Week 33 – Vacation Mode: ON

I know that most everyone has now had summer holiday, kids are going back to school, everyone is getting back into routine… so now it’s time for me to be on vacation!  So far I’m still at home but there are a few things going on in the next 2 weeks!  I won’t be sitting around watching Netflix! (Ok maybe one or two days haha!)

On a pretty serious note I just want to mention I’m sharing this song with you this week in dedication to my friend Lucy. Four years ago she made the decision that she was done with life. She was 26 years old. I had no idea there was anything wrong, though if I think back (which I have done on more occasions than I can count) I suppose I can uncover something somewhere that was said or done, something I could have said or done, but most people who commit suicide don’t do so on a whim. Likely this was with her for a long time and possibly she had already tried before. I can’t blame her or be angry for leaving, but I am impacted pretty deeply by her death. She wasn’t even a fan of Rihanna, but she was an exceptional person – I often think of her shining bright like a diamond in the night sky. I don’t know if any of you have any experience with someone you love committing suicide – personally I find it harder to deal with than when someone is ill or dies from old age.


OK.  Death is part of life, right?


Let me tell you about  Week 33:

Plan vs. Actual

Monday – Rest or RPM  RPM with Vincent
Tuesday – Runiversity Training 5.45KM with Runiversity 
Wednesday – SocialMile Birthday Run 8KM with SocialMile
Thursday – Bodypump Bodypump
Friday – Massage clients + Runiversity Massage Clients, skipped Runiversity
Saturday – RPM + massage clients RPM + massage
Sunday – I *think* I have 14km on the plan 18KM was on the schedule


Basically this week was pretty much to plan, I think it’s the most I ever went to the gym since I joined (have I ever been 3 times or more??  Really don’t think so).  So funnily enough not a lot to report!  If my quads had an ass, RPM would be kicking it, Bodypump is killing my quads and hamstrings!


the dynamic duo at bodypump


This week also was my 24 year anniversary that I’ve been living in the Netherlands.  I wrote a post on Facebook about it –  it’s not always easy to live in another country, it’s not glamorous or anything like that;  it’s hard sometimes and I miss having really close friends.  I miss my best friends and I just don’t have that level of friendship here.  Not that people don’t care, because they do!  But it’s different and very hard to explain.  it’s a different culture here.  It’s similar enough to adapt fairly easily, but when it comes to close friendships – it’s tough.  I’ve even heard from other Dutch people that just moving from one side of the country to the other poses this kind of problem for them too!  Anyway I’m still glad I took the leap and came  here and then somehow found the cajones to stay!  And I was only going to stay a “few more years” – haha!

beautiful flowers from my love
August 1994, my brother and I singing a duet at my going away party (yep, we had a karaoke machine)



This week was pretty decent.  On Tuesday it was just Martine and myself (usually it’s me, Martine, Georgette and Suzanne as the “B” group) since the others were on holiday.  Chantor (my trainer) adjusted the training for us a bit and we ended up doing 400m intervals “reactive”  – so basically not fully flat surfaces, lots of corners and a few ups and downs, but the point was to stay at the same tempo the whole way around.  It was tough and my heart rate was through the roof, but I felt pretty good about staying consistent.  Total was 5.5KM.  I biked there and back (plus to work) so that was a total of 19KM.

sweaty betty – the new fashion look


Wednesday was the 5th anniversary or my running club SocialMile!  We joined 5 months after they started up and ran every Wednesday for probably 2.5 years.  I only run occasionally with SocialMile – that happened went I started my school for Sports Massage and I couldn’t fit everything in, plus I was struggling with my foot.  I ran my first marathon with SocialMile and still see many of the members regularly.  We had over 50 people come and join the run for the celebration!  CRAZY!  We pretty much ran all over town, up hills, into Sonsbeek park, even down in a part of the underground cellars in the city center!  After 8KM running we celebrated at Helder Cafe (our meeting point) with cakes and beers and yummy deep fried Dutch delicacies!  Total biking (work, to the run) 12.4KM.

Friday I had clients all afternoon and I was kind of beat so I ended up not going to Runiversity.  Rather I did my intervals on the dike behind where I live.  I was supposed to do 8 x 800 with 200 m rest but I was really struggling.  I ended up with 6 x 800 and the last 2 I did with more than 200m in between.  I am not trying to get out of my training, in fact I really try to push myself with the shorter runs, but I just couldn’t do more than I already did.  (I did BodyPump on Thursday +  Massage = pretty tight calves and hamstrings)   So I decided to stop, take a breath and just appreciate being outside while the sun was going down.  Total Run:  9KM, Total Biking 10.4KM

no filter even! sunset on the Ijsseldijk


Sunday  – Ah, the long run.  It’s kind of the same story.  Though I did sleep in and my foot felt pretty ok (Ron massaged my foot AND I did an epsom salt foot bath Saturday night);  I just don’t think I’m fuelling enough and I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT.  Ugh.  This is the thing, try to lose weight, eat less (carbs), continue the same amount of workouts – there is just not enough energy.  So I’ll continue to work on that.  I have to say I enjoyed my run though, I mean the route of course!  Kind of amazing too that I can run 18KM in my small city and not actually leave the city!  I went back into Meinerswijk – No wild horses today though! Plenty of cows though, ha! Total 18KM.   Of course we had our dinner and ice cream out Sunday night – we skipped the pizza this time and hit up our favorite Greek restaurant.  we haven’t been for a while and thought it would be nice to go back. And it wouldn’t be Summer Sunday without the ice cream right?  (that will be over, after marathon training…)  Total Biking:  6KM


pretending I’m in Greece for vacation


On that note:  Weight Loss this week -100g.  Still maintaining!


Totally Random

I’ve had my hair up all summer almost.  I just realised how long my hair is getting again!  Time for some color or something though me thinks!  What do you think? Pink? Blue? Green? Chop it off and accept I’m an old lady?  HAHA!!

I promise I was not trying to duck face.


Week 34 Plan
Monday – rest or Gym
Tuesday – Runiversity
Wednesday – maybe go to the gym
Thursday – rest
Friday – travel to Hamburg
Saturday – Ragnar Relay
Sunday – Ragnar Relay

How was your week?  How are your long runs going?  Anything exciting happen last week that I missed?? 


  1. I’m sorry to hear about your friend, but congrats on the anniversary! That is exciting, and I give you major props for moving there!

    1. Renée says:

      thanks Nicole!

  2. kookyrunner says:

    Congrats on your anniversary and a great week or workouts!

    Thank you for sharing your story about Lucy. It makes me so sad that she was in so much pain. I really hope that eventually we can talk more openly about mental health issues so that people feel that they have an outlet.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Kim!
      and I hope so too. I think we are still far away though. We need to be the ones to change things, and the younger generations. If we still grow up in a household where things are talked about then it still happens, you know? I think Lucy just felt she would never be good enough. But I believe she also put that pressure on herself. Lucy was English but lived more than 15 years in the Netherlands so grew up here mostly. But I think there was a real disconnect and she couldn’t “find” herself here or back in the UK. Maybe for a young person that’s just too tough to work out. So when you see a person who seems to have it all, is an over achiever in school, work, is always smiling and life of the party, it’s possible that they don’t feel that great on the inside. If that makes any sense?

  3. Coco says:

    So, so, sorry about your friend. (((hugs))) 24 years is a long time to live in another country! I do think there are a lot of cultural differences you don’t notice when you’re just visiting, but you seem to have adapted well. I think you’d have culture shock from living in the U.S. now. ;-)

    1. Renée says:

      Thank you x
      and yes I would definitely have culture shock if I would come back to the states now!!!

  4. I am so sorry about your friend. Such a tragic and lonely disease depression is. Hope your memories together bring you some peace.

    1. Renée says:

      Thank you Deborah x

  5. I am so sorry about your friend.

    I find it really inspiring that you moved to another country and stayed. I would love to do something like that, but I don’t know if the opportunity would ever present itself. I’m sure it can be very lonely at times, but you are making it work and doing a dang fine job of it.

    I hope you have a wonderful vacation.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Jenn. And thanks for saying that. It’s not easy to live in another country. I wish more people would do it though. It gives massive perspective change when you are in your home country and you meet foreigners. You KNOW exactly the struggles with language, culture, etc. And being here sometimes I get so angry when people talk to ME about foreigners and I’m like “hello? I’m a foreigner!” and the response is “Oh but I don’t mean YOU”. Because I’m white and western apparently I’m “ok” *rolls eyes* I do my best, you know?

  6. Sorry for the friend you lost…it’s really hard to grasp how someone can feel that lost and not think they have any other options. You spoke of running 18KM around your town/city…this weekend my friend and I ran 14 miles around our little town, too. Crazy how many times you can run “all the streets” and still not see everything, even in a small place LOL

    1. Renée says:

      Thank you Kim. It really is hard to grasp!!

      and this exactly!! I was just thinking why don’t we at least have a half marathon in our city? would be so easy to do and STILL indeed not see everything!

  7. debolton says:

    Im so sorry for your loss. Its hard when you didnt realize. Happy Anniversary! So much to honor and celebrate this week!

    1. Renée says:

      thanks. it really is hard. It seems illogical, but it’s not my say if it’s right or wrong or whatever. I think our brains like to work out reasons why but in this case you just can’t. even if I KNEW what she wrote in her note, her reasons why, that may not be logical to me. So really it’s something you can never really grasp.

      in a way it’s a balance, something that makes me sad and something that makes me happy in the same week! lots of positive reflection going on.

  8. Organic Runner Mom says:

    So very sorry about your friend. Thinking of you and your friend’s family.

    1. Renée says:

      Thank you x

  9. That is a beautiful song to remember your friend. I will have to take that song for one of my friends who felt the same several years ago! Man I miss her.

    Lots of anniversaries in your life this week! Wow, 24 years in another country is a long time for sure!
    Do some fun color in your hair! I just added on color and it has been a fun change :)

    Glad BP is still part of your routine!

    1. Renée says:

      I have a few songs that I remember her by, but this one just gives me chills. We’d done karaoke a few times together and she was kind of an old soul. Her music was more Joni Mitchell, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd. Anytime I hear anything by these artists (especially “Piano Man” – she sang that so well!) I think of her. I’m so sorry you lost a friend too.

      ultimately I opted to just do more shades of blond but now it looks more natural!

      and LOVE bodypump! you asked me a few weeks ago and I didn’t get to replying but I think it’s awesome and really fits into my training schedule. the squats / lunges track is INSANE though. WHO COMES UP WITH THIS STUFF!!?? ha!

  10. I’m so sorry to hear about Lucy. It’s a hard realization but there are so many more people who are hurting mentally and emotionally than we realize. It’s so hard to ask for help, but I wish that we as a society could make it easier for people to be able to ask when they need it.

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