It’s Gonna be May Ultimate Coffee Date

3 May, 2019 Off By Renée

Sorry. I know it’s lame. But every time May rolls around I always think the same haha!

Sit down, grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage (or cold, whatever floats your boat), let’s have a chat! Here are just a few things that I’d talk about while catching up – not just running or fitness related, because, hey there ARE other things in life! (right?)

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I’ve been busy researching, budgeting and planning our travel for this year. Things are much tighter financially because we now have a car payment so we’ve decided on the following:

  1. We wanted to go to Berlin to support our marathon running friends in September, but it was not the wisest decision based on the cost of our Chicago trip in October. So that’s out. Bummer but we have to be realistic.
  2. Speaking of Chicago, we decided to make that our long holiday, arriving on the 9th of October and going home on the 19th! We are only partially staying in a hotel (from arrival until the Monday after the marathon) because OMG DO YOU KNOW HOW EXPENSIVE IT IS TO STAY IN A HOTEL IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO? Because of the marathon we do want to be downtown and close to the start and finish, plus there will be other runners we know staying in town and it will be easier to meet up. I kept searching and hoping for cheaper flight options but they just weren’t happening so (kind of expensive) flights are booked, otherwise I was getting too nervous about not having done that yet.
  3. I really, REALLY wanted a summer holiday this year (like to Greece) and have three weeks off end of June/2 weeks of July but again, being financially realistic that’s a no-go. So… we are going to Denmark for a week. I KNOW that’s not the same as Greece (so not the same!!) but, we can drive there AND I found Airbnb to be really reasonable. We are going to Odense and will likely take the train to Copenhagen for a day trip. And I already got in touch with an Odense running club; we are more than welcome to join in their Thursday evening run! I’m looking forward, since I’ve not been to Denmark yet!
  4. And while we are in the area of Scandinavia – only our flights to Helsinki are not yet booked, but the Airbnb is sorted as well a race entry. I realised recently (by reading properly) that the Half marathon is 2 loops (and the marathon 4! OMG WHAT??). Not sure I would have signed up for that had I read it correctly in the first place. Oh well, no turning back now! Also never been to Finland so, hey, we’ll live with the race as it is.
  5. My parents are already in Malaga; we leave next week Thursday to see them. Hooray for Spanish sun and tasty food!
  6. Liverpool is coming up after that; Since I absolutely can walk 5KM I’m going to participate in the 5KM on Saturday and the 1 Mile Fun Run after the marathon / half. Not sure I’ll be volunteering now.

This is pretty much the final plan; in order of travel appearance: Malaga, Liverpool, Odense, Helsinki, Chicago. It’s plenty and I can’t complain. We are on a pretty tight travel budget plan (already since January) to make sure we don’t go into debt by taking these trips. Fun Fact: In the Netherlands as part of a yearly salary package, most workers get 8% (of their yearly salary) vacation payment in May and usually around 25 vacation days per year. So in case you are wondering how we do what we do, this is the reason. I have about 41 vacation days per year. Ron has about 32. My company up until now has also given us two bonuses per year, in addition to the vacation pay. Both of these bonuses are usually around 5 -8% of our yearly salary. Other than that, we live very “small”. We don’t have a house (we live in a small apartment), we don’t buy a lot of clothes or other luxuries. In fact, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’ve banned myself, for example, from ProCompression and InkNBurn purchases for 6 months (still going strong!. To be able to travel is really important to us, so we make sacrifices in other areas. I realise I don’t really have to explain, but wanted to offer that information in case anyone out there thinks we are living the high life.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m really disappointed that my gym is being taken over by another fitness group that I don’t really like. The day I got the go ahead from my physio to go back to the gym I also got an email informing members that as of July 1st, Fitland will become Basic-Fit.

This is a super bummer because I was really enjoying it but I don’t want to go backwards and to me, that’s what Basic-Fit is. Call me a Gym Snob if you will but I’ve already done all the cheapass gyms and they are not for me. I want to go somewhere where people know your name, they know your goals, they remember you, they reach out to help. OK it sounds a bit like Cheers but hopefully you get the gist.

wonder what Les Mills class Norm would teach?

My instructors for my classes have also been so amazing. I haven’t had that much at other gyms. At Basic-Fit they actually do virtual lessons so there is no instructor with you, live and in person. Sorry, but no. I like the interaction! Also you have to pay for everything, and I mean everything! Want to shower? 50 cents for 3 minutes, please! Want someone to help you with a few machines? 10 euros, please! Nope. Rather pay a bit more and get better service.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that since January I’ve been doing the curly girl method with my hair and I think I’m finally getting a good routine down.

Good Hair Day. And, yes I am french-tucking my shirt thanks to Queer Eye!

Fun Fact: I’ve only had long hair for about 15 years (and briefly when I first moved to NL and didn’t have a hairdresser) and never *really* knew just how wavy/curly my hair was. When I was young I had short hair. My mother told me it was a bit wild. When I look back at photos I see what she means.

my short hairstyle for most of my pre-teenager years (with my little brother)

I guess keeping it short was the only way to really have any control over it. I’ve tried growing it out in the past and just hated it because it was so fluffy and frizzy and took me forever to straighten. My friends begged me to “embrace your curls” as long as 20 years ago and I just couldn’t deal. I don’t know what possessed me now, but the curly girl method really appealed to me so I decided to give it a shot. I’m still amazed sometimes at the curls I get some days. So, what is the curly girl method? In a nutshell, you don’t use ANY product with sulphates, silicones or alcohol. You don’t wash but maybe 1 x a week (sometimes longer depending on your curl type) and instead of washing you condition or “co-wash”. To keep the curls from deflating you wear your hair in a ‘pineapple” (high ponytail) and it’s recommended to use a satin or silk pillowcase so that it is gentle and smooth against your hair. You also shouldn’t apply a lot of heat (like blasting it with the hair dryer) – you have to take your time to diffuse and that’s probably the most challenging part (I don’t like to spend a lot of time on my hair, to be honest).

It’s been a bit of a hit or miss to find the right products (because finding stuff without sulphates, silicones or alcohol is really hard) but I think I’ve got the right combination now.

What would you tell me over coffee? Do you have any travel plans coming up? Have you ever been “forced” to find a new gym? Do you have straight or curly hair?

I’m joining Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date!

I’m also linking up with Meranda and Lacey on the Friday Thread