Week 1 -Thank You For Being So Kind

I’m joining Wendy and Holly this week (and hopefully next week too, hey!) for the weekly wrap! Join in with your fitness related post to get and receive support from other super cool and fabulous bloggers. 

Can you believe the holidays are officially over and we are done with WEEK 1 of 2019??


It’s sort of odd, the end of one year and the beginning of the new year in the same week.  I mean usually it confuses the heck out of me – as if Christmas holidays aren’t confusing enough.   I hardly even knew what day it was half the time!


Week 1 was kind and I’m very happy about that.  I feel positive and I feel like I and many others around me are feeling good and off to a great start.   So how did it all go down?


Monday – Dec 31st

We were in Berlin and ran the Silvesterlauf (They call “New Year” Silvester and lauf is run in German).  Odd distances were offered;  I think 2.6 and 4.3, 6.8 and 9.9.  We opted for the nearly 10KM since entry was EUR 20 for all distances (getting our money’s worth).  Obviously we were a little cocky because we have run so much in Berlin, we just assumed it would a nice flat, fast course.  Uh, no.  NOT. AT. ALL.  That’s what we both get for assuming.  Afterwards I learned that we actually ran up to the highest point in Berlin.  I kid you not.  However, at the very top, there was a CHAMPAGNE station instead of water.  YES! I’ll take it.  Ron is too fast and doesn’t always pay attention to these little (ha!) details so he missed the whole thing and kept going.  After champagne, we began the descend down what I describe as a “one-man treacherous path”.  Keep in mind that this was not all asphalt either (more assuming).  As we went down, down, down, I imagined myself several times slipping and sliding down the side of the hill never to be found again.  But, I made it and the two guys behind me that I slowed down finally were able to pass me at the bottom.    In the end it turned out to be 10.15KM on my Garmin which makes me happier than 9.9… There were Berliner Pfannkuchen instead of medals.  Also fine by me.


Remember that famous speech President Kennedy made? He meant that he was just like the citizens of Berlin, but he actually said he was a donut…


Afterwards we went and got something to eat and drink, went back to the hotel, chilled out a bit and then got ready to go out.  We’d been out to dinner the night before so we didn’t want to have another big meal out so we had some subs and then headed out towards the Brandenburg Gate.   We were pretty late getting out apparently (it was 8pm) so the entrance to the party that we wanted to be at was full and closed off.  By the way, PLENTY of security out.  Tanks, lots of police and military with big guns.  I actually felt very safe.  Anyway we must have walked about 3km in total to finally get to an entrance we could go through.  Along with a thousand other people.  More security checks and finally we were in!  Funny thing is, it’s EXACTLY where the starting areas are of the Berlin Marathon.   So, quite familiar.  There were tons of places to get drinks and food and lots of big screens so that we could see what was happening on the stage.  There were more than a million people there! This was by far the biggest event I’ve ever attended and I was kind of glad to be in the back and no longer allowed in the main area.  Can you imagine being the middle of a MILLION PEOPLE.  No thanks!  I like to move around and escape if I need to!   It was very fun though, the music was funny and sometimes good, and eventually when it was midnight the fireworks were literally the best I’ve seen in my life! Amazing!    We didn’t stay too long after 12 though – we had to walk at least 2KM to get to a U-Bahn that would get us back to our hotel and figured there would be crowds to fight so may as well get it over with!


hard to see but I’m telling you this was the hill from hell
yes I’ll have some of that sir!
selfies and drinking don’t mix. not sure how i got it in my mouth with those duck lips


doesn’t even give it justice


Tuesday Jan 1st

Slept in a wee bit, had a great breakfast at the hotel and then went out to the Fernsehturm or TV Tower.  We didn’t make reservations or buy tickets online and in retrospect, I think it’s better to do this with ANY big tourist attraction.  We waited an hour in the queue to get in and buy tickets, then we waited almost 2 hours until our numbers were called to go up the elevator and to the observation deck.   I was a little bit disappointed as it was hard to really see all of the places they point out in the information provided, because it was already dark!  So I’ll do it again but I’ll reserve a time slot and buy my tickets in advance!

Afterwards we decided to go to the Hard Rock Cafe!  No idea why but we’ve never been to the one in Berlin before and we pretty much always hit up an HRC wherever we go that has one!  Great meal and I have to admit super great cocktails – hic!  Of course no HRC visit would be complete without minimum purchase of a new pin (or a scarf… or a tee shirt…).  So that was my shopping done then!


the only daylight view photo that actually turned out fairly decent
it is a fuzzy photo? or is it art? you decide.


Wednesday Jan 2nd

Boo hoo, it was time to go home.  We had a great breakfast again and then packed everything up and left town.  It actually started snowing right when we left but didn’t last very long!  It was kind of busy on the road and we stopped quite a few times to stretch and get coffee.  Nothing too exciting to report on the drive back.  Once we  were home Ron even cooked dinner for us.  I don’t know how I got so lucky!  who wants to cook after driving for 7 hours (ok I drove some too)??



Thursday Jan 3rd

Arg.  Back to work  It was fine though.  Nothing to report, just the usual wishing everyone Happy New Year, etc. throughout the day since a lot of colleagues also were in for the first time since Christmas.

(note there are no sporty activities mentioned after NYE run? don’t worry, I make up for it)



Friday Jan 4th

Day off! HAHA!  yep I worked one day this week!  I slept in for a bit and started doing a few practical things around the house.  I also started thinking that I was going to skip my training because I just wasn’t feeling up to it, etc., and then I immediately remembered my word of the year and my goals and I got dressed and ready and went off to training.

On Fridays we have combined training – there are two groups and Monday night is usually for the fast group and Tuesdays for the less experienced or not-so-fast group, but then Friday we do it all together.  Only I was the only one from the slow group… I really am trying very hard to not care and go with the flow and tell myself that I do actually belong there but it was a slight struggle.  The warming up tempo is already a fast tempo for me!  My trainer is in tune with this and tries to make sure we are all-inclusive but that means then that one of us slower folk have to determine the pace.  Another thing I love, being in the running spotlight… NOT!  Anyway, we did 200’s (which were more like 250’s…) and I was supposed to hit a 5:12 pace.  12 x 200 with 100 recovery… and all under the 5:12!  Woot!  In the end I was glad that I went.

No photo – but I promise it happened :)


Saturday Jan 5th 

While Ron went off to do his first race of the year, I had a PT session with my trainer (something new I’m doing) and we did kettle bells.  Let’s just say I could definitely feel I did kettle bells again after a long time.

After Ron came back we spent some time going through some stuff (de-cluttering) and cleaning up the bookshelf in the “music room” (the room we painted grey this summer).   I still have two boxes to go through and those boxes have been moved again into my exercise room… ugh.  Feels like a lot of transferring of boxes, but we’ll get there.


Sunday Jan 6th

New RPM release day!  Every 3 months there is a new “release” from Les Mills which is basically the new workout for 8-9 weeks (the last 4 weeks is the “mix” which is the instructors own piecing together of the workout based on the number placement, ie you don’t start with a number 6 song, you start with 1 and you go consecutively).   Yesterday was the official release but we couldn’t make it (because of above events already happening), so Vincent, Ron and I went this morning.  I always need about 3 or 4 times to really get used to the music and the workout but I’m sure it’s going to be good.

After RPM we came home, ate something, changed and eventually went out for my training today.  1 hour at 5:51 per km pace.  I nearly laughed!  I mean i want to break my 10KM PR but it didn’t have to be today!  So glad Ron came with me.  We actually broke it down so I could actually do the training.   I made it through the first 7KM at 6:00 slowest pace and 5:39 fastest.  Which boggled my mind to be honest!  After 7KM the wheels just fell off.  I got home but it was a struggle.  In the end I did 10KM in one hour!  Last summer my fastest 10KM race I think was 1:02??  So… progress!

I am definitely done for this week now!


as deflated as that exercise ball next to me.


Other Stuff

There was no Weigh-in this week – we were on the road and I didn’t see the point of doing it after returning.  I got back on the horse as soon as I was home. I am going to attempt again to do the weekly wrap and post weigh-in results here.

Habits are going well this week.  Water, vitamins, taking the stairs and filling in my WW log. Haven’t made 10K steps each day but that should change now that I’m home.

Next week, quite a bit of training (need to figure out my schedule), and finally my 2nd opinion appointment regarding other solutions for the nerve damage in my foot.  I have a few social appointments too and Ron’s birthday is next Saturday!



How was your first week?  Are you feeling like it was a good start or do you feel like you are not quite out of the gate yet? 


  1. How cool was that New Year’s race experience! The little donut things look delicious! Nothing to exciting here – we’re getting back in the school swing of things officially this week and I’m easing back into marathon mileage in the running-sphere. Marathon training is just around the corner! Happy New Year :)

    1. Renée says:

      definitely back into the swing of things – and training is going on here as well too! Half and then later in the Full… more and more and more running to come…

  2. Sounds like such a cool place to ring in the new year! Your running is off to a great start. Have a fantastic week

    1. Renée says:

      it was so fun! thanks Deborah, you too!

  3. Wendy says:

    How fun that you got to ring in the NY in Berlin! That race sounds great, especially with the donuts! Glad you’re back with us!

    1. Renée says:

      so much fun! loved the donuts!! thanks!

  4. I always love reading about your adventures “over there.” ;-) As I told you earlier, I love the HRC, and I always seek one out when we’re traveling. I collect the shot glasses, though ;-)

    1. Renée says:

      you know it’s funny because HRC is not always great but I can’t help but go. The one in Vegas was THE BEST. did you hit that one up?

  5. kookyrunner says:

    You had a very strong start to 2019! After seeing your post on Instagram, I really feel like all races should provide a champagne aid station. Maybe we can talk Chicago into doing this? haha

    Your workout today made me tired just reading it, lol. Great job!

    1. Renée says:

      let’s start the champagne chicago petition!!

  6. Coco says:

    Sounds like a really fun way to start the new year! Much more adventurous than we were. I think marking the weeks (“week 1”) is a European thing? or maybe a northern European thing? clients will tell me they will be on vacation weeks xx-yy and I have no idea what they are talking about!

    Cool that Les Mills releases new workouts every so often – keeps it interesting, I guess.

    1. Renée says:

      oh I don’t know Coco – maybe it is european? I don’t actually remember referring to week #’s when I was in the US so it could very well be!

      definitely love the change ups in the classes for sure!

  7. Cari says:

    I do the same re: Hard Rock Cafes. It started when I lived in Osaka and has become A Thing even though HRCs aren’t as fun as they used to be.
    I wouldn’t mind being a Berliner, or a donut. Good luck with reentry

    1. Renée says:

      agree about HRC. we just kind of ‘have’ to go. as my husband says, “it’s tradition”…

  8. Oh my gosh, I cannot even imagine being around that many people! I’m with you – I need an escape route. I don’t even like to be in an elevator with more than 4 other people. haha But, what an experience!!

    I like to do the same with the Hard Rock Cafes. It’s fun, and familiar, and yet different.

    1. Renée says:

      oh I know. I don’t like huge crowds really. I mean I can handle big crowds like a concert, festival, big race, but not ONE MILLION PEOPLE.

      I usually ask what the local legendary burger is and most of the time I’m like “….uh, nope!” In Berlin it’s got curry sausage on it… no, no no!

  9. Liz Dexter says:

    That Berlin race sounds a little scary – I see the word “technical downill” and I back away fast. Well done for completing it and also for a one-hour 10k – there are plenty of us slower folk around who will never achieve that.
    I want to try kettle bells but I’ve convinced myself I’ll smash myself in the face with the thing! Maybe our gym will get a PT again and I can make them show me.
    This week wasn’t brilliant for me because I was coming into ultra training out of a cold so wasn’t running that well. Oh well, on we go!

    1. Renée says:

      ha we didn’t actually read the description of the race, we just though we’d do it haha! teach us to just show up and assume it’s a flat course!

      kettle bells are so good – I just have never been consistent with them!

  10. Marcia says:

    What a fun start to the New Year! Berlin is always fun. I had enough (bad) excitement to last me all year. I’d be good with things calming down a bit.

    1. Renée says:

      I really hope for your and your family’s sake that this was all the (bad) excitement to be experienced for a lonnnnng while, if hot forever.

  11. How cool to see fireworks in Berlin for New Year’s! I think I’d like to go somewhere cool for New Year’s…I don’t go out in my hometown because its overpriced and overrated, but if I were on vacation I’d probably want to do something.

    1. Renée says:

      yeah it’s super boring here – in fact I don’t like NYE anywhere in the netherlands – I don’t want to drive because then I can’t drink (I’m pretty much a not even one kind of person), I can’t take the train because the trains stop at 8pm (so then I’m stuck the whollllllle night somewhere) and it’s overpriced and just a bunch of lunatics setting off their own fireworks. Nope. I’d rather be far away from that.

  12. HoHo Runs says:

    Glad to see you back on the Weekly Wrap! Running the race in Berlin is the perfect way to close out the year…and start a new one. I love the fuzzy/artsy picture too. I feel your pain on the transfer of boxes. I keep pushing them around in my house to make room to pack more. Thanks for linking and Happy New Year!

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Holly! Fingers Crossed I can keep it up too (the weekly wrap)! Happy New Year to you too… now get those boxes moved!

Comments are closed.