WRD: Monthly Run Down Edition

*sigh* how has the time passed so quickly?

Deborah and Kim are the amazing hosts for the Weekly Run Down! Feel free to join in as well to wrap up your week in fitness!


Plan vs. Actual

Monday – 3.25KM walk, GLI gym 1 hr intake – no workout (appt w/different PT), 3.5KM biking
Tuesday – 3KM walk (office day) to and from train station
Wednesday – 3KM walk, W6R1 run, 6KM, GLI 1 hour, gym 55 min
Thursday – 2.22KM walk, gym
Friday – 2.75KM walk, W6R2 run , gym 55 min
Saturday – 2.5KM walk, parkrun in Alkmaar 5KM, 17/17 Dutch parkruns done!
Sunday 2KM walk, long run W6R3, 1.4KM w/u walk, 10KM run (!!!)

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It’s been quite a couple of Weeks

When we last “spoke” to each other I’d just gotten back from Paris and was trying to get into the swing of it all again. No more celebrations, no more excuses, the holidays and the birthday was over and it was time to get my focus back.

So What Have I Been Doing?

Back on the Weight Loss Train

I started my Hormone Reset Diet. I should to a whole blog post about this and, basically, what a sham I think it is for the most part. I feel like I’ve been suckered into the diet industry once again when all I really want to do is fix my body. Let me make it clear – YES I’d like to lose a few kilos, but I’d rather fix whatever imbalances I have to get my body a bit more on track.

Anyway, I won’t recap the whole thing right now. In fact I’m sort of still in it. But I can tell you that, yes, I did lose 1.3KG in total in January, mostly in the last week, but not because of this “diet”. I’m fairly certain it’s because I cracked down, started logging my food again, recalculated my TDEE and haven’t been eating all the calories I burned from exercise. Pure and simple CI/CO stuff.

By the way, if you ever start diving into “fixing” what feels like a broken system, you will find alllll kinds of information out there. My thought is that my cortisol levels are too high. So how do you lower cortisol? Well, you need to do a number of things. And there are all kinds of experts out there. It’s making me feel a little nuts to be honest. The number one piece of advice is to get enough sleep. HOW??? Anyway, I’m going to go into this a bit more in another blog post. (So now that’s two extra I’ve promised you)

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I’ve been over here quietly tying to find a way to “fix” some things in my life that have an effect on my body. I have had many tough periods when it comes to weight loss. When I started in 2009, I lost about 9 kilos, probably in a years time and then I spent about 5 years just hovering at that weight. Some call it a plateau. Some call it maintenance. . . . I tried many things. But even then I was hearing about “too much cortisol” so the only real solution was to eliminate the biggest stressor in my life – my somewhat stressful job and the 20+ hours commute time I had each week needed to go. .. . I got a job around the corner from where I live, got more sleep and immediately started losing weight again. I also started training for more half marathons and marathons and cortisol production was likely set into overdrive at that point. I’ve not seen my goal weight (which is fine, I just didn’t want the scale to go up) and in the last couple of years my weight has gone up but nothing major. . . The number on the scale isn’t the problem. It’s how I feel. And more importantly it’s how I feel whilst running. Last year was a disaster and instead of losing 4kg I GAINED that. . . So how the •eff• do I fix it??? Meditation. Don’t drink coffee. Get quality sleep. Take supplements. Exercise. Don’t exercise too much. Do yoga. Eat enough fiber. Don’t eat sugar. Get regular massages. Dry brush your body every morning. Oh and do all of this as soon as possible to reduce cortisol levels. I’m stressed just trying to figure it all out!! . . . Just how long does it take to fix a broken hormonal system?? #hormonereset #cortisol #menopause #stress #doeverythingrightnow #cantloseweight #hugecaloriedeficitandmyweightwentup #notstarvingmyself #tdee #CICO

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Work Has Been Really Busy / Stressful

Normally my job is pretty relaxed. I have great colleagues and things are flexible so if you have appointments or need to go a bit early, you can always make it up later. I have two new colleagues who are both non-Dutch speaking. As the native English speaker I am the one spending a LOT of time with one of them and a bit with the other who came in later. I’m also trying to step out of my little comfortable place and do some extra work to show my managers that I’m more “senior” now (and have that reflected in my job/ pay level; I’m currently at the top of my current job level and cannot get further raises until I do “‘above expectations” on a regular basis). Between my new colleagues and working on other projects I do feel a bit stressed again. I need to keep that in check.

parkrun Is Moving Forward

Something else that’s taking a lot of time! The work is paying off though because last week we got the green light from the city council and from parkrun and now need to fill in the paperwork – Dutch and English – and send it in. I *finally* was able to finalise the route as well (only took about 10,000 runs in the park to work out start and finish). We had a testrun last week and 18 people showed up! That made me really, really, really happy. I can’t say when we’ll start but I have a projected date. Watch this space! (Feel free to like our Facebook Page Sonsbeek parkrun – you never know if you are in my neck of the woods one day!)

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What an amazing morning ? today was our first testrun event in Arnhem for #sonsbeekparkrun I was fairly stressed about how it would go. I even wrote up my “speech” last night in Dutch and English so I wouldn’t forget anything. With 4 core team members and 5 volunteers we welcomed 18 runners – including some special guests from @karpendonkseplasparkrun – to get a sneak peak at our course. While we still have a few kinks to work out, the feedback was good and most appreciated the placement of hill after the first kilometer (instead of immediately uphill ?- sorry it was there in the first place @tantetine3 ?). We also got some great tips from Team Eindhoven (@heartrunnergirl is one of the core team there, so it was awesome to see her) who will be launching their #parkrun soon! We’re a bit behind in Arnhem but it will definitely happen! And make no mistake- I would not have had the confidence to do this without such a great team of people like @onelittlefonzie and @voedie to name a few! . . How was your Saturday morning? Did you parkrun today? . . . #running #runningcommunity #parkrunnl #loverunning #loveparkrun? #arnhem #gelderland #sonsbeekpark #hetmooistepark #hardopen #hardlopenisleuk #wandelen #joggen #iedereeniswelkom #laufen #parkruneverywhere

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I Started My 10K Training

It’s official! I started my 10K Training this week. It wasn’t a stellar start but I did it: Wednesday 5KM @ 10K pace on the treadmill at the gym, Friday was hills (also 5KM as I was testing start and finish again) and Saturday was my long run – 8.5KM; 7KM without a break (yay!), 500 rest and 1KM cool down back home. My race is on April 5th.

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It was my first week back in real training since Hermiagate this past August. Honestly I am motivated to run but not quite so to train. It’s been good to just run whenever I wanted or not run at all. And with all the focus on parkrun I just haven’t had the training mindset. It is now 9 weeks until Rotterdam and I at least want to get to the start line feeling like I prepared a bit. I usually do a long run on Sunday but tomorrow I’m meeting friends in Rotterdam (coincidentally) and I have to leave fairly early and I’ll only get home around dinner time. So I finally got my ? our the door and went. 8,5km in total ••7 of that with no break•• not a big deal for some but for me it’s huge. 500 meters walking after the 7 and then another kilometer home. I know mentally I’m not quite over getting sidelined because while I’m happy about the progress I don’t want to ? too loudly just yet. . . . How was your Saturday? Did you run?. . . #injurycomeback #running #training #10km #demooiste #kwartmarathonrotterdam #herniateddiscrecovery #buildingupslowly #fitness #fitafter50 #fitbloggroup

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Coming up Next Week

  • Monday – RPM @ home AM / Pilates PM
  • Tuesday – back to back RPM at the gym
  • Wednesday – Run 30 mins easy
  • Thursday – RPM @ home AM (have massage appointments in the PM)
  • Friday – Run easy pace 5 mins, run 5 mins threshold, run 5 mins easy, run 5 mins threshold, run 10 mins easy
  • Saturday – **optional** Run 45 mins easy
  • Sunday – Run 65 mins easy

Oh dear. no rest day!

Still Not Proclaiming Any Goals Right Now

I think it’s better if I just focus on what I have on my plate and do the best i can. There are things I’d like to do but I don’t need to accomplish anything specific, more than what I’m doing to drop a bit of weight and get my runs in.

points if you know what movie this comes from

I feel terrible that I’ve missed out on what everyone has been doing. I just really struggle to have time for everything. I don’t know how some of you do it all.

How’ve you been? How’s your running? Any races coming up? Are you on the weight loss train (again) too?


  1. kookyrunner says:

    The hormone reset diet sounds interesting – I’d love to hear your thoughts on it if you decide to do a blog post about it.

    Work has been super stressful for me this year as well so I totally feel your pain when it comes to that :( I hope that things will get better for you soon.

    So happy to hear that Parkrun is moving ahead! I know that you have spent so much time on this so I’m happy that everything got the green light and it’s now a possibility – congrats!

    1. Renée says:

      Hopefully I’ll have that post up this week. So many thoughts about it..

      I just don’t know how you do it though. All your workouts and a stressful job! I’m a wreck some days!!!

      thanks re: parkrun!

  2. Birchwood Pie says:

    Ugh work. I really do love my job, it’s just way too much of a good thing right now. So I work, I run, I spend time with my family, I babble on the internet, and I don’t do a ton of other things that I should also be doing. Weight is tricky, I’ve got about 10 extra pounds that would probably be a lot easier to get off if I wasn’t running all the time and consequently eating all the time but it’s not high enough on the priority list for me right now.

    1. Renée says:

      i am truly considering dropping weight loss as a priority…

  3. I would love to hear more about this hormone eating plan. I am so thrilled that your Parkrun is moving forward. It’s great that you were able to spearhead this and make it happen. Thanks for linking up!

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks Deborah. Hopefully I’ll get that post up this week!

  4. therightfits says:

    So happy Parkrun is moving forward! I hope to check one out sometime when traveling. What a fun event.

    Definitely interested in the hormone eating plan…

    Great job this week!

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks! Do try out a parkrun if you are ever in the neighborhood of one!

      Still working on that post…

      thank you!!

  5. Kim at Running on the Fly says:

    It’s been exciting seeing all the great stuff happening with Parkrun! It’s unlikely I’ll ever be in that neck of the woods, but I’ll like your FB page to give you some support from Iowa :-)

    1. Renée says:

      thank you Kim!

  6. Wendy says:

    I’m going to put in my two cents about your reset–I’d look into removing inflammatory foods from your diet. Avoid refined carbs, things that increase inflammation in your body.

    Glad you’ve gotten Parkrun underway!

    1. Renée says:

      yes agree Wendy and I’m definitely trying that. But that’s what I mean – I read that certain veggies were inflammatory and then in another article read that those were actually anti-inflammatory. SO WHAT IS IT THEN??? I don’t have a lot of refined carbs in my diet. 80% (weekdays usually) of my diet is whole food plant based.


  7. That weight-loss train can be so depressing. I’ve hopped off the train for a bit and focusing on my marathon training, but I know I need to start eating a lot healthier, go back to packing my work lunches etc. So pleased with the progress on your parkrun and if ever I’m in your hood, I’ll definitely join in!

    1. Renée says:

      it really can be depressing! and the thing is WE are not your typical averge dieter that wants to lose a few pounds. Like with WW; I had to quit because I really felt like they didn’t take athletes into consideration with their program. And yes, WE ARE ATHLETES. Just because I’m not size 2 that doesn’t mean I’m not athletic.

      let’s see who makes it to the other’s parkrun first… :)

  8. Chaitali says:

    I’m interested in hearing more about the hormone reset thing too! I hadn’t heard of the cortisol thing before. I’m tracking all my food again and I’m hoping that will help with the bit of extra I gained last year.

    1. Renée says:

      I’m still working on the blog post for the hormone reset but I think it’s really so individual… but yes if you have any trouble sleeping and you have stress in your life, cortisol can really wreak havoc on your body. Tracking helps, being aware, but for me, for example, I just have no idea how much I should be eating. I also don’t want to do any weird diet – no IF, no very low carb, no no-fat, that sort of thing. I believe in balance!

  9. runswithpugs says:

    You are doing awesome. I am so proud of you for sticking to your goals, even when you are frustrated by them. I am also so proud of you for getting Parkrun off the ground and implemented. That’s huge and will be such a boon for your community. Well done.

    1. Renée says:

      Thank you Jenn. Means a lot!!

  10. I’m always up a little in Winter, and this year I decided to give myself grace. Which seems to be working. I’m up a bit, but not too bad, so I’m cool with where I’m at.

    I think the reason there are so many different theories is that there really is not one size fits all diet. We’re all different, we all have different needs. I wish it were as simple as calories in/out, but I’ve never found it to be so.

    I think most bloggers don’t sleep . . . how else are they doing it all? I’m still not working full time, and as it is, I’m going pretty much all day long. It’s going to pay off in the long run, but now it seems a bit odd to work so hard for so little $$$.

    Yin Yoga IS really great for reducing stress. I do believe it’s one of the missing pieces of the puzzle!

    1. Renée says:

      I’m up since last year, likely due to less exercise and emo eating . at this point I think I just want to reign that in and accept where I’m at, and just don’t gain any further. There are too many things going on to have that pissing me off as well.

      I think you are right that most bloggers don’t sleep!! It’s very time consuming to do all this blog/social media stuff!

      Do you have a yin yoga rec for me that I can start with?

      1. I’m always up in Winter, but this year isn’t quite as bad as the last couple of years. Maybe because I’m trying hard to not stress about it? I mean of course sometimes I get frustrated, but I know the choices I make & how it impacts me.

        This video seems to be the most popular so far: https://youtu.be/ClIU7YXLgUY

        I have a Yin for Hips coming out in a couple of weeks. Still editing. I’m not sure when I’ll start the 21 Days of Yoga — but I’m working hard on it behind the scenes!

  11. Laetitia says:

    Such exciting news for the park run! I love those (though I don’t go very often..)

    1. Renée says:

      yes I’m very excited! maybe you can go in Paris before the marathon instead of the breakfast run? My friend Laurent is a park of the core team at Bois de Boulogne, you could tell him I sent you :)

  12. Marcia says:

    Cheers to the Parkrun coming together! I swear everything changed for me with menopause. Everything I thought worked for me nutritionally no longer does. This AIP thing I’m doing though has been pretty enlightening. We’ll see what happens when I start adding back foods. I hear you though: There’s so much conflicting advice out there. Intermittent fasting for instance. Wildly popular, loved by many and there seems to be science behind it, and yet I had zero success with it. Everybody’s different. Hang in there.

    1. Renée says:

      Thanks! I’m excited for parkrun to really come alive! Menopause is the worst if I’m honest! I used to think I’d be glad when having a period was all over but this is really crap! The depression, the not being able to be happy for more than a very short period of time is just awful. I’m so sick of crying! Honestly, I’m not really even that sad!! UGH. Food wise I’m willing to make even more tweaks if it helps but I draw the line at anything that can make me feel crazier than I already feel – Intermittent Fasting would definitely do that to me.

  13. It sounds like you have had alot going on lately! Congrats on getting the Parkrun going. Once its up and running will it be less work for you? Sounds like a smart idea to just focus on what you’ve been doing and not set any new goals at this point!

    1. Renée says:

      I think work is actually the most stressful at the moment. I’ll be glad when things calm down a bit but it could be a while. parkrun will always be a bit of work, but once we have a good list of people who can volunteer I can let go a bit. We have two Event Directors, myself and Dafne. So we are going to try to make sure that we both have time away from parkrun on Saturday when needed.

  14. Coco says:

    I know a few people who suffered with hormone imbalance // cortisol and I think they had to stop fighting on the weight loss front, focus on sleep and nutrition (i.e., not restricting calories like they had been — not that you are) and endure some weight gain before they could try to recover and then lose weight s-l-o-w-l-y again. I am sure it is different for everyone, but from the sidelines it’s a “process” for sure. I am so thrilled about Parkrun. I am sure it will be a labor of love, but what a great thing you are doing for your community!

    Do you listen to the Safe For Work podcast? It’s a weekly one with a weekly theme and listeners write/call in with work issues. They get a lot of letters from ex-pats and people trying to deal with situations like yours (wanting to move up but dragged down helping others). Even when the issues don’t pertain to me (my job is PERFECT) the advice usually can. (It’s a lot more fun than I’m making it sound and very well produced.)

    1. Renée says:

      I do think I’m reaching the point of letting go of any weight loss. Sleep and eating well (and fitness) are actually the priorities. Maybe one day I’ll be less fluffy. If not, not the end of the world. It’s not like I’m going to start winning races because I lost 20lbs, right? :)

      Just downloaded some episodes. Thanks for the tip!

  15. Every single day is stressful. I am trying to not get too stressed out but I cannot help it. So many things to do and so little time. Congrats on parkrun! Your hard work is paying off.

    1. Renée says:

      I’m sorry you feel that too Zenaida :( I am taking supplements to help calm me down. Maybe they are working and maybe it’s in my head but end result is good. Have you considered that? Thanks re: parkrun!

      1. I think what I need to do is pick my battles on what I should be stressing about. I know many times it is out of our control. My problem is that I let things get to me.

  16. Congrats on your parkrun progress! I laughed when you said that it only took about 10,000 runs in the park to work out the details.

    Here’s to a great training cycle leading up to your 10K in April. I’m going to ask my PT if she thinks I’ll be ready to train for a 5K in early May.

    1. Renée says:

      thanks! and it felt like 10,000! I did actually manage a 10KM yesterday; now to get the speed up! Hopefully you’ll be ready for a 5KM in May!

  17. Cari says:

    oh the fun of Cortisol. I have PCOS and trying to manage All the Things can be crazy making. Despite all of the do this, do that it all too often ends up CI/CO, doesn’t it. I’m trying not to stress the little things and eat by feel.
    Congrats on your Parkrun success! That’s so awesome
    and I feel you on work. It’s a crazy balance. That has to be a real challenge to try to assist two non Dutch speaking colleagues. Did you speak before you moved? I forget your expat trajectory

    1. Renée says:

      yes cortisol. I am on the verge of accepting being overweight and just making sure I don’t gain. I’m beyond frustrated.
      thanks re: parkrun! next week another test and I’ll need to get the forms sorted as well…
      I took lessons for about 3 months before I came here. Then about two years later I did an immersion course + a year and a half of semi-private lessons. But it’s tough here because people switch to English all the time. Then complain in Dutch that “foreigners” don’t speak the language. I’ve been fluent probably the last 11 – 12 years but always learning phrases and different ways of saying things dependant on where you are from. So my two non-Dutch colleagues are almost no-Dutch (Filipina with a Filipino husband) to a little bit of Dutch (Austrian-Croatian with a Dutch boyfriend). I’m at the point where I sometimes really have to think about how to explain something in English as I know it better in Dutch. If that makes any sense?

      1. Cari says:

        Oh it totally does. There are some things I only know in Japanese – food mostly – as I didn’t know them before I went there. And some childhood things where it was only a Thing at home so while we spoke English at home, grandma didn’t always so I only knew the Italian.
        I was terrified when I went to Amsterdam — the only place where language was an issue was train tickets signage at Schipol, and I’m not sure those made any sense in Dutch either

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