WRD: Week 18 – Liberation

Lest we forget

While the US is celebrating Cinco de Mayo, here in the Netherlands we have the Dodenherdenking (Remembrance of the Dead) and Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day). The Netherlands was under German occupation from 1940 – 1945 and, thanks to the allies – in particular the British, Canadian, Polish and American troops – every year we celebrate the end of the occupation on May 5th. Every five years on May 5th is also a national holiday. Because I grew up in the United States I think I only partially understood the impact the war had on people and countries in Europe in general. Sure we learned about it in school (but don’t get me started because I’m pretty sure we were taught half-truths – and in some cases right out lies – about many things that happened in our history) . My grandparents (dad’s parents) were both in the military during WWII (but rarely talked about it) but I feel like I was so far removed from all of it that I didn’t really get it. Well, I can tell you, people here still get it and older people who lived through it still have their stories to share. All of these experiences have a lot to do with how the Dutch are in general (due to poverty, lack of food, etc). What happened is not easily forgotten, nor should it be. Here in Arnhem and the surrounding area we have a part of the Liberation Trail; and there are several areas you can stop to see different memorials. This time of year you see a lot more flowers and wreaths left at these memorials. If you have time and you fancy reading a bit more about it, there is an article here on DutchNews.NL (in English) that will give you more information about Liberation Day and what exactly happened here and when. Arnhem, in any case, is famous for the “Bridge Too Far” – maybe you have heard of that as well (but this battle occurred in September 1944, which is why in September we have almost an entire month of commemorations)?

I never really think of Cinco de Mayo anymore until my US friends remind me and nowadays it makes me wonder what is really being celebrated anyway! Besides tasty food and drinks LOL!

Anyway, that intro to the WRD was far too long, I will spare you from my further drivel.

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 (!!!)

Last week my plan was 3 lunch walks (check) 3 gym visits or at home (check) and I wasn’t really sure what was happening in the weekend because of the weather.

This Week In Fitness

  • Monday – lunch walk 3.1 km, cycling 5.5KM total
  • Tuesday – lunch walk 3km, PT, 1 hour Cardio and Strength at the Gym, cycling 6KM
  • Wednesday – 30 min pilates + strength at home, cycling 4.4KM
  • Thursday – lunch walk 3.25 km , cycling 9KM
  • Friday – 1 hour Cardio and Strength at the gym
  • Saturday – house cleaning, which was a workout in itself
  • Sunday – 42KM bike ride

It was kind of stressful at the beginning of the week and then later improved. I managed a walk on Monday and Tuesday at lunch. Tuesday I was feeling a bit down about the pain/discomfort of my fourth toe and had a bit of a cry after PT, but then sucked it up and went to the gym to work off a bit of the crazy.

the elliptical kicked my butt

Wednesday was a total wash; work was super stressful and I didn’t even get a chance to do my lunch walk! But I did kind of figure it would be like that (it was month end and I am working in a financial department). On Thursday I walked with Eva (my massage boss) and in the evening I met up with some friends in Utrecht which was really nice. Look at me being all social in real life these days!

On Friday Ron worked from home again but had to go back to the Spine Policlinic, this time to get an injection in his back to see if that would help his pain and radiation symptoms. I went with him because they recommend you do not drive afterwards!

I did end up going to the gym Friday evening; that was kind of the plan anyway since Ron normally would go to Runiversity. But… not the best idea for him after getting the shot!

As it turned out Wendy and Vincent came around on Saturday (not the sole reason for cleaning the house, that was already on the agenda, but my plan was actually to spread it out on Friday and Saturday; that was not the reality. The weather was nuts anyway and I ended up not going out at all. I mean one minute it was sunny and warm and then next grey, rainy and cold!

On Sunday we decided to ride the 21 KM out to My BIL + SIL’s place in Renkum (Ron’s home town). We’ve done this route before, actually two years ago before mother’s day when Ron’s mum was still alive. It was a bit cooler today and while we had sun, we also had a lot of wind and at some point we also had a tiny bit of rain. I have to say, though, it was good to get out. Even though we took a different route back it was also 21 KM exactly.

another memorial along the Liberation Route

just after the memorial, we had to bring the bikes up the stairs to continue the journey which was for a large part along the Lower Rhein
at the 15KM point (up the stairs) – 6KM to go
the mill in Renkum
on the way back we chose another route, a good part of it going through the woods

Totals for the week:

  • Biking 76,25 KM
  • Walking 9.35 KM
  • Steps: 69,311 – just a tad lower than I’d like
  • 2x gym
  • 1 at home Pilates + strength
  • 7/7 Days stairs at home

Coming up Next Week

Next week will be a short week for me. Plans are:
Monday – PT
Tuesday – Gym
Wednesday – back to Pilates

On Thursday we leave for Màlaga and will be home Monday, so I’m not sure there will be a Weekly Run Down for Week 19 but you never know!

Every May at work we have the “Running around the World” Challenge – though you don’t have to run per se; all activity (time, steps, KM) is calculated in steps which is calculated then into kilometers. So now I really want to get my step count up! This year we are walking (running, swimming, golfing, etc) for honey bees. I’ll have to check it further to be able to give you more detail on that!

That’s a wrap!

How was your week? Have you ever had a corticosteroid shot anywhere? Do you feel like you know a bit about WWII era history? Are you having odd spring weather (3 seasons in one go, summer being excluded)?

29 thoughts on “WRD: Week 18 – Liberation

  1. I love hearing about the different holidays and traditions where you are. I did learn a good deal about WWII, but the even good history books can’t tell the whole story of people who lived through it. One of my high school history teachers survived a concentration camp, and while she didn’t bring it up often, I know she did her best to teach us well. Your bike ride looks lovely. I hope you have a better week.

    1. oh wow, that’s very interesting about your teacher! I’m always amazed to hear stories from survivors or even just know that someone made it through such a horrific experience. Thanks a lot Coco, I’m sure the new week will be great!

  2. Like, Coco, I also enjoy hearing about world history (and not just from the US perspective). My best friend from college…her maternal grandmother lost an entire side of her family in the Holocaust. It’s enlightening chatting with her about all kinds of politics and religious stuff ;-) She’s like a sister to me (well, actually, she is a sorority sis LOL). I think we ALL are having a doozy of a spring….I vote we just fast-forward to summer and move on ;-) Thanks so much for all of your support of the WRD ;-)

    1. it’s good that you actually engage with survivors! It really adds to the perspective of what we’ve been taught! Yes I am so ready for the summer switch now. Guess that will be happening on Thursday when we land in Spain ;-)

  3. You had a great week of workouts Renee! Love all the photos from your bike ride too.

    So sorry to hear that Ron had to get a shot in the back. I’ve never had a corticosteroid shot but my mom has and it really gave her a lot of relief.

    1. Thanks Kim! And he’s going to be fine – hopefully this and some rest will do the trick. I had two shots myself a few years ago to see if it would help the tingling in my foot.

  4. I think Cinco de Mayo in the US is mainly an excuse to drink margaritas! :) Great week of workouts, even though you were really busy. Way to go! Sorry to read about your hubby. Hope his back is feeling better now.

    1. Thanks Laurie! He is feeling a bit better by the way but also still resting so I’m sure that helps.

  5. I’m Jewish — which doesn’t mean I know a lot about WWII, but I do know how amazing the Dutch were to the Jews. My Dad is a WWII vet, but you’re right, he rarely talks about it.

    As to Cinco de Mayo — even when we lived in TX it wasn’t really something we celebrated but it was definitely a bigger holiday there. Speaking of holidays, enjoy yours!

    Thankfully I’ve never had a cortisone shot. I hope I never need one. I hate needles & definitely got plenty of them the beginning of the week. The iv they did in the ambulance wasn’t done all that great & was sore for days (and they ended up having to start a new one later on in the other arm.

    1. I regret now not talking to my grandparents more about their service. By the time I realised I wanted to know more, my grandpa was long gone and my grandma had alzheimers. Now I will never know.

      ooh if you are not a needle fan I can only imagine how uncomfortable last week was for you. all for a good reason though! funnily enough with the shot Ron had, the needle was quite small. Only the contrast fluid hurt – not the needle – because it was injected right into the vein. That said IV’s are NO FUN. I can handle needles but I really dislike IV’s.

      1. I haven’t had an iv since I was a kid! Thank goodness! They one they did at the hospital wasn’t bad. But they were trying to inject something into the one they did in the ambulance and it was extremely painful — so that’s when they took that one out & started another one in the other arm. Which was better.

        I can only imagine how difficult that is to do in a moving vehicle!

        That is odd that the cortisone needle was small!

        My Dad just never talked much about his service at all. Now there isn’t a lot that he remembers, but he has actually talked about it a bit more.

        They have something here called the honor flight. They take veterans to DC & around the memorials. My Dad did it a few years ago & had such a good time.

  6. Cinco de Mayo isn’t even a big holiday in Mexico, but here it’s all about a party! Kind of ironic with the push to “build the wall” on the border, isn’t it? Most people probably don’t even make the connection.

    Poor Ron! I hope he gets some relief from his injection.

    1. you know I was totally thinking “half the people drinking tequilla and eating tacos probably are build-a-wall supporters”. *eyeroll* Thanks – so far he’s feeling some relief, hopefully it helps, plus a bit more rest.

  7. Thank you for sharing the information about the Dutch holiday. I don’t really celebrate Cinco De Mayo. For many it is just an excuse to get out and drink.

    1. I’m just waiting for the Dutch to adopt this holiday commercially as well. Seems to happen with a lot of American holidays. I’ll be drawing the line and the Dutch trying to do our Thanksgiving!!

  8. That was cool to learn about the holiday! Cinco de Mayo started as a celebration of the Mexican army over the French in a battle but I don’t know why it got picked up in the US. And it pretty much just seems like an excuse to drink margaritas and eat Mexican food here. I don’t celebrate it, especially because all the Mexican restaurants end up super crowded that day. Beautiful photos from your bike ride!

    1. I think Cinco de Mayo was sort of adopted to celebrate Mexican- American heritage? Or the bond between the two? I’m not sure, but yes I do think it’s an excuse to drink margaritas and eat tacos! Thanks! we were fairly lucky with the weather.

  9. That Running Around the World challenge sounds like fun
    Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s. We break many holidays. Like Wendy said, total lack of connection
    I felt the same re: proximity of war when I was in Japan and Prague. Scars are barely scars there. Something especially about the skeleton of the Genbaku Dome in Hiroshima

    1. that’s what it is; scars are barely scars. I often visit places, museums, memorials and find myself crying more than once. The combination of how could that have happened and why is it still happening in other places really gets to me.

      1. YES.
        Went to an exhibit about Auschwitz last week (post TK tomorrow) called Not long ago. Not far away. So frighteningly and frustratingly true

  10. I know quite a lot about WWII as I read a lot of novels set around then and also studied it in history at school. But I don’t know about other countries’ memorial events so that’s very interesting.

    1. we have a lot of British, Polish, Canadian and American veterans in particular over here for Liberation Day and for the commemoration of Operation Market Garden here in Arnhem in September. it’s very moving to see them. My favourite is the pipes and drums in September when they march over the Bridge. No one speaks the entire time that they are marching over. I’ve learned way more about WWII since i’ve been here.

  11. I hope the shot gives Ron some relief. Back pain is the worst. You had a busy week! My husband is a history buff who loves WWI and WWII stuff especially. We’ve combed through so many battle sites in Europe! My dad’s wife was a little girl during the Holocaust and they used to shelter Jews from the Nazis in their home. Oh does she ever have stories.

  12. It is really interesting to hear all about different holidays in other countries. I learned a lot about how the Netherlands was impacted by WW2 when I visited there. I have been to the Anne Frank museum twice as well. Have a great week!

  13. I’m a bit of a history geek so I love hearing about the Netherlands holiday. The whole Cinco de Mayo thing here is just a great excuse for people to drink margs I think!

    I so hope Ron gets some relief from that shot!

  14. What a great week! Sorry to hear about Ron’s shot though…yikes! Hopefully it helps.

  15. That injection looks painful! Hope he feels better soon.

    Thanks for that history lesson. I don’t remember learning about it. But then again it has been a long time. I HATE Cinco de Mayo. There is nothing really to celebrate. Mexicans in Mexico don’t celebrate it either.

  16. Thank you for sharing a little about the history of the Netherlands. As far as Cinco de Mayo goes, I’d never heard of it until a few years ago. Last year I Googled it to see exactly what I was celebrating when I ate Mexican food and drank margaritas on May 5th. Here’s what I found – In Mexico, May 5th is a day set aside to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862; and is celebrated in a more formal way with military parades. In the United States, we have put a very different twist on it as a day to celebrate Mexican-American culture.

    Is the shot Ron got part of the three-shot series? If so, it’s what I got in 2012 when I had severe sciatica pain. It was life changing! Hope he finds relief as well.

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