even with the awkwardness, being there, on the treadmill, in my old shoes, running, running was amazing. It felt like a hurdle I had to jump over, and I made it. Progress is actually happening. In October 2017 the 42 marathon of Amsterdam will take place. And I want to be there. And today I could feel the start of a new chance of making it across the finish line after 42KM. We will see if it will happen, but I'm sure going to try. And although there is a very, very long way to go, the first hurdle -running without pain- has been taken!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Day of the Amsterdam Marathon 2016

It's a beautiful sunny Autumn day. Perfect running weather. It's the day I should have run my first marathon. In stead, I'm on the side line -which is just a few hundred metres from my front door- to cheer. It's a bitter sweet feeling. Bitter, because I wished I had been running. I have to say, seeing people pass me by, it's more emotional than I thought it was. Sweet, because, it is a lovely day to be outside, and because people I know who are running are putting down some amazing times.

It's been two months since I dislocated my knee. And as of this week I'm finally allowed to bend my knee to a 90 degree angle. I say allowed, but really, I should add that even if I was allowed, I'm physically not able to bend it any further anyway.

This day is not how I thought it would be. I'm not one to break a new year's resolution. But I've had to. Where I thought I would be running 42 KM this year, I've had to change that to running a marathon in the Spring of 2017. Now, I've had to change my resolution to being able to ride my bike by myself through traffic before the end of December. And it sucks.
Especially as my rehabilitation process is slower than expected, because my first doctor told me to wear a stiff, non-bending, brace for 6 weeks, where all the doctors and physical therapists after him have told me that is one of the worst things I could have done. I've lost a lot of muscle, and my knee is very unstable because of this.

But I'm trying to live in the now and to feel gratitude for what my knee is able to do today. And I have to say, being able to walk to the marathon trail without crutches, feels amazing. 

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II Shattered Dreams?

Shattered. Gutted. Disappointed. One week ago yesterday I was off to a bouldering site with the bae for a new New Monthly Tryout. We have been trying to go climbing since May and every single time something came up. And so I was so excited to finally go and climb my way up a wall.

I went really well, like a little spider I sped my way up all the routes. Until...we went back to route one of level one -yes, it is that stupid, one of one- and I dislocated my knee while swinging my body to a new little orange stub on the wall.
Luckily I fell quite safely on my back, leaving my knee as good as it can get while dislocated. After the ambulance came after a time that felt like forever, they quite easily pushed everything back in place and I spent the rest of the night in hospital waiting for x-rays and a consult and finally left at midnight with a brace expanding over my entire leg -hip to ankle- and two crutches.

All I could think about while laying on the big mat at the bouldering joint, the ambulance and the hospital, was my marathon. Absolutely gutted. Why did I go out and climb up a wall? Why did I try to change my body position this much while hanging off a 'cliff'? Why did my leg not just say no, instead of twisting off my knee cap? Is this the end of my 2016 marathon?
This Thursday I will make my way to the hospital again and get an update on how my recovery will continue. But at that time I will have spent two weeks limping in a brace instead of building up my long distances. So even with a swift recovery, a marathon in 2 months seems unlikely. 

Somewhere in the distance I still have a glimmer of hope, but in reality I do know that the Amsterdam marathon is just not happening this year. Gutted. Absolutely gutted. The marathon this fall was my 2016 goal. My new year's resolution. I have been working towards this for more than 6 months. And it's not going to happen.

I know things could be worse. I could have fallen on my knee, instead of my back. I could have broken something. Or injured not only my knee, but also something else; a hip or ankle. I mean, I could have been hit by a bus on the way to the bouldering site. I know all this. Still I'm absolutely gutted. The glimmer of hope still has her eye on the Amsterdam marathon. My little bit more realistic brain is thinking about the Rotterdam marathon in April.

We'll see. 

I'll keep you up to date on the recovery and all the next steps. Cheers from a girl restricted by a huge brace -aptly from the brand actimove- on the couch, in stead of out side for a 26K run.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Monthly Tryout II supagolf

It was a cloudy, wet afternoon after a 20K run. I found myself on a big field, surrounded by poles, nets and plastic sheets with rubber ducks on them, swinging around some clubs while enjoying a beer.

Supagolf, its a golf-type game that's in between mini-golf and golf. You get a caddie with 4 different clubs that you roll around a football-sized field containing 9 holes, which vary between 40 and around 80 meters of playing field. And I have to say, it's a lot of fun!

Of course my supagolf partner found his strength in this game, hitting balls perfectly and flying them over the plastic duck water ponds, while I kept struggling, causing me to lose miserably. Let's say it was due to the fact I just almost ran a half marathon...

There are two holes, that aren't really holes, but a game of shooting as many balls as you can into a net, which suited my talents more. Alas, it wasn't enough to make it to the finish line. 

All in all, we had a blast, with one round of holes providing us about an hour and a half of fun with the two of us. 

Supagolf in Amsterdam is a pop-up golf course. They are 'live' until August 28th. Go check them out!


Monday, 8 August 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 20

Week 20...almost half way there. And almost half way a marathon, with a long distance run of 20K this weekend. 

With all the rain in August, I decided to do more strength training on Wednesday in stead of an interval training, as I am a little scared to get injured because of cooling off too much between high intensity intervals. 

This was the first 20K run for a long time in my schedule, and I had to think about bringing along drinks and something to energise during the run again. Which is something you need to think about during the marathon as well. 
When running a half marathon I usually just use the water and banana points of the event itself. But is this something I want during the marathon?
Also, there are no water or banana points during a training! So what to do? I decided to bring some gels, and a bottle of water and every 5-6K I had a gel and a few sips. And it kept me going. 

I was kind of spent though at the end. I discussed with a marathon running friend what to do in these situations where you are too spent to keep going. Is it better to run on, or is it better to just walk a minute or two and then start running again after getting your breath and heart rate down? 
She felt it was better to keep running, because it is so hard to start up again. In my opinion it is kind of nice to have a little walk in between. Especially because I do not like to eat gels and run. Or eat anything while moving, really. So often, when I eat something, I don't run. I walk. It works for me. And if I need to extend my run a couple of km, I kind of like to have a little walk and then run another 5k. It helps me take on those extra minutes and get across the imaginary finish line.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 19

It was a rainy week. And so I spent some more time on muscle work-outs with my trusty kettle bell and the amazing Youtube, than running. And, my word, I got some hefty muscle aches from that kettle bell. Especially in my upper leg muscles. And I again suffered some tight muscles in my right leg, even with ante and post stretching moves.

I did go out for an 18km run on Saturday, through Diemerpark, which is filled with field flowers, wild bunnies, butterflies and endless amounts of birds. It was lovely. There are berries growing everywhere, and as the weather was great there were people with baskets collecting fresh berries all along the route. Plus, bonus, At round 12km the tightness in my right leg was lifted. Pretty scary at first, because it felt as if it was tightening even more, but then with a small little pang it freed up completely.

Additionally this week I listened to the Brain Warrior's Way three free videos. To actually participate in their programme you have to pay a fee. But the introduction videos are gratis. And for that reason there is a lot of blah blah in there, with some marketing talk on the side. However it's still quite interesting as it helps you formulate why you want to take care of yourself. What is your motivation to work out? Eat more healthily? Go to bed on time? And what will your life look like if you continue on, or change to, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise? Then imagine your life 5, or 10 or even 20 years down the line if you change your ways and look after that one body you have.

It sounds simple, but it is more powerful than you think. Of course it kind of leans on the secret and visualisation as well, but it adds some details as to how to what your brain and body need to be healthy. I probably won't do the entire programme, as a lot of information is not new. Let's face it, we all know the basics of healthy living. Work out, but not to much. Eat fruits and vegetables. Don't smoke or drink alcohol. It's not new, is it?

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 18

Today I ran a 13 plus km run with Nydia, writer of the blog words to run by. We used to be colleagues, but kind of lost touch last year. It was a great, very hot run, through her old neigbourhood. We chatted the entire way, making sure I did not run too fast. Still it was perhaps a little above my personal pace, especially in this heat.

It's been a sweltering week, making it very hard to train, as one already melts when changing into the work out gear, let alone when going out for a run. I did manage to go out for a 6-7km run on Thursday early morning, but the rest just has been too warm. Not being a morning person and not sure how safe I feel running in the big city at night, it's been tough...

But in better news, no more pains after the longer stretching sessions laid down by the physical therapist.

On the food front, I started reading in the book 'the complete vegan kitchen' by chef Jannequin Bennett. And although I do not agree with everything and I'm not sure if I want to switch to an all vegan diet, it is very inspiring all the same. 

On to next week.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 17

This is one of my favourite routes to run. A rich in nature, lack of traffic lights, windy water-side 10 miles. Running past seasonal flowers. Striding next to wind surfers. It's freeing, makes you feel light.

This week I did alright. Not amazing. But alright. After a monthly hormonal migraine stopped me from running my short distance run and my interval, I did go out for my slightly longer interval and this lovely 10 miles (16 kilometres) run on the left. 

I also made a new vow to stop eating as much sugar, as Oreo cookies are too addictive and make me want other candy as well. So far so good (it has only been 4 days, but still, you know, see the positives).

Additionally I was inspired by an interview on Smart People Podcast with doctor Amen, to eat more healthily and spend some time, not just on my body, but on my brain as well. Although Dr. Amen is against perhaps not the best inspirator at the moment...However he does believe in interval training. So perhaps that motivates to never skip that training ever again?

Finally, so amazing, I won the opportunity to run the Afsluitdijk-open. This dyke that closes off the North Sea to the centre of the Netherlands is 32,8 kilometres long and they're closing it off for a run event. At sunrise. This means running 30 kilometres at dawn by the sea, which seems horrible and amazing at the same time. Tickets are still available. Besides getting to run way to early in the day, you also get a once in a life time medal. Awesome! 

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 13 - 16

So, again, alas, a tough couple of weeks. I transitioned into the actual marathon training, going from running 3 times a week to 4 times a week.
Week 13 was great. Three short runs and one 10K run on Saturday. It went great. Then the week after I was off to Dublin for work. I gave a talk at Re:co, which is the Ted talk of the coffee industry. It was scary and amazing, to talk in front of 100 of my coffee peers, about a subject so dear to my heart. And it went very well. But. I didn't go out running...

Week 15 saw me run a short 8K on Saturday, which left me injured again! Bullocks, crap, shit, and more of those words. Fortunately I already had an appointment booked with by physical therapist the following Monday, and after some dry needling, a run through some additional stretches that I need to do for my bigger leg muscles and calves before and after running, plus the tip to please go and check out my magnesium levels, I was off home again.

And then I got sick. Yes. I. Got. Sick...the flu. What can you do...I sneezed and wheezed all week, promising myself I would be better before the weekend. Thankfully I did feel a lot better on Saturday of week 16, so I pushed myself out of the door, after some extensive stretching (no worries, I was warmed up) and ran a quite lovely 14 K. Yeah. But the last 2K I did feel the same injury on the inside of my leg again! Not as bad as before, so hopefully the very time consuming stretches afterwards helped, and I can start training in week 17 without any pains or tribulations. 

Speak next week!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 7-12

It's been quiet on here. I'm sorry. It's been a tough few weeks. I noticed that even with the new shoes, my legs and hip kept hurting after 6-7 kilometres, forcing me to stop running and walk about 10 minutes before being able to run a few kilometres again.

It was awful and scary. I'm training for a marathon. I don't have time for pain and injury...

I quickly booked an appointment with a physical therapist. One that was, really quite honestly, just a little bit too far away for my liking, but who came highly recommended. 

Lucky for me the issue was quite easy to resolve, as it was just a muscle issue and nothing deeper. So after a couple of weeks of dry needling I was able to run a longer distance again.

And so I did. I carefully started building on my long distance runs and Sunday the 12th I ran the half marathon of Almere. Which is a beautiful run, mainly consisting of parks, running by water and forests. What was also pleasant was that it was not as crowded as most runs, leaving ample space for me to just trot along on a narrow path looking at the greenery and the huge swans flying over head.

And I ran it without pain. Yes I was at the end of my willingness to run after 21km, but no pain, no sores, even no rub marks. And even not too much muscle ache the next day. I felt fit as a bird!

As of next week I move from my half marathon training to my full marathon training, upping the runs per week to 4 times. A short distance on Monday and Thursday. An interval or strength training on Wednesday and a long distance on Saturday. 

Let's keep on running, Amsterdam Marathon, here I come.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Monthly Tryout II Stand Up Boarding

The weather out side is getting better and better all the time. And in May I went stand up boarding (SUB) to celebrate. In the North East of Amsterdam you can find city beach Blijburg. A small beach right on the waters of the IJ. And on a bright Saturday morning me and my partner in crime were choosing what paddle length was appropriate for us.

The water was still cold, which was very motivating to not fall off and the soft summery breeze helped us not feel the sun burning on our bodies, no matter that it was so early in the morning.

It was so much fun. I was surprised how much easier it was to stay up right than I thought. And the feeling of freedom, standing on the board, looking into the distance to the high buildings of Amsterdam, in the sun and with a soft breeze...was one of the best feelings I've ever had. However, and maybe this is just me, this did not really feel like a work out. But perhaps I allready had abs of steel :)

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 6

This was a bad, bad, bad training week...but on the bright side it was a really, really good work/private week. I went to CoLab, a three day event for baristas and other coffee professionals from Monday to Wednesday. All days were all day events, from workshops to competitions and so there was no time to go out for a run. 

But I did win the competition! Together with friend B, we formed the Dutch Dapper Duettes and won not only a trophy, but also a Brewista electric kettle, a pour-over system and server. Each. And let me tell you, it feels good to win something that's based on skills in your professional field.

As April apparently is Autumn weather, in stead of Spring, we had rain and even snow and hail on Thursday and Friday I was just extremely lazy. But I did force myself out on a run-walk-run on Saturday. I kept moving for almost 100 minutes. Originally I had 90 minutes in my schedule. But as I had not run enough this week and my legs were tired, I decided to walk every couple of kilometres and it took me longer to finish the route I had set out for myself. It's a great route though, if you're looking for a route in the East of Amsterdam, Diemerpark is great, filled with green, birds and bunnies. And if you run back through Diemen train station, you pass a real life llama. 

Hopefully next week will be better exercise wise, but at least I will be able to make great coffee with my new gear.

photo curtesy of the Barista League


Next week: a 50 minute short run, an interval training, a lesson in bouldering and a 95 endurance run.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 5

A basic week this week. First a 40 minute run on Monday, a halve hour yoga session on Wednesday and a long distance run on Saturday.

This week I did change some other things though. The vegan diet has always intrigued me, because every single vegan you talk to says it gives them so much energy. But I'm never really sure what to make. So this week I picked a couple of easy 30 minute vegan recipes from the Bloglovin - the Edit
Especially the cauliflower rice, and the kimchi quinoa was amazingly scrumptious.
I'll probably not turn 100% vegan, but it was great to try for a week and discover some recipes that I enjoy, that are easy to make and that are meat and dairy free.

In line with that I bought a protein powder that is raw, vegan, and soy free. Now that I'm training more, I want to make sure my body does not feel abandoned after a workout. With the protein I can help my muscles out after a long workout. 
I've never used a protein powder, so I do not use it after every workout. Like, after a short 30-40 minute run a sandwich will do, but I do like it after a long and harder workout. Just to get used to it too. 

I did not want some strange protein, so after some research I found a plant based protein that is also soy free, which is important, because I do not want to have to much soy products as they are so high in hormones.

The taste is pretty awful so you do need to disguise it somewhat. I mixed a handful of spinach, with 5 sprigs of fresh mint, a slice of green melon with water and a scoop of the vanilla protein powder, and it tasted amazing! This protein is a bit grainy, which I gather from the internet is unusual. But I don't mind it.


Next week I'm in Antwerp for work until Wednesday, and its a full program from morning till late in the evening, so I'm not sure if I can do a short run. So I will have to make up for that from Thursday till Sunday, with an interval and a 90 minute run.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 4

Week 4. Monday I did noooothing, at all. It was great. Tuesday I made up for my laziness with a 30 minute run with a couple of sprints.

Thursday should have marked an interval training, but in stead I went to a Saucony stride lab at the Run2Day Overtoom in Amsterdam. At the stride lab they give you a running analysis, give some running advice and then show you some shoes that work best for your running style.
And it was soooo informative! They put you on a running belt for a couple of minutes, and film you from the side, the back and the front. 
After you can see an analysis of how your hips move, if your knees are stable, how your ankles land and how far you 'jounce' (?), catching the hardness of the ground in your joints.

And so I learned that my hips are not as stable as they can be, but are still quite stable. This is quite common, apparently 8 out of 10 runners have unstable hips. This does not have to be a big problem, but it is important to have a strong core and work on having more stable hips, as it might give injuries if you are building up and increasing your distance. Which I am! So, something to work on. By working on my core, doing running exercises such as skipping and such and making sure I build up slowly. The good news? My knees and ankles are performing awesome! straight as a bird. 
I have a small step, and I bend my knee quite far, meaning I do not really need a strong cushioning shoe, as my knee bending does this work for me.

The shoes I had however are quite cushioning and springy. The guy mentioned this could just be my preference, but as my shins and feet do get tired really quickly he did advice me to try shoes that were not as cushioning. I tried some shoes out, with my old shoe on one foot and a more hard shoe on the other foot and the difference was huge!

And so I had a dilemma. Because my old shoes are still fine, and wouldn't need to be replaced for another couple of months. But the other shoes ran so great and the Run2Day had this sale where you could get a discount if you brought in your old shoes. But I just was not ready to hand over the old shoes. Especially as the stride lab guy argued that it would be good to interchange between the pairs the next couple of months....and then the best thing ever happened, and the Run2Day gave me the discount without me having to render my old pair! 

And so this weekend I took my new shoes, (btw Saucony by chance, I tried out multiple brands during the Saucony stride lab) for my endurance run to test them out. And the difference was insane. My calves did not cramp, my shins did not hurt, I did not feel tired as foot did doze of as usual, however it was not as bad as it usually is. So yay!

If you also want to go to a stride lab and you live in the Netherlands, do check out the locations and dates, which you can do here. You can make an appointment (for free) on the Saucony stride lab website.


Next week: 
40 minutes
80 minutes

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 3

Major faux pas this week. I went on a long run on Saturday without enough build up in the days before. There are all these rules out there which gives you the tools to determine how long your long run is allowed to be. You know, to avoid injuries. 

I ran 40 minutes on Monday, running home from the office. The colleagues thought I was insane, but for me it was a huge time saver. In stead of cycling back home for 30 minutes and then having to run for 40 minutes,  I could just run home. Right?

However, I completely failed at doing an interval training this week. It was Thursday. I was tired, I felt chills down my back all the time. I took a bath and had dinner in bed. It was great!

But I paid for it during my 80 minute run on Saturday which turned into a 70 minute run, because I started to feel too tired and was scared of hurting myself. I already felt it after 5K, and so I through in a short break stretching out my calves and decided to make the run a little shorter. Let's hope next week will be better...


Next week's plans:
A 1 hour run on Monday, some vinyasa on Tuesday, an interval training on Thursday and then a long run of 70 minutes on Saturday.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon II week 2

At the start of the week the days just seemed to slip away from me. I worked late on Monday and just wanted to have dinner and go to bed. A whatsapp message from the BF concerning my willpower and how I'm either training it or letting it die...Prompting me to put on my running shoes and going out there. It was horrible. I was tired. I didn't have time to digest my food and kept burping all the way. In the end I ran for 4km instead of 5, but I did go and I think it did help me motivate myself for the rest of the week. Although Tuesday I was at home on the couch chillaxing...
Wednesday I went out for my interval training, running up and down the waterfront near my house, 5 times 4 minutes. Exhausting.

Thursday, as part of my monthly tryouts, I went and did aerial yoga, hanging from the silk drapes and working my core. It was great! You can read more on this here.

Saturday was my long distance run day. For 70 minutes I ran up the Amstel again, only this week I ran into the city towards the zoo. I hate running in the city, with all the traffic lights, bikes, so I always try finding a route that gives me the best possibility of not having to stop. Because if I stop, I stop and walk instead of run. After I went to the Rijksmuseum to visit the Breitner exhibit with my mom and sister and ended the day with a full Ethiopian dinner with injera. 


Next week I have to run 3 times again. My short run on Monday will consist of 40 minutes of running, the interval on Thursday will be 7 (!) times 4 minutes and an 80 minute long distance run. Let's see how my willpower evolves...

Monthly Tryout II Aerial Yoga

A new monthly tryout and it's aerial yoga! Aerial yoga combines aerobatic arts and yoga. Because of the silk drapes you can really extend your stretches. Because you have to use your core to keep yourself steady and not swinging all around the room it also provides a hefty core workout. Plus, because you get great support from the 'silks' you are less likely to get injuries. Plus, plus, plus.

There are not a lot of places where you can practise aerial yoga. In Amsterdam you can find an overview here. But luckily there was a place not to far from my house. At Thrive we spun round, got to hang upside down and swing back and forth. 

Some do get nauseous from the swinging or the upside down hanging, but if you are not prone to getting dizzy, you should be fine. And the best part? Shavasana is spend lying in the silk gently swinging back and forth. So relaxing.

At Thrive tryouts are EU15 euros for a lesson of one and a halve hour, but make sure to get a place well in advance, it gets busy.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Training for the Amsterdam Marathon || week 1

I did it. I went for it. I bought it. I made the commitment...Running my first marathon in my home town Amsterdam. In 41 weeks from today I will run 42K. Kind of overwhelming? Maybe, but I like a challenge.

As I am just about comfortable around 60 minutes of running at a pace of about 6:10-6:30 per kilometre, there is still quite some work to do and so I set out to write a training plan.

I got a lot of use out of the Run2Day website, a friend's training schedule for her first marathon (shout out to Nydia of wordstorunby), plus some overall googling.

The first halve of my training I will be running 3 times a week ( a short run, an interval training for speed, and an indurance run for distance) all based on time in stead of kilometers. When starting to build up stamina and working towards a longer distance run this is often advised as you do not get to focussed on distance, but rather learn to listen to your body. 
The next halve of my training will be all about the kilometers (I mean, I do need to get over that 42K mark, right?) and will bring my running up to 4 days a week.

And this week was my first week. I kind of got off to a medium start. Monday I ran for 30 minutes, walked for 5, and ran again for 20. Which was great. But then I did not go on my interval run of 6x 3 minutes on Thursday (o, dear). Work had been busy and I just wanted to relax and sleep...But I also did go out on a lovely sunny Saturday. I took the metro to pick up the Bae from work and while he biked next to me I ran home in 70 minutes. We took a lovely route, following the Amstel river.


Next week I'll give you guys a new update on my training, week 2 of 41! I have to run for 35 minutes on Monday, with some 1 minute speed ups, do a 5 times 4 minute interval on Wednesday and run another 70 minutes on Saturday. I'll go back to incorporating yoga into my routine on Tuesdays and I need to find a way to add in some weight training as well, not sure how yet.
Plus I am also getting an aerial yoga workout for my monthly sporty tryouts! Excitement all around!

Friday, 4 March 2016

monthly tryout - electric February

Okay, so how does this sound: you pull yourself into tight black undergarments, get hosed down with warm water, strapped into some body armour with cables, get hooked into a machine and then get electric pulses run through your 8 main muscles...great right?

Actually it's pretty cool. It's called electric muscle stimulation and according to wiki it: "has received increasing attention in the last few years because of its potential to serve as a strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes, a rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients, a testing tool for evaluating the neural and/or muscular function in vivo, and a post-exercise recovery tool for athletes". 
The method is also used in physical therapy to loosen muscles that are too tight. The supposedly great thing about it is that the electric stimulation can reach deep into your muscles and give you a hefty work out in a short period of time, while not overstimulating your joints, so no injuries.

Whether or not it does what it does, the work out is pretty fun to do and a lot harder than it looks. After being hooked up we did a 20 minute workout, where we had to squat a few times, do a few lunges and arm movements and ending with a minute long planking session. Not the end of the world. Still, the next couple of days I was totally unable to walk down any type of was a real work out in that sense.

So how does it feel? It differs per person. For me it felt a little bit like when your muscles have gone to sleep and then you have to move around again to wake them up. For my other halve it felt like he was sitting in a massage chair, and for my other friend it just tickled, resulting in some good yet strange laughs.

Would I do it again? I don't know yet. It is definitely a work out, it feels safe to do (although you do need to sign a waver, so no complete trust from my side), it does not take long and when you check out the web you mostly only find positive stories. Plus Usein Bolt does it too! But it is also kind of expensive, depending on where you go anywhere between 20-50 euros per session. Perhaps I'll make it a once in a while work out?

In Amsterdam you can get yourself a free (yes! free!) try out at the Body Tec Lounge.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

monthly sporty tryout - real high jumping jacks January

In light of my road to a fitter life and body, my significant other and I decided to try out a new sport every month. It's a perfect new year's resolution, my monthly sporty tryout combines trying something new with working out.

And this month we had a great start with a body bounz lesson in a massive hall filled with trampolines. Body bounz is a combination of bootcamp and aerobics all smashed into an hour and a half workout. And boy is it a work out!

The hall we went to is Bounz Amsterdam, in the West of Amsterdam, but they have multiple halls throughout the Netherlands. The place is, for a location in the big city, pretty much still in the middle of nowhere. But the atmosphere is great, studenty and low key. Immediately, as soon as you walk in, you cannot help but grin. And you will have a smile on your face for the rest of the night. 

The last time I was on a trampoline, I must have been 10 years old. I loved it then, and I love it now. Unfortunately the childlike fearless tricks have made place for a stiff, scared 30 year old. But jumping around and carefully trying tricks just lifts your spirit. And it's exhausting. I cannot remember it being this tiring at all. All your muscles ache; your entire leg and glutes, your core, your arms will feel like they are burning off and your shoulders have never had this much movement. Guaranteed!

I genuinely say, go try this out. Whether it is free jumping, most places offer to let you free jump (at a set time, like swimming laps in a pool) for an hour for a small fee, or a lesson in tricks, a bootcamp, go wild! Great for office parties too I would say. Who wouldn't want to see their colleagues filled with glee?


a tryout lesson at Bounz is only EU5,00
free jumping on workdays is only EU6,50 and EU7,50 on weekends


In the last week of February the new monthly sporty tryout!

Monday, 11 January 2016

The Run, The Kettle Bell and the Zero Waste Podcast

As mentioned in my previous post, I signed up for a running class to get me back to the 1 hour run. Because, I ain't there yet. I used to be, however, you know, after more than a half a year injury, it's been tough to get a solid foundation back. I have been able to get back to long distance running, but my pace is soooo low. And so I'm going back to basics.

The class is for people who are already able to run for half an hour, aka 5K. Which I got down, sort off. Basically I have 3 weeks to get comfortable in my 5K run. And if that is not motivation enough (who wants to be the loser not able to run 5K in the first week of class?), today left me some emotions to run out, hair to blow loose in the wind and stressful feelings to level out with some endorphin. Plus, as it is dark out when I get home after work, I get to bust out my shoe clip lamps.

While running I got to listen to an amazing podcast I just discovered, Jess Lively. I'm still catching up, but the podcast on zero waste lifestyle was mind blowing, eye opening and totally took my mind of my half hour run (can you imagine only having a mason jar of waste a year? A year! Yes, one whole year!). I was home before I knew it.

I finished off my short run with some weight training, using my kettle bell and a 10 minute kettle bell workout on YouTube. Got to love the internet. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Vinyasa Yoga Tuesday

Tuesday, yoga day. I once started yoga during a yoga challenge (two years ago?! Time moves fast). I was suffering from a knee injury from running a half marathon and according to my physical therapist all my hip and leg joints were too short. And

And although I am still not able to rest my leg in my thigh during the tree pose, I have seen progress. Stronger arms, from all the planks, straighter legs in all the warrior poses and more ambition to once be able to do a head stand. 

There are some great places to do yoga in Amsterdam, a lot of which I got to see during the yoga challenge two years ago, such as De Nieuwe Yoga School and the Yogagarden, but I love my little Sukha Yoga room on the Ceintuurbaan. Sukha's yoga room has beautiful high ceilings and the interior is always slightly different, which keeps you guessing where you can find the yoga blocks. I always love (small) surprises.

Not only is yoga great for posture and flexibility, but it really focuses on core strength, which is essential for a good long run.  

New, small goal, for 2016 finally getting that unobtainable head stand in my yoga portfolio. Especially after today's class, where legs were flying into the air all around me all the time. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Getting Started

New year's eve was mindblowingly gorgeous. We were lucky enough to be invited to a house party with a balcony on the 12th floor overlooking the entire city of Amsterdam! The view was amazing, seeing all the firework being blown up into the air above the broad Amsterdam skyline really inspires  a person to learn from the past en look towards the future.

As we did spend too much time looking at the fireworks, lasting for over an hour, and drinking champagne, today was a little slow to get started. Quiet, still, with a hearty omelet du fromage breakfast.

But, no worries, the plan for fitness was started today. As I haven't run  as much as a mile in a while, I applied for a course of 12 weeks to get from a 30 minute run up to 1 hour at ZOEV, as the thought of having to run for an hour at a reasonable pace kind of freaks me out. The course starts January 25th, so I still have 3 weeks to get comfortable with 30 minutes.

And to add in a little fun, me and my sweat mate decided to try a new -and hopefully a little odd- sport every month, like trampoline jumping, circus workout, a bodytec session... Now off for a short walk, then a lovely non-running pasta party. Let's get this year started!


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